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S07.E09: Fallout

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Liza and Charles work closely together to land a married writing duo; after Redmond calls her out, Kelsey takes drastic measures to keep an author she nurtured at her literary salon; Kelsey's personal life gets complicated.

Original air date: 5/20/21

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Kelsey "I was publisher here once, I know what I am talking about" - LOL on soooo soo many levels. If she had learned anything, they would make sure Inkubator is tied to Empirical.
But then, Charles isn't that much better as pblisher of Empirical. He is ok with signing the popular surfer who can't write sh*t but passes on a great novel because its written under an unknown pen name? At least Kelsey knows a good book when she sees one.

There is something terribly off with the pace of the different stories this season. Liza/Charles/Quinn and the Inkubator arcs are jarring.

Oh and incidentally, I made grilled cheese with mayo on the outside of the bread last weekend. It does give a nice crust.

Edited by Aulty
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Charles Charles Charles 

So my issues with Charles this episode all have to do with Empirical.  Stop being condescending to your employees.  Liza and Kelsey are both hardworking.  The snide comments are unnecessary. 

 

pen names 

I agree with Charles here.  If you need big talent and land a big name.  A pen name doesn’t help you.  People may buy it because it’s good or they may not because they don’t recognize the name.  This helps out the author but it really doesn’t actually help out their brand.

say what Liza...

Charles wanted to get married, you didn’t.  I don’t think Liza should have to apologize for not wanting to get married.  But I don’t think Charles should have to apologize for wanting to get married.  Also Liza is just a stubborn is Charles. Liza could’ve easily opened the floor to discussing marriage in the future and said she wasn’t ready right now.  That wasn’t my take, my take was she said she didn’t want to  get married. Ever.  Now she’s talking about we never discussed getting married like you could’ve easily pivoted to that discussion has she wanted to. At the point where you’re like I don’t want to get married ever what is there to discuss?

 

Kelsey

I don’t think Kelsey owes Claire anything but she should let Josh know.  Kelsey and Josh are friends and this could potentially complicate his relationship with Claire.

Quinn:  

I’ve got to be honest I’m kind of feeling Charles more with Quinn.  I’m assuming that’s not what they want us to feel so I’m trying not to get too attached but I honestly think they were better fit. 

 

Edited by dmc
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Kelsey and Liza's publishing model confuses me, they haven't signed on their unicorn author yet, but they give her chapters to Vulture? Does she even get paid for the stuff published there? And what did they expect would happen once the readers there took the bait? That Charles would fold? Yet it never crossed their minds that maybe he would not and/or others would take an interest? Nice of Redmond to warn them about his intentions.

The whole pen name discussion was stupid. This has been done before by famous authors, sooner or later the truth will leak anyway. Worked for Rowling/Gailbrath, Christie/Westmacotte. Why does in a room full of people who dedicated their lives to books nobody bring this up? Oh right, because show wanted to make the point that Charles is stubborn. 

Kelsey and Claire are not BBFS but Kelsey lives with the father of Claire's kid and that is the true complication. Lauren's Chernobyl talk was amusing but completely missed the point. Just behave like an adult and let her know FFS.

*Pet peeve alert* Cuckoo clocks are not Swiss but German, damn you, Orson Wells!

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What's Quinn's long game in agreeing with Liza that marriage is a no-go but telling Charles that she would've said yes?

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Oy this season. The Inkubator business makes literally no sense but you know it’s going to turn into Kelsey’s happy ending so I guess we just go with it.

What is Liza’s happy ending going to be? Having to edit Charles’ godawful sounding memoir or roman a clef or whatever it is? I just had the sinking recollection that we’re supposed to see Pauline again for a pep talk, ugh.

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5 hours ago, bilgistic said:

What's Quinn's long game in agreeing with Liza that marriage is a no-go but telling Charles that she would've said yes?

I would imagine that the only reason she said that to Charles was to prevent him from gravitating back to Liza by making him think she's a better choice for him because she's on board with marriage.  His text about having dinner with the authors and Liza was not lost on her.  She knows that such interaction between them is a threat to her relationship with him.  It's amazing to me that Quinn would go so far as to go on a little fishing expedition for more information from Liza on how to succeed with him.  But she really had all she needed when Lauren let it slip about the proposal.  The sad part about it is that someone like Quinn might even go so far as to marry Charles just to snag him away from someone else.  That woman is a chameleon, and obviously devious.  

I think the cracks in her "perfect" facade are beginning to show, at least to the audience.  We're now privy to knowledge that the characters are not.  This is proof of her duplicity.  She is not above lying and misrepresenting herself to get what she wants.  So far it's all happening the way I thought it would.  I knew that she was up to no good.  I'm just waiting for it to become obvious to Liza and/or Charles.

Edited by Yeah No
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Quick question - although I'm probably trying to apply too much logic to this: whatever happened to that Millenial incubator deal with Reese Witherspoon's company? Did that die together with the imprint? If that cooperation is still active wouldn't it go completely against Charles' new 'only established, bestselling authors' policy and be the perfect leverage to get the unicorn author published.

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It's impossible to overstate how little I care about seeing Liza 'rescue' Charles from Quinn's clutches. They bring up Charles' book SO much that part of me thinks Quinn will find it, read it, laugh at it and tease him about it, and that will be the thing that makes him really see her. Or maybe I just HOPE that happens because it prevents a Liza intervention which makes her look pathetic (imho).

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I feel really conned because I saw a couple of pre-season reviews from trusted sources that said this season really got back to the fun of the show and finally dropped the triangle. But it didn't, it just changed the players. And regardless, there was never a triangle to begin with, there was only an obstacle to Liza/Charles, which was telegraphed to us from the very beginning. And this is coming from someone who preferred her with Josh -- but I knew from day one not to root for it because I knew what we were being nudged to want. But at least with that triangle they still managed to write Josh more sympathetically, he seemed human. Quinn's just a one-dimensional barrier (albeit played by a fun performer) who has some humanity when it makes sense for the story and is Cruella Deville when it doesn't.

The weirdest thing in all of this is that even though the whole main romantic arc of this series is Liz/Charles, they make him worse and worse by the second. I used to think he was just a dud, now he's really an ass.

20 hours ago, MissLucas said:

Kelsey and Liza's publishing model confuses me, they haven't signed on their unicorn author yet, but they give her chapters to Vulture? Does she even get paid for the stuff published there? And what did they expect would happen once the readers there took the bait? That Charles would fold? Yet it never crossed their minds that maybe he would not and/or others would take an interest? Nice of Redmond to warn them about his intentions.

That's my question too. Is this yet another "gets paid in exposure" situation? What is the deal they have with the author??

 

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Did anyone see the same mistake I saw? The part of the episode where they're scene setting Charles/Liza going to visit the foodie people. There was a 2 second screen between the overhead of the car and the shot of the couple's house, where they had a city view with a bridge but it was the Bay Bridge and SF not an NYC bridge. Very weird. I'm in the Bay Area though so then I started thinking it's a Hulu thing. 

Lauren was very funny this episode. Loved the call to Rent "how do you measure..." that she sang. 

Charles is getting less attractive due to his personality. I agree with him about the pen name though. My understanding of the food publishing space is that if they did use the pen name it would take extra marketing resources because you couldn't leverage the brand and exisiting following of these two already famous people and their accomplishments and audience. There goes the James Beard mention, just to mention one. Why he didn't say to the couple that he'd think about it and/or use the time to try to talk them out of it? They way they were acting seemed like they just had this cute silly idea, but did they not care how many copies it sold? The whole thing was odd. 

11 hours ago, Aulty said:

Quick question - although I'm probably trying to apply too much logic to this: whatever happened to that Millenial incubator deal with Reese Witherspoon's company? Did that die together with the imprint? If that cooperation is still active wouldn't it go completely against Charles' new 'only established, bestselling authors' policy and be the perfect leverage to get the unicorn author published.

Is it wrong to answer this even if I'm not totally sure? Eh. I'll Try. My memory of it is it just stopped being a story line, nos explanation. They didn't address why. That said, that deal was related to the Martha Plimpton character and Liza, and the big age lie etc. 

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The authors using a pen name to create "mystery" is pretty stupid, but I don't think its stupid enough to pass on the book. They could easily leak who the authors really were and turn it into an actual mystery for people to solve that will lead them to two popular authors who are also a couple, that could have easily all worked out. Charles is just being dramatic. 

I also don't really get Kelsey's plan with her dream book. So she is giving chapters out to websites without even having a deal with the publisher and the author? Does she really think that some good buzz would be enough to get Charles and the idiot board to sign her book? How does the author feel about this? Is she getting residuals for these clicks, or is she getting strung along when she could be spending this time looking for other people to publish her book? 

This season has had at least a bit more fun then the last few, but only because nothing has been totally unimaginably stupid. Just stupid in that people have conflicts at random that should be solved in three seconds with people just talked to each other. Are Charles and Liza cool with each other? Depends on the episode. Is Quinn a supervillain or a deeply flawed but very human woman? Are you interested in any of these arcs? Don't get too attached, they'll be over soon. 

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I really don't see the pen name as that big a deal. Just create some buzz around it and let people guess. It's really not that difficult. Drop hints about an author who has won prestigious prizes in different areas and is now trying something new. The only thing I would object to is 'Serita Consemint' - go with initials and pick a surname that is catchier. You just need good marketing. 

It has been done before and I can't remember people complaining about being 'lied to' or 'feeling manipulated' like Charles claimed. At least not in that constellation. Such scandals normally involve autobiographical works. The only reason for Charles as a publisher to argue against the idea is that yes, it makes his job harder because the marketing requires more effort. I wish he had at least been honest about that instead of being so over-dramatic about reader deception. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Refresh said:

Did anyone see the same mistake I saw? The part of the episode where they're scene setting Charles/Liza going to visit the foodie people. There was a 2 second screen between the overhead of the car and the shot of the couple's house, where they had a city view with a bridge but it was the Bay Bridge and SF not an NYC bridge. Very weird. I'm in the Bay Area though so then I started thinking it's a Hulu thing. 

I saw it.  I'm one of those people that can recognize clips of NYC in a hot second given that I'm a native and know the place so well.  Like in this episode when Kelsey and date are standing outside of Madison Square Garden or the street scene in Williamsburg Brooklyn on Lorimer Street.  When I saw that bridge flash before my eyes I thought there was no way that was a NY bridge but I didn't go back to verify that.  I would never have known that was San Francisco, LOL.  Thanks for clearing that up!

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18 hours ago, Yeah No said:

When I saw that bridge flash before my eyes I thought there was no way that was a NY bridge but I didn't go back to verify that.  I would never have known that was San Francisco, LOL.  Thanks for clearing that up!

So glad I could help! And also I needed an outside SF confirmatin that this happened somewhere else. 

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So I’ve been too bored to watch the last fe episodes but based on what I’ve been reading this season the triangle is well and truly over and we are just waiting for her to end up back with Charles? Damn. I was hoping they might surprise me.
 

I’d say there is more to the show but...really there isn’t. All the story lines are incredibly disappointing and I miss Diana.

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On 5/20/2021 at 3:14 PM, MissLucas said:

Kelsey and Liza's publishing model confuses me, they haven't signed on their unicorn author yet, but they give her chapters to Vulture? Does she even get paid for the stuff published there? And what did they expect would happen once the readers there took the bait? That Charles would fold? Yet it never crossed their minds that maybe he would not and/or others would take an interest? Nice of Redmond to warn them about his intentions.

The whole pen name discussion was stupid. This has been done before by famous authors, sooner or later the truth will leak anyway. Worked for Rowling/Gailbrath, Christie/Westmacotte. Why does in a room full of people who dedicated their lives to books nobody bring this up? Oh right, because show wanted to make the point that Charles is stubborn. 

Kelsey and Claire are not BBFS but Kelsey lives with the father of Claire's kid and that is the true complication. Lauren's Chernobyl talk was amusing but completely missed the point. Just behave like an adult and let her know FFS.

*Pet peeve alert* Cuckoo clocks are not Swiss but German, damn you, Orson Wells! 

I thought Empirical had major money problems like two seasons ago and Charles had to sell a bunch of stuff, his father's books, downsize his house...that's the reason they have a board now. So their brand is being built or recovering.  It's not Penguin.  If a big established publisher gets a pen name, you are right its not big deal but if you are struggling and accepted money from investors...it may be a different story.  I feel like that's why they constantly pitching stuff to a board now and that's why the board just got to axe Kelsey's Imprint.  Does anyone remember the specifics on this plot?  I am misremembering?  So I think he's following what the board wants.

 

 

Edited by dmc

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On 5/21/2021 at 6:06 PM, MissLucas said:

 

I really don't see the pen name as that big a deal. Just create some buzz around it and let people guess. It's really not that difficult. Drop hints about an author who has won prestigious prizes in different areas and is now trying something new. The only thing I would object to is 'Serita Consemint' - go with initials and pick a surname that is catchier. You just need good marketing

 

Diana-we need you!!

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What in the hell was the doo-rag/tiara combo that Kelsey had on her head?!?

On 5/21/2021 at 6:06 PM, MissLucas said:

It has been done before and I can't remember people complaining about being 'lied to' or 'feeling manipulated' like Charles claimed. At least not in that constellation. Such scandals normally involve autobiographical works. The only reason for Charles as a publisher to argue against the idea is that yes, it makes his job harder because the marketing requires more effort. I wish he had at least been honest about that instead of being so over-dramatic about reader deception. 

It was especially confusing to me because Liza did the exact lying and manipulation thing for years when she was keeping her age secret, and he ended up moving past that and having a relationship with her.

On 5/21/2021 at 3:38 PM, Refresh said:

They way they were acting seemed like they just had this cute silly idea, but did they not care how many copies it sold? The whole thing was odd. 

OK, potentially obscure reference here, but did that couple give anyone a vibe from the obnoxiously in-touch Lov-ahs hot tub couple from Saturday Night Live, with Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch? 

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9 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

potentially obscure reference here, but did that couple give anyone a vibe from the obnoxiously in-touch Lov-ahs hot tub couple from Saturday Night Live, with Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch? 

Hahahaha, now that you mention it, I can't unsee it! MY LOVAH! All that was missing was the hot tub.

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On 5/20/2021 at 3:17 AM, Aulty said:

If she had learned anything, they would make sure Inkubator is tied to Empirical.

They sort of tried, though, and Charles put the kibosh on the book Liza really liked. She was right at the end, when she told him he always had to have things his way and was pretty rigid about it.

On 5/20/2021 at 1:58 PM, dmc said:

pen names 

I agree with Charles here.  If you need big talent and land a big name.  A pen name doesn’t help you.  People may buy it because it’s good or they may not because they don’t recognize the name.  This helps out the author but it really doesn’t actually help out their brand.

Charles is getting dangerously conservative with his business decisions. To categorically refuse to publish the book because the authors want to use a pen name? Why not talk about it a bit more? And way to blindside Liza, who arranged the initial meeting in the first place. 

A pen name can be useful to authors who write in different genres: J.K. Rowling writes as John Galbraith, Nora Roberts writes as J.D. Robb, Ruth Rendall writes as Barbara Vine, etc. The couple was right that the guessing game could be half the fun. Charles sucks.

If Quinn were played by anyone else besides Laura Benanti, I'd despise her, but LB has such fun with the character I love her.

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