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S01.E03: Mysterious Monkeys

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Stripped of his gadgets, Quinn reluctantly takes a scuba class with Mark, who’s struggling to process revelations regarding his late father. Hoping to reignite the spark with Rachel, Shane enlists Armond to help plan a romantic evening. Tanya leans on Belinda for support as she scatters her mother’s ashes at sea. Paula keeps a secret from a suspicious Olivia.

Airs July 25th.

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Some thoughts on tonight's episode.

Why am I not surprised that Shane and Olivia hit it off so well?

I am really disturbed by how much I related to Nicole obsessing about the Zoom background. I take the X-Wing painting of the wall every time I have a work one.

While I suspected before, now I am pretty sure Olivia is gay. The look on her face when she saw Paula having sex with that guy sealed the deal.

Speaking of which, are hotel employees allowed to fraternize with the guests? I remember reading a story a few years ago about the bartender at a London hotel getting fired because the manager found out she’d had sex with some celebrity that was staying at the hotel (the name will come back to me).

With regard to the person who dies, right now my top candidates are:

  • Armond, via overdose;
  • Mark, via drunken scuba accident;
  • Tanya via accident while scattering the ashes

On another note, I like how the show is leaning into the fact that while Shane is an insufferable prick, he is completely right that Armond is plain fucking with him at this point. 

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For a season that only has six episodes, the plot is moving too slowly for me. Shane is still a jerk, Rachel is still second-guessing her decision to marry him, Nicole is still a workaholic, the girls are still bitchy, Quinn is still awkward, and Tanya is still a space cadet. We've learned that Mark overshares when drunk and that Armand is messing with Shane on purpose, but other than that, nothing much happened in one hour. I'll finish the season because I want to know who dies, but I feel like the writing is relying too much on the scenery and music and not really trying with the story.

49 minutes ago, AzureOwl said:

I am really disturbed by how much I related to Nicole obsessing about the Zoom background.

There was a throwaway line that she didn't want her employees to know she was on vacation, which speaks volumes about the toxic culture at her company. I wonder whether she's just following along with it or whether she'd had a hand in creating it.

Edited by chocolatine
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The score for this is quite interesting.

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9 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

We've learned that Mark overshares when drunk

That type of drunk is the most awkward to be around, because they make it very difficult to disengage and run for the hills.

You could see Rachel was looking for an excuse to run for the hills practically since he started talking.

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This episode definitely felt like filler to me - it just confirmed things the viewing audience was suspecting: Armond is deliberately messing with Shane, Shane is still an asshat, and feels perpetually aggrieved because people enjoy messing with him because he's an asshat. Olivia is harbouring a gay crush on her friend, the Mossbachers are in an unhappy marriage.

I guess the point of the episode was to set up teases for who might die.  There were a couple of false scares this episode: Armond asleep in his car, and I also thought something was seriously wrong with Paula when they were folding up the sofa bed - isn't she missing some legit prescription meds along with the party drugs?.

I feel like something bad will happen with Mark (perhaps via scuba or some other drunken misadventure), but that could be a fake-out. Not sure what is happening with Quinn or why they focused the episode conclusion on him again. I guess watching porn on the beach on a smart phone wasn't quite as magical as seeing a leaping whale.

 

 

 

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Yes it’s slow but the setting is just divine. I can feel the heavy, fancy comforter that hotels like that have when Tanya gets in the bed. The ocean at sunset! The torches on the beach at night! It’s perfect! 
 

I'm having trouble figuring out why Rachel married Shane in the first place. He starts flirting w the girls because she’s talking w her mom? So gross. Surely there were signs of that type of behavior before?

I want Nicole’s wardrobe and her patience with her snotty daughter. Who do those girls think is paying for this whole adventure?

Edited by Paws
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I kind of liked that the show sort of subverted the way it ended the last episode with the son enjoying an awesome moment of nature by having him be freaked out he lost his electronics all week.  I wonder if he's going to lose his dad's phone too.

14 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

There was a throwaway line that she didn't want her employees to know she was on vacation, which speaks volumes about the toxic culture at her company. I wonder whether she's just following along with it or whether she'd had a hand in creating it.

When you're at that level, I don't think there really is such a thing as a being completely on vacation.  You're expected to work on "vacation" so I think letting people  know that you might be in Hawaii isn't necessarily a bad thing.

1 hour ago, AzureOwl said:

Speaking of which, are hotel employees allowed to fraternize with the guests? I remember reading a story a few years ago about the bartender at a London hotel getting fired because the manager found out she’d had sex with some celebrity that was staying at the hotel (the name will come back to me).

No.  Belinda even said that they're discouraged to fraternize with the guests when Tanya first asked her to dinner. Considering how many stores don't even want their employees to be seen sitting in common areas on breaks wearing identifying clothing, what Armand's doing--getting drunk in the hotel bar--would be a total "no go."  

But goodness, I did love Armand's "Wanna find out" when Marc asked if anal sex felt good.  I was kind of rooting for it, to be honest.

And let's just say I have some ahem personal experience being flirty with a hotel employee at a resort where I was staying.  The way it went down is he hinted where he hung out after his shifts ended.  We hung out a few times and he made it clear that any type of socializing would have to be done away from the hotel. Nothing really happened beyond that because he lived with his family and I wasn't going to get a second hotel room to take things to the next level.

Because of that, I've always found Paula's interactions with the hotel employee to be a stretch for who they were.

The Belinda scenario I could understand because of how rich and important Tanya is.  I could buy that Belinda got the go ahead to give an important guest an extra bit of professionally-oriented service.  And Armand is clearly spiraling which explains his poor decisions in this episode. 

But Paula is the very young guest of a guest.  The waiter would know he's easily replaceable and wouldn't be so careless as to have sex on the premises--and certainly not cabana sex for anyone to see.

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12 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

When you're at that level, I don't think there really is such a thing as a being completely on vacation.  You're expected to work on "vacation" so I think letting people  know that you might be in Hawaii isn't necessarily a bad thing.

It's much more than that. Company culture is set from the top and permeates through all levels. A CEO who makes it look like he or she never takes a vacation (which is what Nicole seemed to want to convey) is creating a culture where taking vacations is considered to be lazy or show a lack of commitment. Even if the CEO is going to do some work on their vacation, showing everyone that they *do* take vacations is very important. Mark Zuckerberg is a great example of this. I'm not saying that the Facebook corporate culture is perfect by any means, but he regularly takes time off and encourages all FB employees to do the same.

In Nicole's case, what I really want to know is, has that always been the company culture and she's just not willing to rock the boat or give anyone another reason to doubt whether she "deserves" to have that job? Or is she creating this culture?

I'm probably reading too much into that one line, but having worked at all kinds of tech companies for over 15 years, details like that matter to me.

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They finally showed that the suite has a view.

What caused Armond to spiral, because Shane was badgering him or just because he came across the drugs?

I don't get the monkey theme, other than Mark said they're all animals, like monkeys, as he tried to deal with the revelations about his father's secret life and then he tried to sex up Nicole as he crawled up on her in that big bed.

Maybe Shane's appetite for Rachel?

But as you heard those jungle noises playing while they had various montages, it seemed like a heavy-handed way to belittle the characters on the screen, like they're simple animals.  But the monkey is out of place in Hawaii so I don't really follow.

Tanya tried to speak well of her mother and then it became a comic monologue, talking about how she was a nympho and had BPD.  She seemed to realize, in her stream of consciousness, that her mother was a horrible person, maybe not deserving of this tribute.

Yeah I guess Olivia is jealous or wanted what's her name.  They don't seem to miss the drugs any more.  I don't think they're going through all those books either.

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Man, Mark... really did not take that reveal well at all.  I can understand his shock and feelings about his dad past throwing him for a loop somewhat, but I definitely have a feeling he wouldn't have been this out of control if his dad was having sex with other women instead of men.  He might not be a loud, brash homophobe, but Mark definitely seems to have a dated view about homosexuality and masculinity in general.  Not sure yet if it will be something he will rise above or if it will be his downfall, but I'm curious to see how this plays out.  Steve Zahn was great throughout it all and was probably the MVP of this particular episode.

At last he's not the only one out of control, as Armond is clearly spiraling as well and seems to fully intended to put himself on Shane's shit list for good.  Impressed over how far he is going to take this, but this is probably going to end very badly for him (he's definitely a top contender to be the mysterious death hinted at.)

There is a kind of irony to how Shane can be right in a lot of ways, but his general attitude and demeanor makes it easy for him to still come off like an asshole.  Of course, there are other times where there is no excuse, like him clearly flirting with Olivia and Paula, because I guess he was just bored or something?  Also, judging from the opening sex scene, he doesn't seem like a lover who cares if his wife is satisfied as well.  Rachel really needs to have an exit plan ready soon.

Nicole has her own dated views and ways of doing things; especially her feelings towards the current generation; but Connie Britton is making me kind of love her.

Not sure how this stuff with Tanya will play out.  I just hope Belinda manages to come out ahead when it is all said and done.

So, I guess Olivia's reaction to Paula hooking up is hinting she has feelings for her? 

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7 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

And let's just say I have some ahem personal experience being flirty with a hotel employee at a resort where I was staying.  The way it went down is he hinted where he hung out after his shifts ended.  We hung out a few times and he made it clear that any type of socializing would have to be done away from the hotel. Nothing really happened beyond that because he lived with his family and I wasn't going to get a second hotel room to take things to the next level.

I've been hit on by hotel staff before and it was the same thing - basically "wanna meet up after I get off work?" I never took them up on it but I'm sure others did. Like, I'm sure "no fraternizing with guests" is a rule, but I'm also sure it is regularly broken.

7 hours ago, chocolatine said:

It's much more than that. Company culture is set from the top and permeates through all levels. A CEO who makes it look like he or she never takes a vacation (which is what Nicole seemed to want to convey) is creating a culture where taking vacations is considered to be lazy or show a lack of commitment.

Yep. The fish rots from the head. If Nicole works on vacation, her employees will feel like they have to work on vacation because that's the example she's set, which, to me, is toxic. Burnout helps no one. Not to mention that paid time off is part of my compensation and I will use it.

6 hours ago, aghst said:

Tanya tried to speak well of her mother and then it became a comic monologue, talking about how she was a nympho and had BPD.  She seemed to realize, in her stream of consciousness, that her mother was a horrible person, maybe not deserving of this tribute.

This was interesting to me because my ex's mother had BPD (she died long before I knew the ex), and his childhood was hell because of it - she did not manage her illness and she was deeply, deeply unwell. He's had a lot of therapy to deal with his childhood and his feelings about her. It seemed like Tanya was having that kind of therapy session as she was processing the loss.

I still don't understand why Rachel married Shane. She doesn't seem to like him.

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Not really a fan of this show, with so many unlikeable characters, but somehow I'm still watching, sort of. On the "who's in the casket front", I noticed that a couple of times in this episode Shane or Rachel mentions that this was the first stop in their honeymoon with the next in Tahiti. However, in the first scene of the first episode, Shane mentions to the couple in the airport that he is flying home, so something either happens to Rachel or to his marriage.

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I'm still thinking this show is a kind of thriller, the vibe is very much weird

Rachel and Shane are going to be done soon.  They just are not well suited.  

The show seems to be Team Rachel but Shane is more like me...

I too would be obssessed with finding out why the hotel guy is lying to me about the room and I too would know the funeral ship ride was a set up and be pissed.  Not everyone has the ability to just let shit go...and the hotel guy is deliberately baiting him...

Rachel's insistence to Shane to stop caring means she fundamentally doesn't understand Shane...he cannot let this go...she would better off validating his feelings that something is definitely up and then being like hotel guy is a jerk but lets not let him ruin our trip.  Her invalidating them furthers his obsesssion now it's not just about the fact this guy is lying but proving it...

I knew Olivia and her friend were involved since Episode 1.  I don't know she's gay though...she could easily be bisexual.  I also don't think her words to her father indicate sexual preference.  It is offensive that knowing his dad's sexuality changed the entire way he saw him and says more about him than his actual father

 

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Just now, dmc said:

I knew Olivia and her friend were involved since Episode 1.  I don't know she's gay though...she could easily be bisexual. 

I don't get the vibe that they are involved, more like Olivia is into her and Paula doesn't know it. Like, I don't think Paula is cheating on Olivia with the hotel guy.

Paula has beautiful skin - like, just a glowing complexion.

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Just now, Empress1 said:

I don't get the vibe that they are involved, more like Olivia is into her and Paula doesn't know it. Like, I don't think Paula is cheating on Olivia with the hotel guy.

Paula has beautiful skin - like, just a glowing complexion.

Really?  I think something happened between them...it probably just means more to Olivia than her

Paula knows because she minimilizes her activities...why lie to someone who is just your friend.

And yes Paula is a beauty

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10 minutes ago, dmc said:

Really?  I think something happened between them...it probably just means more to Olivia than her

I could see that, particularly the way Olivia was talking about her grandfather's dalliances with men - she was talking pretty freely about experimentation. But whatever happened between them, if anything, I don't think they are a couple. Like if something did happen, to your point, Paula saw it as experimenting (especially if they were drunk or high) and Olivia caught feelings, but they haven't had a conversation about it so Paula doesn't know Olivia has feelings.

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It's all intersectional, yada-yadda, but given how much this show is about class and privilege, it seems more likely that Olivia is upset with Paula for consorting with "the help," that after all that Olivia has done to help Paula climb the socio-economic ladder, here she is "slumming it," etc.

Along the same lines, I would love it if the mystery body being loaded onto the plane turns out to be a hotel employee that we never really even meet; it could be the show's way of subverting audience expectations that it must be a main character who dies, and commenting on how we tend to be less invested in the people who actually keep the place running.

Edited by Corgi-ears
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11 minutes ago, Empress1 said:

I could see that, particularly the way Olivia was talking about her grandfather's dalliances with men - she was talking pretty freely about experimentation. But whatever happened between them, if anything, I don't think they are a couple. Like if something did happen, to your point, Paula saw it as experimenting (especially if they were drunk or high) and Olivia caught feelings, but they haven't had a conversation about it so Paula doesn't know Olivia has feelings.

Yeah I think something happened.  I think the discrepancy is what it meant for either character...

But Paula deliberately is lying about hooking up with that guy at the beach and minilizing their interactions...I cannot think of a reason to do that other than to not provoke Olivia.  And Olivia openly acts jealous...

I wouldn't be surprised if Paula knows and just doesn't feel the same.  

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3 hours ago, dmc said:

It is offensive that knowing his dad's sexuality changed the entire way he saw him and says more about him than his actual father

In fairness to him, it sounds like the whole thing was a very toxic mess for the family.  It's not just his father's sexuality, there were years of lies covering it up, along with what sounds like years of terrible parenting.

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Just now, txhorns79 said:

In fairness to him, it sounds like the whole thing was a very toxic mess for the family.  It's not just his father's sexuality, there were years of lies covering it up, along with what sounds like like years of terrible parenting.

Yes I am willing to give him that no one likes to be lied to and his family seems toxic.  

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The Olivia-Paula thing is interesting.  Normally gals would be discussing the hot guy one met and such, but not here.  Clearly Paula wants to keep it a secret and Olivia is seething so I wonder if Olivia is secretly in love with P or is their entire "relationship" on the down low.  That could help explain why they are so adamant about the brother not being in the same room as them.  

Shane is a bit of a troglodyte and by the looks of next week the stressors on that marriage will increase ten-fold.  I loved the look of actualization on his face as the shuttleboat left the barge and he realized he'd been had.

I believe Armond had pre-existing addiction issues and that drug cache falling into his lap was too much temptation for him to bear.  Him coming on to his employee was so cringe (in an episode full of it).

Lot of people seem to be fans of the Tanya character, but I find her absolutely grating and self-centered (regardless of if its coming from a place of grief).

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37 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

It's not just his father's sexuality, there were years of lies covering it up, along with what sounds like like years of terrible parenting.

There was a 50-year-old secret in my family that I found out about around 10 years ago that messed me up for about a week, even though I wasn't particularly close to this relative and he had died 10 years before I found out. I was upset because it was a multi-decade lie over something relatively (pun fully intended) common (divorce). And because it was like, "My boring-ass family has a 50-year-old secret?! Because of a fucking divorce?! Who cares about a divorce?! (The answer to that question is - mid-century Catholics.) And what other mundane things might they be hiding?" So I can understand why Mark is spiraling. If I had been on vacation at the time and had nothing else to focus on, I might have wallowed too. And I don't think Mark is necessarily homophobic, though I'm not ruling it out. His reaction and emotions are still pretty raw and it must be a total mindfuck to think your dad died of cancer and then to find out, after several years, that it was AIDS and that multiple people lied to you about it.

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I thought there was a lot going on this episode even if it did also seem like nothing much happened. There was a strong theme throughout around people's base instincts or the Id, if we're mentioning the Freud that one of the girls was "reading."

First the newlyweds and Rachel's worry that their relationship is based only on sex. Shane can only reassure her that they won't lose their spark, not that they have a relationship that is deeper than physical attraction. It's the same as his way of reassuring Rachel that she never has to work again misses the point completely. He's either a very shallow person or is incapable of seeing anything from Rachel's point of view. I liked how he told Rachel to dress up for their romantic dinner and she showed up in an outfit that totally covered her skin.

Mark spends the day hitting on young women. I had to laugh when he described eating a bowl of worms or whatever and then his son asked him about what he's talking about and Mark says "Nothing. Sex with your mother." I noticed that while he was talking to Rachel, she covered herself with her shirt as he made her more and more uncomfortable.

I also enjoyed his conversation with Armand just because Armand turned it around on him so expertly. It was Mark's turn to feel uncomfortable and make a quick exit.

Armand and his addiction to drugs is all Id. He plays with Shane and hits on his employee, both very openly. This can't last very long.

Finally, Paula goes off to have sex with the busboy and Quinn masturbates on the beach concluding our Id sessions.

I kind of felt for Tanya even as I was laughing at that half scattering of the ashes. Clearly her mother was awful but she can't help but mourn the fact that she never had a proper mother figure.

Belinda's friend is giving her terrible advice. I don't think Belinda should hitch her star to Tanya's whims. It's not going to end well for her. Hopefully, she holds on to the job she has now.

Shane is exhausting. What Armand is doing is awful but at the same time I think Shane is escalating the situation at every turn. It's all very childish on both their parts. I think a lot of it is fueled by drugs on Armand's part and Shane just has a sense of entitlement that won't be placated except by total submission to his unearned position.

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2 hours ago, dmc said:

It is offensive that knowing his dad's sexuality changed the entire way he saw him and says more about him than his actual father

I agree with the notion that he was more upset by the fact that he realized his entire knowledge of his father turned out to be a lie.

45 minutes ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

He's either a very shallow person or is incapable of seeing anything from Rachel's point of view.

Happy Joel Mchale GIF by ABC Network

45 minutes ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

Belinda's friend is giving her terrible advice. I don't think Belinda should hitch her star to Tanya's whims. It's not going to end well for her. Hopefully, she holds on to the job she has now.

I could've sworn that was her kid. I'll have to go back and confirm.

ETA: Yep, just checked with the captions on and the person on the phone calls Belinda mom.

Edited by AzureOwl
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13 minutes ago, AzureOwl said:

I agree with the notion that he was more upset by the fact that he realized his entire knowledge of his father turned out to be a lie.

Happy Joel Mchale GIF by ABC Network

I could've sworn that was her kid. I'll have to go back and confirm.

ETA: Yep, just checked with the captions on and the person on the phone calls Belinda mom.

I agree but I don’t think that is how his daughter saw it.  
 

Even when the wife chimes in and says this is a safe space I don’t get the sense daughter agrees.

She very much sees it as he’s reacting to his sexuality and maybe her sexuality 

 

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Shane is like the personification of the "your not wrong, your just an asshole" line from The Big Lebowski. He isn't wrong to be annoyed that Armond lied about them double booking his room, he isn't wrong that Rachel wanting to work through their honeymoon sucks, he isn't wrong that Armond is fucking with him for some reason or to be pissed that his "romantic dinner" was actually some weird burial at sea, but he's just such a dick about it that its hard to feel bad for him. I guess he was flirting a bit with the girls out of boredom, although it really existed to get Rachel nervous about if Shane just married her because he thinks she's hot, which led to one of the themes of the episode...people feeling awkward as other people overshare and being more willing to share their issues with random strangers as opposed to their actual family and partners. 

Mark just spiraled all and while there was a LOT of awkward in this episode, he was definitely the king. I could just feel the discomfort radiating off the screen from Quinn while his dad just rambled on and on about his dad being secretly banging guys and he and his wife's lack of a sex life, no wonder he just wants to go off alone and jerk off, his family is pretty insufferable. Its interesting that, while he still spent most of the day obsessing over his phone and his considerable porn habit, he did end up ditching the phone on the beach again just to watch the ocean, possibly waiting for another whale or just enjoying something actually real. 

I can understand why Mark is freaking out, even if some of it is certainly due to his own issues surrounding masculinity, the problems in his marriage, and a certain amount of homophobia. Its a secret that has been kept about his dad for years, a secret that at least some of his family clearly knows about and deliberately hid from him for his whole life, it would really make a person rethink their whole family history and everything you thought you knew about your families dynamics, especially with his father. Did he even know him at all? Like with Shane though, he isn't exactly wrong, he's just really annoying about it, especially trying to drag all of these random strangers into his whole freak out. Rachel's desperate attempts to escape this whole conversation was pretty uncomfortably hilarious, matched only by the expressions on Shane and Rachel's faces while Tanya, a complete stranger, cries about her mom being awful and how she still cant dump her ashes. This is probably really selling a few people on taking a vacation somewhere a lot more secluded, anything to avoid these never ending awkward encounters as random strangers try to drag you into their personal problems. 

I cant tell if Olivia is into Paula and is jealous of her hooking up with the waiter, or if she's just annoyed that Paula is making eyes at the help instead of dedicating all her time to her. I have assumed that Paula is also from a wealthy family, but if her family has less money or status than Olivia's, maybe she feels like Paula owes Olivia her complete attention for taking her on this fabulous vacation? Or even if Paula is from just as wealthy of a family, she might still think that, she is definitely that much of a narcissist. 

I hope that Belinda isn't really going to put all of her eggs into Tanya's boozy basket. I can imagine that she comes up with ideas that seem amazing to her for a day or two then she totally forgets right after. 

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2 hours ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

 

Mark spends the day hitting on young women. I had to laugh when he described eating a bowl of worms or whatever and then his son asked him about what he's talking about and Mark says "Nothing. Sex with your mother." I noticed that while he was talking to Rachel, she covered herself with her shirt as he made her more and more uncomfortable.

 

Actually, she covered herself after the son came back and started staring fixedly at her, although I suppose both could be a factor.

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This show is boring as hell. I know I'm gonna regret giving 6 hours to it once it's done but here I am still watching it lol.

The scenes on the boat were amazing though. And the subtlety of the face acting from both the son and Rachel when Steve Zahn was going on about sex with his wife was fantastic.

The only characters I really care about are the son and the man bun hotel employee. Oh, and Belinda. The rest of them range from meh to 'wow, you really suck.'

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So Nicole, an executive at an IT organization, does not know that she can change the background digitally on Zoom?

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I forgot to mention dad guy talking about his marriage was lol

 

oh the spark has been gone awhile I guess maybe there’s still love

 

😂😮🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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5 hours ago, dmc said:

Even when the wife chimes in and says this is a safe space I don’t get the sense daughter agrees.

She very much sees it as he’s reacting to his sexuality and maybe her sexuality 

Really? I saw it as her daughter being a complete asshole about her father's reaction to the sudden revelation that he'd been lied to his entire life about his family, his father, his perceptions of his childhood, etc.  Olivia was thoroughly enjoying her digs at him. That wasn't an honest conversation, that was pure aggression. Olivia is an entitled selfish bitch.

I also think that Tanya is a very selfish self-involved self-pitying person who thinks she is entitled to draw all around her into orbit of gloom and seems utterly mystified when anyone pushes back against her. She kept on with Belinda regarding the massage and the dinner in spite of Belinda's consistent dodges until Belinda finally gave in. She sat with Olivia and Paula and would not take a hint that they wanted to be alone. Tanya will get her way and the whole while act like she thinks she is a wonderful friendly person anyone should want to be with and to help. She has no regard for the desires or needs of the people around her, it's like they are props in her singularly lonely world. I also think that her decision that she could not complete the spreading of the ashes had nothing to do with missing her toxic mother and everything to do with her current identity as the 'poor woman whose mother died and who needs support in this sad time while she must mourn and spread her ashes'. It's been two months. She hasn't done it yet and she's milking that situation for all it's worth. She isn't ready to shed that role and lose the 'poor grieving daughter' persona that is garnering her so much sympathy and 'help'.

This show is pretty much about terrible people who are terrible for different reasons.  All of this selfishness and casual cruelty is difficult to watch.  If it weren't for Rachel I don't think I could take much more of the constant drumbeat of entitled assholery.

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49 minutes ago, Andyourlittledog2 said:

Really? I saw it as her daughter being a complete asshole about her father's reaction to the sudden revelation that he'd been lied to his entire life about his family, his father, his perceptions of his childhood, etc.  Olivia was thoroughly enjoying her digs at him. That wasn't an honest conversation, that was pure aggression. Olivia is an entitled selfish bitch.

I also think that Tanya is a very selfish self-involved self-pitying person who thinks she is entitled to draw all around her into orbit of gloom and seems utterly mystified when anyone pushes back against her. She kept on with Belinda regarding the massage and the dinner in spite of Belinda's consistent dodges until Belinda finally gave in. She sat with Olivia and Paula and would not take a hint that they wanted to be alone. Tanya will get her way and the whole while act like she thinks she is a wonderful friendly person anyone should want to be with and to help. She has no regard for the desires or needs of the people around her, it's like they are props in her singularly lonely world. I also think that her decision that she could not complete the spreading of the ashes had nothing to do with missing her toxic mother and everything to do with her current identity as the 'poor woman whose mother died and who needs support in this sad time while she must mourn and spread her ashes'. It's been two months. She hasn't done it yet and she's milking that situation for all it's worth. She isn't ready to shed that role and lose the 'poor grieving daughter' persona that is garnering her so much sympathy and 'help'.

This show is pretty much about terrible people who are terrible for different reasons.  All of this selfishness and casual cruelty is difficult to watch.  If it weren't for Rachel I don't think I could take much more of the constant drumbeat of entitled assholery.

I think that’s Olivia’s personality.  However what’s she saying to him is how most people under 30 would read the conversation.  There’s nothing wrong with being gay so what is his issue? A lot of commenters have been like well he didn’t know, true.  He also didn’t know how his father died, also true.  But the idea of his father engaging with intercourse with a man seems revolting to him.  
 

Someone had commented a week ago that they thought the son was gay (I don’t agree but couldn’t help but cringe during their conversation if he was)

So her response to him would be the typical response of anyone young 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

Her comments to her father positing about what sexual positions his father would have enjoyed, etc. were completely inappropriate and grossly insensitive.  Perhaps the dad is dealing with his own internalized homophobia, but his daughter's behavior was almost cruel, I thought.

She always cruel.  Do you remember how she talked to that woman the first day or how she treats her brother.  He had to sleep in the closet and then on the beach.  I just assumed by now we knew she was not a nice person

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6 minutes ago, dmc said:

 I just assumed by now we knew she was not a nice person

Edited just now by dmc

I agree that this is her personality. She is absolutely revolting and cruel. And she had no reason other than the enjoyment of casual cruelty to go on and on about sexual positions etc at her father at any point in time, especially when he is clearly spun about this new information about his father and his whole understanding of his life to this point. He is a man in a midlife crisis and prior to this we saw him obsessing over his relationship with his father and how he wanted to have that relationship with Quinn (albeit way too late) and then he discovers he never knew his father at all the whole time. He is completely spun, and his daughter is enjoying tormenting him over grandpa's preferred sexual positions, the whole time with a snarky attitude and a grin on her face. It's a window into what a truly revolting person Olivia really is.

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Just now, Andyourlittledog2 said:

I agree that this is her personality. She is absolutely revolting and cruel. And she had no reason other than the enjoyment of casual cruelty to go on and on about sexual positions etc at her father at any point in time, especially when he is clearly spun about this new information about his father and his whole understanding of his life to this point. He is a man in a midlife crisis and prior to this we saw him obsessing over his relationship with his father and how he wanted to have that relationship with Quinn (albeit way too late) and then he discovers he never knew his father at all the whole time. He is completely spun, and his daughter is enjoying tormenting him over grandpa's preferred sexual positions, the whole time with a snarky attitude and a grin on her face. It's a window into what a truly revolting person Olivia really is.

Agreed, she hasn't been nice since episode 1.  Despite that, I still think what we are seeing is a generational difference.  I think this is very a much a comment by someone younger now.  I think with her as a character you have to separate the casual cruelty because she always like that. 

 

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1 minute ago, dmc said:

I think this is very a much a comment by someone younger now. 

I don't think it's really about age so much as maturity.  She's just very immature and it shows by how she chooses to handle this particular situation. 

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2 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I don't think it's really about age so much as maturity.  She's just very immature and it shows by how she chooses to handle this particular situation. 

I don't think she's a nice person.  She may also be immature but she's not nice.  The part I was saying is younger is the idea that being gay isn't a big deal.  Her being a jerk is just her personality.  I am separating the two.  Just because she was a jerk about it, doesn't mean the sentiment isn't real

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I don't really know how I'm supposed to read Olivia and Paula. It's super weird the way Paula joins in these conversations about Mark's father or his non-cancer, even though it doesn't seem like she knows the rest of the family that well. But then again, it's also weird that they're so open about these topics in front of her.

As for Olivia, there's a detached, ironic tone to everything she says, especially to her parents, so it comes across to me like she's being deliberately awful (especially to her dad), but her parents never react as though she is. There's also a weird disconnect that Olivia is willing to insult and torment her parents and brother, but acquiesces without argument or complaint when her mother tells her to get out of the frame of her Zoom meeting by lying down on the floor. I can't tell if this is an acting problem—for instance, I could imagine that if the lines were delivered more earnestly and more stream-of-consciously, she'd come across as socially oblivious instead of malicious—or if it's a writing problem. I suppose there's a chance that it's all deliberate and setting up for something else, but I lean more towards this being a flaw in the show.

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She may think it is no big deal because she's young, but that doesn't really explain the things she says or how she says them and to whom in which situation. She lacks empathy. She gets a kick out of the pain and discomfort of others.

That said, look at her parents. They are also very self-involved. Her mother may remonstrate weakly with Olivia when she notices something (like where Quinn sleeps for instance) but immediately loses interest in the subject and goes back to her own life and concerns and ignores the follow through. She really has very little interest in her kids or her husband, work is the only thing that can actually grab her attention and keep it for more than a minute.  Quinn could drop off the face of the earth for 23.5 hours a day and I don't think she'd even notice. And the dad keeps saying he wants to have a relationship with his son but has no interest in the kid at all. He would rather talk about himself and his midlife crisis and the state of his balls than have an actual conversation with Quinn.  Neither parent shines here.

Really the only people I can stand at all are Rachel, Belinda, and cute hair bun guy. I'd just as soon the others were stranded on that island with only themselves to interact with (minus most of the staff, whom I do not loathe but also do not know as characters).

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17 minutes ago, Hera said:

There's also a weird disconnect that Olivia is willing to insult and torment her parents and brother, but acquiesces without argument or complaint when her mother tells her to get out of the frame of her Zoom meeting by lying down on the floor. I can't tell if this is an acting problem—for instance, I could imagine that if the lines were delivered more earnestly and more stream-of-consciously, she'd come across as socially oblivious instead of malicious—or if it's a writing problem. I suppose there's a chance that it's all deliberate and setting up for something else, but I lean more towards this being a flaw in the show.

I think Olivia knows which boundaries she can push and which she can't. She's probably learned from an early age that her mother's work comes first, and is not to be interfered with. Same with Quinn, he asked Nicole if he could use her laptop, she said she needed it for work, and that was the end of the conversation. Whereas with Mark he whined and begged until Mark gave up his phone.

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1 hour ago, Andyourlittledog2 said:

That said, look at her parents. They are also very self-involved.

Yeah, Nicole and Mark are extremely self-involved and seem to lack boundaries with their kids or anyone else.  Though I'd hope Mark has better control of himself when he isn't drinking so heavily. 

I did want to say I very much enjoyed the cruise.  Belinda's singing was a nice treat, and Jennifer Coolidge was pretty darn funny.

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I don't really think its fair to attribute Mark's spiraling to latent homophobia.  Everything he thought he knew about his Dad has been turned upside down.  And yes, I think he would have had a similar reaction to the discovery that his Dad had been having multiple affairs with women (although, admittedly, maybe not this extreme).  On a personal note, a friend of mine was well into adulthood when she found out that her father had been married prior to marrying her mother and that the father and his first wife had a child that died as an infant.  She was an only child and the discovery of a dead half-sibling really sent her into a tailspin.  Not an apples to apples comparison, but I can certainly understand Mark's reaction to his new found information. 

Olivia remains the absolute worst.  She really needs a Tami Taylor to knock some sense into her. 

I thought the whole sea burial scene was one of the funniest things I've seen in awhile.  I'm not really a fan of Jennifer Coolidge but she nailed it.  Starting out as what you think will be a sweet eulogy turning into monologue of all of her mother's faults and shortcomings.  Even Shane seemed to feel somewhat bad for her.  

Poor Rachel.  Between having Shane as a husband, her awkward encounter with Nicole, her awkward encounter with Olivia and Paula, her awkward encounter with Mark and Quinn, and her romantic dinner turning into a burial at sea -- she has to be having the worst honeymoon EVER. 

I've mentioned before that while I think Shane is an insufferable little prick, I think Armand is even worse.  How does he still have a job?  Besides his obvious attempts at antagonizing Shane, he doesn't seem to be particularly good at what he does.  Does he not have a boss?  Does he not think these rich people who are used to being pampered won't go above him to complain?  And while the intentional double booking of the boat had some hilarious consequences, not only was it rude to Shane and Rachel, but it was also a dick move towards Tanya, whom he knew was scattering ashes.  Regardless of your feelings toward Shane, the scattering ashes would normally be a solemn occasion and Tanya should have had the right to do it the way she wanted -- with her and Belinda and the alcohol.  And I know she said she was glad Shane and Rachel were there, but I think that was just Tanya being Tanya and not her real feelings.      

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4 hours ago, TV Anonymous said:

So Nicole, an executive at an IT organization, does not know that she can change the background digitally on Zoom?

This was my thought.  As someone for whom getting on this website is a major technological achievement, even I know how to change a Zoom background.  The whole rearranging the furniture to get the background you want rang hollow.   

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4 minutes ago, Bulldog said:

This was my thought.  As someone for whom getting on this website is a major technological achievement, even I know how to change a Zoom background.  The whole rearranging the furniture to get the background you want rang hollow.   

 

7 minutes ago, Bulldog said:

This was my thought.  As someone for whom getting on this website is a major technological achievement, even I know how to change a Zoom background.  The whole rearranging the furniture to get the background you want rang hollow.   

She’s doing feng shui.  
 

Feng shui, also known as Chinese geomancy, is a pseudoscientific traditional practice originating from ancient China, which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment

 

You cannot do feng shui virtually 

 

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3 minutes ago, dmc said:

 

You cannot do feng shui virtually 

I thought she specifically said she didn't want the people on Zoom to see she was on vacation. 

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4 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I thought she specifically said she didn't want the people on Zoom to see she was on vacation. 

she did but she also said she needed to feng shui the room.  She said it couple of times, she does it every morning...so it's not just about a good spot to do a call but moving the room in a way that creates harmony.  I am not an expert on feng shui or how it works but I have heard people say they do it...these people also like rooms on the side of the hotel with sun exposure to that you wake up rising with the sun

 

"Nicole, who complains that her suite doesn't provide “nice feng-shui” for her “Zoom with China,” feels attacked by her daughter's mocking of her ..."

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/02/the-brilliant-biting-social-satire-of-the-white-lotus

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On 7/26/2021 at 8:09 AM, Empress1 said:

 

Yep. The fish rots from the head. If Nicole works on vacation, her employees will feel like they have to work on vacation because that's the example she's set, which, to me, is toxic. Burnout helps no one. Not to mention that paid time off is part of my compensation and I will use it.

 

I still don't understand why Rachel married Shane. She doesn't seem to like him.

She didn’t even want people to know she was on vacation.  That’s even worse, the “I never take vacations” CEOs.
 

I don’t know if the actors are supposed to be playing it this way, but they don’t seem to like each other at all.  Why would they get married?

Also I know Alexandria Doddario (spelling?) is really pretty but she is very plain in this.  And the hair color is making it worse.  Did they purposely try to make her less attractive for this role?

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