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When Tess forgets her wallet at the restaurant, she goes back to discover what happens after-hours; Simone teaches her about the coding of tongues, leading Tess to become even more enthralled by Simone.

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The biggest problem I had with this episode is that they gave us no plausible reason as to why Howard hired Emma. She admittedly has no experience and no knowledge of wine/fine food. She was an English major but is currently reading nothing so she had nothing interesting to offer conversationally when he tried to engage her in some non-restaurant discussion. Why in the hell would he hire her?

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11 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The biggest problem I had with this episode is that they gave us no plausible reason as to why Howard hired Emma. She admittedly has no experience and no knowledge of wine/fine food. She was an English major but is currently reading nothing so she had nothing interesting to offer conversationally when he tried to engage her in some non-restaurant discussion. Why in the hell would he hire her?

I feel like we were supposed to gather that her appreciation that the restaurant was "different" and therefore better in some way with her final comment of the interview was enough for Howard to realize she was "one of them" and should be hired. But, I agree with you that it wasn't enough for me to really figure out why.  In the book I feel like it's implied that Howard is kind of a pig and likes pretty girls.

I thought the lead was cast well and also Simone. I'm not sure about the bartender guy she has a crush on. As of right now, I can't get why she's interested in him. 

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I was so underwhelmed by this show, although the lead actress is very appealing. I think the whole sequence with Mrs. Neely and the sherry was a big mistake for the first episode - I wish we'd been thrown into an exciting and disorienting environment (even the city itself seemed relatively calm and quiet and easy for her to settle into, it all seemed like a summer holiday weekend version of New York when no one is in the city) Instead we're shown a dim, empty restaurant where the only patron is literally asleep. And we're supposed to think this is the best of the best and a sink-or-swim environment? I've also never been able to get on the Caitlin Fitzgerald train. Here she seemed like a pretentious camp counselor, not some exotic entree into New York sophistication (which I understand is how she's written? I also haven't read the book but always thought it to be much sharper-edged than this.) The show's Twitter account is already making me want to say 'stop trying to make baby monster happen.'

Sorry for the negativity, I just had such medium hopes for this! I signed up for the Starz 7-day trial for this and Howard's End but I'm not sure I'll finish it.

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What kind of English major isn't reading something? I was an English major for a whole semester before I switched to something more lucrative and I am still constantly reading something that I can discuss.

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I'm only 7 minutes in and I feel like I'm watching a lost episode of "Felicity." Hope it gets better.

ETA: Finished the ep. It made a hard left from "Felicity" into "Flesh and Bone," with the restaurant world substituting for the dance world. Dunno if I'll stick around. I can't stand when a character is constantly stammering. (Just spit it out!) She also seems incompetent. She can't do one thing without going off on a tangent? She gets overwhelmed after NOT filling the salt shakers? My first job at 16 was waiting tables. It's not that hard. The bad-boy love interest is the opposite of hot. Always nice to see Paul Sparks, and I like Caitlin so I'll try one more ep.

Edited by numbnut
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On 5/7/2018 at 8:33 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The biggest problem I had with this episode is that they gave us no plausible reason as to why Howard hired Emma. She admittedly has no experience and no knowledge of wine/fine food. She was an English major but is currently reading nothing so she had nothing interesting to offer conversationally when he tried to engage her in some non-restaurant discussion. Why in the hell would he hire her?

Hello! because she's pretty.!!! I worked in the hospitality industry for years--- upscale as well as bar/restaurant venues. As a hiring manager-- I would always go with the good looking ones. You can teach almost anyone to serve-- you can't change someone's looks. Not really. Guests respond to pretty people. Hell, they've just proven that babies respond favorably to pretty people.

Anyway I didn't hate it. I liked the behind the scenes (back of the house) parts. Some of the other characters seemed compelling.  I never watched Felicity or Flesh and Bone so I can't compare.

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12 hours ago, taanja said:

Hello! because she's pretty.!!! I worked in the hospitality industry for years--- upscale as well as bar/restaurant venues. As a hiring manager-- I would always go with the good looking ones. You can teach almost anyone to serve-- you can't change someone's looks. Not really. Guests respond to pretty people. Hell, they've just proven that babies respond favorably to pretty people.

Years ago, Hugh Hefner was asked what he looks for when he chooses Playboy models and he immediately said, "A pretty face. You can't airbrush ugly." He went on to say that if their bodies weren't perfect, they could fix that in photos but they couldn't magically make an unattractive face into a pretty one. There have been studies for years about how babies prefer attractive and symmetric faces (although if given a choice, babies prefer attractive faces to symmetric faces) so whenever Mr. EB and I see a random baby looking at either of us, we always say, "HA! The baby was looking at me more because my face is better!"

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It drove me crazy that she moved so slowly, like she was in some kind of a trance. No wonder she couldn't get the salt shakers filled. In that situation, I would be running around frantically trying to keep up, but she seemed to have no sense of urgency, even after she was told that she was only on probation and probably wouldn't last the week. 

I did read the book, quite a while ago, but there was definitely more chaos and urgency in her first day.  The actress is certainly pretty enough, but her entrance into the world of New York City seemed way too easy. 

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Half-hour drama series are a weird format, so this necessarily felt like a bit of a clipped introduction.

I like the cast so far, though at one point the lead is told she's been coasting on charm thus far, which doesn't seem at all in keeping with what we've seen from her -- she seems nice, of course, but she comes across as quiet and meek by nature.

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Tess meets Serena, an alumna of the restaurant who married one of their wealthiest guests; Serena and Simone were best friends and, to Tess, Serena has the perfect life; Simone teaches Tess not to believe everything she sees.

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I laughed at Howard's droll instructions to Tess not to eat out of the garbage (and that if she's going to do something disgusting, she either needs to do it in private or do it more quickly).

It's pretty funny to see how impressed Tess is by Simone and how everyone else is totally over Simone. I will give her credit for being knowledgeable about food and wine, but she comes off as so insufferable. I can see why Howard likes her though. She's smart, reliable, and she can upsell the customers on wine to make the restaurant even more money. From his point of view, what's not to love?

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Hmm this one has been panned heavily, while Vida has gotten good reviews.

yet more posts here than in the Vida episode threads.

Anyone watching both?  Are the reviews accurate on these shows?

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Second episode in I still don't hate anyone -- which for me is good. I can see why Tess is fascinated by Simone-- she has probably never met anyone quite like her. The bar scenes were fun. and yeah Tess-- after drinking that many shots / and snorting just a wee bit of coke) it's no wonder you puked!

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Tess reminds me of a weird combination of Felicity and Rory Gilmore. At times she delivers lines just like Keri Russell, if you close your eyes.

I like this show but find it stressful as well.

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These characters are one of this biggest collections of narcissistic jerk-offs I have seen in a show. I wouldn't want to spend ten seconds interacting with any of them. Are they typical of New York City hipster millennial yuppies?

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Tess has a day off and decides to go to Simone's apartment unannounced; after Simone invites Tess into her world, her abrupt expulsion leaves Tess lonelier than ever.

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Well, I will give Tess credit for practicing her serving skills at home and knowing to ask for help. That's the first proactive thing I've seen her do, and it's a lot more practical than dropping stuff at work.

Simone comes off as so cold that it's interesting to see her do anything kind, especially for Serena who she clearly has unresolved issues with. Bringing the black napkins was enabling but I know it was an act of kindness coming from Simone.

Although I feel bad for Will, who does seem like a nice guy, I can't really blame Tess for sleeping with him and then kind of dumping him. That's sort of what your 20s are for. Not being a dick, but for sleeping with the wrong people just because they happen to be there and then realizing it wasn't a great idea. And OF COURSE it's di rigeur to realize that what you want is the sulky/monosyllabic/noncommunicative bad boy who you think is such a mysterious rebel. I personally find Will more interesting than the bartender, but I'm also not 23 anymore. Thankfully I got that out of my system. I think Jordan Catalano was the last guy like that who I found even remotely attractive (and I'm pretty sure that was due more to his face than his bad boy stuff).

Tess is still learning who she is and what she wants, so although it wasn't smart of her to sleep with Will, at least she ended things as soon as she realized that she wasn't really into him instead of dragging things out. And since Will has apparently slept with half the wait staff, he shouldn't be surprised that sleeping with Tess didn't end with marriage and a white picket fence.

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I still feel bad for Will. He's been pretty decent to her and had such a sweet, puppy dog attitude about asking her to a movie on her day off. Nice guys always finish last. 

I really do not understand the deal with Jake and Simone. They . . . grew up together? They seem like such a couple despite what they say. There has to be more to them than meets the eye. 

Ariel is starting to crack me up the way she runs hot and cold with Tess. She seems like the type who will just unload on anybody within earshot. I've known that type.

I find this show oddly compelling for such a low-key premise. 

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Tess arrives at the restaurant in high spirits but soon realizes it's a night where everything will go wrong; Tess and Sasha embark on a drug-fueled night of adventure to burn off stress, until the night takes a turn.

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Tess is such a 20 something girl. She is so impressed by every single thing about Simone - her knowledge, her apartment, everything. She's like an eager little puppy dog around her. Simone could poop on the floor and Tess would just be amazed by the size, shape, and color of her poop. It's a girl crush crossed with hero worship, the need for a mother figure, and her desire to have anyone pay attention to her. She's lonely enough to show up at the restaurant on her day off. And look at how well her wish fulfillment works - Jake shows up!

The other thing about Tess that shows her youth is how self conscious she got about being alone in a restaurant. That's youth and insecurity. Once she becomes more confident, she won't care (or, more realistically, she will realize that no one has noticed that she's sitting in a restaurant by herself).

Why am I not surprised that Simone is the kind of person who drinks champagne with grilled cheese?

Jake once again proves he's the worst by showing up late to the Chinese restaurant and then leaving without paying. He gets paid as much as everyone else but somehow he can't afford to pay for dinner? If that's the case, don't go, you jerk! Tess is getting paid the least of everyone at that able but they still expected her to pay for her $15 share of the meal.

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Tess moves to NYC and proves to be the least adventurous, most needy new kid ever. You have the whole freakin' city -- go explore!! (Hint: there is more than one museum!)

Pretentious, boring, and somewhat pathetic, but I'm urbane, old, and over it all. Not their ideal demographic! Mildly hate-watching since only 2 more eps to go.

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Pretentious, boring, and somewhat pathetic, but I'm urbane, old, and over it all. Not their ideal demographic! Mildly hate-watching since only 2 more eps to go.

Oh really? There's only six of these?

The show really lives or dies on your interest in Tess/Ella Purnell. I suppose I find the actress somewhat compelling; the story itself isn't, particularly. It's certainly not something I can relate to, anyway.

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I enjoy the occasional light drama about an interesting sub-culture, stuff like 'Mozart in the Jungle'. But a light drama needs story hooks.

What are the story hooks here? The mystery of Simone? I fail to see why we should find her especially intriguing. Will Tess find lasting happiness with pouty bartender guy? Maybe if there was amazing chemistry between the characters, but I don't find that to be the case here.

The only hook to connect -- albeit weakly-- with me is the reaction in this episode of the waiter that initiallly mentored her, the one she hooked up with and later rejected ( is his name Will?) She rejected him, and now he is avoiding her. I'm mildly interested to see how this might play out, providing the show can do so in a non-cliched way.

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1 hour ago, clack said:

Will Tess find lasting happiness with pouty bartender guy? Maybe if there was amazing chemistry between the characters, but I don't find that to be the case here.

See, this is exactly what still isn’t working for me. At all.

I’m totally buying the actress playing Tess—-she’s so cute and innocent and filled with wonder, right at that awkward young adult age of just trying to find herself and where exactly she fits in. She totally looks up to someone older and far more worldly/sophisticated like Simone and clings to her maternal energy since she obviously didn’t have a real mother figure. She’s desperate to find her “tribe” and a group of friends she can trust, hence her inviting herself on the staff’s random group outings.

In the book, Tess’s intense attraction to the bartender makes a bit more sense. His character comes off far less “pouty” and more just endearingly enigmatic—-he draws her in with his vaguely friendly yet alluringly diffident behavior. Plus, his physical description in the book painted him in a far more handsome, artsy light—-think dreamy, arty hipster type a’la Jared Leto or Ryan Gossling.

Therefore I’m still *hating* this guy cast in the bartender role—-not only is he butt-ugly, but he’s playing the character as a typical pouty asshole without an ounce of charisma. And yes, he and the actress playing Tess have zero chemistry so far. Zilch.

Horrible casting decision.

Edited by Sun-Bun
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Poor Serena, marrying a rich guy and no longer doing God's work of waiting tables...yeah, bullshit!

Rory Gilmore if she did not have the monied connections is what I think of the main character.

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3 hours ago, qtpye said:

Rory Gilmore if she did not have the monied connections is what I think of the main character.

To be fair, Tess talks A LOT less than Rory!

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On 5/28/2018 at 5:03 AM, Ms Lark said:

Tess moves to NYC and proves to be the least adventurous, most needy new kid ever. You have the whole freakin' city -- go explore!! (Hint: there is more than one museum!)

ITA - there are a million museums, restaurants, bookstores, and people but the only thing she can think to do on her day off is do a drop in on a coworker and then show up at the restaurant? Walk around your neighborhood. Try a new restaurant (or if you can't afford that, try a new coffeeshop). Find a vintage shop. Visit the local butcher or spice shop. Find out what days are free at the museums. Go to Central Park. Get rush tickets for a Broadway show. There are endless possibilities for a day in New York!

16 hours ago, Sun-Bun said:

I’m totally buying the actress playing Tess—-she’s so cute and innocent and filled with wonder, right at that awkward young adult age of just trying to find herself and where exactly she fits in.

In the book, Tess’s intense attraction to the bartender makes a bit more sense. His character comes off far less “pouty” and more just endearingly enigmatic—-he draws her in with his vaguely friendly yet alluringly diffident behavior. Plus, his physical description in the book painted him in a far more handsome, artsy light—-think dreamy, arty hipster type a’la Jared Leto or Ryan Gossling.

I agree that the actress is totally believable as a sheltered naive awkward girl who is on her own for the first time in her life and in awe of the big city. She is trying to figure out who she is and she feels like everyone else is smarter/more sophisticated/cooler than she is, so she gets tongue tied around them and feels like she has nothing interesting to contribute.

I also agree that the casting for the bartender was a fail for multiple reasons. He and the actress playing Tess have no chemistry together. He doesn't come off as aloof or mysterious - instead he looks bored, sullen, or like he's staring at nothing. It doesn't help that the character has been slightly tweaked from the book into this boring and less interesting version. At this point, he has no redeeming qualities so it's hard for me to understand why Tess is interested in him at all. He's definitely no Jordan Catalano!

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Haven't read the book (didn't know there was one) but I have wondered what, exactly, Tess sees in Jake. 

It might also help if they had fleshed out a bit more of Tess's backstory. I don't know if we get more info in the book but she's such a cipher. I know she has/had no mother and that's about it. She seemed really awkward around the people she knew from back home when she ran into them. I'm guessing there's a backstory here that would help us understand the character better.

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Fun fact: this episode was written by Liz Tuccillo, author of He's Just Not That Into You (she also wrote episodes for Sex and the City, Smash, and Divorce).

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Ahhhh, youth, when your entire day can be ruined by a flaky boy being flaky.

I did feel bad for Tess when she got into trouble about the check cashing because how was she supposed to know that someone else at the restaurant was hustling the undocumented workers?

I want to like Sasha but I hate that he calls her Baby Monster every thirty seconds. I'm also didn't like that when she asked what drugs he was putting in her mouth, his response was "No more questions." I think it's a reasonable question to ask!

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On 5/30/2018 at 3:59 PM, iMonrey said:

Haven't read the book (didn't know there was one) but I have wondered what, exactly, Tess sees in Jake. 

It might also help if they had fleshed out a bit more of Tess's backstory. I don't know if we get more info in the book but she's such a cipher. I know she has/had no mother and that's about it. She seemed really awkward around the people she knew from back home when she ran into them. I'm guessing there's a backstory here that would help us understand the character better.

I got the feeling that she didn't really know the girl from home, except casually from soccer.  It seemed like they didn't even remember each others names, but just recognized each other's faces enough to say hi to a familiar face on the streets of New York.  That could just be my reading of it, though.

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On 5/20/2018 at 3:05 AM, BigDfromLA said:

Vida is better, by far.

I don't agree.  Vida is edgier and "socially relevant", if you care about that (I don't), so I can see why the critics would love it, but at least I like most of the people on this show, even if it's taken a couple of weeks for them to grow on me.

Honestly, though, IMO, it's like comparing apples and oranges.  They're two very different shows and to compare them does a disservice to both.  The only thing they have in common is airing on the same night on the same channel.

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13 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I did feel bad for Tess when she got into trouble about the check cashing because how was she supposed to know that someone else at the restaurant was hustling the undocumented workers?

IA.  Tess is clearly new and unaware, and Hector put her in a tough situation.  

Still, that was the only time I really felt bad for Tess tonight.  I get being upset about Jake, but Tess really just said "fuck it "to any kind of sense.  I did laugh at her dumbly asking what Ari gave her, after she took the pill.  And during a work shift, no less. 

I figured that Sasha would "fall", but I thought that scene would be a lot worse.  He's lucky he ended up on the balcony, rather than the pavement.

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Ugh, I loved this book and I really wanted to love this show but I SO don't.  Tess and her constantly parted/pouting mouth annoys me to no end...and this episode was a throwaway.

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I did feel bad for Tess when she got into trouble about the check cashing because how was she supposed to know that someone else at the restaurant was hustling the undocumented workers?

I didn't understand what was going on there - was the other guy in charge of cashing paychecks so he could take a cut out of them?

It gets harder and harder to related to Tess which makes it hard to root for her. I really feel bad for Will, he's been nice to her, got dumped, then used again when Jake didn't show. 

I said this last week, but Tess really needs some backstory here to inform her character. I know next to nothing about her and what little I've learned just from the show isn't flattering.

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On 6/4/2018 at 1:03 PM, iMonrey said:

I didn't understand what was going on there - was the other guy in charge of cashing paychecks so he could take a cut out of them?

It gets harder and harder to related to Tess which makes it hard to root for her. I really feel bad for Will, he's been nice to her, got dumped, then used again when Jake didn't show. 

I said this last week, but Tess really needs some backstory here to inform her character. I know next to nothing about her and what little I've learned just from the show isn't flattering.

I just don't get what she sees in Jake. I mean, I get that he's a "bad boy" but he's not an attractive one. He always seems to be standing there looking mad with his mouth hanging open.

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On June 4, 2018 at 1:03 PM, iMonrey said:

I didn't understand what was going on there - was the other guy in charge of cashing paychecks so he could take a cut out of them?

That whole subplot went right over my head until I read this thread! Yours is probably the right explanation. I thought the guy was mad because of something Tess was doing in the kitchen, which makes no sense, but then most of these coworkers are drama queens so it also seemed plausible. I think I also missed some of it because he was hollering in Spanish, wasn't he? As when I watch Vida, I wish I remembered more HS Spanish. If I'd known I'd need it to understand a TV show someday, I would have worked harder!

Maybe it's similar to a plot on The Deuce - the mobster cashed the construction workers' paychecks on Friday afternoons because the bank didn't open till Monday. The workers traded a percentage of their paychecks for this convenience. These guys must trade a percentage because they're undocumented.

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The guy who got Tessa to cash his check figured that if he went with her he wouldn't have to lose any money because she didn't know about "the deal."

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Oh, Simone - always ready to stab you in the back while smiling right at you. Between fucking her friend's husband and blithely telling Howard that Tess shouldn't be hired, she was in top form.

I was wondering if/how much the show was going to change the book ending for the show so that they had options for the second season. I wasn't at all surprised that S1 ended with Tess being hired.

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I'm surprised she didn't get canned for screwing up the wine. That's a pretty big loss! Oh, well. I'll put money on her screwing the boss in Season 2. Not that I care there's a S2!

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So that happened.

I honestly don't understand what kind of story this show is trying to tell. Maybe someone who read the book can explain it to me. Tess is such an enigma. The first season is over and done and I don't feel like I know any more about her than I did in the first five minutes of Episode 1. I don't know her background (well, she's from Dayton, apparently - that's it), I don't know her family or why she came to NYC to what she hopes to accomplish. She just sort of fell out of nowhere and into this strange little world or quirky characters.

I see that they have left a lot of loose threads hanging in order to do a second season but I wonder if there will be one. There hasn't exactly been a lot of buzz about this show, and I can see why. I think it's got a lot of intriguing elements and a good cast but overall I'm baffled by whatever they're trying to say.

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