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S02.E05: Zoey’s Extraordinary Trip

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Zoey decides to explore her rebellious side with her neighbor from growing up, Aiden. Max's dad comes to visit.

Airing Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

 

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37 minutes ago, Trini said:

SO are they prepping to write Max out? Probably not. It's just a plot twist and at least it's grounded in realism vis-a-vis getting investors or free publicity. That's already an improvement over earlier in the season. 

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"All right, One Direction" 😂 That made me laugh harder than it probably should have. I swear I'm not on drugs.

Idle wondering: Was Max's dad saying actual lines during Max's song or is he just looking like he's talking. 

I dunno... seems Maggie stood up for herself just fine...

That baby is too cute.

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 What the hell was that?   Are the writers bon drugs this season?   Do we need to be to enjoy it?

 Zoey just pops an unknown drug some Aussie slacker gives her?  Maggie's client turns into the most cliche, transparent, two dimensional jerk?   A major tech company in San Francisco hasn't already been called out for being diverse?  

 Another week of disappointing musical numbers.  More disjointed plots.  This show needs to get its shit together. 

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53 minutes ago, Maverick said:

What the hell was that?   Are the writers bon drugs this season?   Do we need to be to enjoy it?

 Zoey just pops an unknown drug some Aussie slacker gives her?  Maggie's client turns into the most cliche, transparent, two dimensional jerk?   A major tech company in San Francisco hasn't already been called out for being diverse?  

Things I really disliked about this episode:

1) The entire drug story.  She has no idea what she took, (except that it wasn't angel dust).  What an idiot.

2) She's also too stupid to try to immediately throw up the mystery drug, once she realizes how taking it might impact her job (I think once she realized the boss was on his way, she might have felt nauseated enough to actually succeed.)

3) The fact that taking the drug worked out peachy keen for her, as it helped her bond with Danny Michael Davis.

I must conclude that drugs were the only way the writers could think of to let Zoey have a musical number again.

4) I am not denying that Simon has every right to be frustrated and upset.  However, I also didn't like the fact that he didn't even try to tell Danny Michael Davis that he didn't feel this was the right approach; he might have been shot down, but he wouldn't have been fired for trying.  In fact, he'd have had excellent grounds for a lawsuit if he had been fired or demoted for privately complaining about discrimination. And who knows, Danny Michael Davis likes Simon, and might have listened.  If not, and Simon was replaced in the news conference, he could have still spoken out, or been an anonymous source for the reporter.  Is it Zoey's fault for not listening?  I think Simon could have tried to talk to her another time. 

Simon is also very trusting of reporters, even if they've put their phone away.  And the "clue" that was dropped last week as to her interest in Mo didn't go anywhere. 

5) Finally, Max is crazy if he thinks it's wrong for his father to have any doubts about the new business.  What percentage of new ventures fail?  His father loves him and was trying to support him, with no strings attached.  Instead, he should have been concerned about how the relationship would fare if he lost his father's entire investment.

Two good things about the episode:

1) Thankfully, I don't think Zoey and Aiden are going to be a thing.

2) Maggie didn't change her mind and rehire Jenna.

I thought it was going to be a "thing" that Emily told Maggie not to hire Jenna (did Maggie say that Emily said it would be crazy to do so?) but that wasn't touched on at all!

Since Maggie "fired" the architect (which I guess means she really fired herself), who pays for all the workers and material so far?  I suppose there should be a credit for the cost of detailing his car, but still, Maggie must have spent a bunch of money, and it seems like there was nothing in writing, since he felt free to disagree with the plans they seemed to have previously agreed on.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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10 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

5) Finally, Max is crazy if he thinks it's wrong for his father to have any doubts about the new business.  What percent of new ventures fail?  His father loves him and was trying to support him, with no strings attached.  Instead, he should have been concerned about how the relationship would fare if he lost his father's entire investment.

I thought Max was being kinda ridiculous and childish tonight...

 

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Zoey, Aiden, and Danny Michael Davis singing Starships while high and then raiding the stash of popsicles was hilarious. “It’s like a dolphin.” Lmao

I like getting more backstory on Max and his relationship with his family and his performance of Numb was really good. It’s a shame his father has no faith in him. He and Mo are going to be in a tough spot financially since he didn’t take the money, though I get why he didn’t want to. It’s fortunate that Mo was understanding about that, as it impacts him too. 

Simon’s speech at the press conference was brave since he was defying orders to make the problem go away. He already tried pointing the problem out and Danny just brushed it off, so he probably didn’t have confidence that another conversation would go anywhere. 

Edited by phalange
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28 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Since Maggie "fired" the architect (which I guess means she really fired herself), who pays for all the workers and material so far?  I suppose there should be a credit for the cost of detailing his car, but still, Maggie must have spent a bunch of money, and it seems like there was nothing in writing, since he felt free to disagree with the plans they seemed to have previously agreed on.

 They'll probably be on The People's Court in a few weeks.  Judge Marilyn Millian can do a number with balif Douglas singing back up. 

 I hate to tell them, but Zoey's Extraordinary Trip was anything but Extraordinary.  It didn't even qualify as a Trip.   She was more loopy after a few Mo-Tais. I would have expected someone with the power to hear random musical numbers and see expansive group productions to have an extra acidy trip.  Instead she does a ho hum routine in the street.  She had a better personal musical during her insomnia. 

 I'm ticked they wrote off Rene Elise Goldberg's character to service Simon's side plot. I would rather have her back than extra characture Danny Davis. 

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53 minutes ago, phalange said:

He already tried pointing the problem out and Danny just brushed it off, so he probably didn’t have confidence that another conversation would go anywhere. 

Can you remind me what Simon said? (Unintentional pun.)   I recall him being uncomfortable, but not what he said.

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15 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Can you remind me what Simon said? (Unintentional pun.)   I recall him being uncomfortable, but not what he said.

Danny told him to tell the press it was an innocent mistake, and then they hugged while Simon looked uncomfortable. I guess he didn’t actually say anything (I had to go back and rewatch) but I think Danny comparing himself to Nelson Mandela was a sign he absolutely did not get what the issue is here. 

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1 hour ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

5) Finally, Max is crazy if he thinks it's wrong for his father to have any doubts about the new business.  What percentage of new ventures fail?  His father loves him and was trying to support him, with no strings attached.  Instead, he should have been concerned about how the relationship would fare if he lost his father's entire investment.

I know, that bothered me too. I get that he must have a history of issues with his dad, but why not take the money and try and prove him wrong?

2 hours ago, Maverick said:

 What the hell was that?   Are the writers bon drugs this season?   Do we need to be to enjoy it?

 Zoey just pops an unknown drug some Aussie slacker gives her?  Maggie's client turns into the most cliche, transparent, two dimensional jerk?   A major tech company in San Francisco hasn't already been called out for being diverse?  

I am glad I'm not the only one who thought Zoey was crazy for taking that pill. I was wondering if I was a prude for thinking it was stupid.

5 minutes ago, phalange said:

Danny told him to tell the press it was an innocent mistake, and then they hugged while Simon looked uncomfortable. I guess he didn’t actually say anything (I had to go back and rewatch) but I think Danny comparing himself to Nelson Mandela was a sign he absolutely did not get what the issue is here. 

Do you think Danny didn't get the issue or that he was using Simon? Because the Nelson Mandela comment suggests he's kind of clueless about race issues. But asking Simon to make the statement about the issue around people of color makes it seem like he is savvy enough to know the problem and just didn't care.

I think if Zoey hadn't just taken that pill, she may have listed to Simon and understood it a bit more. Or maybe not. 

But I don't get how it is a "coding error". I read an article about real life facial recognition having problems with people of color and it had to do with the lack of diversity in sample images the developers had fed the code/algorithm.  Maybe I just don't understand the science behind it enough.

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I did not like this episode for many of the reasons mentioned.  The musical numbers were lame.  Zoey is an idiot for taking random drugs.  Too much Danny Michael Davis.  I think Max and Moe’s business idea sounds risky.  I don’t think his dad was wrong to be concerned.  They just said they can’t get investors.  Why is the marketing guy doing damage control with the media instead of the PR department?  Just because he’s the only black?  If so then he has legit issues but to taking them to the media without warning is asking for trouble.

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 In this show, every tech issue is a "coding issue".  Bad facial rec?   Coding issue.  Your mouse won't work?   Coding issue.  Laptop won't power up?   Coding issue.  Out of coffee?   Coding issue.  

 Of course the resolution to every problem is an "algorithm".   You know like Max's algorithm that is going to accurately predict the delivery time from multiple restaurants.   

Edited by Maverick
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My beef with this episode - how do you hire a successful Broadway musical actor like Chip Zien to play Max's father, then not have him sing a note? Between that and the stupid drug trip, the only thing this episode did was piss me off. 😠

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Ummm. *uncomfortable silence* I’m west coast (Hawaii) so...after reading your comments? I’ve made the executive decision to skip this one. It’s on the DVR, but watching  live is no longer an option. Every episode is worse than the last. I need to be able to fast forward. And too damn many commercials live. 
 

I’m  out. 
 

For real though...DID THEY get new writers? Cause this is NOT the same show. 

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So -

Zoey/Aiden/DMD: Yeah, Zoey popping that pill just seemed out of character - but maybe that was the point? [Also isn't there an unwritten rule you can't actually show people taking illicit drugs on network TV? But they didn't name the drug, so I don't know....] And I'm not sure what the point of this subplot was; we got a musical number with Zoey, but overall nothing really changed or progressed. I like Danny Michael Davis as comic relief, but this subplot was just weird. I wish Zoey had been a part of one of the other subplots.

Maggie/Jenna: Wow, so there goes two guest stars. I wish we had seen more of Jenna and Emily; it's her sister after all. Too bad they decided to turn Roger into a jerk, I thought Maggie working on that landscaping project was going to be an ongoing story.

Max/Mo/Max's Dad: Hey, we learned the name of the 'restaurant' - Maximo's! They went through the trouble of bringing in Max's father, I wish there had been more story/scenes with him, and/or Max. I get why he didn't want to take his father's money, but I think they should have let Mo take it! C'mon, they need it, don't they? Anyway, I did like "Numb".

Simon: Poor Simon was just kind of by himself in this plotline (but it seems it gets more fleshed out next episode). It was good that he wanted to talk through his concerns with other people, but there also should have been an attempt to talk to DMD (even if he brushed it off). Really disappointing that Ava from the 6th floor just left offscreen. Was hoping to see her again. I thought Tatiana would be a little involved with Max and Mo's business, but it looks like she here as a friend for Simon - and maybe love interest later?

"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "Numb" were standout musical numbers for me.

Hopefully people can stop worrying about Zoey getting into more romantic entanglements; the show doesn't seem to be going in that direction. Speaking of romance, the show has picked a side but they're hardly doing anything with Zoey/Max. I get why they're 'on pause', but it actually feels like a full stop. We did get an implied "I love you" from Max in this one, though.

Also I miss Sprq Point plots.

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4 hours ago, Autumn said:

Why is the marketing guy doing damage control with the media instead of the PR department?

Simon is the official spokesman for the company. Danny Michael Davis gave him the job based on one good suggestion last season. 

3 hours ago, hnygrl said:

For real though...DID THEY get new writers? Cause this is NOT the same show. 

I don’t see much difference in the writing. The show had all the same issues last season. The problem is the things the writers struggled with last year is the entire show this season. They’re minimizing everything that worked last season like Zoey’s visions having a purpose and her relationship with Mo. 

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Re: the Chirp. Did the writers ever see that episode of “Better Off Ted,” where none of the motion sensors in the building would recognize people of color? 
 

It’s natural and understandable that Zoey would go through “stuff” following the death of a parent, but it doesn’t necessarily make compelling TV. 

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6 hours ago, Trini said:

Simon: Poor Simon was just kind of by himself in this plotline (but it seems it gets more fleshed out next episode). It was good that he wanted to talk through his concerns with other people, but there also should have been an attempt to talk to DMD (even if he brushed it off). Really disappointing that Ava from the 6th floor just left offscreen. Was hoping to see her again. I thought Tatiana would be a little involved with Max and Mo's business, but it looks like she here as a friend for Simon - and maybe love interest later?

Tatiana called Mo a "vision" last episode so I wondered if she was interested in him.

Is Simon the only Black person at the entire company, or the only one at a senior level? Some of the developers we've seen have been people of color (e.g. Tobin) but not Black - I can't recall seeing any other Black people aside from Renee Elise Goldsberry, and we know she quit. I agreed with Tatiana that if Simon is in a senior position, he's in a better place to be the change he wants to see, but it is going to be hard and exhausting and frustrating work, especially since it's being met with resistance. It's good that he has other Black people to talk to - I like Tatiana as a friend for him.

Just now, Pj3422 said:

Re: the Chirp. Did the writers ever see that episode of “Better Off Ted,” where none of the motion sensors in the building would recognize people of color? 

There have been lots of studies about how AI doesn't recognize people of color because there are almost no people of color involved with building these platforms - the folks who build them test them on themselves, and they're white.

9 hours ago, KaveDweller said:

Do you think Danny didn't get the issue or that he was using Simon? Because the Nelson Mandela comment suggests he's kind of clueless about race issues. But asking Simon to make the statement about the issue around people of color makes it seem like he is savvy enough to know the problem and just didn't care.

I think he doesn't get it. It seems like Simon is a PR/marketing team of one (which is ridiculous for a company that size), and he was approached in that capacity as the spokesperson for the company - it would be his actual job to put out statements like that. He also happens to be Black, but I don't think the head was thinking of that when he approached him.

I liked that Maggie didn't rehire Jenna. Don't be dumping shit in your boss's client's car, Jenna, goddamn. Grow up. The pictures she put in the nursery were beautiful though.

The only song I liked was "Numb."

 

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I'm going to disagree with the negative comments on this week's episode even as I agree with the criticisms. Sure, Zoey's shouldn't be stupid and take a drug she doesn't know, and Aiden is a moron a) suggesting it and b) encouraging her to take it. But fortunately that should be the end of any discussion of a Zoey/Aiden romantic angle.

The reason I'm more bullish on this episode is at least the story arc isn't in neutral any longer, or it's implied to move in a more hopeful direction. A more humanized DMD looking to remake SPRQ Point to something he can care about may finally fix that part of the narrative. Throw in the social justice storyline with Simon and he might get some heart songs and subplots that go a little deeper. (As an aside, I'm glad they focused on SPRQ Point senior management as opposed to staffing overall because the lobby crowd shots have lots of diversity, and San Francisco's African American population is only about 6% while Asian is more like 30%. The Bay Area is more diverse, but with SP offices in SF itself and hip, most of the employees would live in the city too.)

But mostly the show was more watchable and engaging because Jane Levy carried it again, despite the non-Zoey subplots, and she actually also made some progress in her story arc, recognizing that she cares and she can't escape it. Now the nightmares makes sense and maybe she'll find a higher purpose for her powers and life. Note that she turned DMD around -- at least somewhat -- not based on any heart song from him but just being Zoey and caring about SP and the people who work there.

Jenna's departure was inevitable -- she was a houseguest -- and the photo wall was the first truly touching moment in weeks. 

On a more critical note vis-a-vis plotting, the entire Chirp timeline makes zero sense. At most it would be in beta at that point so a news conference about a defect -- which based on what people are saying is common across many facial-recognition applications -- hardly seems critical to the company. But it's been at most 9 months (?) since Joan & Lief came up with the idea and it's already a major topic of public consumption? Very dubious.

Episode 6's title suggests major plot advances of the less-than-happy side. Perhaps Zoey's self indulgence lately will have severe consequences, likely with family and friends telling her to get her crap together. But if S2 E6 is a sour note, the same should be said to the writers.

 

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23 minutes ago, D Angel said:

which based on what people are saying is common across many facial-recognition applications

It is and always has been because systemic racism is and has always been a thing, but more attention has been paid to it in recent months because of the uprisings around George Floyd's murder and subsequent discussions of systemic racism, particularly corporate systemic racism, which this is (again, however unintentional it may be - impact matters more than intent). I'm sure that's why they're doing this storyline.

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10 hours ago, Maverick said:

 In this show, every tech issue is a "coding issue".  Bad facial rec?   Coding issue.  Your mouse won't work?   Coding issue.  Laptop won't power up?   Coding issue.  Out of coffee?   Coding issue.  

 Of course the resolution to every problem is an "algorithm".   You know like Max's algorithm that is going to accurately predict the delivery time from multiple restaurants.   

Ah, but that throwaway at least tried to address a big question I had about the restaurant!  I've been wondering about that for weeks.

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1 hour ago, Pj3422 said:

Re: the Chirp. Did the writers ever see that episode of “Better Off Ted,” where none of the motion sensors in the building would recognize people of color? 

I thought of BOT, too! I miss that show.

39 minutes ago, D Angel said:

I'm glad they focused on SPRQ Point senior management as opposed to staffing overall because the lobby crowd shots have lots of diversity

That's the usual divide; the general workforce is somewhat diverse, but the highest levels of management are still overwhelmingly white and male (with male tipping that scale).

41 minutes ago, D Angel said:

On a more critical note vis-a-vis plotting, the entire Chirp timeline makes zero sense. At most it would be in beta at that point so a news conference about a defect -- which based on what people are saying is common across many facial-recognition applications -- hardly seems critical to the company. But it's been at most 9 months (?) since Joan & Lief came up with the idea and it's already a major topic of public consumption? Very dubious.

Is it? Maybe someone leaked that Chirp had recognition issues. Beta testing often happens outside the company, right? DMD did say he wanted to get ahead of the problem, hence the news conference. 

I don't need or care to see the Chirp project get tons of time. I'm fine with a compressed time line. If we didn't see Zoey's six-week bereavement leave, we don't need to see all stages of Chirp.

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Max was shown driving over the Golden Gate Bridge towards San Francisco with his father who said he was going to stay at the hotel where his dental convention was taking place rather than staying with Max. Does Max live in Marin? If not, why were they in Marin?

Ugh, Roger is as gross as I'd hoped he wouldn't be. It's sad but unexpected that he was nice to Maggie only when he thought he had a chance of getting in her pants and then turned into a petulant child as soon as she turned him down. And a liar on top of all of that! He approved her previous garden plans but now that she won't sleep with him, the rabbit topiary is too Disney and he didn't approve that stone wall. You can fuck right off with that attitude, Roger.

I know Zoey was high and not thinking clearly, but why didn't she go to her mom's house so that she would have a plausible reason why she wasn't at work when Danny said he was coming over? At least she could pretend she was sick or dealing with her dad's estate or SOMETHING besides getting high with the kid next door.

I'm not a fan of the strait laced character gets high for the first time storylines, but I have to admit that Starships made me laugh. I was afraid that Zoey being high would lead to her missing breakfast with Max and his dad which would lead to her either lying to Max about what happened or telling him the truth and having him get jealous/upset, so I was glad that they didn't spend the entire episode on Zoey being high and that she showed up to breakfast as promised.

I was also sure that Maggie would come home to find her neighbor's son, her daughter, and her daughter's boss all high out of their minds so I'm glad the show skipped that cliche. I also thought she would end up hooking up with Aiden so I was glad when that didn't happen.

And I liked that Zoey and Danny getting high resulted in both of them being honest with each other. I don't know that Zoey has verbalized some of the stuff she said to Danny until now, so I think it was good for her to talk about it (even if it temporarily led her to the incorrect conclusion that she should stop caring). Even though Danny selling the company could lead to people losing their jobs, I don't think he should stay at the company if he's unhappy. There are other options though. He could keep his shares and hire someone to take over some of his responsibilities. He could take a sabbatical. He could groom someone in the company to take over for him. He could retain his shares of the company but retire and not receive a salary.

I get that Jenna thought she was doing a good thing by dumping fertilizer in Roger's car but this is definitely where her immature side showed. This isn't middle school where you prank someone for being mean to you. Maggie already told her that the landscape architecture business is a small community which means words get around. Having an employee vandalize a client's property like that could be really bad for her business. I'm not saying that what Roger did was acceptable because it was NOT, but Jenna's behavior was unprofessional and could result in criminal charges. Ha, when she told Emily that she left a surprise for her in the baby's room, I thought it was going to be a poopy diaper.

I feel bad about the whole situation with Max and his dad. It's tough when someone doesn't love you the way you want them to. Your choices are cut them out of your life, educate them about the way you want to be treated, or grit your teeth whenever you have to be around them. To be fair, I think both of them made an effort here. Max's dad cannot understand why his son would quit a perfectly good job to open a restaurant that doesn't serve food, but he was trying to be supportive when he offered the money that Max asked for. Max, on the other hand, finally told his dad that he wants his emotional support, not just his money. Hopefully once they both get over their hurt feelings, they can move forward, even if only a little bit. Baby steps.

But Max needs to be a lot more realistic about the restaurant. He told his dad that his projections showed that his dad would receive a profit by the end of the year. He already said that they will be making their money from booze, which means it's essentially a bar. How many bars turn enough of a profit in their first year of operation to give money back to their investors? If Max truly believes that this restaurant will succeed, he should have taken his dad's money and then repaid his investment at the end of the year and said, "Thanks for the startup cash. Here's your money back!"

I found it odd that after Simon's one phone call to Zoey (when she was out of the office on a personal day, I might add), he didn't try to bring up the issue with her in more detail at work. I guess he either felt like he already made the effort to communicate an issue with his boss or he thought she wouldn't understand (as demonstrated by her response being "we'll take care of it" and hanging up).

10 hours ago, giovannif7 said:

My beef with this episode - how do you hire a successful Broadway musical actor like Chip Zien to play Max's father, then not have him sing a note?

It's right up there with casting Idina Menzel in Enchanted and then not having her sing.

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Oh Zoey, if you want to start living a more exciting life, maybe start small and then move to the sketchy drugs. Take a night hike? A dance class? Then move from there but...maybe say no to weird drugs that you don't know what they are just in general, but especially for your first time ever touching a drug. 

I didn't hate this episode like some people did, but it did feel a bit off to me. I think the show is struggling a bit with the post-Mitch show, where we don't have his illness and everyone dealing with it as the center of the story, and its flailing a bit with a lot of different subplots and characters all doing their own things that are only loosely connected. Every week we get a new plot it seems like, when we already have so many that are building up. 

As much as Zoey doing random drugs is a bad life choice, Zoey has been spiraling in strange and new ways since her dad died, so I guess I can see her doing that with her 90s neighbor. The trip out scene, especially her, her boss, and 90s neighbor, all set to Starships, were pretty funny, although I expected more trippiness in an episode named after a trip. I don't know if the neighbor will be a love interest now, he might be more of a wacky neighbor than possible third love interest. 

1 hour ago, Pj3422 said:

Re: the Chirp. Did the writers ever see that episode of “Better Off Ted,” where none of the motion sensors in the building would recognize people of color? 

That's exactly what I thought of! Of course that was played for laughs, including the bumbling and awkward "solution" of hiring white people to follow the black employees around, while it seems like this is going to be way more dramatic. Its nice that Simon is getting more of a story outside of Zoey, but even with the very confusing logistics of how this tech company works, it is really stretching my suspension of disbelief that a big company like this wouldn't have a whole army of marketing and PR people dealing with this and that they wouldn't have an official statement on this issue, explaining the issue and what they want to do next. Just asking Simon to deal with it seems ridiculous, even if  Danny Michael Davis as AWOL for a little bit. So I guess he is a PR department of one for this major company? Who is also working under Zoey? I also admit that I don't know much about coding outside of the coding game I play on my phone, but I would think that them not recognizing people of color would be more of an issue with facial recognition and testing then coding? Its a good issue to bring up, and I liked the talk about what Simon would should, and if he should play the game and work from the inside or quit, but the way we got here just seems so confusing. Also, I really miss Better Off Ted.  

Its sad that Max's dad is so dismissive of him, but him not taking the money was probably a dumb idea, even if he and Mo will certainly end up getting the money anyway. He should have taken the money and proved his dad wrong. Of course, some people just don't like getting their family involved in business, because they think it gets too personal, and that Max didn't want to get pulled into their families business, but it doesn't seem like that was the issue. I also don't get why they keep calling it a restaurant, it sounds more like its a bar where people can bring food in. Which is totally a thing, so if they have a good drink selection and a lot of fun bar activities it could work, but its clearly not a restaurant. It did seem like Max and his dad were both trying, even if they don't really understand each other (especially his dad) so hopefully they can get to a better place at some point. 

Numb and Don't let Me Be Misunderstood were the musical highlights, although Starships was fun too. 

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I had decided to record this week rather than watch live, snd when I switched over to watch it a few times, I realize that I have no desire to watch the whole show today. I don't like that choppy choreography they seem to be doing all the time. I get it - their lives are chaotic, but I think it looks stupid.

I am with others who have mentioned that watching a conservative person decide to be rebellious and take a drug for the first time is often cringe-worthy and this was no exception. It kind of made me realize that Jane Levy is really not a strong actress.

I did manage to tune in during Numb and Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, and if those were the best, then I really don't need to see anything else today. I am hoping next week is better, but I am not enjoying this season. At all.

 

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1 hour ago, Empress1 said:

It is and always has been because systemic racism is and has always been a thing, but more attention has been paid to it in recent months because of the uprisings around George Floyd's murder and subsequent discussions of systemic racism, particularly corporate systemic racism, which this is (again, however unintentional it may be - impact matters more than intent). I'm sure that's why they're doing this storyline.

But is it intentional or even just the result of benign neglect? I imagine there are similar problems for people with facial hair, who wear a lot of makeup, or any other condition the algorithm may face that increases the variability of the image it sees. I'm white, but my own laptop doesn't recognize me some of the time for reasons I can't figure out.

Is it possible that the camera just sees light-skinned faces with better contrast and the identification algorithm can just work better? I find it hard to believe that unbiased studies haven't reached some sort of conclusions about the reasons for the difference, particularly since it is so widespread. For example, do algorithms for the same facial-recognition developed in Africa or South American produce the same result as those in the US or Europe?

Now as to the larger question of systemic racism -- there's no doubt on that issue although history creates its own inertia. SPRQ Point would hardly be unique in that regard and Simon did get promoted summarily based on a rather weak suggestion, truth be told. And I don't see how the PR spokesman would report to Zoey simply because his office is on her floor. He'd probably report to the head of marketing, even in a tech company.

One other point: It's hard to say that anyone serving on a corporate board of directors deserve it. It's like an honorary degree from a university rather than providing any insight or direction they might give toward the company's success. 

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19 minutes ago, D Angel said:

One other point: It's hard to say that anyone serving on a corporate board of directors deserve it. It's like an honorary degree from a university rather than providing any insight or direction they might give toward the company's success. 

It's a old-boy network through and through.

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7 hours ago, Dani said:

They’re minimizing everything that worked last season like Zoey’s visions having a purpose and her relationship with Mo. 

I agree, we're really missing the random stranger of the week Zoey has to use her powers to help. I guess they wanted to her to deal more with her grief over her father but this show is made for her to throw herself into helping others before finally breaking down and dealing with her own issues. Let's go back to that.

 

3 hours ago, Pj3422 said:

Re: the Chirp. Did the writers ever see that episode of “Better Off Ted,” where none of the motion sensors in the building would recognize people of color? 

I immediately thought of that episode and now I want to do a rewatch of that show. It was so funny.

I thought it was interesting that Simon was upset about being pushed as the face of the Chirp issue because he was one of the only black people in the company while in a scene where the show had to gather together the only 3 black characters they have in order to have this discussion. I'm surprised they didn't have Jenna and Emily stop by looking for Zoey and get pulled in.

Jenna deserved to be fired for that stunt but at least it led to Maggie getting out of that job since the guy was an ass.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I also don't get why they keep calling it a restaurant, it sounds more like its a bar where people can bring food in. Which is totally a thing, so if they have a good drink selection and a lot of fun bar activities it could work, but its clearly not a restaurant. It did seem like Max and his dad were both trying, even if they don't really understand each other (especially his dad) so hopefully they can get to a better place at some point. 

It seems like they're coordinating the ordering of food from multiple restaurants for each table, so I assume the customer is paying some kind of fee/markup for that on top of what they'd pay if they just ordered food to their homes...plus serving drinks. Can't help but wonder what happens when one or more of the other restaurants gets backed up and some customers don't get their food until after the others at their table are done eating. Which seems like an inevitability.

I vaguely remember seeing an article (or maybe a video) about automatic soap dispensers that didn't work with people of color, and it had something to do with the way the light reflects off darker skin so the sensor wasn't "seeing" them. Don't know that there's a coding fix for that...

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2 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

I vaguely remember seeing an article (or maybe a video) about automatic soap dispensers that didn't work with people of color, and it had something to do with the way the light reflects off darker skin so the sensor wasn't "seeing" them. Don't know that there's a coding fix for that...

Is there a similar problem with them not working for people who are so white as to be practically translucent?  Because I can't make those damn things work to save my life.

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1 hour ago, D Angel said:

And I don't see how the PR spokesman would report to Zoey simply because his office is on her floor. He'd probably report to the head of marketing, even in a tech company.

He would not. There would be a VP or CMO (chief marketing officer). At first, trying to make sense of it, I thought that each floor was its own business unit and Zoey is the head of theirs (which is far-fetched, but OK). I worked for a company that had six business units, each with its own marketing team. But the head of each marketing team reported to the global VP of marketing, and stuff like HR was centralized - they handled HR for the whole company. The head of a business unit wouldn’t have any standing to fire or hire someone in HR. (That company re-organized and centralized marketing too, and the directors still reported to the VP.)

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On 2/3/2021 at 8:34 AM, Empress1 said:

There have been lots of studies about how AI doesn't recognize people of color because there are almost no people of color involved with building these platforms - the folks who build them test them on themselves, and they're white.

 

On 2/3/2021 at 12:12 PM, ams1001 said:

I vaguely remember seeing an article (or maybe a video) about automatic soap dispensers that didn't work with people of color, and it had something to do with the way the light reflects off darker skin so the sensor wasn't "seeing" them. Don't know that there's a coding fix for that...

The first Apple Watch also didn't work properly for POC because of the same reason - no POC were involved with building it. It was assumed that because the watch worked on white skin it would work on all skin types. If I remember correctly, the issue was actually discovered because someone had a tattoo on their wrist and couldn't get the watch to work. 

Edited by HighHopes
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Yeah, I am realizing that I don't laugh or even feel amusement watching this show..although the musical numbers are nice, even if the choreo is a bit spastic.

I was yelling at my TV when Zoey took the drug. I am a prude but I don't need to see the glorification of party drugs on my TV....especially, when kids can die from them and women are often taken advantage of during and the Opioid crisis is still a thing...very, very, tone deaf writing.

I loved this show last year but it is slowly becoming an "Oh yeah, I guess that's on" leaving 9-1-1 as the only show I really look forward to.

They have lost something when they killed off Mitch and this show is so morose now that the joy is hard to find.  I wish they hadn't made Roger a jerk but had built up a nice romance instead. I mean, older people do meet and fall in love and they still have passions and work too.

I'm just glad I'm not alone in not loving this show as much as I used to.

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8 hours ago, Empress1 said:

... Is Simon the only Black person at the entire company, or the only one at a senior level? Some of the developers we've seen have been people of color (e.g. Tobin) but not Black - I can't recall seeing any other Black people aside from Renee Elise Goldsberry, and we know she quit. I agreed with Tatiana that if Simon is in a senior position, he's in a better place to be the change he wants to see, but it is going to be hard and exhausting and frustrating work, especially since it's being met with resistance. It's good that he has other Black people to talk to - I like Tatiana as a friend for him.

...

One of the 'Brogrammmers' earlier this season was Black but he got tranferred to the 5th Floor. Other than background extras or dancers for group numbers, I don't think there's been any other Black people at Sprq Point.

 

6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

... I didn't hate this episode like some people did, but it did feel a bit off to me. I think the show is struggling a bit with the post-Mitch show, where we don't have his illness and everyone dealing with it as the center of the story, and its flailing a bit with a lot of different subplots and characters all doing their own things that are only loosely connected. Every week we get a new plot it seems like, when we already have so many that are building up.

...

I didn't hate this episode either, but there were some glaring issues. They are definitely doing more subplots per episode; my issue is that Zoey (the lead and central character) isn't a part of most of those subplots. I'm guessing it partly has to do with Covid -- having the actors separated with their own stories probably helps with filming and the new safety regulations, but it has disrupted the flow of the show.

Edited by Trini · Reason: oy, grammar
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Now that the plot is including an explicit racial theme, we are finally noticing the characters' and actors' ethnicity. But as far as I can tell, the show itself has been strictly post-racial in portraying peoples' lives and interactions with each other. Mo was in an interracial relationship, but it never came up. Zoey was equally attracted to Simon and Max, Max chose Mo as a business partner, and every character interaction hasn't had even a whiff of prejudice. The brogrammers have exhibited a fair amount of misogyny, but they have followed directions from both Joan and Zoey. So it's more juvenile than venal.

I live on the opposite coast to SF but I'm guessing that for most people there, progressive race-blind sensibilities rule. I'm going to give the show a high grade on that aspect of the narrative.

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I am sad that Jenna is gone, I thought she added a nice new spark to the family dynamic. Maggie probably wasn't wrong to fire Jenna, as Maggie said, the landscaping world is really small and it wouldn't look good for her company to be seen engaging in childish pranks out of revenge, and it was in general a really unprofessional and immature way to handle the situation, but it still sucks to lose her. Granted, the client acting like a dick to Maggie just because she wouldn't go out with him was also really immature and crappy, dismissing her hard work despite how much work she has done on the job already, but that's no way to handle things. 

This season in general keeps adding new characters, only to get rid of them in only a few episodes. They show up, get a few songs, and then disappear. I guess 90s neighbor will probably be here for one more song, then will go off to backpack across South America in another episode or two. Maybe Simon's reporter friend will get one song before she goes away. 

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The lead up to the 'trip' was horrifying, as others have noted, but the actual trip was kind of fun. I also liked Aiden's technique. You move closer and if she tenses up, you move away. That is as close as guys actually get to being sensitive.

 

So Roger ended up being a jerk as I feared. It bothers me most that they made his actions so predictable. I prefer stories that take me to unexpected places.

 

there have been discussions here about the writers not understanding business structures. This week we can see that they don't understand computers. In general I have found that writers also seldom understand hospitals, law offices, Police and detective work, guns, sports, human relationships, and pretty much anything else that you actually do understand. It's really best to just suspend expertise and go with the flow (or find another show).

 

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9 hours ago, Pj3422 said:

Re: the Chirp. Did the writers ever see that episode of “Better Off Ted,” where none of the motion sensors in the building would recognize people of color? 
 

I remember a long time ago (10 years ago or more) an African American friend commented on how they usually couldn't get the automatic faucets to work in the ladies room.  If I remember correctly, the faucets worked off of light reflection (where I just assumed it was a motion sensor) so it didn't register dark skin.  I wonder if they've fixed that? 

I'm on the fence on this episode.  I agree with all the criticism, and there was just so much wrong with this episode all lumped into one.  Here's what I was expecting, which, in my mind, would have made this a much better episode:

1. While in their little drug trip, I expected Zoey to start talking about Max & Mo's "restaurant", and Danny would be all, whoa, cool man, that's a great idea.  And they'd let us believe that he wouldn't remember it when he sobered up, but in the end he does remember it and gives Max & Mo the backing they need.  (It is after all, a tech company + a bar, not a normal restaurant.)  But nope, they didn't go anywhere near there. 

2.  I actually expected Maggie to call Roger out on his assholery, and for him to own up to it.  And then for them to go down a slow, appropriate road of friendship  with the potential for a little something something in the future.  I think it would be a nice storyline for Maggie to feel attracted to Roger and feel guilty about it, and for it to possibly lead somewhere.  I'm ok with them making Roger a bit of an oaf, but I think making him so over the top asshole was not needed.  And I don't know where Jenna's "you never stand up for yourself" line came from - is that something Maggie has a history of?  Not that I remember. 

How about they get rid of all the newbies this season and just bring back  Howie and Bernadette Peters for the remaining episodes?

 

 

 

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Late to the party.
Even though there were several problematic plot points, I thought this episode was a big improvement for the season --like maybe the writers and crew had finally regrouped after the impact of the pandemic --no easy feat for such a show. 

I too was cringing at the drug taking and rolling my eyes at Max turning down his dad's money, but kudos for the show pulling it all together --in no small part, IMO, because of the return of the character of Danny Michael Davis. 

And hearing "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" would have totally won me over if I hadn't already decided the show looked like it was redeeming itself. 

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THEY SIGNED A LEASE AND HIRED CONTRACTORS BEFORE THEY HAD FINANCING?????

Please, get some other choreographers. All the dances look the same to me. Mandy Moore is not enough.

 

After 7 investors turned them down, it's not fair for Max to think his dad is just being unloving when he has doubts. Max might need to take some feedback on why no one wants to fund the project. It can be hard to get financing even if you do have a good idea, but I think it's very emotionally supportive and does show some kind of love when you offer to write the check even if you have doubts. It means "I want you to be happy, and this is what you want, so I support it." Max has seemed petulant and annoying to me all season.

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18 minutes ago, possibilities said:

THEY SIGNED A LEASE AND HIRED CONTRACTORS BEFORE THEY HAD FINANCING?????

And last week Max was working on a business plan while Mo was experimenting with drink recipes and hosting karaoke...

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45 minutes ago, Seelouis said:

Why does the kid who grew up next door to Zoey have an Australian accent?

He's from Australia, apparently. It seems he lived next to Zoey for a while, but not his whole life; but they haven't clarified on the show.

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I'm not sure why Zoey was so invested in making sure Danny Michael Davis stayed at Sprq Point. I guess she could be worried about the company, but it's not like that would be inevitable--and the guy was just imprisoned.

22 hours ago, giovannif7 said:

My beef with this episode - how do you hire a successful Broadway musical actor like Chip Zien to play Max's father, then not have him sing a note? Between that and the stupid drug trip, the only thing this episode did was piss me off. 😠

YES. Don't taunt us like that, show.

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2 hours ago, possibilities said:

After 7 investors turned them down, it's not fair for Max to think his dad is just being unloving when he has doubts. Max might need to take some feedback on why no one wants to fund the project. It can be hard to get financing even if you do have a good idea, but I think it's very emotionally supportive and does show some kind of love when you offer to write the check even if you have doubts. It means "I want you to be happy, and this is what you want, so I support it." Max has seemed petulant and annoying to me all season.

100% agreed. This bothered me SO MUCH. It would have been one thing if they portrayed the problem between Max and his dad being that his dad used money to try to control or manipulate him ("Yeah, he'll pay for anything I want, but he always expects something in return" kind of thing).  But that was not it at all! Max's problem with his dad was very clearly said to be that his dad always wanted him to come back home and work for the family business. Offering the money was a real, concrete way his dad was saying "I understand that's not what you want, I am supporting you in what you want to do instead."

And honestly, while "Numb" was great a great number, even that I thought was poorly timed. His dad came to this investor meeting, listened to the pitch, and then shared a bunch of ideas he had about the business -- and that's what set Max off? Because...what? He just wanted his dad to gush about what a great idea it is? I know the dad is in a very different line of work, but he's apparently a successful business owner himself, and the show gave us no reason to think he was being critical for the sake of being critical, as opposed to maybe actually having some helpful feedback (certainly the questions we saw him ask, like "wait, how do you make money?" made perfect sense to me). 

I guess none of this is helped by the fact that the whole venture seems pretty nonsensical to me. I mean, sure, it could end up catching on as a novelty thing, but it's not exactly unreasonable for a person to have questions about it, so Max acting like anything other than gushing love of the idea is a slap in the face is just childish.

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On 2/2/2021 at 10:10 PM, Maverick said:

 In this show, every tech issue is a "coding issue".  Bad facial rec?   Coding issue.  Your mouse won't work?   Coding issue.  Laptop won't power up?   Coding issue.  Out of coffee?   Coding issue.  

 Of course the resolution to every problem is an "algorithm".   You know like Max's algorithm that is going to accurately predict the delivery time from multiple restaurants.   

Don't forget "you don't know the password? Did you forget your daughter's a code?" As a woman who is a software engineer, I hate how awful they are portraying things. Don't productions usually have consultants for these things? It's like what your grandma thinks tech is.

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2 hours ago, 90PercentGravity said:

It's like what your grandma thinks tech is.

Those of us who are grandma-aged had to use code to make a word bold on our pre-WYSIWYG word processors. I think the problem is that the young-to-middle-age writers have always had GUI and never had to even learn about code. 

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