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S01.E01: Living The Dream / S01.E02: New Tricks

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S01.E01:

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Kevin throws his annual "Anniversa-rager" party with help from Patty, Neil and Pete. After Patty reveals the truth about her bank accounts, Allison goes on a bender and makes a decision to take back control of her life.

S01.E02:

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Allison witnesses an overdose and has an idea. It's Belichick hoodie day and Kevin feuds with the neighbors over a stolen package. Following a mysterious business card, Allison is led to Patty's Salon in town.

AMC+ airdate: 6/13/21

AMC cable airdate: 6/20/21

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The show is very different.  It ranges from the sitcom with ubiquitous laugh track, then the lighting changes and we are in Allison's thoughts.  That is when the show gets good.  It took me a bit to get into the switch ups.  I'm glad I watched both episodes back-to-back.  Annie Murphy is excellent.  I like the thought of turning the schlub of a guy with the hot wife trope on its head.  We are always set up to expect her being an adult, him being a child in an adult body, but hey, even though he messes up again and again, she loves the big lug.  Maybe its not unreasonable for a show to say she's sick of his BS and the life she's stuck in.  

There is always a thing of how did these two get together.  Rather than trying to show happier times, I feel like that is being said by other characters, typically women, who tell her she has it good or this is the best she should expect.  I want to see where this show goes. 

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Kevin is next level ugly and this show is so awful even Alexis can't save this trash. I watched the first two episodes and I'm just bummed she hasn't killed him, already. I found myself wanting to stab him five minutes into meeting his shallow self-absorbed character. AMC, feel free to cancel this nightmare.

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Really enjoyed the first two episodes and I'm excited to see where it goes. I don't even feel like I can make any predictions and am more than happy to be pleasantly surprised.

This show is probably going to get a lot of (not completely unearned) comparisons to Wandavision, but it's definitely doing its own thing and has its own agenda. Instead of navigating the evolution of sitcoms over the years, I like that it's focusing on a very specific subgenre--multicam dom coms from the mid-2000s onward that revolve around the schlubby manchild and his beautiful stick-in-the-mud wife. The writing for the "sitcom" parts is so spot on, from the rigid character archetypes (annoying neighbor, father-in-law who is around all the time for no reason, one-of-the-boys lady friend who doesn't talk to the wife) to the jokes you can see coming from a mile away. I also like that it seems like each episode of KCFH will fit an entire ridiculous sitcom storyline in as the B-plot amongst Allison's more dramatic life. Yeah, what is that guy's wife doing while he sets fire to the neighbor's lawn and commits insurance fraud?

There's a lot of subtlety to this show too, and I appreciate not having my hand held through everything. Of course Kevin and Allison will never move to a nicer house in a development. These kinds of shows are all about status quo, something anyone can turn on at any time and not need to catch up--for that to work, you can't suddenly have later seasons take place in an unfamiliar location. There were also references to Allison never finishing anything, like her education or a dream trip to Paris. The wife can't do anything that will shake up the dynamic or overshadow the star.

I also think the balance of lampooning this type of programming and exploring what is also an unfortunate reality for a lot of women is really well done. 

Annie Murphy is so wonderful and I'm loving her getting to do a total departure from Schitt's Creek. I could still see Alexis in some of her mannerisms but overall it's very easy to forget the role that launched her career and become totally immersed in KCFH's world.

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I think she will come close to killing him by the end of the season. If she did it in the first two episodes there wouldn't be a plot for the rest of it.

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The moment when Alexis was drinking in the bathtub alone was so relatable. What a powerful image.

It's interesting that multiple people would be willing to help her (the doctor, the lady offering the therapist, the asian diner owner) but she refuses it every time if it's not 100% in line with what she wants.

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I think this show can go f*** itself.

Not funny. Not interesting. Just a dull, depressing slog. Life's too short to watch stuff like this.

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God, this asshole is more insufferable than any of the countless other manchild husbands in the history of sitcoms.

I really don’t get why she doesn’t just leave him. 

Edited by Spartan Girl
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Watching in real time.

I'd be happier if the sitcom portion was actually funny from time to time. If she turns into a sex-crazed maniac during the dramatic portion of her life/thoughts, I'm out. That's an archetype too: please see Homeland et al.

It's actually bordering on real life, and don't most people watch TV to avoid that sort of thing?

This is definitely going to be an acquired taste.

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I enjoyed it.

Quite struck by how much the sitcom living room resembles that of All in the Family (even the colors of the walls, floor, doors, staircase; it was particularly evident when the furniture was gone).

But then again it seems like most sitcoms have that same floor plan: feont door to the right perpendicular to the camera, closet door just to the left of that and parallel to the camera, staircase with 2-3 steps away from the camera+landing+steps ascending from right to left, kitchen entry to the left (The Cosby Show comes to mind).

As to content, I find it relatable and will give it a shot. It definitely underlines why I cannot stand most standard sitcoms these days.

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What stands out to me is in how many comedies we would be expected to like Kevin's equivalent.  For once, we're not expected to see his antics as charming or adorable.  He is terrible in so many ways, yet he has many friends.  Whereas Alison has no close friends and is viewed as a stick in the mud.

I did understand her economic reason for not leaving, especially when she explained her thoughts to the librarian. She doesn't see a way out without being destitute.  Also, she resents Kevin for ten years of her life that she sees as lost.  

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6 hours ago, PrincessPurrsALot said:

I did understand her economic reason for not leaving, especially when she explained her thoughts to the librarian. She doesn't see a way out without being destitute.  Also, she resents Kevin for ten years of her life that she sees as lost.  

And that is something I like to call “the Gone Girl defense.” She feels like he’d wind up winning if she left him. She just wants revenge.

On 6/16/2021 at 6:37 PM, Harvey said:

It's interesting that multiple people would be willing to help her (the doctor, the lady offering the therapist, the asian diner owner) but she refuses it every time if it's not 100% in line with what she wants.

Bingo. And that really showed in her conversation with her ex. He pointed out that she was the one who pulled away from him and all their friends, and she immediately got defensive. He was right: she just wanted someone to nod and agree with whatever she said instead of giving her actual good advice. 

I know people are divided about this show, but I can’t help being intrigued by it, despite how much I despise the long suffering sitcom wife trope. 

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I think this show is straddling the line between an old fashion sitcom with and A Breaking Bad narrative.    Allison is 10 years into a bad marriage that she thought was salvageable until the point Patty told her Kevin through away all their money and has been lying to her for years.   I think Allison is only beginning  to see the grime (she still fantasizes about Kevin as the perfect (sitcom)husband) but what Kevin sees is the a completely different reality where he is the star of the show and everyone else is a bit player.   
 

The one thing I  unclear about is who is the person at the liquor store that Allison works with that keeps telling her Kevin is a great guy.  Is that supposed to be what passes as Allison’s friend or is that a relative of Allison?

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On 6/17/2021 at 12:37 AM, Harvey said:

t's interesting that multiple people would be willing to help her (the doctor, the lady offering the therapist, the asian diner owner) but she refuses it every time if it's not 100% in line with what she wants.

It was very ironic that when she eventually decided that maybe a therapist *would* be a good idea (which it really would) and goes to visit them, it turns out the lady was actually offering an opportunity to score those drugs she wanted.

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12 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

Of course the question is why Allison won't leave her loser of a husband. It was basically asked by several different characters themselves. Because it's also a question we've asked about sitcom wives. And there's not going to be one true answer that will be satisfying. Even the show wasn't able to have Allison answer honestly on why she couldn't just leave her husband. It doesn't make sense for her NOT to leave him, since she's miserable. Her going out of her way to kill him is definitely extreme, and it's only sad that we'll have to wait until the finale to see her either succeed or not succeed. 

I think one of the small, but crucial, indicators of who Allison is, is in those moments where she sees a mess and has a clarity moment of "I don't have to clean that up" but then she reverts to what's "correct" and does so anyway. She did it with the flyers, she did it with the laundry in the bedroom, she did it with a piece of paper she threw on the ground, etc.  Each time she was wanting to rebel against the idea of doing what was expected of her, what was "right" and then caved and did the right thing anyway. I think that is where she is with her marriage. She wants to rebel and end it, but struggles because that would be wrong. And doing "wrong" (as regards her role as wife) is not only hard for her to imagine but it's also a lot of work. 

Killing Kevin would be a far, far bigger wrong, but I think it's actually easier for her to contemplate that. Because as hard as it would be to kill someone, having Kevin dead is a far easier out for her then having to go through the complications/difficulties that lay in just leaving him.  Being a widow is a lot easier (in her mental scenario) than having to divorce Kevin. This relates too to what the ex-boyfriend was saying to her and to how she has responded to other offers of help. Those things are hard and exhausting, but Kevin dead and she's now a widow? Much easier and also she would not be seen as having done the "wrong" thing as a woman and wife (presuming no knows she killed Kevin). 

Analysis aside, I really started to get into this with the second episode as I began to get a glimmer of the layers and layers that would be coming. I'm in.

 

 

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I wasn't sure how this was going to work -- going from the sitcom to the darker side, but it really works. They're doing a really good job of creating a disconnect between the two, with the sitcom component becoming more awkward and cringey as the show progresses. The actor playing Kevin is coming across as a real-world Fred Flintstone to me. . . . 

This is a really creative spin and I'm in! 

Edited by SailorGirl
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I thought this was really good. I really like the blending of styles and genres. It’s like getting a glimpse of what might take place in a goofy sitcom once the cameras are turned off. We get to see what happens outside of the 20-something minutes the characters are on screen during an episode.

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I am intrigued by this show and love watching something where I have no idea what will happen next. 

17 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

The sitcom bits were interesting, because none of the lines that were being delivered were funny, despite the laugh track. But I feel like that was on purpose, commentating on the juvenile humour that this specific subgenre of sitcoms usually produces. I've watched quite a few of these types of sitcoms and I've never really found them laugh-out-loud funny, or funny in general.

At first I was watching, not laughing, thinking this show wasn't going to be for me but then I realized that unfunny sitcom bits were most likely on purpose. This isn't funny, we, the viewer, shouldn't be laughing at these antics.

 

5 hours ago, PrincessPurrsALot said:

Allison has a realization that she is a good driver and Kevin has been telling her that she is not so he can use the car.  We see her walking everywhere.  I think that is her starting to unravel why she has stayed in this bad marriage for so long.  And as @Chaos Theory said, she saw it as salvageable until she learned that the money they had been saving was gone.  She has been told she's a bad driver; she has never had an accident or ticket (implying he has), yet she doesn't get to use the car.  She is bad with money, but she put money away every week.  Kevin blew it on fake sports memorabilia. Later he buys a sweatshirt purported to have been worn by Bill Belichick. She is repeatedly put into a position of not being the fun one which allows Kevin to rely on her for planning and putting things together; that is taking care of the less fun components while he perfects his beer pong game. 

He's following the gaslighting mentally abusive asshole 101 playbook. He may not even realize it but unintentional gaslighting and abuse is still gaslighting and abuse. You're a bad driver so you have to walk everywhere. You're bad with money, give it all to me to "invest".

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When the show started, I knew it was based in Massachusetts. Sorry, but the accents are terrible. When Allison was walking down the street and I saw the triple deckers I called it being set on Worcester- which is literally less than 10 minutes from where I live. The houses Allison was looking at were in Amherst. That’s quite the commute. I’m sure she could get a new job as a sales clerk, but even if it’s not the most prestigious job I think Kevin probably carries the health insurance, etc. 

Anyway, I’m in due to the location alone, but also the times when there is no laugh track. 

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4 hours ago, Pop Tart said:

I think one of the small, but crucial, indicators of who Allison is, is in those moments where she sees a mess and has a clarity moment of "I don't have to clean that up" but then she reverts to what's "correct" and does so anyway. She did it with the flyers, she did it with the laundry in the bedroom, she did it with a piece of paper she threw on the ground, etc.  Each time she was wanting to rebel against the idea of doing what was expected of her, what was "right" and then caved and did the right thing anyway. I think that is where she is with her marriage. She wants to rebel and end it, but struggles because that would be wrong. And doing "wrong" (as regards her role as wife) is not only hard for her to imagine but it's also a lot of work. 

Killing Kevin would be a far, far bigger wrong, but I think it's actually easier for her to contemplate that. Because as hard as it would be to kill someone, having Kevin dead is a far easier out for her then having to go through the complications/difficulties that lay in just leaving him.  Being a widow is a lot easier (in her mental scenario) than having to divorce Kevin. This relates too to what the ex-boyfriend was saying to her and to how she has responded to other offers of help. Those things are hard and exhausting, but Kevin dead and she's now a widow? Much easier and also she would not be seen as having done the "wrong" thing as a woman and wife (presuming no knows she killed Kevin). 

Analysis aside, I really started to get into this with the second episode as I began to get a glimmer of the layers and layers that would be coming. I'm in.

 

 

And if Kevin is dead Allison would get the support of the community.  A young widow needs help.  Also there would be life insurance from his job (or so I hope.  Never kn ow if Kevin decided to try to opt out, what with his incredible financial acumen). If she leaves she is leaving what others have told her is the best she can hope for/Kevin who is a great guy.  

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This really, really worked for me. I was born in Worcester (back then we pronounced it "WIS-tuh") and knew they'd filmed around the state, but hadn't realize some was taped so close to me (I am almost sure I know where they filmed the scene with the place with the red umbrellas). I didn't think of Alexis once and love the work Annie Murphy is doing. I knew there would be complaints about the accents (and I am not referring to anyone here, because there will always be, and hey, fair game) but every time there's a show or movie with Boston/Massachusetts accents I have to laugh, because I always know someone who talks exactly that way. From the time I was little, before I ever had contact with anyone from the South possibly before I'd heard any or many Southern accents, I had a strong Boston accent for all words except numbers in the teens, which I pronounced (and still do) with a strong Southern accent. Only 13-19. We have no idea why. I thought they did fine with the accents, but even if they hadn't, it wouldn't have blunted my enjoyment. This is different and warped, so I am in.    

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The set that immediately came to mind when I saw that living room was the Foremans' house on That '70s Show, which doesn't fall into the type of program that KCFH is lampooning but it still shows how ubiquitous (and unimaginative) that architecture is that so many people are reminded of different shows across decades.

At the same time, the appeal of a lot of these shows is their familiarity. The bare bones set and flat stock characters give people a shortcut so they can tune in at any time and not need that much to catch up. That may be another reason why Allison struggles to leave. Kevin is a nightmare but there's a reliability to her life with him. Nothing is unexpected, and even if it is, it will always end ok. Even the loss of their savings only impacts their future, their day-to-day hasn't changed. She struggled with the pushback she got from Sam, who is kinder, cuter, and more interesting than Kevin, but also inherently more complicated and therefore more intimidating.

What's interesting is that whenever Kevin is the room, that's when we get the sitcom style: the second he leaves it goes back to reality. I'm anxious to see if we'll ever see him outside of that context (besides the quick moment when Allison fantasizes about stabbing him with the glass). Part of me wonders if there's some much darker stuff going on in that relationship that gets covered by the stylistic choices, and if that will start to erode over time and we'll see more of the cracks when he's around. I think Seinfeld kind of opened the door on this, but sitcom characters tend to read as sociopaths outside of their usual context (and sometimes within!). Like, imagine the whole bit with Kevin making fun of the foreign neighbors and setting their lawn on fire but with the tone and style of "Allison's world"--absolute psycho shit.

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This was the worst thing I've seen on television since Cop Rock.  How the F did this get made?! This show would've been good if she'd killed him in the second episode or at least maimed him. 

Also, leave poor garage guy alone. Her prattling on and on is not the least charming.

Who are these terrible women on tv who don't keep an eye on the family finances? Are there women who still just trust their husbands with the "checkbook"? 

Thumbs way down on this one.

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I loved this. Clever, interesting and refreshingly unique. Annie Murphy is wonderful and I’m curious to see where it all goes. 

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Definitely can see why the response for this has been mixed audience wise (although relatively praised by critics), and while I won't blame anyone for not caring for it, I think it's pretty intriguing and can't wait to see how this all plays out.  I knew going in that it was going to be somewhat of a play on the atypical "man-child husband/put upon wife" sitcom that has been a thing for what feels like ages, but I wasn't expecting the whole bit of following Allison by herself, and it feeling more like a Breaking Bad-like drama about watching someone slowly unravel and descend into darkness.  This whole mix is jarring, but in a good way, I think.

While Kevin is obviously the worst of the sitcom-like husbands to ever sitcom, I do think it's interesting that they are showing that Allison has other options and people out there who are reaching out to her, but she is pushing them away and seems dead set on just straight up murdering Kevin instead.  While she clearly has been through a lot, it seems like a lot of her current issues were caused by a lack of confidence and the need to "tow the line" for as long as she has.

Not surprised that Annie Murphy is killing it here.  As a latecomer to Schitt's Creek, I actually didn't hear much about her compared to most of that show's cast going in, but I actually thought she (and the character of Alexis) ended up being one of the best things about the show (which was already pretty great across the board), and I'm all for her getting to branch out and continue to do more things.  Can't wait to see what she does with this.

The rest of the cast was pretty good, including Mary Hollis Inboden, the always reliable Brian Howe, and Eric Peterson, who credit where credit is due, really nails down the obnoxious, immature, unlikable Kevin down to a tee.  Also noticed that Robin Lordy Taylor (Oswald/Penguin from Gotham) briefly showed up as the first liquor store scene, so I have to imagine he'll be back.

Really liked the direction and ascetics and how it highlighted the differences between the sitcom world and the real (?) one. 

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3 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

The rest of the cast was pretty good, including Mary Hollis Inboden, the always reliable Brian Howe, and Eric Peterson, who credit where credit is due, really nails down the obnoxious, immature, unlikable Kevin down to a tee. 

And that, ladies and gents, is why I know I'll never get those two hours of my life back.  There is no reason to waste my time on such an UNLIKABLE character.  The premise is ... interesting.  A family member will give it another chance, so I'll probably hear another opinion next week.

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I think it's an interesting premise.  Though one part of it threw me off a little.  I found the moment with Kevin's boss and Allison where it was just them at her "boring" party and they were barely able to make basic conversation with one another to be a little confusing.  We've seen Allison be able to act normally and carry on with her life when Kevin isn't around, so it wasn't clear to me why both acted the way they did in that moment until Allison ran out of the room after squashing the bug. 

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19 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I think it's an interesting premise.  Though one part of it threw me off a little.  I found the moment with Kevin's boss and Allison where it was just them at her "boring" party and they were barely able to make basic conversation with one another to be a little confusing.  We've seen Allison be able to act normally and carry on with her life when Kevin isn't around, so it wasn't clear to me why both acted the way they did in that moment until Allison ran out of the room after squashing the bug. 

This was Kevin’s boss that he wanted to impress and its an old sitcom trope:  the same day Kevin has set for his big Anniversary rager the boss he needs to impress is coming over.    Most sitcoms focused on the husband character would have him legitimately try to do both and have the wife reluctantly agree to help.  This one has Kevin tell Allison to entertain his boss while he partied in the backyard.    It was just awkward in this case to be sitting alone with someone you never met trying to explain why the person who was supposed to be there wasn’t.  But since the sitcom is Kevin’s show it works out for him anyway and the minute Allison is gone the boss ends up at the rager and has a great time which further proves what a boring insignificant character Allison is in Kevin’s sitcom fantasy because I am guessing it is his fantasy we are watching.

My big theory is that as Allison pulls away and Kevin begins to notice that fantasy will start to fall apart and we will actually see who Kevin actually is outside the bright lights and forces laugh track.  

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12 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

It was just awkward in this case to be sitting alone with someone you never met trying to explain why the person who was supposed to be there wasn’t.

I had thought of that, but the scene just stuck out to me.  Didn't Allison ask him something like: "Do you have a loved one?"  It was just an odd moment to me.   

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20 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I had thought of that, but the scene just stuck out to me.  Didn't Allison ask him something like: "Do you have a loved one?"  It was just an odd moment to me.   

She asked if he had a "mud room." The house she wanted to buy had a mud room -- the takeaway is that she considers a house with a mud room to be a luxury that clearly even mid-level managers can afford. 

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2 minutes ago, SailorGirl said:

She asked if he had a "mud room." The house she wanted to buy had a mud room -- the takeaway is that she considers a house with a mud room to be a luxury that clearly even mid-level managers can afford. 

Thank you!  I just completely garbled that one then.  

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34 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I had thought of that, but the scene just stuck out to me.  Didn't Allison ask him something like: "Do you have a loved one?"  It was just an odd moment to me.   

 

13 minutes ago, SailorGirl said:

She asked if he had a "mud room." The house she wanted to buy had a mud room -- the takeaway is that she considers a house with a mud room to be a luxury that clearly even mid-level managers can afford. 

 

10 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

Thank you!  I just completely garbled that one then.  

You're not alone, @txhorns79. I also heard "do you have a loved one" not "do you have a mud room". The later makes much more sense. THank you @SailorGirl!

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Based on this first outing, supposedly the setup is going to tell us all kinds of things we've been entertaining ourselves with about women. Like, marrying beautiful women to shlubby men because women value humor over looks, while men value beauty over everything else is a universal truth and one that audiences will understand and accept. However, these two episodes gave us no reason to see why Allison would have ever considered Kevin marriage material except as a way out, financially.  She kept harping back to a nicer house in a nicer area of town (are they leave "Wooster" altogether?) as the good life. She needs Kevin only for his paycheck? When she finds out he's lost the money, why doesn't she just leave? I've got no patience for women who think a man's worth is his financial worth and it belongs to the wife. Isn't that another cliche? Also, she's supposed to be smart, so why's she working at the liquor store and not some other kind of better job?

I'll watch another episode. Maybe because I'm from the area, I was kind of put off by the Worcester put-downs (although the crying over Tom Brady leaving is pretty accurate, LOL).  But right now, I see Allison's biggest problem as Allison. 

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7 hours ago, Harvey said:
8 hours ago, Back Atcha said:

And that, ladies and gents, is why I know I'll never get those two hours of my life back.  There is no reason to waste my time on such an UNLIKABLE character.  The premise is ... interesting.  A family member will give it another chance, so I'll probably hear another opinion next week.

The show is not about him and you are not supposed to like him. He is just a foil.

Foil? Hmmm...   "A literary foil is a character whose purpose is to accentuate or draw attention to the qualities of another character, most often the protagonist."

A lot LESS of that particular character (or actor) might have drawn my attention to his wife.  For me, this show like going to a great restaurant and ordering their specialty, only to discover their "famous sauce" was horrible--making the entire thing inedible--and barely making it to the restroom.  Yes, that meal was memorable, all right, but I can't recall any ingredient but that sauce.  Or the service!

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3 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

My big theory is that as Allison pulls away and Kevin begins to notice that fantasy will start to fall apart and we will actually see who Kevin actually is outside the bright lights and forces laugh track.  

Good theory.  I'll have to come to this group to find out because I just CAN'T STAND KEVIN enough to watch him/the show another minute.  I've never appreciated the actor either, so I could enjoy a real transition.

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On 6/14/2021 at 3:44 PM, helenamonster said:

Annie Murphy is so wonderful and I'm loving her getting to do a total departure from Schitt's Creek.

....and because I haven't watched Schitt's Creek, my only impression of her was how happy she was on Emmy night.  After watching the "Kevin" show, I still have no other impression.

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16 hours ago, Darian said:

This really, really worked for me. I was born in Worcester (back then we pronounced it "WIS-tuh") and knew they'd filmed around the state, but hadn't realize some was taped so close to me (I am almost sure I know where they filmed the scene with the place with the red umbrellas). I didn't think of Alexis once and love the work Annie Murphy is doing. I knew there would be complaints about the accents (and I am not referring to anyone here, because there will always be, and hey, fair game) but every time there's a show or movie with Boston/Massachusetts accents I have to laugh, because I always know someone who talks exactly that way. From the time I was little, before I ever had contact with anyone from the South possibly before I'd heard any or many Southern accents, I had a strong Boston accent for all words except numbers in the teens, which I pronounced (and still do) with a strong Southern accent. Only 13-19. We have no idea why. I thought they did fine with the accents, but even if they hadn't, it wouldn't have blunted my enjoyment. This is different and warped, so I am in.    

It still is pronounced that way by many, or "wustuh".  Part of what drove me crazy with the accents.  The guy who supposedly moved from Worcester to New York pronounced Worcester with the hard "r"'s.   As usual, some actors can pull it off better than others.  Although, when the the neighbor woman saying she gets "Dunkies" I was pulled right out of the scene. NO ONE says Dunkies lol.  

That aside- I'm not letting the accents curb my enjoyment.  I'm still kind of wrapping my head around this show.  I like the format.  It's pretty interesting to go from the laugh-track, bright scenes to the more depressing/realistic, darker scenes. 

It's just- like others have said- Kevin seems to have absolutely zero redeemable characteristics.  I know it's a spoof and he's supposed to be terrible.  I do get it.  It's just hard to root for even Allison when she married such a buffoon.  All the other shows with the hot wife/schlubby husband the husbands at least had moments where they were sweet or thoughtful or something that made you clue in to what the attraction was.  I do find it interesting if it was strictly because of the "stability" that she wanted/needed.  So, that's why I'll still watch.  To see if why she married Kevin comes to light and how she (hopefully) gets out of it and makes her life better. 

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Glad I'm not the only one who's gotten sucked in!  I have a few thoughts, observations, questions, some simple, some complicated:

  • She's so desperately unhappy and keeps clinging to the idea that if she can just do this one thing, it will fix it. But that one thing is beyond her reach. In that, her happy place fantasies aren't unlike her attempts to have "one pretty thing" - the red lipstick, the table from Pottery Barn - but reality (and Kevin) always intrude.
  • Originally her "happy place" not only included Kevin, but she was still serving him in it. She's still his subordinate and bringing him his beer, just in a much nicer kitchen.
  • Her happy place/fantasy is a typical delusion in lot of ways, the kind of lies we all tell ourselves: if I could just do X, then I will be happy. Will she be happy if she kills him (and gets away with it)? Or will she just be unhappy in other ways?
  • Speaking of which, is she isolated from her friends because she has walled herself away, as her ex-boyfriend suggests, or has Kevin isolated her? How much of her situation is her own doing (she let Kevin take care of the bank account because she's "bad with money") or Kevin's (is she "bad with money" the same way she's a "bad driver" -- because Kevin told her she was)? Is his cruelty deeper than just immaturity and selfishness? Is he a lovable/annoying dope or something more sinister? Even the "war" with the neighbors could be very sinister played out in the gritty/realistic world instead of the sitcom one.
  • What would gritty reality Kevin look like if we could see him?
  • She has hit several men, 2 "by accident" (realtor, mechanic/coke guy/ insurance dude/john). Is that a symbol of her internal rage or just being a clutz?
  • I'm also interested in when/where her accent disappears. It's in all the sitcoms scenes and in some of the gritty scenes, but not all of them. We've had her aunt comment on the time she decided as a teen to get rid of her accent, so it's definitely a deliberate choice. I think I noticed it gone when she talked to the waitress in her fantasies and she she talks to her exbf, but not positive...

 I'm not sure why I find it so fascinating, but I do. I hope it goes somewhere interesting.

 

Edited by Gbb
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41 minutes ago, Whimsy said:

It still is pronounced that way by many, or "wustuh".  Part of what drove me crazy with the accents.  The guy who supposedly moved from Worcester to New York pronounced Worcester with the hard "r"'s.   As usual, some actors can pull it off better than others.  Although, when the the neighbor woman saying she gets "Dunkies" I was pulled right out of the scene. NO ONE says Dunkies lol.  

My manager used Dunkies in a teams' message a few weeks ago, saying she was going on a Dunkies' run and I about died laughing. Thank gosh for remote work.  I asked my son if people used that in real life and he said "NO!!!"  Hahahaha!!!  Guess this show and my manager didn't get the memo. 

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On 6/20/2021 at 11:36 PM, Lady Calypso said:

It's really a commentary on more than just sitcoms with manchild husbands and stick in the mud gorgeous wives. 

...

The sitcom bits were interesting, because none of the lines that were being delivered were funny, despite the laugh track. But I feel like that was on purpose, commentating on the juvenile humour that this specific subgenre of sitcoms usually produces. I've watched quite a few of these types of sitcoms and I've never really found them laugh-out-loud funny, or funny in general.

...

I knew the show would be a commentary on sitcoms, 

...

It's really a social commentary,

...

Either you will like it or you won't. 

I've highlighted a few of your comments here, because it aligns with my own thoughts a bit. I think what I saw was a meta-commentary on Western society in general and its relationship with commercial entertainment. To me it feels less about what might really be going on in the head of one of these stereotypical sitcom wives, and more about what's going on in our own heads. Society in general, as opposed to any given individual.

Individually, a lot of people don't really find these shows funny, but at scale enough people watch them (as distractions from real life problems, it's often said) to make them highly popular, which means the capitalist machine will churn out more of them. It's the "circus" part of "bread and circuses."

In "Kevin", the sitcom aspect reflects the "circus", the place we go to forget our problems for a while. Allison's real-world experience reflects our own stressful lives when we're not willfully engaging in avoidance and distraction. She's neglected hers for 10 years, and when she finally looks at it, she sees just how bad it's become. What does it do to our lives when we repeatedly distract ourselves, doing the minimum to get along, instead of really engaging in some self-examination and engaging our lives in a way that would result in real improvement. 

For me, Allison's character isn't representing just those "sitcom wives"; she goes a level deeper and represents those of us who look away from the TV for a minute and think "what is happening to my life while I'm wasting time?" 

This may be a controversial statement, but I wonder if the divide between people who are seeing potential in this show, and those who think it sucks, is the difference between those willing to engage in deeper self-reflection and those who would prefer not to and just remain distracted. It could be an interesting poll result.

I don't know, I may be reading too much into it. I know that I like this show so far, and I have never been a fan of the type of sitcom it purports to satirize. Make of that what you will.

 

On 6/21/2021 at 1:20 PM, Lily H said:

This show has an undeservedly low score on IMDB because the review section has a large number of "1" ratings given by apparently brain-dead people who all said some variation of "I watched it for 2 minutes and turned it off because the jokes were lame and the laugh track was annoying".  !!!!!!  I despair for humanity.

Perhaps an illustration of my point?

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10 hours ago, Harvey said:

The show is not about him and you are not supposed to like him. He is just a foil.

 

2 hours ago, Back Atcha said:

Good theory.  I'll have to come to this group to find out because I just CAN'T STAND KEVIN enough to watch him/the show another minute.  I've never appreciated the actor either, so I could enjoy a real transition.

While I tend to agree more with the point of view illustrated in the first quote than the one in the second, I can definitely see how the makers of the show have to walk a very fine line to keep from driving off their audience.  I agree that Kevin is too annoying to live, but I've gotten at least a little interested in seeing where they're going.  I can totally see how others might not come down on that side of the line.

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6 hours ago, Whimsy said:

It's just- like others have said- Kevin seems to have absolutely zero redeemable characteristics.  I know it's a spoof and he's supposed to be terrible.  I do get it.  It's just hard to root for even Allison when she married such a buffoon.  All the other shows with the hot wife/schlubby husband the husbands at least had moments where they were sweet or thoughtful or something that made you clue in to what the attraction was. 

I was just thinking this myself. Even the worst of the sitcom husbands would never made a period joke if his wife cut her hand when breaking a glass.

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Well, I have a number of reasons for enjoying this show, not the least of which was that my Ex’s name wasKevin and  I definitely fantasized about killing him any number of times before we divorced.  There were a lot of reasons why his death would have been easier than the horrible divorce we went through.  Ironically, he died unexpectedly at home about five years later and no autopsy was performed.I often joked that if I had known that he would have been gone a lot sooner.

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I wonder if the crazy accents are just another way the writers are leaning into tropes. Multicams generally operate in very broad strokes, so if a show is set in the greater Boston area, the characters are going to have insane accents, worship the Patriots, regularly go to Dunkin, etc. Like if this was the Philly 'burbs, they'd have those accents, find any reason to talk about the "Iggles" and run to Wawa for hoagies. The Massachusetts of it all is more toned down in the "reality" portions.

I bet the writers have a blast with the sitcom parts. It's so on the nose and intentionally bad that it almost loops back around to being funny again.

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Even when Kevin tried to smooth things over with Allison with the “let’s do it your way” dinner/breakfast that most sitcoms would have used as a “see the husband can be romantic and he does love the wife so let’s all just ignore everything that came before) this framed it as Kevin doing just enough to make it look like he put in the effort so when things went off script Allison was once again the bad guy.  

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