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S01.E01: Hooray for Hollywood: Part 1

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While waiting for his big break, aspiring movie star Jack Castello accepts a job at a local service station that pumps more than just gas.

Dropping on Netflix on Friday, May 1, 2020.

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I never know what to expect from a Ryan Murphy show. Is it going to be a straight up drama, a dramedy, a comedy, a black comedy or just a show where they throw things at a dart board and hope something sticks.

Now that I know that (atm) it's a straight up drama, I should be able to sit back and just chill watching this. 

As a first episode it was a little bit slow, especially in introducing our characters but I enjoyed it. I admit I'm slow and didn't see the 'cliffhanger' end of this episode. Poor Jack. But I'm not surprised I missed the outcome of that plot as I was slow with why Jack was visiting that theatre haha.

I've only known Patti LuPone from Broadway recordings and her appearance on Will & Grace so I really only know her acting as the 'over acting' required for the stage. It was really nice to see that she does have 'natural' acting chops in this episode. And I really do have to give Ryan credit for continuing to employ older actors (especially females) with meaty roles. Whatever criticism I have for Ryan's shows that is not one of them.

At the moment, the first episode really didn't present the 'alternate' Hollywood the trailer promised but I guess you need to set up all the characters before that can happen.

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It is a strange concept so far, but you never know what direction these guys will go in.  I've read almost nothing about it so far, so don't know what to expect. 

Patty played a suburban mom in a TV show back in the late 80's called "Life Goes On".  One of the first shows to have a regular cast member with Down's Syndrome.  Lots of well known actors & guests, it was a sweet family show.  I'd never seen her in anything else before that. 

I will say, Jack takes a GREAT mug shot!  His face is beautifully symmetrical.  *LOL*

Edited by leighdear
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4 hours ago, Bill1978 said:

At the moment, the first episode really didn't present the 'alternate' Hollywood the trailer promised but I guess you need to set up all the characters before that can happen.

This should get into gear once the young director makes his appearance and launches his idealistic movie project mentioned in the trailers and the press.

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Dylan McDermott is a riot, though his character is pretty cavalier about how he runs his prostitution ring.

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13 hours ago, leighdear said:

It is a strange concept so far, but you never know what direction these guys will go in.  I've read almost nothing about it so far, so don't know what to expect. 

Patty played a suburban mom in a TV show back in the late 80's called "Life Goes On".  One of the first shows to have a regular cast member with Down's Syndrome.  Lots of well known actors & guests, it was a sweet family show.  I'd never seen her in anything else before that. 

I will say, Jack takes a GREAT mug shot!  His face is beautifully symmetrical.  *LOL*

Life Goes On! That's where I grew to love Patti. It was a sweet show.

I also was thrilled to see Alison Wright (The Americans, Sneaky Pete). I haven't seen Jeremy Pope (Archie) in anything before, but damn, he's so charismatic!

I'm not sure what to expect, but I like the foundation so far.

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Not that it really matters, we aren’t supposed to take  it too seriously I guess. But a couple of things  bugged me because I don’t think they would have happened that way in the 40’s.

 I don’t think anyone would have said “thank-you for your service”. It just wasn’t looked at  like that back then.

 I could be wrong about this one. But I don’t think “black” was a term that was in use in this time period, by virtually anyone. I think a black man would even  likely refer to himself as “colored” or ‘Negro”.

 I’m almost certain a husband would not go in the exam room with his pregnant wife. And I don’t think a baby’s heartbeat could be heard with just a stethoscope at such and early stage of pregnancy!

Edited by Cara
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I read the memoir I assume this is based on. As I read I wondered if it could be true. Tailor made for Ryan Murphy. Agree that Jeremy Pope is charismatic.

 

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On 5/1/2020 at 6:22 PM, Bill1978 said:

I never know what to expect from a Ryan Murphy show. Is it going to be a straight up drama, a dramedy, a comedy, a black comedy or just a show where they throw things at a dart board and hope something sticks.

Now that I know that (atm) it's a straight up drama, I should be able to sit back and just chill watching this. 

As a first episode it was a little bit slow, especially in introducing our characters but I enjoyed it. I admit I'm slow and didn't see the 'cliffhanger' end of this episode. Poor Jack. But I'm not surprised I missed the outcome of that plot as I was slow with why Jack was visiting that theatre haha.

I've only known Patti LuPone from Broadway recordings and her appearance on Will & Grace so I really only know her acting as the 'over acting' required for the stage. It was really nice to see that she does have 'natural' acting chops in this episode. And I really do have to give Ryan credit for continuing to employ older actors (especially females) with meaty roles. Whatever criticism I have for Ryan's shows that is not one of them.

At the moment, the first episode really didn't present the 'alternate' Hollywood the trailer promised but I guess you need to set up all the characters before that can happen.

I thought Patti LuPone was divine in this.  I have seen her onstage and she is thrilling.  

On 5/2/2020 at 9:55 AM, Clanstarling said:

Life Goes On! That's where I grew to love Patti. It was a sweet show.

I also was thrilled to see Alison Wright (The Americans, Sneaky Pete). I haven't seen Jeremy Pope (Archie) in anything before, but damn, he's so charismatic!

I'm not sure what to expect, but I like the foundation so far.

Have you ever her Patti LuPone sing?  If not, do yourself a favor and listen to her sing “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.” Or anything else!  

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For those of you not familiar with Jeremy Pope, he was quite the sensation on Broadway last season (2018-19) and was even nominated for 2 Tony Awards:

1. Best Actor in a Play (Choir Boy)

2. Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ain't Too Proud')

He did win an Outstanding Debut Performance Award from Theater World, for 'Choir Boy'. 

This role is sure to win him an Emmy nomination.

As for Lupone, I've been a big fan of hers on Broadway since 'Evita'. I can't help notice in this series she is playing up to the Academy to score an Emmy for her role (yes, she's over-acting in the role). It also looks like she's auditioning for the movie role of Norma Desmond in ALW's 'Sunset Boulevard' (which she was fired from in the London production back in 1993). 

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On 5/1/2020 at 6:22 PM, Bill1978 said:

Now that I know that (atm) it's a straight up drama,

Is it? Because I found quite a lot of the hilariously ridiculous and over the top goofy that Murphy and company are particularly known for. Jack is definitely a beautiful man but bless his heart, when he talked about how people always thought he was dumb and made comments to him about being lucky he was handsome, all I could think is "well they weren't entirely wrong". There's just something so simple about him at times. That is of course when he's not banging women for money. 

I literally did not recognize Dylan McDermott until well into his and Jack's first conversation. Ernie's hilarious though. Even if he's just a glorified pimp. I also am ready for the inevitable sad scene when he dies since he so clearly has lung cancer. Not a spoiler, just speculation.

I know there were obvious references to real life famous Hollywood actors/writers/directors in the show and was wondering who the guy Arthur sleeps with was. I saw discussion on another board where many are positive it was supposed to be Rock Hudson. 

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On 5/1/2020 at 3:22 PM, Bill1978 said:

As a first episode it was a little bit slow, especially in introducing our characters but I enjoyed it. I admit I'm slow and didn't see the 'cliffhanger' end of this episode. Poor Jack. But I'm not surprised I missed the outcome of that plot as I was slow with why Jack was visiting that theatre haha.

I did see the sting coming -- as soon as she started pushing the cash I was like NOOOO DON'T TAKE IT -- but I totally did not get why he was at the theater. Took me forever to figure out.

The sting was predictable, though. The operation was incredibly un-subtle, it's not surprising someone noticed a gas station where service guys hop in the car and drive away. And a never-changing password?

Not sure what I think yet. The cast is interesting enough to give it a couple rounds.

Edited by snarktini

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This looks like fun so far! I didn't even recognize Patti Lupone at first - I just thought she was fabulous whoever she was! And it also took me a long time to place Dylan McDermott, I knew he was familiar, and it was driving me nuts for about the first third of the episode until it clicked.  I thought he was hilarious in the role. Fantastic production values in this - sets, cars & costumes are all beautiful.

And for anyone who might have thought the gas-station/man-whore set up was far-fetched and unbelievable, it was based on a 100% a real thing in L.A. It was run by a man named Scotty Bowers from the late 40's into the late 60's. He pimped out handsome young men trying to make it in the movie industry, and he claimed to have "serviced" all of the big industry players (male and female actors and studio honchos). He wrote a book about it, and there's also a documentary that was made about him as well. The documentary wasn't that great, but he was obviously the real-life inspiration for Dylan McDermott's character.

Apparently a few real-life movie stars are also set to be sprinkled throughout the series along with the fictional ones. Should be interesting.

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10 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

I literally did not recognize Dylan McDermott until well into his and Jack's first conversation. Ernie's hilarious though. Even if he's just a glorified pimp. I also am ready for the inevitable sad scene when he dies since he so clearly has lung cancer. Not a spoiler, just speculation.

I know there were obvious references to real life famous Hollywood actors/writers/directors in the show and was wondering who the guy Arthur sleeps with was. I saw discussion on another board where many are positive it was supposed to be Rock Hudson. 

Coughs are never benign on tv.

Yes, I think they gave enough background details (home town, etc.) to indicate he was Rock Hudson. Not that I remember what he said, or what Rock's details were, but I'm sure someone's done the work.

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8 hours ago, snarktini said:

The sting was predictable, though. The operation was incredibly un-subtle, it's not surprising someone noticed a gas station where service guys hop in the car and drive away. And a never-changing password?

If other shows set in this era are any guide, the cops were likely on the take, but every once in a while they had to bust the station for show. It was Jack who got in trouble, since he didn't have the juice necessary to make it go away like the client likely did.

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So far, Joe Mantello is the stand out for me. I know Ryan Murphy likes to use the same actors over and over, but let's be real: Holland Taylor is well into her seventies playing a character who, on paper, couldn't be older than her fifties. Taylor is Sarah Paulson's girlfriend. Patti Lupone is an Italian playing a Jewish woman. That might not seem like a big deal, but if I were Jewish, I'd be offended that Murphy cast a non-Jewish actress to play a Jewish woman because of her facial features and mannerisms. David Cornswet can't act to save his life. Jim Parson is wildly, horribly miscast.

I'm on the fence.

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David Corenswet is so pretty, though. He's perfect casting as a pretty boy who doesn't really have anything else going in.

Edited by methodwriter85
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I really had no idea what to expect from this, it was kind of over the top but also sincere and also wacky but also serious and full of tons of seriously pretty guys and then I saw the "Created by Ryan Murphy" card and it all came together! Ryan Murphy can be rather hit or miss, mainly because of his Go Big or Go Home style of show running, but I thought this was a lot of fun. I am a huge sucker for golden age of Hollywood stuff, and a sort of alternate reality Hollywood filled with both fictional characters and real life people from that time is an interesting concept. The show looks great too, its all bright and post war jazzy and while I dont at all expect much in the way of period accuracy, I do love those late 40s/early 50s vibes. 

Dylan McDermott is having a freaking blast, and I hope he chews every slice of scenery he can find before his character finally dies of lung cancer. 

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8 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Dylan McDermott is having a freaking blast, and I hope he chews every slice of scenery he can find before his character finally dies of lung cancer. 

I have to say, that never have I ever found Dylan McDermott memorable in ANYTHING EVER. In fact, apart from his role in the first season of American Horror Story, I cannot name a single movie or TV show he's starred in, even though I know he's been in tons. I think that partly accounts for the constant confusion between him and Dermot Mulroney - similar names, similar looks, similar generic roles.

However on this show, he's so much fun to watch - just a twinkly mischevious delight. It's honestly the best performance I've ever seen him give. Not sure if it's the onset of maturity from being in late middle-age or what, but he's clearly having a ball with this part.

 

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11 hours ago, Cheezwiz said:

I have to say, that never have I ever found Dylan McDermott memorable in ANYTHING EVER. In fact, apart from his role in the first season of American Horror Story, I cannot name a single movie or TV show he's starred in, even though I know he's been in tons. I think that partly accounts for the constant confusion between him and Dermot Mulroney - similar names, similar looks, similar generic roles.

However on this show, he's so much fun to watch - just a twinkly mischevious delight. It's honestly the best performance I've ever seen him give. Not sure if it's the onset of maturity from being in late middle-age or what, but he's clearly having a ball with this part.

 

I enjoyed Dylan in the short-lived Fox series LA to Vegas.  The cast also included Dermot Mulroney, in a nod to the confusion.

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I could not buy the cockamamie little scheme concocted by Jack to recruit Archie. First of all, wouldn't Ernie already have guys on staff who would have no reluctance to service men? Also, would he not handle the recruitment himself, if only to avoid the bother of having to fire an unsatisfactory find who does not meet his standards?

Also, no way the film joint would have let in an officer in full uniform without warning the patrons. I believe the usual method was by turning on all the lights in the screening room, letting customers know they must rearrange themselves to look more proper. Much like during the Prohibition speakeasies used to have ways to warn the people inside when the cops turned up unexpectedly. I also doubt that the meek little cashier would have been the only person on staff in an establishment prone to incidents of various sorts.

I suppose it was just a expedient plot point for Jack and Archie to meet cute, as friends, and for the former to show he can act.

I agree that McDermott is great to watch in his role. He obviously relishes the meaty material he is given and works hard to make the most of it.

 

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Another campy Ryan Murphy vehicle showcasing his stable of pretty boys and female favorites.

I'm in!

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On 5/3/2020 at 6:48 PM, truthaboutluv said:

Is it? Because I found quite a lot of the hilariously ridiculous and over the top goofy that Murphy and company are particularly known for. Jack is definitely a beautiful man but bless his heart, when he talked about how people always thought he was dumb and made comments to him about being lucky he was handsome, all I could think is "well they weren't entirely wrong". There's just something so simple about him at times. That is of course when he's not banging women for money.

Yeah, I totally saw it as a comedy too. It didn't occur to me that it might be a drama.

On 5/7/2020 at 5:46 AM, Florinaldo said:

I could not buy the cockamamie little scheme concocted by Jack to recruit Archie. First of all, wouldn't Ernie already have guys on staff who would have no reluctance to service men? Also, would he not handle the recruitment himself, if only to avoid the bother of having to fire an unsatisfactory find who does not meet his standards?

I thought Ernie told him that if he wouldn't do it with guys, to find someone who would?  I mean, I agree that that'd be dumb on Ernie's part, but I thought it was an option for him.

Edited by janie jones
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Just started watching this.  I was enticed by the promise of this vision of alternate reality Old Hollywood, and I heard that there would be some cameos by real life stars.  I like the atmosphere and the set decoration, it really captures the feel.

The lead guy looks so much like Nicholas Hoult (who I know best as Beast from the newer X-Men movies) I thought it was actually him.

On 5/3/2020 at 8:48 PM, truthaboutluv said:

I know there were obvious references to real life famous Hollywood actors/writers/directors in the show and was wondering who the guy Arthur sleeps with was. I saw discussion on another board where many are positive it was supposed to be Rock Hudson. 

That guy at the end is clearly Rock Hudson... he said he was from Winnetka, Illinois.  He also gave his stepfather's last name and his real last name, so I'm sure it was him.  Obviously this is supposed to be a fictionalized version of him.

 

On 5/7/2020 at 7:46 AM, Florinaldo said:

I could not buy the cockamamie little scheme concocted by Jack to recruit Archie. First of all, wouldn't Ernie already have guys on staff who would have no reluctance to service men? Also, would he not handle the recruitment himself, if only to avoid the bother of having to fire an unsatisfactory find who does not meet his standards?

I didn't get that either... as we saw in a later scene, there was already at least one other guy on staff who was willing (he got into a car with a male customer).  But maybe Ernie just wanted more employees?  If Ernie took the trouble to keep going to the same bar multiple times to hire Jack, thinking that Jack would make a good "ambidextrous" gigolo, why wouldn't he have wanted to have done the same to find another prospective employee?

 

 

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On 5/3/2020 at 11:42 PM, Cheezwiz said:

This looks like fun so far! I didn't even recognize Patti Lupone at first - I just thought she was fabulous whoever she was! And it also took me a long time to place Dylan McDermott, I knew he was familiar, and it was driving me nuts for about the first third of the episode until it clicked.  I thought he was hilarious in the role. Fantastic production values in this - sets, cars & costumes are all beautiful.

And for anyone who might have thought the gas-station/man-whore set up was far-fetched and unbelievable, it was based on a 100% a real thing in L.A. It was run by a man named Scotty Bowers from the late 40's into the late 60's. He pimped out handsome young men trying to make it in the movie industry, and he claimed to have "serviced" all of the big industry players (male and female actors and studio honchos). He wrote a book about it, and there's also a documentary that was made about him as well. The documentary wasn't that great, but he was obviously the real-life inspiration for Dylan McDermott's character.

Apparently a few real-life movie stars are also set to be sprinkled throughout the series along with the fictional ones. Should be interesting.

Dylan was on a talk show the other day and I had to do a search to see what part he was playing because I didn’t recognize him.   In turn when he mentioned Scotty’s book I read a couple of pages online then ordered it. I agree with terms used aren’t accurate for the time. Book came yesterday and I am letting it sit for 2 days then will attempt to read it.  I’m having trouble concentrating  on anything longer than a ketchup label, good thing since I don’t use it.   
This series  is a good distraction. 

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9 hours ago, athousandclowns said:

Book came yesterday and I am letting it sit for 2 days then will attempt to read it.  I’m having trouble concentrating  on anything longer than a ketchup label, good thing since I don’t use it.   
This series  is a good distraction. 

I've discovered a few more tidbits about Scotty Bower's memoir. I haven't read it myself, but heard it wasn't all that great - apparently a few people were involved in ghostwriting it for him. I did see the documentary on him, and it also wasn't that great, but bits of it were interesting. You'll have to update us with your thoughts on the book.

Also I am with you on the reading thing - normally it's one of my biggest pleasures in life, and I find myself unable to get through even the simplest things these days

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8 hours ago, Cheezwiz said:

Also I am with you on the reading thing - normally it's one of my biggest pleasures in life, and I find myself unable to get through even the simplest things these days

I, to my surprise, am watching less and reading far more. A good percentage of that is re-reading my favorites. I hide out in books.

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This feels like at least the 4th Ryan Murphy show to have a scene where the hunky str8 boy has to turn down advances from other men. I don't blame Jack for not wanting to have sex with men for money, but it's kind of funny at this point. 

Edited by methodwriter85

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A premise thats both intriguing and a little on the fanfic side.

This episode focused on Jack the most and despite him trying to refuse Ernie, it took very little for him to go with Avis though.

I did enjoy his scenes with Archie and thought his best acting was pretending to be a cop. Not as invested in his family life though.

The scenes with Archie and Roy are without a doubt the highlight of each episode too, 7/10

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On 5/4/2020 at 9:27 PM, sashayshante said:

That might not seem like a big deal, but if I were Jewish, I'd be offended that Murphy cast a non-Jewish actress to play a Jewish woman because of her facial features and mannerisms.

Rachel Bloom cast Patti to play her family's singing rabbi in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, so I think her casting here has been pre-approved as kosher.

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On 5/2/2020 at 5:52 PM, Cara said:

Not that it really matters, we aren’t supposed to take  it too seriously I guess. But a couple of things  bugged me because I don’t think they would have happened that way in the 40’s.

 I don’t think anyone would have said “thank-you for your service”. It just wasn’t looked at  like that back then.

 I could be wrong about this one. But I don’t think “black” was a term that was in use in this time period, by virtually anyone. I think a black man would even  likely refer to himself as “colored” or ‘Negro”.

 I’m almost certain a husband would not go in the exam room with his pregnant wife. And I don’t think a baby’s heartbeat could be heard with just a stethoscope at such and early stage of pregnancy!

Exactly. No one would have said either “Black” or “Thank you for your service.” Also they wouldn’t have used the term “Asian.” They would have said “Oriental.” 
 

And being a veteran wasn’t viewed as that rare in late 1940s America, since being in the military during World War 2 was almost a universal experience for young men.

 

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On 5/4/2020 at 10:27 PM, sashayshante said:

Patti Lupone is an Italian playing a Jewish woman. That might not seem like a big deal, but if I were Jewish, I'd be offended that Murphy cast a non-Jewish actress to play a Jewish woman because of her facial features and mannerisms. 

Do you really mean to imply that there specific Jewish “mannerisms?”

Edited by RemoteControlFreak

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On 5/4/2020 at 7:27 PM, sashayshante said:

Patti Lupone is an Italian playing a Jewish woman. That might not seem like a big deal, but if I were Jewish, I'd be offended that Murphy cast a non-Jewish actress to play a Jewish woman because of her facial features and mannerisms.

So how did you feel about the two Italian characters on "The Golden Girls" being played by Jewish actresses?

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