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S01.E02: Coq au Vin

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Facing mounting pressure from station executives, Julia struggles to figure out how to present a complicated recipe

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I wasn’t crazy about the show on episode 1 but by the second episode I’m loving it!

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I hated all of those men, who were ready to eat what she’d made, but not even congratulate her on getting the episode made.  So much hard work, and they treated her like shit.  

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What an absolute GEM of a show! I do hope it finds an audience. Well-cast, and well scripted.  Julia and Paul really did have a remarkable life and relationship, which serve as the underpinning for what turned out to be the lynchpin show for WGBH and public television. 

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I greatly appreciate the production's verisimilitude. As a woman of a certain age who grew up in the Boston area I remember the clothes and the furnishings, the high ball glasses and the smoking! Everyone smoked! It was all so real.

Loving this show and Sarah is a marvel. Or as we would say, a maaahvel.

 

 

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Julia's coq au vin was the first thing I ever made from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, so this had some nice memories to it.

I'm enjoying the show and I think Sarah Lancashire is giving a good performance, but, in all honesty, I don't really look at her and see Julia.  Maybe as Julia settles into being a TV host, it'll look more familiar to me.

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I'm still liking this generally, but for anyone that has read a lot about Julia there are clearly some exaggerations and misrepresentations.  The producers have inasmuch acknowledged that they took some liberties with the truth to make a good dramatic narrative.  That part about Russell Morash being such a dick appears to have been made up or at least overexaggerated because in interviews with both Julia and him it sounds like the two always had an affection for each other.  Depicting him as a cold asshole does a disservice to him.  While it is true that he needed some convincing to be on board with Julia's show, he was never like this.

On 4/8/2022 at 11:42 AM, starri said:

I'm enjoying the show and I think Sarah Lancashire is giving a good performance, but, in all honesty, I don't really look at her and see Julia.  Maybe as Julia settles into being a TV host, it'll look more familiar to me.

Same here.  She's playing the role far more dowdy and somehow less lighthearted than Julia herself ever was.  I never thought I'd say this, but in that way Meryl Streep was more convincing.

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One more thing - As someone who lived through the '60s, I found the supermarket amusing.  They went to great lengths to find period cases, etc., but one glaring error were the chicken parts.  "Grocery Stores" (as we called them) or supermarkets didn't sell cut up chicken in those days.  If you wanted chicken parts you had to buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself.  I know this boggles the minds of younger people, but yes, that's how it was, and that's the main reason I learned young how to cut up a chicken (thanks to Julia and my Mom).  Also, those chicken parts looked like they were on Styrofoam trays.  They didn't have those yet.  We had white cardboard trays that looked much different.

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On 4/13/2022 at 10:22 AM, Yeah No said:

If you wanted chicken parts you had to buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself.

I grew up in the 70s, but yes! I remember when you could finally buy boneless chicken breasts. Such an advance!
 

On 4/13/2022 at 9:22 AM, Yeah No said:

I'm still liking this generally, but for anyone that has read a lot about Julia there are clearly some exaggerations and misrepresentations.

I'm NOT appreciating the exaggerations and misrepresentations. Why do they think the reality isn't entertaining enough?? During both episodes I've remarked several times that "I don't think this is actually how it happened." Not because I know it isn't, but because it's too comically exaggerated. I find that very annoying.

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1 minute ago, smartymarty said:

I grew up in the 70s, but yes! I remember when you could finally buy boneless chicken breasts. Such an advance!

I wanted to add that if you had a good relationship with the butcher at your market you could ask to have one cut up for you, but that wasn't always available so most people did it themselves.  After I got married in 1980 chicken parts started to appear more often but they were so expensive compared to a whole chicken I couldn't afford it.  When they became very popular the prices started to come down, although they're still more expensive than buying a whole chicken.

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On 4/13/2022 at 9:22 AM, Yeah No said:

.Same here.  She's playing the role far more dowdy and somehow less lighthearted than Julia herself ever was.  I never thought I'd say this, but in that way Meryl Streep was more convincing.

Hey, are you in my small club of those who don’t think Streep walks on water?  

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Just now, EtheltoTillie said:

Hey, are you in my small club of those who don’t think Streep walks on water?  

In a word:  Yes!

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4 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

In a word:  Yes!

Yay!  Well I’m up late watching the new show and I do like this actress in the role. This series is growing on me.

Edited by EtheltoTillie

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5 minutes ago, EtheltoTillie said:

Yay!  Well I’m up late watching the new show and I do like this actress in the role. This series is growing on me.

I don't know if it's the actress or the lines (or both) but this portrayal isn't doing it for me. It's coming off too shticky or something.  Too eccentric.  In many ways Julia was a salt of the earth, not just a flighty frumpy caricature.  She came off as cultured, self assured and educated.  I'm not getting that person from this.

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I also feel that Stanley Tucci was a better Paul.  Paul was a more dynamic person than David Hyde Peirce is playing him.  David is coming across a little limp biscuit for me.  My husband said he's more like the Niles version of Paul, LOL.  And we absolutely love David Hyde Pierce.  That said, I'm not disliking him in his role anywhere near as much as I'm not liking Sarah.  This is the first time I've ever seen her in anything, BTW.  She reminds me of what you'd expect of a dowager aboard the Titanic more than Julia Child.  

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On 4/8/2022 at 10:42 AM, starri said:

Julia's coq au vin was the first thing I ever made from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, so this had some nice memories to it.

Me, too. I spent the entire afternoon doing it for a dinner party I threw. I did not have the courage of my convictions in those early days, used chicken breasts and overcooked them a bit. But guests asked for straws to drink the sauce.

Sarah is dissolving into Julia for me. Since we're used to seeing a confident Julia, at this stage, hesitancy is natural. We're just not used to seeing that. (I met Julia at a book signing once, still have the signed Way to Cook and am a consumer of all things Julia--this show is shaping up nicely.)

 

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On 5/2/2022 at 9:58 PM, buttersister said:

guests asked for straws to drink the sauce.

Wow!  Now, that's a hit! 

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