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SilverStormm

I’m Dying Up Here

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Well since I'm paying for Showtime, I'll give it a try but hope it's better than Roadies.

I did like Crashing so I don't mind a show about standup comics.

They're going to need strong reviews to give this show a boost because they haven't heavily promoted it like the other shows they've launched, like Billions, Homeland, even Ray Donovan.

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On 2017-05-14 at 9:48 PM, scrb said:

They're going to need strong reviews to give this show a boost because they haven't heavily promoted it l

It's not funny. The characters don't seem interesting. I think they realize that it was a dud and promoting it still wasn't going to help it.  

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Agree. Dreary. Not funny. Not interesting. Characters either boring or unlikable. I'll give it one more ep, but don't have very high expectations.

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The comics react to Clay's appearance on "The Tonight Show"; Eddie and Ron are surprised by their accommodations; Adam is forced into a compromising situation.

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I ended up liking this more then I thought I would. I was leery after Vinyl, but the fact that there are a couple of strong female leads helped a lot. I think I had pretty low expectations of what roles there would be for women, given that this is about stand-up comics in the 70s, but they managed to create several women characters who seem to be complex beings with their own agency. It doesn't hurt that they've cast Ari Graynor and Melissa Leo for those parts.

Though this pilot was a bit uneven, I found myself pretty engaged, pretty quickly. I know I sound like I'm damning with faint praise, but really I thought I'd watch a few minutes of this and know that it wasn't for me. So to have watched the whole thing and end with a feeling of expectation for the next episode is pretty astonishing. 

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I had the same "what the shit is this" reaction I did to Roadies, or whatever that Cameron Crowe monstrosity was. 

I think prestige cable may need to stop trying to relive the glory days of the previous century for a while.

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I've been a fan of the comedy scene since I was kid in the 80s and 90s. It's my understanding that a lot of our favorite funny people - at least from that time - were miserable to be around and that that scene was a mess. I'd add a mess but not in a fun way. It would take a lot to counteract all of that to make a watchable show. I don't know that rooting for these characters to make it is enough. Isn't the whole thing that we probably wouldn't be rooting for them if we saw what they were really like, and what we see on the stage is a cover?

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Melissa Leo is killin' it in this show.

Didn't go in to the show with high expectations, but after watching the pilot, I had to proceed immediately to Episode 2 without stopping. I'm hooked.

They're also re-creating the period flawlessly, or in the upper 99th percentile of all shows that try to re-create periods.

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Oh yeah, I am watching it because of Melissa Leo as well! And you are right, they are flawless in this 70's period! Oh man, those clothes were butt ugly!  

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The recreation of '70s-era "Let's Make a Deal" was really good and they even found a guy who looked and sounded like Monty Hall.

lol @ Clark Duke and Michael Angarano winning a life-time supply of Rice-a-Roni and being really happy about it.

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5 hours ago, Phishbulb said:

The recreation of '70s-era "Let's Make a Deal" was really good and they even found a guy who looked and sounded like Monty Hall.

lol @ Clark Duke and Michael Angarano winning a life-time supply of Rice-a-Roni and being really happy about it.

All that was great. The Fake Monty Hall was so good (the look and the posture and the sound of the voice and the speech patterns), at first I wondered, "Wait a minute, did they get the real Monty Hall back and use some kind of digital-trickery to make him look young?!??" It took me some time to be sure it wasn't him.

(He's still alive, by the way. Just looked it up. 95 years old. His wife of 70 YEARS died only two weeks ago.)

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One quibble and one thing I thought was great.

Quibble: The reveal at the end that the "scheduler" (whatever his character's name is--played by an actor I've seen a million times and also don't know the name of) was the one who'd purloined the ventroliquist's dummy? Totally unnecessary. It couldn't have been more obvious from the get-go that he was the one. Showing the damaged dummy in the trunk denied the audience proper credit. 

What was great: That scene at the end where the formerly shaggy comedian looks at himself with shorn locks? I felt his pain. If the clean-cut look means he's surrendering his dream to the requirement that he be a "good provider," that's a tragedy of sorts. I hope he can figure out a way to keep both balls in the air. The end shot made it by no means certain that he can.

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This is the episode I would have used as the pilot. I thought it did the best job of setting the stakes of trying to make it as a comic, showing the ups and down and giving us an in to root for these characters.

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I am really liking this show.  Ironically, the worst parts are the stand up routines. I dig the camadrie and the struggle.  However, because of the failure of Vinyl and a mediocre premiere, few people are watching.

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33 minutes ago, qtpye said:

I am really liking this show.  Ironically, the worst parts are the stand up routines. I dig the camadrie and the struggle.

I kind of agree re the routines. I did think the routines in the pilot were pretty good, though, except for Cassie's. (Which were deliberately weak.) Maybe that's why they aired that episode first. Since then, the routines have been meh.

But it's an impossible problem! I gave up on Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, because the glimpses of the supposedly brilliant SNL-type show were so lame. No show that I know of which has attempted to do this sort of thing has licked it. Good thing the show that surrounds the routines in IDUH is so compelling.

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This is the one that sealed it for me: I love this show.

So many great moments in this episode. The low key but powerful (and tight) writing in Goldie's first scene with her ex; the hilarious baby-way sexcapades; Goldie counting money in scene after scene; Pryor managing to feel real, and not like a stunt character;  Goldie's ex dying on stage (and just when you might pity the man for what Goldie did to him, he hits her and you see that whole relationship unrolling before you like a dirty carpet, and you want to see him flop-sweat all over again). And that final sequence was stunning. The camera taking us through that big-ass, empty house and then landing on the television set -- Goldie watching the Riggs/ King match, her craggy face bruised from that bastard's hand, sucking on a cigarette like her own baby-way nipple -- until her face finally splits into a smile when King wins, as the happiest song ever written about misogyny plays underneath.  

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On 6/17/2017 at 5:24 PM, Milburn Stone said:

All that was great. The Fake Monty Hall was so good (the look and the posture and the sound of the voice and the speech patterns), at first I wondered, "Wait a minute, did they get the real Monty Hall back and use some kind of digital-trickery to make him look young?!??" It took me some time to be sure it wasn't him.

 

Fake Monty was fantastic -- great casting/acting.

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(He's still alive, by the way. Just looked it up. 95 years old. His wife of 70 YEARS died only two weeks ago.)

Seventy years  - what a huge loss (I only found out a few years ago their daughter is the fabulous Joanna Gleason, an actress I love in just about everything I've seen her do).

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On 6/21/2017 at 3:44 PM, Milburn Stone said:

But it's an impossible problem! I gave up on Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, because the glimpses of the supposedly brilliant SNL-type show were so lame. 

Me too -- and that goddamn dolphin voice of Paulson's they kept shoving in our face as adorable and irresistible to America -- blech. (btw, MIlburn, I kept landing on your profile page reading the forum b/c I was trying to hit the last post in each thread --  so if my name turns up several times, that's why -- I'm not stalking you every ninety seconds;)

Edited by film noire
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Great episode...but it's irking me that I don't remember where/what show I've seen Jere Burns in. Anyone recall?

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3 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

He's the police chief in Angie Tribeca.

Thanks, Milburn, but I'm thinking it was an old comedy. Something like Murphy Brown, but not sure.

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1 hour ago, MsTree said:

Thanks, Milburn, but I'm thinking it was an old comedy. Something like Murphy Brown, but not sure.

Dear John?

dear john.jpg

Edited by film noire
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He gave a great performance in this episode of IDUH. I believe his background is entirely in acting and not in standup comedy, but I bought him as a comic. And I felt his flop sweat!

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5 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

He gave a great performance in this episode of IDUH. I believe his background is entirely in acting and not in standup comedy, but I bought him as a comic. And I felt his flop sweat!

It was really nuanced, I thought; you could see he had enough of an act that might interest the bookers there to see him, but that there was no juice in the material alone, it depended mostly on delivery. Really well written and beautifully performed.  And -- repeating myself -- but I went from feeling his flop sweat to wanting him destroyed - after he slapped her -  and all in the space of under thirty seconds. That was a neat little hat trick ; )

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38 minutes ago, film noire said:

It was really nuanced, I thought; you could see he had enough of an act that might interest the bookers there to see him, but that there was no juice in the material alone, it depended mostly on delivery. Really well written and beautifully performed.  

Great observation.

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 1:19 AM, film noire said:

Dear John?

YES! Thank you!!

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film noire pretty much summed up my feelings about this episode (and beautifully written, i might add). melissa leo is such a great actor and I hope she gets an emmy nomination for her work in this show.

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Loved: Goldie flicking her tongue like a delighted lizard when she found out CBS was interested -- so carnal and immediate.

Character step forward for me:  Bill as a stand-up using a "70s" comedy approach (jokes coming out of  lived experience and a concept, not just jokes). And story wise, the process of creating that Dogs Dating routine was clear, believable, and for me, low key in the right way (as in, there was no hokey moment of "Dad! DAD, listen to me! I'm funny, dammit! But also ironic because I'm making you laugh about your real son, Sparky!") Felt organic, and he cracked me up.

Character step backward for me: Cassie, Cassie, Cassie. Why do they keep giving you the kind of Big Moment stage scenes that make me think you're about to sing "Rose's Turn" from "Gypsy"?  At least this one happened in a deli, where they keep the schmaltz.

Anachronism watch: Cassie's line "Don't rub it in, bitch".  That man would not have laughed at his wife being called a bitch, even in jest - that word was still pure poison in that era.

Completely confused me: Ralph's storyline.  I really like the actor playing Ralph - -his energy, his look, his chemistry with the cast -- and his routines are smart enough to make me buy into the idea that he's a comic straddling the line between an act that's comfortable-for-white-people, and something edgier.  What I don't buy is Ralph throwing a man out of a helicopter. It just didn't scan for me, despite two actors doing yeoman's work carrying a seven hundred ton story line. I might have bought the whole thing (and in one sudden moment) if they'd given me a creepy, seemingly out-of-character moment for Ralph; maybe show him taking a sledgehammer to the bar he spent months building,  laying waste to something he loves. Penance combined with violence, and a flash of something ugly and unbridled, waiting behind all that amiability.  But Ralph standing stage side as Sonny and Cher do his joke felt small in the wrong way; not up to the story they just told.

AA meeting: it's been done before, but I still enjoyed it, mostly because of Clark Duke.

Nick.  Heroin before Carson. What else you got?

Memorable moments: Adam meets every working Eve,  and Farewell to Sparky.

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22 hours ago, film noire said:

Character step forward for me:  Bill as a stand-up using a "70s" comedy approach (jokes coming out of  lived experience and a concept, not just jokes). And story wise, the process of creating that Dogs Dating routine was clear, believable, and for me, low key in the right way (as in, there was no hokey moment of "Dad! DAD, listen to me! I'm funny, dammit! But also ironic because I'm making you laugh about your real son, Sparky!") Felt organic, and he cracked me up.

Since you mentioned this thread... :-D

What I think I need from Bill it to actually figure out that his lived experience is funny. His father (the guy who's one piece of advice is that the family is cursed to failure) treats his dog like a son. The one time he makes his father laugh they come home and the dog, like the typical evil favorite child, has picked this moment to be at death's door. Then the father buries the dog in Bill's yard without asking. Then when Bill drunkenly pisses on the grave (apparently unable in the moment to go for the obvious "Dad, he's DOG. It's a sign of respect to mark the grave by peeing on it") the father digs up the dog with his bare hands like a lover driven mad with grief and throws him in the car to bring him home.

If you're looking for lived experiences to mine for comedy this stuff is INSANELY funny--and I say this as a dog lover. (Because it's not about hating the dog, it's about how his father bizarrely treats the dog like the favored son and then--more importantly--how the comic shares this delusion completely.) But Bill can't seem to step back and actually see his life for the darkly comic masterpiece it is, which seems like the reason he's not funny. I don't know how I would have felt about his dog monologue if I didn't know the guy, but it came across to me, unfortunately, like there was a thin-veneer of dog stuff to appeal to the dad, and underneath was a sort of tired misogyny. (Bill creates a scenario with an indifferent male and nagging female where in his own relationship he's needy and insecure.)

Watching this ep I realized that one of the things that frustrates me about this show is they keep pushing this idea that you're a better comic the more you reveal yourself, but that's not really, imo, what comics need to do. I mean, they're brave just for getting up in front of people hoping they'll make them laugh. But when they make jokes out of lived experiences the point isn't just to make the audience feel like you're vulnerable--nobody goes to see a comedian to watch a therapy session. It has to be funny and to be funny you have to make the audience identify with you in the story. (This is why Cassie's joke about her mother watching her have sex totally didn't seem funny to me--it wasn't believable that she'd really thought any of that. As opposed to Cassie here, admitting that she's of course jealous of these old couples who have each other. Or her earlier joke about planning her wedding during a blowjob. Those things seemed like real things people could admit to having done--the corpse joke seemed like it was trying to be edgy for the sake of edginess.) 

With Bill, he's a great example if they're actually moving in the direction of having him work get some enlightenment on this. Right now when he's onstage he reveals himself in totally the wrong way by putting on this persona that's obviously hiding anger and insecurity. 

23 hours ago, film noire said:

Anachronism watch: Cassie's line "Don't rub it in, bitch".  That man would not have laughed at his wife being called a bitch, even in jest - that word was still pure poison in that era.

 

Yeah, swearing in general was much more rare. It seemed like a very 2017-thing to feel like the line wasn't complete without the bitch. It would have worked just as well if she'd just said, "Okay, don't rub it in, [Name]." 

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2 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

Since you mentioned this thread... :-D

Yay, Sister Magpie! : )

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His father (the guy who's one piece of advice is that the family is cursed to failure) treats his dog like a son. 

..and his son like a dog.

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(apparently unable in the moment to go for the obvious "Dad, he's DOG. It's a sign of respect to mark the grave by peeing on it")

LOL

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(Bill creates a scenario with an indifferent male and nagging female where in his own relationship he's needy and insecure.)

I saw that routine a bit differently; even as Bill is playing to his father (the part of Bill as a comic/artist that won't stop seeking approval) he was also creating a scenario where the "bitch" kept calling her sexual partner on his shit (Cassie/him). 

For me, the writers nailed that in a very era-specific way.  That routine (coming after decades of "My wife doesn't understand me" jokes built around women needling and whining) would have landed differently in '73 because she wasn't begging or whining, she was calling out and confronting. (More Rhoda, less Mary). This bitch has agency, to put it in (annoyingly; ) modern terms.

I think where Bill's misogyny lives is revealed in the biggest laugh in that routine:  when the bitch threatens to cut off his "lipstick tube" (female image) of a dick. For that fear to make sense, though, Cassie's got to get a whole smarter and funnier and conceptual. 

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It has to be funny and to be funny you have to make the audience identify with you in the story. (This is why Cassie's joke about her mother watching her have sex totally didn't seem funny to me--it wasn't believable that she'd really thought any of that. As opposed to Cassie here, admitting that she's of course jealous of these old couples who have each other. Or her earlier joke about planning her wedding during a blowjob. Those things seemed like real things people could admit to having done--the corpse joke seemed like it was trying to be edgy for the sake of edginess.) 

Agreed -- overall, I feel about Cassie the way Goldie feels about her: "Who are you?" -- the writing tells me she feels has something to say, but none of it is said in a way that feels like a comic with a vision finding her way; feels more like a comic looking for a vision.

I think it would also help the show overall if they started writing routines (for at least one comic) using politics/Nixon as a proxy for our own era -- that would make the humour bounce more, and give the show an easily accessible relevance (and without resorting to anachronisms, since most comics under 35 were doing political material). 

Edited by film noire
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17 hours ago, film noire said:

I saw that routine a bit differently; even as Bill is playing to his father (the part of Bill as a comic/artist that won't stop seeking approval) he was also creating a scenario where the "bitch" kept calling her sexual partner on his shit (Cassie/him). 

 

I hadn't thought of it that way-that does make sense. Because his delivery didn't sound entirely fake or anything. Like, it's not like he seemed to be trying a "bitches be crazy, am I right?" pose.

17 hours ago, film noire said:

I think it would also help the show overall if they started writing routines (for at least one comic) using politics/Nixon as a proxy for our own era -- that would make the humour bounce more, and give the show an easily accessible relevance (and without resorting to anachronisms, since most comics under 35 were doing political material). 

That would be a really good idea. Especially using it as a proxy. God knows the actual news keeps finding itself having to refer to Nixon these days!

It's funny that I find myself often most drawn to the real beginners here. They often seem the most understandable etc. 

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It's funny that I find myself often most drawn to the real beginners here. They often seem the most understandable etc. 

Me, too  -- I think they're easier for me to buy into because I have no expectations of them - all I need from them is potential. 

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On 7/11/2017 at 3:35 PM, film noire said:

Loved: Goldie flicking her tongue like a delighted lizard when she found out CBS was interested -- so carnal and immediate.

Character step forward for me:  Bill as a stand-up using a "70s" comedy approach (jokes coming out of  lived experience and a concept, not just jokes). And story wise, the process of creating that Dogs Dating routine was clear, believable, and for me, low key in the right way (as in, there was no hokey moment of "Dad! DAD, listen to me! I'm funny, dammit! But also ironic because I'm making you laugh about your real son, Sparky!") Felt organic, and he cracked me up.

Character step backward for me: Cassie, Cassie, Cassie. Why do they keep giving you the kind of Big Moment stage scenes that make me think you're about to sing "Rose's Turn" from "Gypsy"?  At least this one happened in a deli, where they keep the schmaltz.

Anachronism watch: Cassie's line "Don't rub it in, bitch".  That man would not have laughed at his wife being called a bitch, even in jest - that word was still pure poison in that era.

Completely confused me: Ralph's storyline.  I really like the actor playing Ralph - -his energy, his look, his chemistry with the cast -- and his routines are smart enough to make me buy into the idea that he's a comic straddling the line between an act that's comfortable-for-white-people, and something edgier.  What I don't buy is Ralph throwing a man out of a helicopter. It just didn't scan for me, despite two actors doing yeoman's work carrying a seven hundred ton story line. I might have bought the whole thing (and in one sudden moment) if they'd given me a creepy, seemingly out-of-character moment for Ralph; maybe show him taking a sledgehammer to the bar he spent months building,  laying waste to something he loves. Penance combined with violence, and a flash of something ugly and unbridled, waiting behind all that amiability.  But Ralph standing stage side as Sonny and Cher do his joke felt small in the wrong way; not up to the story they just told.

AA meeting: it's been done before, but I still enjoyed it, mostly because of Clark Duke.

Nick.  Heroin before Carson. What else you got?

Memorable moments: Adam meets every working Eve,  and Farewell to Sparky.

Ralph beat the hell out of a guy for making a racist joke in the pilot. By that alone he's been shown to be more violent than anyone else around. 

But, I don't need to buy anything. People do crazy shit in war. Things they never come back from. There is nothing I wouldn't believe someone wouldn't do in war. Anything is possible. Veterans have made that very clear.

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2 hours ago, Racj82 said:

Ralph beat the hell out of a guy for making a racist joke in the pilot. By that alone he's been shown to be more violent than anyone else around. 

Good point -- for me, that felt justified, so (right or wrong on my part) it didn't feel like Ralph was engaging in anything out of the realm of his character.

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People do crazy shit in war. Things they never come back from. There is nothing I wouldn't believe someone wouldn't do in war. Anything is possible. 

Absolutely - my reaction has to do with Ralph specifically, not war in general -- I can easily believe a soldier threw a prisoner out of a helicopter, I just don't buy that Ralph did so.

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On 7/11/2017 at 3:35 PM, film noire said:

Character step backward for me: Cassie, Cassie, Cassie. Why do they keep giving you the kind of Big Moment stage scenes that make me think you're about to sing "Rose's Turn" from "Gypsy"?  

Ari Graynor always reminds me of a young Bette Midler, so it's funny you say this.

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 I might have bought the whole thing (and in one sudden moment) if they'd given me a creepy, seemingly out-of-character moment for Ralph; maybe show him taking a sledgehammer to the bar he spent months building,  laying waste to something he loves. Penance combined with violence, and a flash of something ugly and unbridled, waiting behind all that amiability.

You're psychic!

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From Showtime: "Nick books a life-changing gig. Adam questions Barton about his odd accommodations. Bill tags along with Sully on a sales call that doesn’t end well. Eddie and Ron go on a painful double date. Goldie and Eli sell their comedy special."

 

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Some great analysis going on in this thread.

The revelation about Ralph made me go OMG. There's no way I would have gone OMG if something about it, as shocking as it was, wasn't "buyable" for me. The fact that it took my breath away is empirical evidence that on some level it made sense to me. Otherwise, I would have gone: "Bitch, please."

This show better get picked up for another season.

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