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2 hours ago, scrb said:

I think they may struggle with writing stories long enough to fill 30 minutes so maybe they have these vignettes.

Alternate interpretation: the vignette is crucial to convey the show's (rather phenomenological) worldview. The series is chiefly from the Guy's perspective (not in the literal sense of being only from his point of view, since we see events he has no way of knowing); by virtue of his job, the way he experiences these characters is in brief, evocative flashes. He doesn't always get their "backstories," or even their deep psychology -- he only knows them in the moment, through experience. So neither do we. Indeed, the show's ethos is mostly to suggest that the people who surround us in this world we all share deserve our empathy and understanding, even if we the viewer only "know" them for brief periods. 

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On 2/26/2018 at 2:21 PM, Lemons said:

I live in a city building like the one in Greenpoint and there are people on subsidized housing there but they are treated like everyone else.  Their apartments are smaller, but that's it.  They use the gym, pool, and everything else.  That's just twisted if that's true.  Are you sure they really can't use the amenities?

Sadly, that is really something that is true is some buildings. I don't know if it happens outside of NYC which is where I first heard of it occurring. I wonder if the bad publicity was enough to get them change policies. I was shocked, but sadly, not surprised when I saw the story in the New York Times (I would try to link but the Times is only allowing 5 free articles a month now so if anyone is inclined to read Times articles, I don't want to blow their limit with an old link.)

What's even worse is that this is happening and will continue to happen in more expensive metro areas. Developers get such lucrative incentives and tax credits to offer "low income" units in high-value areas, however, there's no rule to say that you have to treat residents equally after they live there. 

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So I've watched all of Season 2 (in addition to Season 1) and I continue to really love it. But the dance marathon episode bored me.

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On 3/18/2018 at 1:18 AM, msani19 said:

Sadly, that is really something that is true is some buildings. I don't know if it happens outside of NYC which is where I first heard of it occurring. I wonder if the bad publicity was enough to get them change policies. I was shocked, but sadly, not surprised when I saw the story in the New York Times (I would try to link but the Times is only allowing 5 free articles a month now so if anyone is inclined to read Times articles, I don't want to blow their limit with an old link.)

What's even worse is that this is happening and will continue to happen in more expensive metro areas. Developers get such lucrative incentives and tax credits to offer "low income" units in high-value areas, however, there's no rule to say that you have to treat residents equally after they live there. 

That sucks.  I'm pretty sure every city in the country has tax credits or even requirements to set aside some affordable units.  But to stick them all on the same floor and deny them access to amenities is so small.  I subscribe to the NYT.  Do you remember about when this article was published?  

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@Lemons

The story is from 2014 -  https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/nyregion/separate-entryways-for-new-york-condo-buyers-and-renters-create-an-affordable-housing-dilemma.html

It does look like these "poor doors" have since been banned, at least, in NYC but I have little faith in building developers and their ability to find yet another level of unethical behavior. The article is still worth a read though. 

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One thing I read recently is that people on flights get more aggravated when they walk past business or first class sections on the way back to their seat in coach.

But on some planes, they don't have to pass the premium cabins to get back to the coach cabin so that doesn't happen,

I can imagine low-cost housing residents resenting the amenities set up for the people who paid high market prices for their apts.

 

The other part of it is that people who paid for premium cabin seats don't want coach people to use their rest rooms.  There's an old Seinfeld episode.  Jerry gets an upgrade and Elaine doesn't -- Jerry says once you've been in first, he can't go back, won't go back.  So Elaine keeps sneaking into first class and gets caught and Jerry pretends not to know her and says they can't have people sneaking into first class.

So I wouldn't be surprised if the people who paid for expensive apts. do not want low-income housing people to get access to the amenities, mix with them, etc.  

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On 2/11/2018 at 2:07 AM, scrb said:

Cool look at the Hasidic community.  Didn't know that people leaving that way of life was a thing, though he was looking for "kosher jobs" like being a cashier and shipper at Adorama?

I just caught up with this episode last night, and I didn't see anything to suggest he wanted to leave the way of life. I'm not challenging that interpretation, just looking to see what evidence for it exists in the episode. I saw a guy who was dabbling in a more modern life, but not in such a way that suggested he was ready to remake his life. His much more ritualistic friend/roommate/relative (?) even said to him at the beginning (paraphrasing), "Go have your fling with the shiksa if you want, as long as you at least get laid out of it." He gave Baruch his blessing, to use the colloquial sense of the word. He hardly would have given that blessing if the meaning of Baruch's choice (and his choice to go to a dance club, meet yet another woman, etc.) was necessarily that he was breaking his connections from the former way of life.

As I say, there very well could have been evidence that I missed, in which case, I'd be interested to know it.

 

On 3/17/2018 at 11:36 PM, Corgi-ears said:

Alternate interpretation: the vignette is crucial to convey the show's (rather phenomenological) worldview. The series is chiefly from the Guy's perspective (not in the literal sense of being only from his point of view, since we see events he has no way of knowing); by virtue of his job, the way he experiences these characters is in brief, evocative flashes. He doesn't always get their "backstories," or even their deep psychology -- he only knows them in the moment, through experience. So neither do we. Indeed, the show's ethos is mostly to suggest that the people who surround us in this world we all share deserve our empathy and understanding, even if we the viewer only "know" them for brief periods. 

I think this is a great way to express it. That's how I feel time after time with this show. That I'm seeing people who--if I were to encounter them in real life--I would totally "shorthand" with a five-word description, but who thanks to this show I'm learning are leading lives much richer and more complicated than I imagine. I suspect I'm not alone in the way I shorthand the people I encounter--when you live in a city, you have to, there simply isn't time to imagine the layered, complicated existence of every person you see--but this show tells us that that's what we're doing.

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I don't recall seeing the RV before.

Was the Guy related to the deceased?  Not sure how he'd know him and those who gathered to mourn him, most of whom are older than the Guy.

The Guy meets up with an acquaintance who's legally growing pot for MA, which legalized.  Surprised NY hasn't legalized?

I don't think his business would evaporate if NY legalized, at least not right away.  He's not just dealing, it's about the hang for him and his customers.

But I don't know, eventually the legal dispensaries would under price him?

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S03E02:  Craig

People are having a lot more interesting experiences on Craigslist than I would ever have imagined.

Maybe it’s the weed, though the Guy advised the customer in the first segment that perhaps he shouldn’t be smoking.

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Wasn’t watching that closely but seemed like The Guy didn’t visit either character, not Helens mother from The Affair nor the Asian vet?

The Asian vet segment may be the first time this series had an anti drug cautionary tale.

He destroyed that kitten?

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Ben and Katja the creators of the show (Ben is The Guy) are interviewed in The Ringer's The Watch podcast, 2/28/19 episode, about 20 minutes in.

They said they were raised on TV and named Six Feet Under and Party Down (for the low budget) as influences.

Edited by scrb

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On 2/8/2020 at 8:24 AM, Liamsmom617 said:

Nothing? No one else watched the season premiere?

I did! This show is such a delight and always reminds me that I love living in NYC, which is sometimes something I forget. I love that The Guy has a dog now, love seeing a cute fat couple getting it on, and lovelovelove the singing telegram guy!

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Yeah it was hard to tell which characters were the center of this episode.  Some episodes meander from character to character while others are pretty focused on a couple of characters.

I guess if there was one theme tying some of the characters together, The Guy was working at a compost yard, then finds a dog to kind of "recycle" while the singing telegram guy was recycling songs as Ira Glass described it.

Or The Guy rescues the dog and the couple rescues their relationship.

Maybe it's free form writing?  Found references to the couple who are behind the show getting divorced a couple of years ago but they continue to work on the show, both writing.

I guess HBO taking it on made it the main source of income for them.

A lot of the quirky characters have interesting stories, even if they don't buy from and smoke out with The Guy.  But I guess the hook of the show is that they either know The Guy well or just cross paths with him somehow.

(Do pot dealers come across that many people though or just have a good number of regulars? )

The singing telegram guy runs into The Guy by mistake and they're able to tell his story a bit, needing tips to keep going.

Seems unlikely that he'd customize lyrics and either memorize or rehearse them enough, as well as prepare costumes, with no expectations of being paid except for tips and do that for several telegrams a day.

The way they promo'd this season made it sound like they'd feature Ira Glass more than once but this may just be a one-off.

 

 

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On Valentines day, they showed a couple of lonely people the guy who wants the bf experience and then the guy who freaked out about being touched by the intimacy coordinator.

Poignant.

Second time they've featured people who work on movie production crews.  When they show started as a web series they must have had minimal crews, maybe just the couple doing all the work.

Do they envy those big crews or are they saying their guerrilla-style of short-form films are better?

 

 

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I thought "Cycles,"  um, zoomed its way to near the top of any list of the show's best episodes (or at least of the show's best-written episodes). When it started I thought it would just focus on various cyclists (the Guy, the singing telegram man), but lots of other metaphors came in (pop songs being repurposed or recycled; people pooping, and the episode starting with composting and the guy's ashes being part of that compost 😂; etc.).

I didn't like "Trick" as much, but it was still very good. And it reminded me of how far (good) TV has come. The latter half of the episode did lean on an old trope, the "ironic profession": here's a physician...who can't cure him- or herself! Here's a detective...who has no clue about his or her own life and relationships! Here, we got a intimacy coordinator, who ultimately herself crossed an intimacy line. But the show did it so believably and gently. Even 5-6 years ago, a TV show would have developed that storyline super heavy-handedly. Law and Order: SUV no doubt would have had an intimacy coordinator turn out to be a rapist, or something. (Actually, SUV probably would still do such a clunky storyline, god help us all.) 

 

Edited by Corgi-ears

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I may have clapped like a little boy when the singing telegram guy got the TAL interview. I did not see that coming, so well done, show!

The escort segment of Trick was kinda squirmy. I hope that nice guy gives online meetups a rest and tries the face-to-face route. At least you see what you're getting from the start. (No shoe-wearing in my apartment either!)

 

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I have loved this series and am disappointed it will end. But this last season hasn't captivated me as much as the others. I feel like The Guy is missing too much - he was the main reason I tuned in.

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So the jurors had a big party after the trial ended?

And that foot fetish party thing, those women letting men lick their feet.

A lot of these characters seem like the type of people they used to pick up in Taxicab Confessions, as they're part of really offbeat scenes.

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Interesting camera work, that low steadicam tracking people walking from place to place.

NY seems to be a cool place with happy, encouraging, welcoming people.

Well at least until Fomo booby-trapped that robot vacuum.

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I think this season, the characters smoke but they're not hardcore smokers who will hang out with the Guy and smoke out.

Just stories about people and some peripheral connections to the Guy here and there, like the daughter of the dental assistant who went on the date.

Seems like the creator really wanted to play around with filming techniques with more difficult logistics this season.  Like previous episode, it was the low steadicam tracking shots.

This one they feature a lot of filming in cars, capturing the riders from different angles.  In the first case, it's the awkward ride with Lainey and her ex bf?  But they never show the driver there, even though he has some commentary about the riders.

Then at the end of the episode the dental assistant rides home and the driver wants to play live music for her, which means he tries to steer with his knees while his hands are playing the instruments.

So they have to do more with small cameras in the cars again.

Maybe Ben just wants to play around with cameras and techniques that a larger budget (than a web series gave him).

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Martha Stewart on High Maintenance?  Well she didn’t buy and smoke, just a cameo.

 

Great execution of the little girl punching Ellen in the face and her dropping the little girl.

Why put your kid on the lap of someone who obviously didn’t like being there?

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Well, Martha Stewart is apparently besties with Snoop-Dogg, so who knows. Also: Girl, do NOT touch Martha! I am cringing for you! Also also: Other Girl, do NOT steal other people's packages -- you are not hurting Amazon with that! (Props to the show: It never goes where I think it's going to.)

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On 3/8/2020 at 12:01 PM, scrb said:

NY seems to be a cool place with happy, encouraging, welcoming people.

That is just the show making New York look probably how the show wishes New York was. Having lived in this city and lived elsewhere, I can probably make the following statement with some accuracy:

Real New Yorkers are stressed out, busy, get-to-the-point type of people.  These big, happy collaborative meetings people have at work don’t happen this way in NY.  Everything is cutthroat and bottom line, at least in private enterprise.  I can’t speak for what it’s like to work for the government, though the court system is very hurried and unfriendly.

Some New Yorkers are calm, but none of them are jolly.  I think you can get kicked out of the city for being jolly.

I think the vet, the one who painted the portrait of Feau-Meau (which I thought was good) was about the only person I could see actually living in New York.  The Lainie character seemed like she would be bicoastal, but I’d buy her as New York, very few others.

Also the apartments are just way too nice. I kept getting distracted by the apartments—how does a dental assistant with a disabled husband and a daughter in school afford that apartment?  That awful couple that called each other “Smoothie” couldn’t have afforded that apartment on her salary from public radio, unless he was some kind of doctor, lawyer, executive, etc (which I wasn’t getting), and even then it would have been a tight squeeze, unless they were pulling in a good six figure combined salary.  (What would probably be really helpful would be if they would identify which neighborhoods they were in, as that has a huge effect on price, but I get the impression that they’re mostly in Brooklyn—Bushwick was mentioned at one point—and lower and midtown Manhattan.  I doubt he’s going to Staten Island, or distant parts of the Bronx).  

One of the most realistic depictions of New York I’ve seen on film came from the movie Election, which takes place in Omaha, ironically enough.  There’s a scene at the end of the movie where a main character moves to NYC, and he lives in a below street level apartment, in maybe two hundred square feet, for $1,200 a month (plus utilities) in 1999 dollars.  It’s a tough existence, and it’s reflected in the way people interact with each other. 


My husband and I are both from New York, but he’s only lived within commuting distance of the city, and when we were binge-watching this season, I looked at him at one point and said, “you know New Yorkers are nothing like this?”  And he’s like, “oh yeah.” 

The party that The Guy got invited to at his compost garden when they were watching YouTube seemed somewhat realistic, for people who are very bohemian and very wealthy.  I think when people are wealthy, it’s much easier to rise above life’s banalities and defeat stereotypes.  If you don’t have to wake up at 5 am to take the D train to the A train to walk seven blocks to your office in heels, you’re not, perhaps, as keyed up as others.  

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I feel the same way about DC. Political workers and elected officials rarely look and behave the way they are portrayed on TV (clothes, hair, how they talk, etc.).

 

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^^^

Ugh, that would make me crazy!  I haven’t spent much time in DC, but it’s clear not to everyone resides in Georgetown, the way the media seems to portray it.  

When I was watching this show last night, it jogged a memory for me when my friend and I were going to get pizza in lower Manhattan late one night, and I when I drunkenly but nicely asked another patron if the food was good, he took that opportunity to deck my friend in the face so hard that my friend bit off a part of his cheek and had to spit it into his hand.  Where is that New York, Ben?  Because it’s alive and well...

This past episode was not good.  I would have loved to see the puppet thing go farther.  That was cool.  I disliked the portion with the red-headed person, because I thought it was extremely unrealistic.  We are supposed to believe the red-headed person went into a trance or trip like that from three squirts of nasal spray prescribed by a doctor?  Who is this doctor, and is he taking new patients??

I don’t like it because I feel the show has an agenda—pot is great, all other drugs are evil—which is a message with which I utterly disagree.  And their agenda is kind of right there on the surface.  Last season, when that Asian vet was micro dosing, I was like, “let me guess where this is going to go,” and, of course, it did.  Meanwhile, micro dosing has had fabulous results.  

Horrible things can happen from smoking pot.  I’ve seen it rob people of their ambition, just like alcohol can.  And, I don’t really care if this sounds controversial, but if people are responsible with their drug use, “hard” drugs can provide a great time, which has been my experience.  I feel just a little bit lectured to every time I watch an episode like this.  

Oh, and The Guy really had to shame someone for having failed to quit vaping last night?  And this season he’s carrying around a jar, because “fuck plastic”?  I watch this for a story, not a lesson, thanks!  (Just to end on a positive note, I thought a really good story last season was the one with the gay contraction worker who couldn’t really speak English, and the coffee guy taught him how to order a “coffee regular,” and they had a bit of a romance.  That is the kind of thing I tune in to watch—just things that happen in interesting ways, not instructions on how to live my life).  

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On 2/26/2019 at 9:21 PM, scrb said:

Wasn’t watching that closely but seemed like The Guy didn’t visit either character, not Helens mother from The Affair nor the Asian vet?

The Asian vet segment may be the first time this series had an anti drug cautionary tale.

He destroyed that kitten?

Apparently.  Although he said it was still warm and he started giving it mouth-to-mouth.  Maybe he was able to resuscitate it after the camera cut.  

I'd have skipped this episode if I had known the details.  Helen's mom's segment wasn't that compelling and I have a problem with animal suffering/death.  The juice wasn't worth the squeeze.   

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Quote

I don’t like it because I feel the show has an agenda—pot is great, all other drugs are evil—which is a message with which I utterly disagree.

Being old enough to have seen 'em all in use, over time, I've always known regular drug users who are smug and precious. There's a growing undercurrent of that in the show that ruined it for me.

My friend who used marijuana during chemo declared it a sanity-saver (no nausea). Another friend with life-long mental illness believes it helped her maintain her ability to function when prescription drugs failed. I can see the science case there.

But two friends who have smoked daily since college are living in their mothers' spare rooms. I see avoidance and crutch there. And Willie Nelson can barely breathe (don't know if he smoked cigarettes his whole life). In the end, I question the wisdom of bathing one's lungs in any substance over a life time.

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Show doesn't strike me as proselytizing pot.

Obviously it puts pot in a flattering light.

But it's not like that magazine which used to advocate for legalization all the time.

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Ilana the niece seemed kind of judgey making a couple of cracks about the Guy and pot.

He actually sounded a bit defensive saying there’s nothing wrong with his life.  First time I can recall a slight crack in his stoner zen facade.

 

 

 

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Backflash was a bummer.  The lighter probably symbolized the transience of life or maybe The Guy himself, drifting in and out of people's lives.  Eventually we all end up in the trash.

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On 4/7/2020 at 11:48 AM, AllAboutMBTV said:

Did we know The Guy's first name was Rufus or had I merely forgotten?

Someone said it in Screen (S4, E5), but it didn't register with me.

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On 3/24/2020 at 12:19 PM, AllAboutMBTV said:

 (Props to the show: It never goes where I think it's going to.)

Truth.  That being said, I'm kinda cringe-watching at this point; afraid of exactly where it's going to go and not really enjoying it.  To wit: I wonder if The Guy would still be taking FOMO to that vet if he knew the story of the kitten and the tuba.

I'm not going to miss this show.

Edited by Lone Wolf

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