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Party of One: Unpopular TV Opinions

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5 hours ago, Blergh said:

Agree! Dickens's Scrooge was villainous enough (and had made life miserable for the struggling Cratchit  family via Mr. Cratchit's starvation wages and impossible hours).  Dickens knew how to write about women who had been taken advantage by unscrupulous men (e.g. Oliver Twist's Nancy, David Copperfield's Little Em'ly,etc.) so had he wanted to have Scrooge prey on poor,overburdened Mrs. Cratchit, he would have!  It seemed Dickens believed Scrooge was simply too old to have  been capable of having any kind of sexual activity regardless of scruples. Nope, I'm not watching this! 

2 hours ago, auntlada said:

I don't think Scrooge would have been willing to pay in any case.

Also Dickens would probably know very well that he couldn't redeem a guy who'd been raping his employee's wife with a Christmas goose and a change in attitude.

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What is it with people who need to adapt literature in this way? It's like the recent adaptations of Agatha Christie where someone decided what the world really needed is "gritty" and "edgy" Christie. WTF? I blame the Scandinavians and Wallander. You know, not everything has to be so grim and depressing you want to kill yourself afterwards.

Edited by ABay
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Wow that's a long walk to get to a Wallander reference. 'Gritty' seems like it has been around for awhile though kind of with the explosion of original content from premium and cable channels then to streaming. There's just too much stuff these outlets seem to have to put out that there's a lot of the same.

It's amazing I remember a time when just HBO and Showtime just showed movies after they were in the theater.

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47 minutes ago, DoctorAtomic said:

Wow that's a long walk to get to a Wallander reference. 'Gritty' seems like it has been around for awhile though kind of with the explosion of original content from premium and cable channels then to streaming. There's just too much stuff these outlets seem to have to put out that there's a lot of the same.

It's amazing I remember a time when just HBO and Showtime just showed movies after they were in the theater.

For a long time, I've blamed the Sopranos for everything "gritty" and "edgy".  Then I realized that I was blaming the Sopranos for stuff that happened before the Sopranos.

Now I blame Seinfeld  (The Invitations).   But its probably the soaps at fault, what with all the rapist characters that became anti heroes because of fan reaction.

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I don't know if the Sopranos was 'gritty' because it actually had a ton of humor in it. It certainly was edgy, but I have to give the show slack because it was the first of its kind. It also made tv on Sunday nights an actual thing.

I guess you mean the antihero as a sympathetic character. The Sopranos certainly didn't invent it, but it sure exploded with the show. I think it's a combination of several factors - the show was original, the whole 'high end' programming on Sunday (there wasn't any at the time) and HBO putting out original drama.

There's fair criticism that the show maybe went on too long, but Chase knew how to put together a tv show.

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I think The Shield too.  And the cool anti-hero concept really got cemented once roles like Tony Soprano and Vik Mackey started winning Emmys.

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13 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

Wow that's a long walk to get to a Wallander reference.

Wow it's really not. It's barely a jump to the left or a step to the right. 

Wrt the Sopranos, Shield, etc--those aren't adaptations of lighter works, as far as I know.

Edited by ABay
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I went with Sopranos because I feel like it got more PR and was more widely known. Also the other factors - HBO's first 'real' original show, Sunday night was appointment tv all of a sudden. The Shield fits the same mold. I didn't get around to watching it till midway through its run because I just didn't hear of it. 

You can argue that point in time was critical to the 'dark gritty' we're deluged with. Not that dark and gritty is bad, but not everything has to be or should be. 

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The Dark Knight and Watchmen came out in the 80s, both dark versions of Superhero stories. Those always feel like important works in the evolution of gritty to me.

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When I look back, I think my first thought of something that moved the line into the more realistic drama (thus grittier) and less tv version of realistic  drama,  was probably NYPD Blue.  It was harsher than any police tv show I had ever seen.  I remember our local affiliate wouldn't show the first episode, which I think showed Sipowicz holding his crotch and calling Sylvia a "Pissy little Bitch' or something like that.  That was followed the same year by Homicide: Life on The Streets.

But, really, when it comes to "gritty" tv I don't think you can really point to  just one thing, I think it is an evolution that started out (in retrospect) in small steps and each year someone came along and looked at something and said "yeah, well I can go just a bit darker"  and then the next year someone comes along as says 'Yeah, I push that envelope a little farther.'

So like NYPD Blue was a grittier version of Hill Street Blues, I always felt like 'The Shield' was a grittier version of NYPD Blue.  Like someone looked at Andy Sipowicz and wondered what he would look like without major network interference?  And thus Vince Mackey was born.  And so on and so on until you get a show like Breaking Bad and The Wire (a grittier version of Homicide:LOTS).

Edited by DearEvette
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My UO about "gritty" TV is I can't stand the current need to make gritty reboots of shows/books/what have you that were in no way, shape, or form gritty in the first place. The CW has gritty reboots of the Archie comics in Riverdale and Charmed in, well, Charmed and Nancy freakin' Drew, for crying out loud, and Netflix has The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and that's just off the top of my head. As far as I'm concerned, none of this was needed at all because sometimes it's okay to have a story out there that's just bubblegum cheese.

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22 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I don't know if the Sopranos was 'gritty' because it actually had a ton of humor in it. It certainly was edgy, but I have to give the show slack because it was the first of its kind. It also made tv on Sunday nights an actual thing.

For me, the Sopranos is a case of "I blame them" but its not really their fault (exactly).

The Sopranos got critical acclaim and success.

As always happens, all the networks, producers, writers decided that they wanted to be like the Sopranos and that was their ticket to money and ego stroking.

So they started trying to duplicate the formula in every show they pitched.  Except most of them couldn't execute it and some didn't even "get it" enough to try to execute it properly. 

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4 hours ago, Dani-Ellie said:

My UO about "gritty" TV is I can't stand the current need to make gritty reboots of shows/books/what have you that were in no way, shape, or form gritty in the first place. The CW has gritty reboots of the Archie comics in Riverdale and Charmed in, well, Charmed and Nancy freakin' Drew, for crying out loud, and Netflix has The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and that's just off the top of my head. As far as I'm concerned, none of this was needed at all because sometimes it's okay to have a story out there that's just bubblegum cheese.

I think that's what kicked this all off. Everything had to be gritty but no one could pull off a Sopranos type quality so here's where we are. 

There's also the issue that there's more options for content now which is going to lend itself to derivatives of derivatives. Gritty doesn't push the genre now like it used to. It's just, oh this is a gritty show. Ok. That doesn't mean there aren't good dark shows, but if you're just going to that just because, it's not going to work. 

I think it's worth it because I don't have to watch those shows and there's a lot of good original shows out now that probably wouldn't have gotten a shot not even ten years ago. 

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I guess it depends on how you define gritty.  The Sopranos might have been able to go further with the nudity, language and violence than its predecessors but all that means to me is that they were able to go further.  I don't see them as starting the trend in the way that one could argue they did with the anti-hero in dramas. 

But "gritty" means grimy or tough and uncompromising.  So when I think of gritty, I think of shows like Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Homicide Life On the Street and even Law & Order, especially early L&O.  Those were the kind of shows that were willing to show a darker version of the cities in which they took place.  They were willing to show the mundane, violent and even sometimes sad aspects of their jobs. 

I'd even consider a show like ER to be gritty with its attempt to capture the chaos of disaster, blood, mental illness and everyday tragedy.

I know The Sopranos is considered a great show.  Maybe my unpopular opinion is that I never loved it and I sometimes think it gets credit for "inventing" things it didn't.  It's part of the evolution in TV.  Well executed evolution but still an evolution as opposed to a giant leap.

UO #2: It often gets credit for the anti-hero.  But I'd argue Seinfeld was the true start of that in the modern era with its focus on an anti-hero giving its willingness to be abouton people who were selfish, self-centered and not all that great.  

Edited by Irlandesa
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20 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

The Dark Knight and Watchmen came out in the 80s, both dark versions of Superhero stories. Those always feel like important works in the evolution of gritty to me.

I definitely blame the Dark Knight Trilogy and it’s success for ruining DC movies. In what I call “The Dark Knight Effect,” they saw the success they had with taking the Batman franchise in a dark and gritty, more realistic direction and said, “This worked! Dark and gritty for all!” Problem is; dark and gritty doesn’t work for all of DC’s heroes. It’s only been after they got away from that, beginning with Wonder Woman and keeping it going with Aquaman and Shazam that they’ve been making enjoyable films again.
 

As for TV antiheroes, I hate how their badness is excused a lot of the time, often by a tragic backstory. The worst for me will be Regina from Once Upon a Time. A mass murderer who tears an entire people from their homeland, separating families, wiping their memories and keeping them enslaved for 28 years. Oh, and did I mention she tried to have a baby killed THE DAY THEY WERE BORN? All because her mom killed her boyfriend to stop them from running off and eloping. It’s like, I get that’s sad, but many people go through worse tragedy without becoming murderers Regina...

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12 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

I don't see them as starting the trend in the way that one could argue they did with the anti-hero in dramas. 

If they didn't start the trend they certainly perfected it. The confluence of the show being a big showcase of HBO going into original content, making Sunday night *the* tv night for the first time ever, and the ensuing awards engendered where we are now to a significant degree in this modern era. This was also the advent of social media as we know it, so more people were talking about these shows.

I think the movies like Dark Night are in another parallel paradigm to the tv shows. 

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While 'Oz' flew under the radar of the public eye, I suspect it was one of those shows that had outsized influence within the entertainment community because it was willing to go dark places that no one else would have tried at the time.  They reportedly only payed SAG minimum to all the actors on the show but in addition to being a branch of the Hey! It's That Guy! Employment Agency (I mean you have JK Simmons, Zejko Ivanek and Dean Winters as regulars...) they also got some pretty big names like Luke Perry, Rita Moreno, and Joel Grey to appear. 

It also predates 'The Sopranos'- Edie Falco was a regular as a prison guard before she got cast as Carmella. 

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It's freezing out so here's a hot take.  I don't think the Peloton ad is bad as it's been made out to be.  Cheesy?  Yes.  Mockable?  Absolutely.  Elitist?  Duh.  That's kind of their brand.*  But not this awful microcosm of sexism and patriarchy.  Like most things in today's viral world, it probably started as being (rightfully) mocked by a select few on the twitter and then the cavalcade joined in and now it's a thing.  

*No offense intended to anyone who may own one, but the ads do seem to have a target audience.  

Edited by kiddo82
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37 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

It's freezing out so here's a hot take.  I don't think the Peloton ad is bad as it's been made out to be.  Cheesy?  Yes.  Mockable?  Absolutely.  Elitist?  Duh.  That's kind of their brand.*  But not this awful microcosm of sexism and patriarchy.  Like most things in today's viral world, it probably started as being (rightfully) mocked by a select few on the twitter and then the cavalcade joined in and now it's a thing.  

*No offense intended to anyone who may own one, but the ads do seem to have a target audience.  

I haven't seen it, but the description didn't sound that bad to me. Elitist, yeah, because you're right. That's the brand. I mean, regular people aren't buying these things. It's like saying a Mercedes commercial is elitist.

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I think the Peloton commercial would have been much better if the wife had simply exclaimed, "Ooooh, just what I wanted!"  Also, the actress has these big, sad-looking eyes which makes it seem like she's desperately trying so hard to please her husband.  I think another, more cheerful-looking actress would have also made the commercial better. 

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1 hour ago, kiddo82 said:

It's freezing out so here's a hot take.  I don't think the Peloton ad is bad as it's been made out to be.  Cheesy?  Yes.  Mockable?  Absolutely.  Elitist?  Duh.  That's kind of their brand.*  But not this awful microcosm of sexism and patriarchy.  Like most things in today's viral world, it probably started as being (rightfully) mocked by a select few on the twitter and then the cavalcade joined in and now it's a thing.  

*No offense intended to anyone who may own one, but the ads do seem to have a target audience.  

Same. Like all the Peloton ads it's ridiculous and checks all the elitist tags but level of vitriol its getting is over the top. And the posts I've seen about the woman is really screaming for help, she's in a cult, it's distopian, it's the exercise version of the Handmaid's Tale...  no it's not. 

I never thought I'd be defending the uber-pretentious Peloton but here I am. Sigh...

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23 minutes ago, callie lee 29 said:

I never thought I'd be defending the uber-pretentious Peloton but here I am. Sigh...

Ha!  I know, right?

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AlI Xmas ads are shit designed solely to make people piss money away. 

My ex gf would get positively incensed when they show the car ad where the spouse buys it for the other with the big bow. Because you unilaterally make that major of a purchase in your marriage. 

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But what does her weight have anything to do with it? I don't understand, her weight was never pointed out at any point throughout the ad. Excercise isn't just done for weightloss, it's done for heart health, it's done for mental health, it's done to gain strength, it's done to develop habits, it's done to have time for yourself, it's done to challenge you and give you goals. It's totally fair to say that adding excercise in your routine has changed your life for things other than losing weight. Why is there any need to focus on her weight if this is not a weightloss ad?

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2 hours ago, doesntworkonwood said:

But what does her weight have anything to do with it? I don't understand, her weight was never pointed out at any point throughout the ad. Excercise isn't just done for weightloss, it's done for heart health, it's done for mental health, it's done to gain strength, it's done to develop habits, it's done to have time for yourself, it's done to challenge you and give you goals. It's totally fair to say that adding excercise in your routine has changed your life for things other than losing weight. Why is there any need to focus on her weight if this is not a weightloss ad?

That would have been my exact rebuttal (although you worded it better than I could have).  I see people comment that she's already thin.  "Thin" doesn't automatically equal healthy or fit or good habits or not looking for a challenge or not looking for a change.  (plus the fact that aerobic exercise alone is not the best weight loss strategy if that is the goal).  Other comments are about how he's subtly trying to get her to be/stay thin.  And again, exercise is not only about weight loss.  Don't get me wrong, it's not a good ad, but the level of vitriol and think pieces for it is derived off of making assumptions about a fictional couple that we see for 30 seconds out of their year. 

Edited by kiddo82
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As was stated above, it's that the actress looks somehow miserable, terrified and eager to please. It feels to me like the 'husband' is some sort of serial killer who has her captive in his house making her please him by vlogging Peleton. It's like a Criminal Minds episode. "I think our unsub...is a Peleton salesman!" Bwhahah.

I also get  kick out of the Folgerscest commercial though.

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For me,  it's "I'm so excited, I'm so nervous" BS the first time she uses the bike--you're not walking into a tiger cage, honey--and the unexplained "I didn't know how much it would change me." HOW? How has it changed you?

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14 hours ago, kiddo82 said:

It's freezing out so here's a hot take.  I don't think the Peloton ad is bad as it's been made out to be.  Cheesy?  Yes.  Mockable?  Absolutely.  Elitist?  Duh.  That's kind of their brand.*  But not this awful microcosm of sexism and patriarchy.  Like most things in today's viral world, it probably started as being (rightfully) mocked by a select few on the twitter and then the cavalcade joined in and now it's a thing.  

*No offense intended to anyone who may own one, but the ads do seem to have a target audience.  

That's my take on it as well.  I find it obnoxious and stupid, but I don't see the wife as the victim of domestic oppression or anything like that.  I don't think she looks terrified at all, just a bit annoyed when she's getting up at 6 am to use the overpriced exercise bike.

12 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

AlI Xmas ads are shit designed solely to make people piss money away. 

My ex gf would get positively incensed when they show the car ad where the spouse buys it for the other with the big bow. Because you unilaterally make that major of a purchase in your marriage. 

Those annoy me because what they're actually giving is one giant-ass car payment.  I mean, maybe some people can buy a Lexus outright, but in reality the car they want you to give to your spouse is coming with a payment plan of some sort.

6 hours ago, doesntworkonwood said:

But what does her weight have anything to do with it? I don't understand, her weight was never pointed out at any point throughout the ad. Excercise isn't just done for weightloss, it's done for heart health, it's done for mental health, it's done to gain strength, it's done to develop habits, it's done to have time for yourself, it's done to challenge you and give you goals. It's totally fair to say that adding excercise in your routine has changed your life for things other than losing weight. Why is there any need to focus on her weight if this is not a weightloss ad?

We see absolutely nothing to indicate that her life has changed in any way.  There's really no way to visually represent any change other than weight loss, and since she hasn't lost weight, it's completely ineffective at showing any change in her life at all.  It's just a really poorly written/designed commercial.

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3 hours ago, ABay said:

For me,  it's "I'm so excited, I'm so nervous" BS the first time she uses the bike--you're not walking into a tiger cage, honey--

Exactly, it's a friggin' stationary bike, you aren't going to fall off & die, you can get off the thing anytime you want. You're not even leaving your living room.

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Additional discussion about holiday commercials ought to be taken to the dedicated topic in our Commercials forum: 

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The Marvelous Miss Maisel UO:

I don't hate Joel.  I hate what he did to Midge, but I like how they are writing his character now and am interested to see where his story goes. 

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My The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel UO would be that I absolutely hated it and couldn't even make it through 2 whole eps. I keep thinking I should give it another shot because my friends really like it but I just don't think I can do it.

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1 hour ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I literally have no idea what that show is about and have zero interest in finding out.

1 hour ago, BlackberryJam said:

Can I join you at that table?

Table for three please! You can leave the bottle.

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1 hour ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I literally have no idea what that show is about and have zero interest in finding out.

I know what it's about because I've seen the commercials, but I still have zero interest in it.  Not my cuppa.

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2 hours ago, proserpina65 said:

I know what it's about because I've seen the commercials, but I still have zero interest in it.  Not my cuppa.

Ha! That’s how I feel about Fleabag. Opinions really are like assholes...

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3 hours ago, topanga said:

Ha! That’s how I feel about Fleabag. Opinions really are like assholes...

For what its worth, the marketing for Fleabag does the show a huge disservice by packaging it into clips that make it look like a comedy about a nymphomaniac trying too hard to be quirky or relatable, when she's actually struggling with the suicide of her best friend and massive self worth issues.

Similarly, the season 2 premise of "Fleabag tries to seduce a priest" sounds slapstick or eyeroll inducing, but their relationship is easily one of my favorite romances on TV, ever, and absolutely destroyed me emotionally. 

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7 minutes ago, SnarkEnthusiast said:

For what its worth, the marketing for Fleabag does the show a huge disservice by packaging it into clips that make it look like a comedy about a nymphomaniac trying too hard to be quirky or relatable, when she's actually struggling with the suicide of her best friend and massive self worth issues.

Similarly, the season 2 premise of "Fleabag tries to seduce a priest" sounds slapstick or eyeroll inducing, but their relationship is easily one of my favorite romances on TV, ever, and absolutely destroyed me emotionally. 

I was vaguely interested in watching it, based on my friends liking it. Then I saw the original One Woman show (National Theatre Live at my local cinema). I laughed a little. I felt a little sympathy at first, but by the end I loathed the main character. Not sure how to do spoiler tags using my phone, so I won't say anything specific, just that I really, really wanted to scream at the character for her actions and the pain she caused. I get that she is damaged, but there are some things I can't forgive or excuse.

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11 minutes ago, SnarkEnthusiast said:

For what its worth, the marketing for Fleabag does the show a huge disservice by packaging it into clips that make it look like a comedy about a nymphomaniac trying too hard to be quirky or relatable, when she's actually struggling with the suicide of her best friend and massive self worth issues.

Similarly, the season 2 premise of "Fleabag tries to seduce a priest" sounds slapstick or eyeroll inducing, but their relationship is easily one of my favorite romances on TV, ever, and absolutely destroyed me emotionally. 

Thanks for your post it made me interested enough to actually check Fleabag out. I agree with the marketing comment you made the way they did so turned me off the show instead of making me want to watch.

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On 12/10/2019 at 8:02 PM, Shannon L. said:

The Marvelous Miss Maisel UO:

I don't hate Joel.  I hate what he did to Midge, but I like how they are writing his character now and am interested to see where his story goes. 

I thought they started writing Joel better in season 2. I have liked Joel more as the show progresses.

My The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel UO is that I like Midge less and less as the series goes on. I prefer most of the supporting actors especially Susie, though I hated her storyline in season three. I did not really enjoy season three that much. I am very hesitant about the show in general, because I hated what the Palladino's did to Gilmore Girls. So I probably side eye most of the show.

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19 hours ago, Jaded said:

Thanks for your post it made me interested enough to actually check Fleabag out. I agree with the marketing comment you made the way they did so turned me off the show instead of making me want to watch.

I, too, was turned off by the marketing. It looked like a horrible, self indulgent show. I only ended up giving it a shot after seeing Pheobe Waller-Bridges in interviews and really enjoying her personality. I figured I'd watch one ep, hate it and go. I watched the entire two seasons in a weekend and am heartbroken that it's over. 

That said, I 100% get why my BFF hates it and refused to watch past the first ep. It's definitely a love it or hate it kind of thing. 

As for Mrs. Maisel, I should have loved it. Find the main actress very likable in other things,  love the era, the clothes, the cars, etc. But I got about half way through the first ep and found it exhaustively self aware and VERY full of itself. I've yet to see any ad/commercial for it that makes me want to give it another go. 

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