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S01.E02: Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme

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Midge's life is in a tailspin in the wake of Joel leaving. Midge and Joel's parents butt heads while trying to keep their family together. Susie pushes Midge to get back on stage and find her voice.

 

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I just watched the first 3 new episodes (so 2,3 & 4) and they are living up to the promise of the pilot.  ALSO,  I want all of Midge's dresses and all of her mother's lounge wear.

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I thought everything in this episode was overdone. For example, Midge and her friend in exercise class, chatting loudly in the front row, without their chatter ever being acknowledged by the instructor or the other participants. RIdiculous and very distracting. They also hammered home Joel's dad way too hard, IMO - I don't think we needed a thousand examples of his expansive personality in his garment center, nor at home. I thought the actress playing Shirley was great, though - made the most of everything she did without overplaying. And it was nice to see Midge's mom fleshed out, the shorthand with her and Midge, and that Midge's parents had a decent marriage. I figured Tony Shaloub didn't sign up for this thing to play the one note bore we saw in the pilot.

Don't know what they're doing with Joel. They're sort of running down the middle - kind of romanticizing how they were and showing that Joel's not happy, but also showing Midge moving on. I'm surprised Joel continues to be a regular - not sure what we're supposed to make of that. Suzy and Midge are great.

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This episode was definitely slower than the first but I can give them a pass since they were trying to give each of the lead characters a bit of air time and context.  The long monologues by several characters got tedious after a while.  The episode was "saved" by the last scene.  Watching Midge on stage is a total thrill.  I hope they don't spend 50 minutes getting to that point in the upcoming episodes.

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By a third of the way through I was shouting at the characters, "STOP TALKING!" I understand  Amy Sherman-Palladino's mantra, "Life is short, Talk fast", but seriously.

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Midge's mother telling Midge she tried to call to warn of Joel's mother's call, "I tried to call but your number has so many nines."  I laughed for such a long time.  OMG.  Also that speaker phone contraption.    So much entertainment.   I am positive that I am going to get burned out on Midge like I did Lorelai but for now?   I am very much enjoying this, especially all the smaller characters and the fabulous wardrobes.

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The exercise class was a lot but I'm guessing it was showing off some historically accurate moves. Silly now but I'm sure current trendy workouts will seem silly in a few decades too.

Loving the music. 

OK, so they're going a little cartoony. I was amused by the garment factory. I didn't think the scene with her dad at the college worked as well. But both stick out as different from the tone set by episode 1. It has to be one coherent show. Also, I really don't believe Tony Shalhoub is Jewish. 

Mary Testa! Speaking of Broadway, I keep thinking her mom is Donna Murphy. I know it's not Donna Murphy.

Hate Joel but I'm loving Joel's dad. And now we know how a schmuck like Joel got a good job.

I like the contrast of Miriam's Jewish intellectual parents (mathematics professor at Columbia, French food) and Joel's... what would you call it at this time period? Middle class? Industrial?... parents. They feel like very distinct, accurate types for the period. I do think it's a bit odd for the 50's that in no way do they seem like "outsiders" yet in the world of the show. But both families have scrabbled in their own way to make a place for themselves. 

I'm still enjoying the show. In spite of the problems it does make me laugh occasionally.

Not sure how I feel about the one black character so far being the bad poet (who was in episode 1) and who just got pushed off stage.

So it seems like when life is too much she just stumbles on stage. Sort of like how in other shows in moments of high emotion or necessity a character's magic powers will work or they'll magically solve the crime or whatnot. It'll work for a bit but I'm curious to see what happens when she actually has to craft an act.

Rachel is really great as a stand up. But I think the other reason those moments work so well is that they don't stretch your suspension of disbelief. Because you know it's a performance, you brain gets a bit tricked. You don't have to worry that it doesn't feel natural for everything to feel heightened the way it feels unnatural when she's just being a character. 

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On 12/2/2017 at 5:04 AM, aradia22 said:

The exercise class was a lot but I'm guessing it was showing off some historically accurate moves. Silly now but I'm sure current trendy workouts will seem silly in a few decades too.

There have been scenes of exercise classes from the same period in other shows (I'm thinking mainly of Call the Midwife) and they are...not very different than this scene.  Holding the bottle between their feet was new, though.  And what was that they were pulling?  It looked like something akin to an exercise band, which is still widely used today.

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On 12/2/2017 at 0:05 AM, bybrandy said:

Midge's mother telling Midge she tried to call to warn of Joel's mother's call, "I tried to call but your number has so many nines."  I laughed for such a long time.  OMG.  Also that speaker phone contraption.    So much entertainment.   I am positive that I am going to get burned out on Midge like I did Lorelai but for now?   I am very much enjoying this, especially all the smaller characters and the fabulous wardrobes.

Before she even said it, we laughed and commiserated. I hated phone numbers with lots of 9's back in the day. It took so freaking long to be able to dial the next number.

On 12/2/2017 at 5:04 AM, aradia22 said:

I like the contrast of Miriam's Jewish intellectual parents (mathematics professor at Columbia, French food) and Joel's... what would you call it at this time period? Middle class? Industrial?... parents. They feel like very distinct, accurate types for the period. I do think it's a bit odd for the 50's that in no way do they seem like "outsiders" yet in the world of the show. But both families have scrabbled in their own way to make a place for themselves. 

I'd say he was a businessman and Midge's (Miriam?) parents were intelligentsia. I'm not sure about the dividing line for middle class - but he could afford to buy their very expensive apartment - so he's pretty well off. But yes, I liked the contrast a lot too.

On 12/3/2017 at 0:31 PM, OtterMommy said:

There have been scenes of exercise classes from the same period in other shows (I'm thinking mainly of Call the Midwife) and they are...not very different than this scene.  Holding the bottle between their feet was new, though.  And what was that they were pulling?  It looked like something akin to an exercise band, which is still widely used today.

My parents had that kind of exercise band - I forget what it was called. Men and women used them for resistance training (not that it was called that back in the day). Basically the early version of ones we have today. 

The friend's constant banter during the class really bugged me. It's rude and unrealistic that there wouldn't be, at the very minimum, side-eyes. 

Loved Midge's red dress. The actress is stunning in it.

Joel's uncle moving Patty Pan into the other department amused me. But at least they didn't fire her - though given her lack of skills, one wonders why.

Edited by Clanstarling
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9 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

The friend's constant banter during the class really bugged me. It's rude and unrealistic that there wouldn't be, at the very minimum, side-eyes. 

Actually, I found the banter very realistic--and very rude.  True, you wouldn't see it in a zumba class or a body combat class (because, in those, you can barely breathe, much less talk), but I've been dealing with a foot issue for the last 5 months (ARRRGH!) and the only exercise I can do are swimming laps, which I hate, and aqua aerobics.  Let me tell you, there are a lot of people in the aqua class who consider it to be their social hour.

 

9 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

I'd say he was a businessman and Midge's (Miriam?) parents were intelligentsia. I'm not sure about the dividing line for middle class - but he could afford to buy their very expensive apartment - so he's pretty well off. But yes, I liked the contrast a lot too..

I just keep thinking that Miriam's parents, at least one of them (probably the mother) has to come from money.  I have a hard time believing that a math professor could afford the apartment in which they live.  

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18 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

 

I just keep thinking that Miriam's parents, at least one of them (probably the mother) has to come from money.  I have a hard time believing that a math professor could afford the apartment in which they live.  

I don't . My friends grandfather was an English Professor at Columbia and her mother lives in an apartment on the Upper West Side that he bought in the 40s thats very similar. 

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6 hours ago, biakbiak said:

I don't . My friends grandfather was an English Professor at Columbia and her mother lives in an apartment on the Upper West Side that he bought in the 40s thats very similar. 

Interesting.  I knew the real estate market in NYC had changed in the past several decades, but that is still impressive!  Apparently the 40s was the time to get NY real estate!

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 11:15 AM, OtterMommy said:

Interesting.  I knew the real estate market in NYC had changed in the past several decades, but that is still impressive!  Apparently the 40s was the time to get NY real estate!

Oh, it was.  I remember reading that Lauren Bacall bought her apartment in The Dakota for just under $50,000.00 - including a lot of the furnishings.  When she passed -many millions of course.

I'm just starting this, but am loving it so far. 

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I assume that maybe Midges parents come from money, but it might just be a vibe that I`m getting. I also enjoy the contrast between Midges intellectual sophisticated parents, and Joel's more business minded novue riche parents. They have some similarities in culture, but there are noticeable differences. I wonder if they had lead to more tension than we saw?

I covet every piece of clothing I see on this show, especially Midges wardrobe. So beautiful! So put together! So classic! 

Interesting that Joel is still around. I dont think he and Midge will get back together (at least permanently) but it would be interesting seeing them try to co parent their kids or something. Joel is a loser, but maybe he could be redeemable. Not enough to get back with Midge, but enough not to be a total weasel. 

That exercise class looked insane, but I guess my Zumba class would look insane to Midge and company, so who am I to judge? 

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The Upper West Side was originally built for the middle class...people who had white collar jobs, but who weren't Vice Presidents could frequently afford apartments. (Remember in Kramer vs. Kramer, which was set in the '70s, Dustin Hoffman's character makes around "$30,000" and that's considered a lot.) I have friends who worked as teachers and they got a huge old place on the UWS in the '70s and when the building turned co-op, they bought in as insiders. Now, they say, they are the poorest people in the building (except for that multi-million dollar apartment...)

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On 11/29/2017 at 11:20 PM, DianeDobbler said:

I thought everything in this episode was overdone. For example, Midge and her friend in exercise class, chatting loudly in the front row, without their chatter ever being acknowledged by the instructor or the other participants. RIdiculous and very distracting. They also hammered home Joel's dad way too hard, IMO - I don't think we needed a thousand examples of his expansive personality in his garment center, nor at home. I thought the actress playing Shirley was great, though - made the most of everything she did without overplaying. And it was nice to see Midge's mom fleshed out, the shorthand with her and Midge, and that Midge's parents had a decent marriage. I figured Tony Shaloub didn't sign up for this thing to play the one note bore we saw in the pilot.

Don't know what they're doing with Joel. They're sort of running down the middle - kind of romanticizing how they were and showing that Joel's not happy, but also showing Midge moving on. I'm surprised Joel continues to be a regular - not sure what we're supposed to make of that. Suzy and Midge are great.

I found that to be classic Amy Sherman-Palladino, but not in a good way.  It's like character exposition set on ELEVEN.  I mostly liked Gilmore Girls, but when this type of thing went too much, I got annoyed. Bunheads was even worse. I'm hoping the moments where it's obvious who wrote this are few and far between. A little goes a long way.

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One point the show is getting across well is Miriam's naïveté due to being so sheltered by her parents and Joel. I'm willing to give her a pass on not knowing what happens after you're arrested because if you've never been arrested, how would you know that? This was before there were a million iterations of Law & Order on tv so unless you or someone you knew got arrested, there's no reason that you would have known what the procedure was.

Miriam not knowing that Moishe owned their apartment was sad but not surprising. Moishe said it was a wedding gift so I'm assuming she knew that he paid for it, which means that the only thing she didn't know was that he didn't put it in Joel's name. Kind of understandable though - if someone gives you something like property as a gift, would your first instinct be to ask your husband, "But he put it in our names, right?" Heh, obviously in retrospect that SHOULD be the first question but a lot of women were not involved in the household finances at that time.

That was a real dick move from Moishe, by the way. Taking away the apartment to punish Joel when HE DOESN'T EVEN LIVE THERE can only be classified as a dick move. He's kicking his daughter in law and grandchildren out just to be spiteful to his son.

Speaking of which, where did Joel spend the night? He wasn't at the apartment with Miriam and I don't think he was with Penny Pann (if he was, she left for work much earlier than he did) and he wasn't at his parents' house.

On a related note, Joel getting his panties in a bunch because Penny Pann got moved into billing was a bit much. Sure, he's a VP but so what?

Even though Miriam and her mom seemed a bit antagonistic in the previous episode, it was nice to see a lot of their wordless communication during the dinner. I have to admit that compared to Shirley, Rose seems downright reasonable.

Ha, loved the return of the lady with the terrible poems.

As for the talking during exercise class, it's annoying but realistic. People still do that now, even during quiet classes like yoga. Classes with music are even worse because people think the music somehow covers the sound of their voices. My mom, my sisters, and I have taken just about every kind of dance and exercise class known to man at one point or another and there are always people who think it's social time. In my experience, the instructors are much more likely to tell kids to stop talking. I think they're more reluctant to tell adults to be quiet because in that case you're talking to the person who actually pays for the class and they don't want to lose a paying customer. And in this day and age, it's likely that an adult who is told to stop during class will post bitchy comments on social media saying, "This teacher was soooooo mean to me! She yelled at me in front of everyone for no reason!"

Unfortunately, there are rude people who refuse to shut up EVERYWHERE. Just over the weekend, I was sitting in the orchestra section at the San Francisco Ballet and the couple behind me was talking the entire time.

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2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

That was a real dick move from Moishe, by the way. Taking away the apartment to punish Joel when HE DOESN'T EVEN LIVE THERE can only be classified as a dick move. He's kicking his daughter in law and grandchildren out just to be spiteful to his son.

It was indeed, but I wonder if it was really to punish Midge for not being a good enough wife to keep him (in the same way her parents - or at least mother - thought it was her fault at first pass). 

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6 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

That was a real dick move from Moishe, by the way. Taking away the apartment to punish Joel when HE DOESN'T EVEN LIVE THERE can only be classified as a dick move. He's kicking his daughter in law and grandchildren out just to be spiteful to his son.

 

3 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

It was indeed, but I wonder if it was really to punish Midge for not being a good enough wife to keep him

And, I suspect, to make the same point to the competition (her haughty father, the Columbia professor): send his wash-out daughter home to him, along with two small children.

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I don't think Moishe was trying to punish anyone. From his perspective it was not his job to take care of Midge once she and Joel had separated. That would be Abe's responsibility. That may seem old school but I don't think he can be faulted for that. Moishe also had a lot of money tied up in the apartment that could be freed up if Abe stepped up and took care of his daughter. His decision makes sense to me. And why would any woman put herself in the precarious position of letting her estranged husband's father support her instead of her own family? It would be very unwise to become financially dependent upon people who can and probably will cut her off sometime in the future.

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Moishe said the apartment was a wedding gift. To me a gift is something you give, nit something you temporarily loan with strings or conditions attached. If someone gets divorced, you aren’t supposed to demand that they return the toaster you gave them as a wedding gift. It’s not just weddings either. If you give someone a birthday or other non-wedding gift, you don’t get to ask for it back if they make you mad for whatever reason, especially years later. 

It’s hard for me not to see it as Moishe punishing Joel given what Moishe said. 

Joel: You're bluffing.
Moishe: I'm not bluffing. This is not a bluff you want to call. I'm doing nothing.This is all you, my boy.
Joel: Are you crazy? It was a wedding gift.
Moishe: A wedding gift to a married couple. A gift for you and Miriam. You say there's no longer a couple? Fine, I'll take it back. The apartment is in my name. I can do what I want with it.
Joel: Why would you do this?

Moishe: You say you want me out of your life. Okay, I'm out of your life. But I'm taking the apartment with me.

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Moishe: A wedding gift to a married couple. A gift for you and Miriam. You say there's no longer a couple? Fine, I'll take it back. The apartment is in my name. I can do what I want with it.
Joel: Why would you do this

Maybe Moishe was in over his head financially and didn't want to admit it.

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Just started watching the series. It really comes alive with the parents and side characters. Those fantastic actors began to find their comic rhythms in this episode.

I'm struggling with Rachel's character. I was annoyed with Judith Light's cartoonish character in Transparent, and I'm getting the same vibes with RB/Midge here.

I'll keep watching for the parents and the divine apartments and wardrobes. My mother used to swan about the house in elegant dressing gown (bought on sale), red nails, gold slippers and hair in pin curls tied up with a scarf. I think it was her "I have to cook and clean today but I've got a cocktail party tonight and my nails and hair are almost done and this dressing gown gets me in the mood for the party" outfit.

1950s Greenwich Village (or Paris) always called to me. I'm loving the 1950s NYC ambience.

If you haven't already, get a hold of HBO's Getting On. Alex Boorstein, Niecy Nash, Laurie Metcalf and cameos from long-ago TV actresses - one of my favorite shows ever.

Edited by pasdetrois
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I get that college classes were probably even more didactic back in the 1950s, but are we supposed to think that Abe is an effective educator? Always calling on the same student just because he knows the answers is not at all an appropriate teaching strategy. In that regard, it's even more unbelievable that so many students would raise their hands to answer a question if the professor always calls on the same student. I did like that he seems to be a tinkerer, putting together the "speaker phone" attachment. 

So far, I'm finding the show rather charming, and it has its moments. But you can definitely see the Amy Sherman-Palladino "quirkiness" that characterizes her shows. I think I'd like the show and its premise more without that flavor.

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On 12/6/2017 at 1:44 AM, biakbiak said:

I don't . My friends grandfather was an English Professor at Columbia and her mother lives in an apartment on the Upper West Side that he bought in the 40s thats very similar. 

The UWS, back in the day, was considered to be somewhat déclassé. I know, when I lived there in the '70s and people that we had made plans with found out where we lived, their reaction. Always was, 'can we meet you someplace?' No one wanted to go there--it was perceived as being the Wild West. Not like today.

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Just started watching this.  I had honestly never heard of it until I saw it won the best comedy emmy. 

Haven't read all the comments, but I know I am probably in the minority in saying..........Joel did them both a favor.  Shitty for him to have an affair, but Miriam it seems had a very sheltered life and assumed she was going to have the same sheltered life and path with money and kids that she has always had thanks to her parents.  She actually reminds me of Trudy from Mad Men. 

How he went about it sucked and should have done it a lot sooner, before they had two kids, but obvious that he wanted to follow a different path in life than where they were headed.  He likely thought he could convince Miriam of that as well, but finally realized that was not going to happen. 

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2 hours ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

Just started watching this.  I had honestly never heard of it until I saw it won the best comedy emmy. 

Haven't read all the comments, but I know I am probably in the minority in saying..........Joel did them both a favor.  Shitty for him to have an affair, but Miriam it seems had a very sheltered life and assumed she was going to have the same sheltered life and path with money and kids that she has always had thanks to her parents.  She actually reminds me of Trudy from Mad Men. 

How he went about it sucked and should have done it a lot sooner, before they had two kids, but obvious that he wanted to follow a different path in life than where they were headed.  He likely thought he could convince Miriam of that as well, but finally realized that was not going to happen. 

I have 2 relatives from that generation, my late aunt and my older cousin, who were both middle-class, Jewish, married with children, and college-educated, who stuck with their husbands until death did them part. I was married in 1969 and after three years I realized it wasn't working so I initiated a divorce. My family was shocked - I was the first person in my family to get divorced. If it had been 10 years earlier, and if I had had a child of two, I probably would have stayed married forever.

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