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maraleia

S01.E07: The Symbolic Exemplar

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Josh goes on a date with Rabbi Raquel while Ali explores her feminine side with a TA from Gender Studies class. The kids turn out for Maura's performance in a talent show, but her delight quickly turns to dejection.

 

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I'm really enjoying this show. I'm all in for Maura, but the children are despicable. None of the children are worth rooting for, and I don't trust their motives. I'm beginning to wonder if Ali has some sort of undiagnosed borderline personality disorder. 

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I actually like Sarah as she seems to be accepting of Maura and the least offensive of the three kids. My heart broke for Maura when she saw the empty chairs and then went to see Shelley. I've had enough of Gaby Hoffman's character.

Edited by LisaM
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Maybe I watch a little differently from the first two who responded here? I don't know. But I find that in general I'm not as concerned about "liking" fictional characters as about finding them interesting enough to give my time and attention to. Which I definitely do in this case -- they're all on trips that I want to see more of.

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I hate all the kids but find the show amusing,

But given the references to 70s music and mom was told not to breast feed, Ali couldn't have been 13 in 1994, unless we've established that josh is 20 years older, why were these kids listening to vinyl?

You know when women didn't breast feed? 60s and early 70s. Wonder if the show runner is my age (late 40s).

I hate that Tammy messed with that beautiful kid century house, hate that josh stood up Raquel (though glad he didn't sleep with the teenager).

Was puzzled at the ending, was it just that the house was more feminine?

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But given the references to 70s music and mom was told not to breast feed, Ali couldn't have been 13 in 1994, unless we've established that josh is 20 years older, why were these kids listening to vinyl?

I don't know about the breastfeeding thing, but I was born in 1980, making me one year older than Ali, and grew up listening primarily to my parents' record collection.

 

Maybe I watch a little differently from the first two who responded here? I don't know. But I find that in general I'm not as concerned about "liking" fictional characters as about finding them interesting enough to give my time and attention to. Which I definitely do in this case -- they're all on trips that I want to see more of.

I sometimes find that if there is nobody who I really like that watching a show can get to be sort of tiresome, but in general I agree that I care more that a character be interesting than likable.  In the case of this show, there may be no character who fills a hero role or even an across-the-board "good guy" role, and there may be times when I'm disgusted with each and every one of them (there definitely are), but I love how complicated all of the characters are and I'm definitely captivated by them.  And I don't hate any of them either.  

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Just looked it up and I was right... Jill soloway was born in 1965. She didn't want to make her characters that old but she didn't change the references.

It's just, nobody was listening to Jim Croce in the 80s. Unless you want to add a line about how the parents were that into it it really makes no sense. They did add the moonwalk glove later. But the two things together , breast feeding and Jim Croce, said to me, my age.

Her dd came out as transgender in 2011, but I guess she didn't want to write about the effects on a family of kids in 40s and 50s. Just realized she worked a t a theater company with a friend from high school in chcicago, so im one step removed!

Edited by AmandaPanda · Reason: double text within post

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For me, even more than the lovely sixth episode, this was the one that really floored me. I thought it was a brilliant episode, and the final ten minutes -- and the way the score's composer worked in "Someone That I Used to Know" was beautiful and incredibly sad.

 

I pretty much cringe at a lot of Ali's scenes -- the drug use previously, and here, the sexual stuff, just because it was so completely weird and unrealistic, but then I kind of loved it, too, since it WASN'T real. But at the same time, I was also going, "Okay, so how much of what we saw here actually happened?" I liked the undependability of the narrative but that also means, where Ali is concerned, that we have no idea what she did or didn't do here.

 

The time references bothered me too, because they took me out of the story -- they aren't just a little off (something for instance "13 Going on 30" did pretty well, cheating by several years but it all felt right), but 10-20 years off.

 

I don't mind that the kids aren't likable -- and I do like Sarah and how she relates to Maura (their kinship feels very unforced and sweet), but I do mind when their stories feel too repetitive to me. I can't stand Josh but I'm also irritated because I've seen this kind of man-child on TV many times before, and I also just feel that the actor is perhaps miscast or misdirected.

 

And I rolled my eyes at Tammy's adopted daughter who of course is a manic pixie dream girl who screws up Josh's date with the sweet and very understanding Raquel. (Yeah, he didn't sleep with her, but only because Tammy and Sarah didn't wait another 10-15 minutes to come home -- they were pretty plainly on the way there.)

 

But the last half of Maura's song, and the way everything fell apart in the final minutes here, was pretty stunning. I loved Maura going to her ex and being comforted like that -- Judith Light and Jeffrey Tambor were just wonderful in that final scene.

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The ages as I've figured it are Ali was 13 in 1994, Josh was 15 and Sarah was in college, so she was at least 18. That makes Ali 33-34 now, which boggles the mind, seeing as how she acts at least ten years younger.

I was born in 1974 and my mother breastfed me. I have two younger sisters born in '77 and '78, and same thing. (We also wore cloth diapers.) I think that was just a dumb throwaway line about not breastfeeding back then.

Edited by bilgistic

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Just looked it up and I was right... Jill soloway was born in 1965. She didn't want to make her characters that old but she didn't change the references.

It's just, nobody was listening to Jim Croce in the 80s. Unless you want to add a line about how the parents were that into it it really makes no sense. They did add the moonwalk glove later. But the two things together , breast feeding and Jim Croce, said to me, my age.

Her dd came out as transgender in 2011, but I guess she didn't want to write about the effects on a family of kids in 40s and 50s. Just realized she worked a t a theater company with a friend from high school in chcicago, so im one step removed!

 

I've been thinking about this and I think you're right. Originally I intended to argue the opposite, like, sure it's possible that they listened to their parents records and Josh had an interest in the music business which explains him being interested in Heart even though they weren't really contemporary to his teenage years. But upon reflection, something about the flashbacks throughout the series has felt "off" to me and that is the fact that it doesn't ring true for early 90s. It feels like the 70s/early 80s, although admittedly it feels like the TV/movie version of those times because I was a very small child during those years. For what it's worth, I am the same age as Josh and Ali would be my younger sister's age.

Edited by MilkMachine
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