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S01.E03: Outlaws

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Henry's scheming at director George Cukor's star-studded party leads Jack to a revelation about his wife — and Roy into a private meeting with Dick.

Dropping on Netflix on Friday, May 1, 2020.

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So I was definitely wrong about the wife having a secret. Turns out the 'twist' was that Jack isn't in love with her. I think I can deal with that, especially since they are setting up Jack to be with Claire. Guess we aren't meant to hate Jack for hooking up with Blondie if he actually doesn't love his wife.

And speaking of Claire, I don't like her. There is not a part of me hoping she gets the lead role in the move, I am cheering for Camille on that front. However, in regards to who is going to play the love interest I want both Jack and Rock to get the part. Am I meant to prefer one over the other, cheer one on more from a character point of view? Both characters are likeable and I want to see them achieve their goals.

Really not a fan of Henry. Was he really like that in real life? I wasn't buying his sob story one little bit and the ending proved to me that he hadn't really learnt anything from his experience. He just seems to like to use it to manipulate young actors to do his bidding. While Jack has the strength to walk away (probably because he is straight and would get no pleasure from Henry's offer, makes it easier), I feel for Rock's insecurity causing him to do things he is already regretting, Henry really is playing on Rock's need to be secretive about his sexual preferences to get Rock to do things.

And I'm glad that Dick didn't follow through with his hookup with Rock once he realised why Rock was really there. I really liked how Rock gave Dick the hug right at the end. A hug between two people with the same burden to bear.

I was going to make a comment about what I felt was unnecessary boob shots in this show, but then they decided to have unnecessary penis shots so it's evened out. Haha

 

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Yeah, what a gay episode. Jack may become a little bit to Mary Sue-like. I know, he lies to his wife and has been to jail, but he is so morally upstanding, it‘s a bit annoying. A little bit of homophobia would have the character appear more realistic or life-like in my mind. He will get some flaws in the next episodes, I am sure. 

I‘m still waiting for the transformation of Rock Hudson. He was such a huge star, he would have needed to be talented? Also his insecurities here don‘t really jive with him knowing what to do at the gas station in the Pilot. I guess, they needed to knock him down for the transformation into superstar that is coming (unless we are not that alternative history-ing).

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Are all the characters real people? I don't know enough (i.e. pretty much nothing lol) about Old Hollywood to know.

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I think most everyone associated with Ace Studios is made up.  Jim Parsons just got his Emmy submittal here. 
 

I find myself caring more about the older characters than the younger ones. I’d rather watch Joe Mantello and Holland Taylor verbally spar all day than some of the other stories. Although I like Archie a lot. But I don’t really care about Jack or Claire and even Darris Criss is kinda boring.  It’s early though. 

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I was getting weighed down by the drumbeat narrative of selling your body to get ahead, so I was glad to see the story shift and have it be rejected by people on both sides of the power dynamic. It's obviously going to continue being a big part of this story, but at least there are some characters pushing back now.

Poor Roy/Rock. Henry treats him like crap. Such an abusive situation. (That said, Roy doesn't own Archie. Roy needs to learn about boundaries all around.)

Edited by snarktini
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On 5/3/2020 at 3:18 PM, xander874 said:

I find myself caring more about the older characters than the younger ones. I’d rather watch Joe Mantello and Holland Taylor verbally spar all day than some of the other stories. Although I like Archie a lot. But I don’t really care about Jack or Claire and even Darris Criss is kinda boring.  It’s early though.

I'm feeling the same way. The younger actors are attractive (and I think Jeremy Pope as Archie has a ton of charisma and talent), but most of them seem a bit generic to me. The actor playing Jack Castello works for me because he's supposed to be a bit of a dolt.

Maybe because I skew closer in age to them, but I'm finding more poignancy in the stories of the older veteran characters. I'm absolutely loving the Dick Samuels character played by Joe Mantello. His studio manager character is a thoroughly decent man, so you can tell things are probably not going to go well for him when he decides to take a big risk casting a picture at the studio. His pairing with Holland Taylor is fantastic - I could watch a whole show about just the two of them!

The party scene was interesting - I was paying close attention to see which famous party guests they had inserted. The actor they cast as George Cukor looked very much like him. Tallulah Bankhead had the right look, but not the right voice. The actress playing Vivien Leigh seemed a little too OTT (even though Vivien was bipolar), and frankly it would be impossible to find a modern-day actress who has a similar delicate beauty she did.

I feel like they're getting the Rock Hudson character right from what I know about his life and early career. It will be interesting if this show runs for further seasons and they cover his faux arranged marriage to his agent's secretary.

And it was a pleasant surprise to see Rob Reiner playing fictional movie mogul Ace Amberg. I had read a magazine profile not long ago featuring Rob's dad Carl, and Mel Brooks, and how they've had a decades long friendship and  like to have nightly dinners together now that they're widowers. Rob made a brief appearance during the interview, and the writer seemed to imply that he was in much worse physical and mental condition than his 90-something Dad (the article made it sound like Rob had the onset of alzheimer's or something), which made me really sad. So it was great to see him turn up in this looking healthy and together, and he suits the character of a studio head perfectly! Meathead appears to be okay, and that made me glad.

 

 

 

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Joe Mantello and Holland Taylor are an absolute treasure together, and I loved the scene between Rock/Roy and Samuels, it was such a wonderful moment of humanity in this world full of exploitation. I hope that this big risk pays off for him, he seems like a really decent sort of person. 

I feel like real life Vivien Leigh totally did Gone With the Wind lines at dinner parties. 

So was that whole sob story even real, or did Henry make that up to manipulate Roy? Even if it wasn't made up, he is clearly an abusive creep. 

Its funny that they are clearly taking artistic license with the real life story of Peg Entwistle (her boyfriend didn't find her body, a jogger found her like on an episode of Law and Order) in a story where they are clearly taking artistic license in a number of historical figures stories. I do really like that they are doing so much with Peg Entwistle, even if she isn't an actual character on the show, I always thought that she would be a great story to tell as a period piece. Her story is so tragic, and her fate, jumping off the Hollywood sign after being rejected by Hollywood, is so poetic, you would think that someone wrote it for a movie. In general I like that they are telling stories of a lot of really interesting people that arent super well known to the general public, even in the background, like Anna Mae Wong last week, and even the reference to Billy Haines, who was a real life popular silent film actor who was gay and refused to marry a woman and leave his boyfriend like the studio wanted when they found out he was gay, which led to him having his contract destroyed, and he went on to become a well known interior designer, just like they said. 

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This episode continuss to present a rather jaundiced (and probably rather realistic) view of how business was conducted in old Hollywood.

Sex is just a commodity, used to sell scripts, recruit actors or keep important people satisfied. All very mechanical.

Even the most "regular" committed couple in the bunch does it, with Camille seizing the opportunity of an intense coitus session with boyfriend Raymond to convince him that she should get the lead role and to pitch a rewrite of the script. Talk about hard negotiations!

Were the actresses playing Tallulah Bankead and Vivien Leigh the best they could get for that job in all of SAG's rolls? The former made not attempt to replicate the raspy 12-pack-a-day voice that TB displayed for most of her career; listen to her in Hitchcock's Lifeboat, already shot when the dinner party takes place according to the dialogue, to get an idea of how she really sounded. I have heard much better impersonations of TB in drag shows, where she has has been a staple for years; perhaps they could have hired a drag queen to dub the dialogue. As for VL, she did not talk or look that way.

The Cukor actor looked more like the original, even though he had no significant lines. His pool parties were indeed notorious for their raunchiness.

Edited by Florinaldo
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It's sad to see that real life gay celebrities are used in this series just as one dimensional props for all the gratuitous nudity/tawdry titillation.   George Cukor, Noel Coward and Cole Porter were more than just their sexuality, but you wouldn't know it from Hollywood.  

Weird double standard sexual dynamics at play here; the younger characters prostituting themselves in order to pursue their dreams is OK because they are so noble, talented and good.  So in this  the male straight hero draws the line at gay sex, he has his "standards" so he procures someone for the gay servicing of clients,  WTF.   Substitute women for the men in these situations and obviously it wouldn't fly would it?  

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On 5/6/2020 at 8:05 PM, Florinaldo said:

 As for VL, she did not talk or look that way.

That's why Roy didn't recognize her!

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On 5/2/2020 at 5:34 AM, GSManiac said:

I hope they include Tab Hunter in future episodes. That would be great. 

Brought over from the Episode 2 thread...

There is a "Tab Hunter" in the closing credits.  I don't recall him being introduced.  There were two guys at the end that we saw briefly, one was Rory Calhoun and the other was introduced as "Tank Meyers".  I don't think Tank Meyers was a real person, so maybe this one was supposed to be Tab Hunter?  Or maybe they realized that Tab would be too young at this point in time and switched the character name in the script but forgot to update the credits?

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I can't figure out if I'm supposed to root for Jack or Rock or both.  Or whether I'm supposed to root for Camille or Claire or both.  It seems like each pair is pitted against the other as there is only one male role and one female role in this Peg/Meg movie.  But I feel like all four of them embody the same theme... "it's tough to make it in Hollywood, do whatever you can to get ahead".

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21 hours ago, blackwing said:

I can't figure out if I'm supposed to root for Jack or Rock or both. 

It's hard for me to root for a guy who's prostituting himself while his pregnant wife stays at home.  Rock just seems like a dim bulb, I have yet to see a mean bone in his body.

I've seen more of Camille than I have of Claire, so Camille wins by default.

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On 5/13/2020 at 10:14 AM, blackwing said:

Brought over from the Episode 2 thread...

There is a "Tab Hunter" in the closing credits.  I don't recall him being introduced.  There were two guys at the end that we saw briefly, one was Rory Calhoun and the other was introduced as "Tank Meyers".  I don't think Tank Meyers was a real person, so maybe this one was supposed to be Tab Hunter?  Or maybe they realized that Tab would be too young at this point in time and switched the character name in the script but forgot to update the credits?

Maybe Tab was the guy that caught Dick's eye and persuaded him to stay? 

I believe Tab came on the scene a few years later but that could be a way of hinting at his early Days. 

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On 5/16/2020 at 10:07 PM, JBC344 said:

Maybe Tab was the guy that caught Dick's eye and persuaded him to stay? 

I believe Tab came on the scene a few years later but that could be a way of hinting at his early Days. 

I think you're right. His Wikipedia article starts off with his career in 1950. Willson was his agent, and introduced him to Rock Hudson.  He was born in 1931, so he was very young when he started out. 

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My favourite episode so far. God this one was so good.

That scene between Dick breaking down to Rock and the latter making some progress with Archie.

Then there's Henry. Yup, he's vile, even if this episode did try to humanise him a bit but his scenes with Rock and Jack. Yikes.

Jack not loving his wife I didn't expect. Claire seems very interested. She got a little better this one but only because we know who her parents are.

Raymond is right about Camille for the part of Peg/Meg. Rock deserves the male lead more than Jack though.

Loved the use of Tallullah Bankhead and Vivien Leigh here too as well as Avis and Ellen's bickering, 9/10

Edited by darkestboy

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Unpopular opinion, but I don’t particularly care for Jim Parson’s performance in this role. I haven’t watched many of Ryan Murphy’s shows other than “Glee” but are the shows always so over the top soap opera-y?  Every performance is so over the top!

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