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S01.E12: Hymn-A-Thon

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Arthur gets a surprise visit from a former Princeton colleague, causing him to re-examine his life in Conley Fork; the choir holds an all-night Hymn-A-Thon to raise money for regionals; Ginny attempts to prove that they are not dependent upon Arthur.

Original air date: 1/16/20

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OK so the choir is surprisingly good. I was pleasantly surprised by the vocal chops of some of the members we don’t normally hear from.

And it was awesome to see the character of “Tate” show up; shout out to the actor for playing a completely different sort of lowlife.

But I am done with suspending my belief for a church choir doing the songs they are doing. I know it’s a TV show, and they are singing for a more contemporary mainstream audience, but when the only character who tries to inject church-oriented messages into the plots is a caricature like Jax, it just doesn’t sit well with me.

If you’re portraying a church choir, then act like one. Even in “Sister Act”, when using contemporary songs, everyone understood those songs could and did have a Godly meaning. 

Maybe it’s just me. I like the cast, but I may be done.




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Finally got to watch Thursday's episode, and I still love this show very much. It's exactly the right combo of snarky and sweet for me, and the music is great--as are the singers (as Nilknarf said, it was great to hear from a couple of choir members we don't normally hear from). Plus the cast has gelled so well, IMO.

And every single week, Wayne makes me laugh out loud at least once.

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This episode confirmed that if they sang regular church songs every week, I would not want to watch. I got enough of that when I went to Catholic school.

I don't know if I completely buy Arthur accepting that he belongs there for the rest of his life. I believe he would be okay with accepting it for now and for the short term future but I don't know if I totally believe that he's resigned himself to being there until he dies. I think he has definitely grown to love his scrappy little choir and he can live with being in a small town, but I find it a little hard to believe that Tate's truth bomb was enough to make him give up all hope of ever leaving. Just because he can't teach at Princeton again doesn't mean that he can't have some kind of related career.

I'm glad that some of the other choir members got some moments to shine and sing solos. As always, I enjoy Ginny and Arthur's friendship. I'm glad that she is honest with him because he needs that. And he sopped! I'm not from the south but even I know that's delicious.

On a shallow note, it was cute to see everyone in their pajamas. I'm with everyone who isn't Jax - who wants to sleep on the floor? I remember having so much fun at sleepovers as a kid but now the thought of sleeping on the floor? No thanks. When I went to a conference in college, we had five people in each room. We got rooms with two beds and had two in each and then we got a cot so we could squeeze one more person in. I know the size of the choir can fluctuate depending on how many people they're willing to pay in each episode, but this week there were only eight of them plus Arthur so they could get by with two hotel rooms if money is really tight. Obviously it's not ideal but at least it's not sleeping on the floor in a church basement.

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I love this show so, so much. It has a surprising amount of character growth for a 30 minute sitcom (or is it a dramady? I don't see Ginny's job offer as a cliff-hanger as in will she take the job (doubt it) but a way to open the door to her perusing another line of work.

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On 1/20/2020 at 4:19 PM, theredhead77 said:

I love this show so, so much. It has a surprising amount of character growth for a 30 minute sitcom (or is it a dramady? I don't see Ginny's job offer as a cliff-hanger as in will she take the job (doubt it) but a way to open the door to her perusing another line of work.

I agree. Just getting offered a job interview out of the blue is going to help her realize her worth. If she's offered a job in the big city, I doubt she will seriously consider it because Cash and Wayne and the choir are all still there, but I think it will give her the jolt of confidence she needs to leave the diner and be more ambitious. I get that there probably aren't a lot of opportunities in a small town so I'm guessing she'll want to start her own business.

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I don't know what's worse... industrial bassoon or ska sitar.

I wasn't surprised about the non-featured choir members being great singers. Obviously, I recognized Shanice. And I think the Asian guy with the glasses looks familiar too. Maybe he was on The Sing Off? Knowing they pulled Marissa Jaret Winokur and Laura Bell Bundy for other episodes, I just figure that anyone who isn't primarily an "actor" is a trained singer. 

Arthur quickly made them do the Hymn-a-thon for the sake of the plot but that felt like a contrivance from the writers. They could have easily had a bake sale or something else to make up the rest of their total. Given how few people were at the bar, I'm doubtful they would have raised that much money. 

I believe that Arthur might have finally realized he needed to be here with this church to atone for his transgressions and to learn to be a better person. But him thinking that he truly belongs and valuing the friendships he's made felt a little too sentimental. 

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