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S03.E02: It's the Sixties, Man!

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Midge struggles with Susie's taking on a new client. Joel meets with the club's landlords. Abe begins a new project, and Rose gains a new perspective. Midge and Joel go to court.

 

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1 hour ago, Juneau Gal said:

Did anyone catch who sung Won’t Last A Day Without You over the closing credits?

Paul Williams 

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Loved this episode. I am liking Joel stepping up with the kids. The actor is looking quite handsome this season and I never thought I would like him.

Rose is elegant and filthy rich? I wonder what she saw in a self centered weirdo like Abe?

Midge looks absolutely stunning in all her delicious outfits.

Glad Susie and Midge came to an understanding.

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I never got the vibe that Rose was from Oklahoma. She strikes me as a definite East Coast person. She seems more likely to be from Providence, Rhode Island than Providence, Oklahoma. I guess the writers thought this was a quirky little back story but it felt off to me. In fact, the whole show seems a little off to me. I was really excited for season 3 and now I find myself checking the clock to see how much time is left in each episode.

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Well, I am concluding they wanted to make the cast more diverse. And it works. I totally believe the Shy Baldwin plot line and like it. However... I have problems with Sterling K. Brown as "Reggie." He is bringing too much of the Randall shtik to this character. It is almost like "Randall doing Reggie." I think that part was miscast. 

In a side note, season 1 was about a very Jewish girl. Almost every episode was infused with Midge's Jewish heritage. I think that is what made it so funny and unique and such a true period piece. Somewhere along the way, that aspect of this series became diluted and lost the way. 

Edited by DakotaLavender
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6 hours ago, qtpye said:

Midge looks absolutely stunning in all her delicious outfits.

This was probably my favorite outfit of the episode, but then when Midge left I imagined a cut scene in which Susie and the matzo balls in the soup introduced themselves to each other.

greenoutfit.png


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6 hours ago, qtpye said:

Glad Susie and Midge came to an understanding.

Totally tied up the episode in a bow. This could be the Emmy submission.

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1 hour ago, DakotaLavender said:

In a side note, season 1 was about a very Jewish girl. Almost every episode was infused with Midge's Jewish heritage. I think that is what made it so funny and unique and such a true period piece. Somewhere along the way, that aspect of this series became diluted and lost the way. 

Did you not see the matzo ball soup? LOL
And in the first episode I totally inhabited the character of Midge mouthing the Christmas song that she had never heard before,
although now I know Christmas carols better than most Christians, heh.
But, yeah, I suspect what you are seeing, @DakotaLavender, WRT the dilution of Midge's Jewishness, might continue to increase as the season(s) continue --*hopefully* not because of concerns about viewers prejudices, but rather because at the time depicted assimilation was lauded among many ethnic groups in America.

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57 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

But, yeah, I suspect what you are seeing, @DakotaLavender, WRT the dilution of Midge's Jewishness, might continue to increase as the season(s) continue --*hopefully* not because of concerns about viewers prejudices, but rather because at the time depicted assimilation was lauded among many ethnic groups in America.

I do not think it has to do with Jewish prejudice. I think the producers and writers wanted to introduce other ethnic groups into the cast to make it more diverse and to cast actors of other backgrounds such as Asians and African Americans. 

I think the first season appealed mostly to Jewish audiences. Now, more viewers can relate to the story. 

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2 minutes ago, DakotaLavender said:

I do not think it has to do with Jewish prejudice. I think the producers and writers wanted to introduce other ethnic groups into the cast to make it more diverse and to cast actors of other backgrounds such as Asians and African Americans. 

I think the first season appealed mostly to Jewish audiences. Now, more viewers can relate to the story. 

Ah! Yes. I misunderstood. Diversity is always more interesting IMO. But I do expect to see Midge and her family assimilating as they mirror the Jewish American experience of the times for those who wanted to socially climb outside of their insular group.

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Here's what's not tracking for me and maybe you all can help me.  

Last season, Rose left to go to Paris and lived quite a bohemian lifestyle.  Abe and Midge came to bring her back and Abe went along with her life to please Rose but eventually convinced her to come home.  I get that by the end of season 2, Abe embraced a past part of his life that he was looking to resurrect, but what I am having a hard time reconciling is Rose's struggle with it given she was ready to drop it all and live a bohemian life in Paris.  If you look at it that way, it would seem she would be perfectly happy with Abe leaving his job.  Of course, granted, they'd lose the apartment, but I'm talking more her difficulty with Abe's lifestyle and mentality change vs. where they live.  I mean, certainly, they could just go back to Paris or even live a more carefree life in NY in a smaller place with less of the trappings of a high end lifestyle.  It just seems like they are asking us to erase everything about Rose from early in season 2 and now she's back to being a rigid trust fund lady who lunches.

Maybe it's just me, but did anyone else have a hard time with all this tracking?

One last small thing, more an annoyance.  You mean to tell me that not once did the lawyer hear Midge's last name and connect that she might be related to his friend Abe?  Maisel isn't exactly as common as Smith or Johnson.  I can sort of let that one go, but it did strike me as odd.

Edited by GingerSnappy
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12 hours ago, Jessica Yes said:

I was really excited for season 3 and now I find myself checking the clock to see how much time is left in each episode.

I was surprised by this too.  There are too many storylines just to keep certain characters in rotation and they are creating situations I don't really care about as much to do it.  If it wasn't for the funny exchange with Joel and the Chinese couple and the cash, I really didn't care about this club/underground gambling room or the woman who was facilitating the exchange.  I'd be perfectly happy with Joel becoming a secondary character who eventually drifts away in future seasons.  We didn't learn enough about him before he left Midge for me to be at all invested in his redemption arc and I find the "will they, won't they get back together" tedious.

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40 minutes ago, GingerSnappy said:

One last small thing, more an annoyance.  You mean to tell me that not once did the lawyer hear Midge's last name and connect that she might be related to his friend Abe?  Maisel isn't exactly as common as Smith or Johnson.  I can sort of let that one go, but it did strike me as odd.

Her parents' last name (and Midge's maiden name) is Weiszmann though.

Edited by Aulty
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48 minutes ago, Aulty said:

Her parents' last name (and Midge's maiden name) is Weiszmann though.

Oh goodness, yes, of course!  Duh.  Please ignore my momentary stupidity.giphy.gif

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Oh dear.  I'm afraid it's the dreaded third season burn-out.   Cast gets bigger and plots get sillier, more contrived.  What used to charm now grates.  Snappy repartee falls flatter than Midge on her worst gig.

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I'm loving this season so far (I've watch ep. 3) although there are a few scenes I zone out on, and I still don't want to watch the necessary Midge bombing scenes.

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3 hours ago, GingerSnappy said:

Here's what's not tracking for me and maybe you all can help me.  

Last season, Rose left to go to Paris and lived quite a bohemian lifestyle.  Abe and Midge came to bring her back and Abe went along with her life to please Rose but eventually convinced her to come home.  I get that by the end of season 2, Abe embraced a past part of his life that he was looking to resurrect, but what I am having a hard time reconciling is Rose's struggle with it given she was ready to drop it all and live a bohemian life in Paris.  If you look at it that way, it would seem she would be perfectly happy with Abe leaving his job.  Of course, granted, they'd lose the apartment, but I'm talking more her difficulty with Abe's lifestyle and mentality change vs. where they live.  I mean, certainly, they could just go back to Paris or even live a more carefree life in NY in a smaller place with less of the trappings of a high end lifestyle.  It just seems like they are asking us to erase everything about Rose from early in season 2 and now she's back to being a rigid trust fund lady who lunches.

Maybe it's just me, but did anyone else have a hard time with all this tracking?

I can totally see why many might get whiplash at this, but, for me, being older and having a family that has collectively done things like this, I can easily track Rose's attitudes as related to the safety net, and what that means to a woman who wants to be recognized for her intellectual capacity and her talents while also realizing she cannot escape her financial dependence on others (the men in her life).  Rose has no hope of gaining the level of independence of Sophie Lennon, but she does long for it. One way to get independence is to scale back and live frugally (I've done this and Rose imagined she was doing this in Paris) but Rose doesn't have (apparently) any self-earned savings to finance even the most sparing lifestyle. I wonder if Rose will get a job? At her age it's never been easy. 

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Sorry, you lost me at “irregardless.”  About minute 3. Midge has a degree from a Seven Sisters school, IIRC, and she wouldn’t say this. Aside from the other quibbles already mentioned. I’ll keep watching, but it’s a strain.  

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8 hours ago, GussieK said:

Sorry, you lost me at “irregardless.”  About minute 3. Midge has a degree from a Seven Sisters school, IIRC, and she wouldn’t say this. Aside from the other quibbles already mentioned. I’ll keep watching, but it’s a strain.  

As soon as Midge said Irregardless I said, "well clearly she doesn't have my mother."  

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47 minutes ago, bybrandy said:
9 hours ago, GussieK said:

Sorry, you lost me at “irregardless.”  About minute 3. Midge has a degree from a Seven Sisters school, IIRC, and she wouldn’t say this. Aside from the other quibbles already mentioned. I’ll keep watching, but it’s a strain.  

As soon as Midge said Irregardless I said, "well clearly she doesn't have my mother."

They used the word to make a grammatical point, so, what's not to love?

From Wikipedia

Quote

 Webster's New International Dictionary (2nd. Ed. Unabridged, 1934) described the word as an erroneous or humorous form of regardless, and attributed it to the United States.

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OMG, I threw in the towel too soon. I resumed the episode, and Susie corrected Midge on irregardless. Thank you, show!   

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"Irregardless"? Really, Midge? I thought Midge was supposed to be educated. Thank goodness Susie knew it wasn't a real word.

Ugh, Madeleine Martin was one of the most annoying things about Californication so I hope her character doesn't stick around long.

Abe is lucky that he managed to clear out almost all of his new freeloading friends before Rose got back from Providence. She would have been furious (well, even more furious than she already was about everything else).

I'm glad that Midge's conversation with Imogene made her realize how much work Susie puts into managing her career and how little money she's getting out of it. Midge was fine getting paid peanuts (or not at all) because she's been living at home rent free with a built in cook and babysitter. Susie has been making 10% of Midge's nothing but without the financial safety net, the rent-free apartment, or the free food.

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I love that Susie is repeatedly shown to have secret superpowers. I liked her trouncing those gullible soldiers at poker. I loved the scene in a previous season where she tuned the piano and then sat down to play Chopin or Rachmaninov or whatever it was.

Edited by GussieK
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On 12/7/2019 at 8:13 AM, GingerSnappy said:

Last season, Rose left to go to Paris and lived quite a bohemian lifestyle.  Abe and Midge came to bring her back and Abe went along with her life to please Rose but eventually convinced her to come home.  I get that by the end of season 2, Abe embraced a past part of his life that he was looking to resurrect, but what I am having a hard time reconciling is Rose's struggle with it given she was ready to drop it all and live a bohemian life in Paris.  If you look at it that way, it would seem she would be perfectly happy with Abe leaving his job.  Of course, granted, they'd lose the apartment, but I'm talking more her difficulty with Abe's lifestyle and mentality change vs. where they live.  I mean, certainly, they could just go back to Paris or even live a more carefree life in NY in a smaller place with less of the trappings of a high end lifestyle.  It just seems like they are asking us to erase everything about Rose from early in season 2 and now she's back to being a rigid trust fund lady who lunches.

She still had the backdrop of the trust fund, which she was using for the examples she gave and probably more.  I don't know where she'll go from here, but the feeling I got was definitely less about money and more about respect and how this might lead her into the part of the 60s that was about feminism.  That would be interesting, but I have to say, I did not care for the Oklahoma background, didn't buy it, didn't think it was funny.

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20 minutes ago, ShadowFacts said:

I have to say, I did not care for the Oklahoma background, didn't buy it, didn't think it was funny.

It certainly never occurred to me that there were Jewish people in Oklahoma in the first part of the 20th century. Cursory research doesn't reveal much. I wonder if it was going to be Providence, Rhode Island, and they switched because of similarities with real life persons. 

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I always figured that Rose came from money, but I certainly never saw her as being from an oil rich Okie family! Its a quirky backstory, but its really no what I imagined as far as Roses family. So what the hell are Rose and Abe going to do now? Learn to play the banjo? 

So glad that Susie and Midge made up, them fighting each other was such a downer. It will certainly lead to some conflict if Sophie and Midge end up getting stuck together in a room. 

It was nice seeing Midge and Joel in a good place, and Joel stepping up more as a father. His plot has potential, I wonder if May is going to be his new possible love interest?

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

It certainly never occurred to me that there were Jewish people in Oklahoma in the first part of the 20th century.

My Father grew up in the small town of Paden, Oklahoma in the 1930's and worked after school in a dry goods store that was owned by the lone Jewish family around. I don't think their numbers were too high in Oklahoma.

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I was surprised that the writers expected us to believe that Rose, an intelligent woman facing eviction and the total loss of her husband's income, would leave the family meeting not only without an increase in her trust fund but would also refuse what they were already giving her. No way.

Rose would have never have chosen 'the principle of the thing' over lifestyle.

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6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

It was nice seeing Midge and Joel in a good place, and Joel stepping up more as a father. His plot has potential, I wonder if May is going to be his new possible love interest?

That's what I wondered, too, she is self-confident, a fast talker, a real good candidate for a Midge-like girlfriend?

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Seems like I'm in the minority here, but I enjoyed Rose's backstory and did find it believable.

Clearly the writers wanted us to think that she was from Rhode Island, hence, the multiple mentions of Rose hating "Providence" rather than just saying she hated Oklahoma (assuming that most people would think of Rhode Island when they hear "Providence", which makes a lot of sense: old money, close to NYC, etc.) only to trick up with Providence, OK.  As someone from New England, when we saw  Rose in the car riding to Providence, I kept thinking that there was no way that 95N was that underdeveloped in the early 60s, so when "Providence, OK" appeared on screen, I chuckled at my own assumption.

However, once there....it made a lot of sense.  She was treated like a child who only enjoyed baubles and clothes and had no other value, which explains her innate desire for a pampered lifestyle.  But the last few seasons, we've seen the impact that Midge has had on her mother.  Although, Rose doesn't want to admit it, I believe there is a lot of her that admires Midge's unconventional lifestyle.  Although, she sticks to her cultural upbringing (i.e. pushing Midge to return to Joel, then pushing her to marry Benjamin, because what is a woman without a man?), I think there is a lot of change on the horizon for Rose  She is growing more sure of herself, seeing more value in herself (hence, her Parisian expedition) and it will be a slow journey, but it is happening.  After living her NY lifestyle for so long, being upfront with her husband, taking charge of her own life in Paris, and then returning to her childhood home as a woman/mother/grandmother, I definitely see how the demeaning attitude of her family and their attempt to reduce her to a child caused a switch to flip in her (and it was implied she doesn't see her family often, so this explains why her most recent visit affected her so much).

I'm sure she will definitely have some regrets about this choice, but I did find the manner in which she told her family off to be believable.

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On 12/5/2019 at 8:35 PM, Juneau Gal said:

Did anyone catch who sung Won’t Last A Day Without You over the closing credits?

I'm not even reading through the comments.  It was sang by the man who wrote it. Paul Williams.  I had tears in my eyes.  I remember that version (and my dad). 😞

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7 hours ago, Kenzie said:

My Father grew up in the small town of Paden, Oklahoma in the 1930's and worked after school in a dry goods store that was owned by the lone Jewish family around. I don't think their numbers were too high in Oklahoma.

I wasn't astonished to find out she was from Oklahoma.  But it was a surprise given the information we were given up till now.  While so many Jews settled in NYC (my family, for example), it was common for Jewish families to establish dry goods stores in all kinds of places in the south and midwest and west.  There would be small Jewish populations in these towns.  Looks like Rose's grandma somehow went Jed Clampett, however.  I thought it was a funny surprise twist.

Edited by GussieK
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On 12/7/2019 at 9:13 AM, GingerSnappy said:

Maybe it's just me, but did anyone else have a hard time with all this tracking?

I had that problem, too. And as much as I appreciate others here trying to explain it, I feel it's a recon.

1 hour ago, DNICE said:

(i.e. pushing Midge to return to Joel, then pushing her to marry Benjamin, because what is a woman without a man?)

Well, remember that careers for women were sparse when Rose was growing up and into the 1960s. Good positions were reserved for men, because they were the breadwinners, while women were seen as only working for "pin money." So women unfortunately kind of needed a man, "a good provider" as my mother used to put it. It's not like Midge is making enough to support herself and her kids.

I didn't think Sterling K. Brown was doing a Randall schtick at all. In fact, I only recognized him because of his voice.

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18 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

It certainly never occurred to me that there were Jewish people in Oklahoma in the first part of the 20th century. Cursory research doesn't reveal much. I wonder if it was going to be Providence, Rhode Island, and they switched because of similarities with real life persons. 

I was surprised years ago when I learned that Tony Randall was from Oklahoma. He seemed like the quintessential New Yorker to me. His real name was Leonard Rosenberg.

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8 hours ago, DNICE said:

However, once there....it made a lot of sense.  She was treated like a child who only enjoyed baubles and clothes and had no other value, which explains her innate desire for a pampered lifestyle.  But the last few seasons, we've seen the impact that Midge has had on her mother.  Although, Rose doesn't want to admit it, I believe there is a lot of her that admires Midge's unconventional lifestyle

Reading this post^ makes me realize that if you swap Rose’s Oklahoma background with my mother’s childhood 2-bedroom apartment in Newark NJ where my mother shared a bedroom with her little brother until she married my father, Rose is the epitome of my mother. I had been thinking since season one that Midge is who my mother wanted to be. 

My mother and sister do not like this show, which still mystifies me. 

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On 12/5/2019 at 7:37 PM, CinAZ said:

Paul Williams 

Who wrote it. The version I know best is by The Carpenters.

On 12/6/2019 at 1:40 PM, qtpye said:

Rose is elegant and filthy rich? I wonder what she saw in a self centered weirdo like Abe?

Her opposite.

On 12/6/2019 at 6:16 PM, DakotaLavender said:

Well, I am concluding they wanted to make the cast more diverse. And it works. I totally believe the Shy Baldwin plot line and like it. However... I have problems with Sterling K. Brown as "Reggie." He is bringing too much of the Randall shtik to this character. It is almost like "Randall doing Reggie." I think that part was miscast.

I had a very different take. I don't think Reggie is anything like Randall. He has a underlying sense of threat about him, with a smoothness and sense of strength that Randall doesn't have. And although he has a fairly lengthy speech - that's pretty much par for everyone on this show. His body language was entirely different as well - far sexier. At least for me.
 

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26 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Reading this post^ makes me realize that if you swap Rose’s Oklahoma background with my mother’s childhood 2-bedroom apartment in Newark NJ where my mother shared a bedroom with her little brother until she married my father, Rose is the epitome of my mother. I had been thinking since season one that Midge is who my mother wanted to be. 

My mother and sister do not like this show, which still mystifies me. 

I know it’s messed up but I kind of loved Rose. I  know her views on life are so outdated but I loved seeing an elegant and cultured woman on tv who was not a wasp. TV likes to portray certain ethnicities as always loud and uncouth. As a woman of color, I’m a little sensitive about that type of stereotyping.

That being said, Rose’s rigid mindset will have to change with the times and maybe she can learn to understand her daughter better. 

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I don’t see anything of Randall in Reggie, and considering how familiar I am with Sterling K. Brown as Randall, that’s pretty impressive. His body language is so different, more relaxed but also threatening, and Reggie seems so much more in control, especially compared to Randall’s insecurities and often manic energy. He also played a very different character in a small but important role in Black Panther, he’s got range. 

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13 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I don’t see anything of Randall in Reggie, and considering how familiar I am with Sterling K. Brown as Randall, that’s pretty impressive. His body language is so different, more relaxed but also threatening, and Reggie seems so much more in control, especially compared to Randall’s insecurities and often manic energy. He also played a very different character in a small but important role in Black Panther, he’s got range. 

He also played Christopher Darden - one of the prosecutors - in American Crime Story - People vs OJ Simpson. That's where I first saw him, I think.

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Rose's backstory makes a certain kind of sense to me. Sure, there was the obvious switcheroo for comedy purposes (Providence, Rhode Island? Providence, Oklahoma!) but there were Jews among the first European migrants who came to this continent and Jews among the first western settlers. And often, as people have said on this thread, they were the only Jewish family in town. So it's not beyond believing that a nouveau riche western Jewish family would send their only Jewish girl back east for 'refinement' -- finishing schools, a Seven Sisters education where she probably majored in French, then a year in Paris -- as a striving for 'class' was a common goal of ALL Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries.

That's probably how Rose met the young genius Abe Weissman too -- and the fact that he was at Columbia University would have held a helluva lot of cachet back then too -- that's Ivy League!

In fact, it makes great literary sense too, because now Rose and her daughter really have parallel growing-up stories -- Rose tried to replicate her experiences for her daughter because she thought it was the best thing for her -- so, Seven Sisters education, useless major, find a husband, etc. etc.

Anyway...

This episode felt like a feature film, there was so much going on, and I don't see any 3rd-season slump at all. Loved Imogene being the voice of reason, loved Abe's identity crisis (loved him falling in with phony 'beatniks' rather than real Beats, who would avoid this poseur like the plague), loved Midge & Susie making up. 

But what will the family do now? I guess Rose can tutor rich Upper West Side girls in French, Abe can teach high school math (that's a comedy series in itself) but that's going to be quite a wrench.

One last thing -- I could swear there actually was a nightclub in the heart of Chinatown back in the middle of the last century and that may be the reference point for Joel's story. And I hope he has an affair with May -- she would eat him alive.

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Agree on how much I detested Madeline but it was also where, maybe overreacting, I called a "this would never happen ON THIS SHOW" ... I find it almost impossible to believe that during the scene with Madeline, Midge, Zelda and the coffee pot Midge would not have absolutely eviscerated Madeline (and probably thrown her out) rather than seeming to sort of meekly just go with it. 

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 10:45 PM, DakotaLavender said:

I do not think it has to do with Jewish prejudice. I think the producers and writers wanted to introduce other ethnic groups into the cast to make it more diverse and to cast actors of other backgrounds such as Asians and African Americans. 

I think the first season appealed mostly to Jewish audiences. Now, more viewers can relate to the story. 

I think Season 1 appealed to all NYers, Jewish or not.  [Non-Jewish NYer here!]

I also think the difference between season 1 and 3 is that Midge is no longer just a housewife who is Jewish, but a successful comic who is learning that she needs to appeal to a larger audience.  The Vegas episodes showed her making her comedy less Jewish centric and more mainstream. 

When I heard Rose was from Providence, I immediately thought Rhode Island, and was surprised at the Oklahoma background.  But I can see her having fallen for her husband, since he's an intellectual.  If we consider that when she left Providence she probably wasn't as polished as she is now, an intellectual NYer would be a catch for the life she wanted.  A professor, a Jewish professor, at a well-known university!  It's all good.  That he didn't have money didn't matter, since she did.

I'm not liking the subplot of the underground newspaper.  I'm not sure why Midge's Dad (forget his name) isn't more worried about not having a job.

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On 12/7/2019 at 9:55 AM, Aulty said:

Her parents' last name (and Midge's maiden name) is Weiszmann though.

Wouldn’t the Jewish spelling be Weissman?

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I was surprised about Rose's background. I, too, was expecting her to end up in Providence, Rhode Island. Oklahoma and Rose seems like a total miss match and then I understood why she married Abe and loves Paris ... because he and and Paris have *nothing* in common with her upbringing. She, apparently, wanted to escape and be totally another person and she succeeded.

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The part where Abe invites the revolutionaries back to the family apartment really made me laugh. Especially when the maid Zelda is serving them food and Abe says it goes against the proletariat values and the frauds say it 'helps them better understand what they are fighting against'. 

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Ugh...Rose's life in Oklahoma was cloistered and awful! They keep asking her if she wants to rest, lie down. She's supposed to be quiet and weak. And Abe falling down the stairs IS the kind of thing that becomes a family joke; but for them, it defines who he is, and makes him a useless person. Thank goodness she got the hell out of there and married Abe.

For me, the misogyny was so firmly entrenched in Rose's family that I actually could see her losing her temper and refusing to take any more money from them. (She's capable of grand actions, like running away to Paris.)

Ugh...her brother, the little kid as a board member...and Rose reminding them all that they live off of Grandma's money. HOORAY! Though also, uh oh.

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I didn’t expect to, but I’m finding the Chinese club storyline amusing.  I like Mei.

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And it really is shaping up to be a great-looking place. A basement club in Chinatown with that decor and live entertainment? I think it could work very well.

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