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S02.E07: Look, She Made a Hat

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Benjamin opens Midge's eyes to the New York art scene, and she ends up knowing more about art than she realizes. The Maisel and Weissman families come together for a tension-filled Yom Kippur dinner on the anniversary of Joel and Midge's separation. Meanwhile, a reluctant Susie turns to her family for help in advancing her career.

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On December 6, 2018 at 12:48 PM, veronicalodge44 said:

pausing mid-binge for a few thoughts on this packed and very enjoyable episode...

 

*rufus sewell is just so yummy, it's ridiculous.  i've been a huge fan of his forever and his turn here did not disappoint.  so adept at both the OTT comedy in the bar and the more dramatic moments at his studio.

 

*the scene where midge and howell stood in front of his 'masterpiece' painting was so well done.  the actors sold it, and the look in midge's eyes when she realizes that his pronouncements about the impossibility of having it all likely apply to her - heartbreaking.  and i was really glad they never showed us the painting, only their reactions to it - much more effective that way, i think.

 

*i love the way benjamin and midge's relationship is unfolding.  she seems to be able to be completely herself -- the 'herself' that has especially blossomed in this last year -- with him.  and i loved their conversation in front of his place, and felt that scene was also all the more effective for showing everything that led to midge deciding to go inside with him, and what had already been implied by that, and nothing after.  it reminded me of hollywood films from an earlier era, where sometimes the suggestion of sex was so much sexier than something quite explicit (though i can enjoy those types of scenes as well, in series like in outlander). 

 

*and in another example of not having to show everything, i like that we got the quietly celebratory scene with midge and susie at the bar, but didn't see midge's preceding set.  her description-- that she just recounted word-for-word the yom kippur break-fast disaster from earlier in the evening--sufficed.  

 

*mrs moskowitz has quietly become a gem of a character, love her being with joel in his new role in the family business.

 

*again, i laughed hard so many times throughout this episode - i'm already looking forward to a re-watch of this whole season to catch all the nuances of the humor again.

@veronicalodge44, I agree with your entire post. The one problem with binge releases is the dearth of thoughtful analysis like this for each episode. But maybe this manner of streaming a series faster than the masses of the social media (like ourselves) can devour and regurgitate it is better—like not seeing the Howell painting in this episode. But I do want to savor and recall more of this series than I would with pure binging, so I'm grateful to have threads already set up here for that purpose.

I was dreading Midge getting "a new love interest" this season, but so far, this has been the most delightful pairing since any of Jane Austen's.

Is there something wrong with me if I identified with Susie's sister spending her days thinking of ways to murder her husband? [By "identified with," I don't mean I literally do that, just that I sometimes dwell on things like that, and not with my ex-husband—anymore.]

 

The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

Edited by shapeshifter
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On 12/6/2018 at 1:48 PM, veronicalodge44 said:

pausing mid-binge for a few thoughts on this packed and very enjoyable episode...

 

*rufus sewell is just so yummy, it's ridiculous.  i've been a huge fan of his forever and his turn here did not disappoint.  so adept at both the OTT comedy in the bar and the more dramatic moments at his studio.

 

*the scene where midge and howell stood in front of his 'masterpiece' painting was so well done.  the actors sold it, and the look in midge's eyes when she realizes that his pronouncements about the impossibility of having it all likely apply to her - heartbreaking.  and i was really glad they never showed us the painting, only their reactions to it - much more effective that way, i think.

 

*i love the way benjamin and midge's relationship is unfolding.  she seems to be able to be completely herself -- the 'herself' that has especially blossomed in this last year -- with him.  and i loved their conversation in front of his place, and felt that scene was also all the more effective for showing everything that led to midge deciding to go inside with him, and what had already been implied by that, and nothing after.  it reminded me of hollywood films from an earlier era, where sometimes the suggestion of sex was so much sexier than something quite explicit (though i can enjoy those types of scenes as well, in series like in outlander). 

 

*and in another example of not having to show everything, i like that we got the quietly celebratory scene with midge and susie at the bar, but didn't see midge's preceding set.  her description-- that she just recounted word-for-word the yom kippur break-fast disaster from earlier in the evening--sufficed.  

 

*mrs moskowitz has quietly become a gem of a character, love her being with joel in his new role in the family business.

 

*again, i laughed hard so many times throughout this episode - i'm already looking forward to a re-watch of this whole season to catch all the nuances of the humor again.

You had so many of my thoughts watching this. 

I wanted to see the picture but I’m so glad they didn’t succumb to it... so much better. So much tension.

I love Rufus Sewell - in Victoria, he’s smoldering, stoic and kind. Wise and weathered. In Man in the High Castle, broken and tied by loyalty and driven by fear of what happens if he takes a misstep in the Reich. His character work is brilliant and don’t get me started on how good his accents are...

His drunken performance on the bar? Hilarious. To go from Shakespeare to a dirty limerick while convincing people he was going to fall from the top of the bar... quite comedic gold. The timing! He had Midge going. I didn’t realize he had the comedic timing a range. My apologies, Mr. Sewell. And I want someone to interview him in why he was drawn to this and how he wound up on this show! ASP is so careful about casting so you know there’s a story!

The weird charade between Benjamin and Midge - the “well, you two found each other!”. 

Declan allowing Benjamin to buy a painting but don’t tell me where he lives or I’ll come get it. 

I adore Benjamin. I, too, was like why does she need a love interest. But I feel like if anyone has a chance to support her dream and be okay with her pursuing this, Benjamin’s the guy. I mean, no matter what, she’s the woman who got her a Declan Howell. He wanted a different woman. He’s open. Is he this open? So far he seems to be... 

Declan letting Midge know she might not have anything left for anyone else... that was heartbreaking. Some of the best writing and acting in a show full of it.

Sewell must be nominated for his guest spot. 

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13 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

@veronicalodge44, I agree with your entire post. The one problem with binge releases is the dearth of thoughtful analysis like this for each episode. But maybe this manner of streaming a series faster than the masses of the social media (like ourselves) can devour and regurgitate it is better—like not seeing the Howell painting in this episode. But I do want to savor and recall more of this series than I would with pure binging, so I'm grateful to have threads already set up here for that purpose.

I was dreading Midge getting "a new love interest" this season, but so far, this has been the most delightful pairing since any of Jane Austen's.

Is there something wrong with me if I identified with Susie's sister spending her days thinking of ways to murder her husband? [By "identified with," I don't mean I literally do that, just that I sometimes dwell on things like that, and not with my ex-husband—anymore.]

 

The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

No! I’m divorced and it’s because I didn’t dream of this, I dreamed of the phone call telling me there had been an accident, or he had a heart attack, blah, blah, blah...

plotting his murder wasn’t far behind!

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Why is she still wearing her wedding ring when she’s dating Dr. Dreamy?  He leaves Joel in the dust.

God, every time I think I can’t love Rufus Sewell any more, I do.  The scene in front of the painting was amazing.

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You know, the only thing that feels utterly off this season is how much time the Weissmans and the Maisels are spending together, especially given the fact that their children are separated and dating others.  ESPECIALLY especially considering that they really dislike each other.

It does seem a little contrived how they always are hanging out, particularly given they seemed to have amped up the general annoyingness of the Maisel parents.  I guess you could fanwank that Yom Kippur was a special occasion so they all wanted to be together. 

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That was very enjoyable - I mean we got Zachary Levi and Rufus Sewell in one and the same episode ;) All joking aside it was great. I loved Midge buying the picture from the sad room and everything that followed from her being herself and not giving in to the whole vibe of the place. And the scene before the mysterious painting was really well done and thought-provoking. Sometimes I wish there was a bit more breathing-space after something like that but that's of course not ASP's style.

And I just noticed how well chosen the songs for the end credits are *embarrassed*

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On 12/7/2018 at 8:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

 

I agree with this. Maybe it's regional, maybe I was sheltered - no adult in my life growing up during this period ever talked like that. It was considered totally beyond the pale. In this show, it's like the Sherman Palladinos are so giddy that they can use it, that they overdo.

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You know, the only thing that feels utterly off this season is how much time the Weissmans and the Maisels are spending together, especially given the fact that their children are separated and dating others.  ESPECIALLY especially considering that they really dislike each other.

It does seem a little contrived how they always are hanging out, particularly given they seemed to have amped up the general annoyingness of the Maisel parents.  I guess you could fanwank that Yom Kippur was a special occasion so they all wanted to be together. 

 

I could really do without either of Joel's parents, but especially Moishe.  They come close to being cartoonish. 

I can almost see them being together because they have grandchildren in common, except for the fact that they never pay any attention to said grandchildren. (But then neither does anyone else.) No, I'm afraid the real reason is to use those actors and to lay on the comedy very, very thick.

Edited by peggy06
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31 minutes ago, peggy06 said:
On 12/7/2018 at 8:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

I agree with this. Maybe it's regional, maybe I was sheltered - no adult in my life growing up during this period ever talked like that. It was considered totally beyond the pale. In this show, it's like the Sherman Palladinos are so giddy that they can use it, that they overdo.

Not regional (Midge's family could have been my family) except my father's parents and older siblings arrived from Russia--but both of my parents spoke accent-free American and always used the latest American idioms and slang.
The only thing I can think of (other than what you suggested), is that the use of the F word is supposed to jar today's viewers the way I was jarred when my father first used milder expletives in front of my young child in the 70s.

Similarly, I have an uncle who still cracks as many poor taste jokes as Joel's father, but minus the F bombs and sex--at least in front of 65-year-old me.

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On 12/11/2018 at 1:50 PM, rollacoaster said:

In that opening scene at the art gallery, did anyone catch that the Asian woman eating the apple and admiring the ladder was a reference to Yoko Ono?

Most definitely! And as a former gallery girl, I appreciated Dr Dreamy flipping out over the soon to be famous artists at the Art Bar!

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

 

 

The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

I grew up in the 60s and 70s and never heard an adult, let alone family, use that word until I entered the working world after college.   Unfortunately, today's gutter standards seem to have backflowed and tainted the past.

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2 hours ago, millennium said:

I grew up in the 60s and 70s and never heard an adult, let alone family, use that word until I entered the working world after college.   Unfortunately, today's gutter standards seem to have backflowed and tainted the past.

I never did either, my parents swore on occasion but not like that and my mom said "cultured" women and men never did in pubic. I used the F word once as a teen in front of my dad and he said, look in the mirror when you say that, not very attractive and your better than that.  I admit, I still drop it on occasion but for effect. I think Midge swears way too much and it takes away from humor.

That said, I always liked the cleaner comics, you can be observant comic and not be off color too much. Seinfeld did it, Cosby, David Brenner, Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, the late John pinnette, the list is long. I remember seeing Eddie Murphy years ago, he was funny but then got very raunchy making fun of women and sex acts and you can tell the room laughed less, he even commented on making some women uncomfortable. He seems to have faded but some classic "shock" comedians were funny and being first to do something made them popular but Midge, like at the wedding, is just bad. I hope she does more of a mix in the future. She's funny but not when she's manic.

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3 hours ago, millennium said:
On 12/7/2018 at 8:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

I grew up in the 60s and 70s and never heard an adult, let alone family, use that word until I entered the working world after college.   Unfortunately, today's gutter standards seem to have backflowed and tainted the past.

1 hour ago, debraran said:

I never did either

So, then, it seems ASP is sprinkling the F-word throughout Midge's lines for effect rather than for any historical vernacular accuracy.
But for what effect?
The only thing I can come up with (until ASP says otherwise) is out of some sort of tribute to Lenny Bruce. The Wikipedia article gives us the sequence of events leading to his fatal overdose (his trial, jailing, conviction, and sentencing):

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". . . On both occasions, he was arrested after leaving the stage, the complaints again pertaining to his use of various obscenities.[44] . . .
Bruce and club owner Howard Solomon were both found guilty of obscenity on November 4, 1964. . . . Bruce was sentenced on December 21, 1964 to four months in a workhouse; he was set free on bail during the appeals process and died before the appeal was decided. . . .[46]." (wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenny_Bruce#Obscenity_arrests)

Footnote 44 links to The Trials of Lenny Bruce (Linder 2003). See also trial excerpts: http://famous-trials.com/lennybruce/565-excerpts

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3 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

So, then, it seems ASP is sprinkling the F-word throughout Midge's lines for effect rather than for any historical vernacular accuracy.
But for what effect?

She can do what the men do, or better?  I don't know.  But the inaccuracy seems to extend to Abe, Joel, Susie of course, and probably others that I've forgotten.  I just don't think it was in wide use, unless maybe it was on the Upper West Side of NYC, but surely not in the midwest, not until much later.  Never heard it used until the 70s, and both sides of my family were earthy in their language. I was no stranger to colorful phraseology. 

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I thought the conclusion of this episode was wildly anti-climactic.   All the tension built up over Midge's secret career, the anxiety attending the big reveal ... it ended not with a bang but a whimper.   Nobody seemed to care, and their apathy wasn't very humorous either.   The whole scene had a slapstick, cliched quality, from the frustrated Balkan maid to the pregnancy announcement.   I also felt cheated by the important gig that went unseen.   The denouement seemed to break the cardinal rule of good writing -- don't tell, show.    Instead the writers yadda-yadda'ed it.    

I don't know, if a brother or sister or child of mine revealed he/she'd been pursuing a secret career as a stand-up comic and in fact had a big show that very night, you can be darn sure I would have been in that audience.   But that idea occurred to nobody at the table?   Not even Joel?   He's whining with regret, yet passes on a golden opportunity to perhaps start rebuilding his marriage by showing he can support Midge on her big night?     None of that break-fast scene seemed plausible to me, even for a comedy.

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On 12/10/2018 at 8:41 AM, shapeshifter said:

Not regional (Midge's family could have been my family) except my father's parents and older siblings arrived from Russia--but both of my parents spoke accent-free American

Ditto, and something I've wondered about for awhile ... both of my maternal grandparents came over from Russia in the 1920s (they met here because his older brother was married to her older sister) and my mom and aunt were born in the Bronx in the 1930s. Neither of those grandparents had what I can only describe as a "New York-raised Jewish" accent but rather both had strictly Russian accents until their deaths in their 80s (both spoke fluent English, Russian and Yiddish but the latter very rarely). Neither my mom nor my aunt had ANY accent per se ... definitely no New York accent. I guess they could have been identified as being from the east coast by, say people from other parts of the country but they didn't have that "New York" accent, and neither do I nor my sister. My dad's dad also came over from Russia in his 20s (my paternal grandmother was the outlier, a second- or third-generation American Jew on her dad's side, with family coming to Wilkes-Barre from a town that changed hands weekly between Poland and Lithuania, I think, some time in the early/mid-19th century.) My dad grew up on Long Island and then Manhattan and had NO New York accent whatsoever, but his older brother did so go figure.

I guess I have assumed that people tend to pick up the accents of those who raise them but that doesn't always seem to be the case. With the Weissmans and Maisels, we've got the Maisels having the "regional" accents for lack of my being able to remember the right word, as well as Abe to a degree (with him, I think it's a little more Shalhoub's delivery than accent per se) while Rose seems to have no accent ... which may or may not tie into our question about which parent's money provided them with that amazing apartment ... Mr. Snappy commented there was no way he could afford that on a Columbia math professor's salary, and we know now that Bell Lab is not making much financial difference, so assuming Rose comes from older money and this is the life to which she was accustomed and has provided (her early years in Paris back that up but I can't remember how much else we've learned of her background)

Re: whether their liberal scattering of F-bombs is anachronistic is something Mr. Snappy and I were discussing last night when we were talking about some of the moments in the show where we find ourselves calling that sort of thing out ... It doesn't bother me that much because I think overall the show really works so well, but I don't remember F-bombs being dropped in my house, though my parents were by no means stuffy or repressive (my mom told the best dirty jokes). 

I'm only through this episode because, especially with Mr. Snappy's busy pre-holiday schedule, we have to sneak in our hour here and there to watch together but I REALLY loved it ... 

I was struck by the ... I think there's an artistic term for it but can't remember ... negative space, maybe? That three key moments were NOT shown to the viewer: Howell's painting, Midge's fantastic set, and Midge and Benjamin together in his townhouse (I may be leaving out another example). By the third one, I was pretty sure this was a conscious choice.

Edited by PamelaMaeSnap
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3 hours ago, millennium said:

you can be darn sure I would have been in that audience.   But that idea occurred to nobody at the table?   Not even Joel?   He's whining with regret, yet passes on a golden opportunity to perhaps start rebuilding his marriage by showing he can support Midge on her big night?  

We can't be sure no one came because they cut right to the wee hours of Suzy and Midge drinking scotch in coffee cups while Jackie was closing down. 

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1 hour ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

We can't be sure no one came because they cut right to the wee hours of Suzy and Midge drinking scotch in coffee cups while Jackie was closing down. 

My feeling is, if anyone from the family had been present, Midge would have remarked on it while talking to Suzie.   Because it would have been too big to ignore.  

Unless (and I haven't seen the next episode yet) the writers turn back the clock an hour or two and show us the gig itself.

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I could honestly watch Rufus Sewell drunkenly ramble about art and limericks and then wax philosophical about a painting I've never even seen all day long. The man can do anything, its amazing. Loved all of his scenes with Midge, and the peek into the arts scene of 1950s New York. The whole scene about the painting that no one is allowed to see was really well shot, written, and acted by both performers. The use of negative space, and the subtlety of the conversation, and that Midge fears that, in becoming a great comic, something she truly loves, she will lose the chance to have a happy life with her family, was really well realized, especially in the episode where she tells the truth to her family. 

Oh Astrid, she is just trying so hard to be good at being Jewish. And of course the big dinner is a mess, even though they got the Rabbi yet again. But just let Zelda serve the dinner damn it! She worked all day, and everyone is starving! Midge is good at many things, but reading the room is clearly not one of them. 

I like Benjamin a lot, and Zachary Levi should clearly do more period pieces. He looks like even more of a snack than usual in 1950s style suites. He and Midge have a good give and take, and he seems to really get her in a way that Joel never really did. I've come around to Joel more this season, but they have clearly ran their course as a couple. 

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I may be in a minority but I felt this episode was way over the top and predictable. As soon as the rumor of the unseen masterpiece was floated, I knew Midge would somehow charm herself into seeing it. 

Of course she buys a 25 dollar painting of a woman from the woman knitting in the back room

Of course that painting charms the most talented artist to show her his most precious work

oh and the hat too. Ridiculous.

Could the show be any more superficial, pretentious and obvious? ( throw in Yoko Ono too while you’re at it show)

This may be the episode where I started to dislike the show and not just dislike Midge.

My dislike of Midge solidifiedin the episode where she left her baby ( but not her clothes) in the hot car and then was extremely rude to Benjamin. 

She’s an awful person even in her fake fantasy tv show world.

Everything I like about the show is the real world stuff behind the show- the energized acting, the pretty fantasy of the upper west side life, the direction. The actual show is very thin.

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Could the show be any more superficial, pretentious and obvious?

I think that's exactly what they are aiming for. It's pure escapism. I can see that it isn't for everyone.

Quote

( throw in Yoko Ono too while you’re at it show)

I'm pretty sure the timeline doesn't fit (it was too early for Ono to have been on the art scene, I think), but it was a fun little throwaway sight gag, for those who got it, and didn't affect the show in any way. I loved it.

I also loved Susie's family's house, which has to be the most filmed house in Broad Channel. It was in Boardwalk Empire, a couple of Law & Orders, and a few other things. It belongs to a friend of a friend, and I've actually attended a few parties there. A neat little traditional bungalow, built on stilts over Jamaica Bay. It's so much fun to see an obscure little place you know on a show you like.

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15 minutes ago, basil said:

I think that's exactly what they are aiming for. It's pure escapism. I can see that it isn't for everyone.

I'm pretty sure the timeline doesn't fit (it was too early for Ono to have been on the art scene, I think), but it was a fun little throwaway sight gag, for those who got it, and didn't affect the show in any way. I loved it.

I also loved Susie's family's house, which has to be the most filmed house in Broad Channel. It was in Boardwalk Empire, a couple of Law & Orders, and a few other things. It belongs to a friend of a friend, and I've actually attended a few parties there. A neat little traditional bungalow, built on stilts over Jamaica Bay. It's so much fun to see an obscure little place you know on a show you like.

Is the show pure escapism? I can buy that now. Last season, I thought the show might grapple with real issues of censorship, sexism, and relationships while  admittedly set in a beautified fictional existence.

Maybe that is why this so predictable episode turned me off. I expected something different than what they were doing with the show.

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On 12/6/2018 at 10:48 AM, veronicalodge44 said:

*the scene where midge and howell stood in front of his 'masterpiece' painting was so well done.  the actors sold it, and the look in midge's eyes when she realizes that his pronouncements about the impossibility of having it all likely apply to her - heartbreaking.  and i was really glad they never showed us the painting, only their reactions to it - much more effective that way, i think.

I loved it for those reasons, and because I think that's an excellent way to "show" a "masterpiece" - taste in art is pretty individual, so not showing it lets everyone come up with their own visualization of it.

On 12/7/2018 at 6:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

@veronicalodge44, I agree with your entire post. The one problem with binge releases is the dearth of thoughtful analysis like this for each episode. But maybe this manner of streaming a series faster than the masses of the social media (like ourselves) can devour and regurgitate it is better—like not seeing the Howell painting in this episode. But I do want to savor and recall more of this series than I would with pure binging, so I'm grateful to have threads already set up here for that purpose.

 

The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

I'm just grateful we get separate topics for the episodes - a couple of the binge shows I watch only have season topics, so I don't go in there until I've watched them all, and then really only the overall thrust of the season is what I remember.

As for potty mouth - I was raised in the military (I was about Ethan's age in terms of this show). So I heard it all from an early age. We have a saying in our family that we're a family of potty mouths, raised by potty mouths. That being said, we know NOT to use that language in public settings.

On 12/8/2018 at 7:34 AM, Browndog319 said:

His drunken performance on the bar? Hilarious. To go from Shakespeare to a dirty limerick while convincing people he was going to fall from the top of the bar... quite comedic gold. The timing! He had Midge going. I didn’t realize he had the comedic timing a range. My apologies, Mr. Sewell. And I want someone to interview him in why he was drawn to this and how he wound up on this show! ASP is so careful about casting so you know there’s a story!

It was fun until he quoted a verse I used in my first marriage - so I threw up a little in my mouth.

 

On 12/11/2018 at 10:50 AM, rollacoaster said:

In that opening scene at the art gallery, did anyone catch that the Asian woman eating the apple and admiring the ladder was a reference to Yoko Ono?

Yes.

16 hours ago, basil said:

I'm pretty sure the timeline doesn't fit (it was too early for Ono to have been on the art scene, I think), but it was a fun little throwaway sight gag, for those who got it, and didn't affect the show in any way. I loved it.

According to Wikipedia, she was there, probably around that time (she would have been 26 in 1959)

Quote

Ono grew up in Tokyo and also spent several years in New York City. She studied at Gakushuin University, but withdrew from her course after two years and moved to New York in 1953 to live with her family. She spent some time at Sarah Lawrence College and then became involved in New York City's downtown artists scene, which included the Fluxus group

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On 12/8/2018 at 7:50 AM, Browndog319 said:

No! I’m divorced and it’s because I didn’t dream of this, I dreamed of the phone call telling me there had been an accident, or he had a heart attack, blah, blah, blah...

Thank you! I don't feel like a monster now that I have company. LOL

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1 hour ago, Clanstarling said:
On 12/8/2018 at 9:50 AM, Browndog319 said:

No! I’m divorced and it’s because I didn’t dream of this, I dreamed of the phone call telling me there had been an accident, or he had a heart attack, blah, blah, blah...

Thank you! I don't feel like a monster now that I have company. LOL

I used to imagine this, but now my only hope is that he outlives his wife and their daughter so my daughters with him might inherit some of his wife's wealth. Long live my ex!

 

On 12/19/2018 at 12:34 AM, rose711 said:

Of course she buys a 25 dollar painting of a woman from the woman knitting in the back room

Of course that painting charms the most talented artist to show her his most precious work

oh and the hat too. Ridiculous.

But it was funny, 8-time-beauty-pageant-winner Midge buying the painting from the woman in the back room that charmed him, not the painting.

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I may be WAAAAY out in right field on this, but I got the impression that Midge unknowingly bought herself a Declan Howell painting from the woman in the back room.  That woman never said she was the artist.  Howell was down on his luck financially, yet couldn't part with his masterworks.  He wouldn't be the first artist to have created some paintings for the masses that he would have thought of as lesser works but that he'd be able to part with to make some money on the side. In the bar, right from the jump, he was very interested in Midge's acquisition and wanted to know why she purchased it, why it spoke to her. Even though he had been drunk, the next day he remembered the name of the artist. I think Midge's "eye" was a big part of why he ultimately allowed her to see his masterpiece.  In the Netflix synopsis it says, "she [Midge] ends up knowing more about art than she realizes."  It all fits.

Edited by ProudMary
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1 hour ago, ProudMary said:

I may be WAAAAY out in right field on this, but I got the impression that Midge unknowingly bought herself a Declan Howell painting from the woman in the back room.  That woman never said she was the artist.  Howell was down on his luck financially, yet couldn't part with his masterworks.  He wouldn't be the first artist to have created some paintings for the masses that he would have thought of as lesser works but that he'd be able to part with to make some money on the side. In the bar, right from the jump, he was very interested in Midge's acquisition and wanted to know why she purchased it, why it spoke to her. Even though he had been drunk, the next day he remembered the name of the artist. I think Midge's "eye" was a big part of why he ultimately allowed her to see his masterpiece.  In the Netflix synopsis it says, "she [Midge] ends up knowing more about art than she realizes."  It all fits.

@ProudMary, it had not occurred to me that Midge unwittingly bought a Declan Howell, but you're right, it does fit. Still, I'd like some confirmation from ASP, or at least have her say it is certainly open to that interpretation.
If that is what was going on, Declan Howell would be kind of a forerunner of Banksy.

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Midge and Joel spend too much time together for a divorced couple.  It would be one thing if the kids were there too, but there are never in the scenes with the parents.

I found that parts of this episode dragged.  The art diversion was fine, especially in the studio, but the earlier scene in the "art" bar was way too long.

Midge's "I am a stand up comedian" speech was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long.  Spit it out, girl.

The Midge/Benjamin relationship is moving along nicely.  He certainly is learning how unique she is.

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Even though he had been drunk, the next day he remembered the name of the artist.

Nah, don't think so [the painting being his]. As he said, he is never as drunk as people think that he is.

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On 12/15/2018 at 10:16 AM, millennium said:

I thought the conclusion of this episode was wildly anti-climactic.   All the tension built up over Midge's secret career, the anxiety attending the big reveal ... it ended not with a bang but a whimper.   Nobody seemed to care, and their apathy wasn't very humorous either.   The whole scene had a slapstick, cliched quality, from the frustrated Balkan maid to the pregnancy announcement. 

I couldn't help but think that scene would have been a lot funnier if it had been on Frasier.

 

23 hours ago, ProudMary said:

I may be WAAAAY out in right field on this, but I got the impression that Midge unknowingly bought herself a Declan Howell painting from the woman in the back room.  That woman never said she was the artist.  Howell was down on his luck financially, yet couldn't part with his masterworks.  He wouldn't be the first artist to have created some paintings for the masses that he would have thought of as lesser works but that he'd be able to part with to make some money on the side. In the bar, right from the jump, he was very interested in Midge's acquisition and wanted to know why she purchased it, why it spoke to her. Even though he had been drunk, the next day he remembered the name of the artist. I think Midge's "eye" was a big part of why he ultimately allowed her to see his masterpiece.  In the Netflix synopsis it says, "she [Midge] ends up knowing more about art than she realizes."  It all fits.

I didn't think that woman was the artist, because I really doubt the artist would be knitting during the show, but it didn't occur to me that Declan Howell might be the artist.  Was all the art in the main room his and was that the only side room?  Because if that was the case, it would have been really weird for them to do this art show for one major artist with one random other artist squeezed into a side room.

Regarding the anachronistic swearing -- I have no idea what swearing was like in the '50s, and I would say that most people don't know what swearing was like during the time they were growing up.  I think the vast majority of children don't know how the adults in their life really talk, since most adults try to watch their mouths around children.  (For example, all the kids in my life probably think "shit" is the only swear word I use since they've heard me use that one and not others, but they would be wrong.)

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6 minutes ago, janie jones said:

I didn't think that woman was the artist, because I really doubt the artist would be knitting during the show, but it didn't occur to me that Declan Howell might be the artist.  Was all the art in the main room his and was that the only side room?  Because if that was the case, it would have been really weird for them to do this art show for one major artist with one random other artist squeezed into a side room.

No, the art exhibited in the main room was the work of another up and coming artist.  That was the only side room we were shown.

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On 12/21/2018 at 6:31 PM, shapeshifter said:

I used to imagine this, but now my only hope is that he outlives his wife and their daughter so my daughters with him might inherit some of his wife's wealth. Long live my ex!

 

But it was funny, 8-time-beauty-pageant-winner Midge buying the painting from the woman in the back room that charmed him, not the painting.

No he didn’t pay much attention until he saw the painting. Then he made her tell him why it appealed to her and why she bought it. That’s why he wanted to know her. 

I admit that I was already over finding the selfish, arrogant and rude Midge charming by this point. But I’m certain he was intrigued by the painting.

It was just another way to show how Midge is oh so special because she goes away from the main collectors and sees something else that everyone ignores.

As a result she gets to see the fabled painting by the best artist. She spent probably 15 minutes talking with him? That’s just how good the writer wants us to believe Midge is - she’s a superhero character. 

Edited by rose711
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3 hours ago, rose711 said:

No he didn’t pay much attention until he saw the painting. Then he made her tell him why it appealed to her and why she bought it. That’s why he wanted to know her. 

I admit that I was already over finding the selfish, arrogant and rude Midge charming by this point. But I’m certain he was intrigued by the painting.

It was just another way to show how Midge is oh so special because she goes away from the main collectors and sees something else that everyone ignores.

As a result she gets to see the fabled painting by the best artist. She spent probably 15 minutes talking with him? That’s just how good the writer wants us to believe Midge is - she’s a superhero character. 

I've seen this theory about it being an earlier work or related to him in other fan sites, but time will tell if there is a twist. I felt at the time, it gave him something to talk to Midge about and was in her price range.

Midge is somewhat of a superhero, not as a mother but supposedly wife and daughter. Looks are paramount to her mother and I cringed at the comments about weight (where none existed) and quite a few remarks about Midge's daughters looks. Funny the first time, not really after that. Everyone around Midge is made to look less beautiful than Midge and although her remark about loving a "fat" roommate at college, most are thin but without the gorgeous wardrobe. (Whomever does that part of the show, deserves an award)

I feel if it's an accurate portrayal, you'll see more warts as time goes on. She knows from her speech to Joel, she was groomed for one role and wants another. Who gets hurt or put aside, who gets in the way, how she handles it, will be interesting. Growth in characters makes a show last.

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5 hours ago, rose711 said:

No he didn’t pay much attention until he saw the painting. Then he made her tell him why it appealed to her and why she bought it. That’s why he wanted to know her. 

I admit that I was already over finding the selfish, arrogant and rude Midge charming by this point. But I’m certain he was intrigued by the painting.

It was just another way to show how Midge is oh so special because she goes away from the main collectors and sees something else that everyone ignores.

As a result she gets to see the fabled painting by the best artist. She spent probably 15 minutes talking with him? That’s just how good the writer wants us to believe Midge is - she’s a superhero character. 

It doesn't have to be just one thing. Also, the writers intentionally undercut the loftiness of the scene by making it clear that him showing her tha fabled painting and giving her the long spiel was a move to get her to sleep with him.

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30 minutes ago, quangtran said:

It doesn't have to be just one thing. Also, the writers intentionally undercut the loftiness of the scene by making it clear that him showing her tha fabled painting and giving her the long spiel was a move to get her to sleep with him.

I don’t agree. But people see things differently. I’m not interested in watching it again to explain my view point by point. This episode is when i stopped enjoying the show so it would be pointless. 

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You don't agree that he did all that because he wanted to sleep with her?! Even though that's exactly what was shown on screen?

Declan: Are you sure I can't get you to sleep with me?

Midge: Nope.

Declan: Even after I told you my sad, lonely story? I mean, my God, that was my very best line.

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8 hours ago, quangtran said:

You don't agree that he did all that because he wanted to sleep with her?! Even though that's exactly what was shown on screen?

Declan: Are you sure I can't get you to sleep with me?

Midge: Nope.

Declan: Even after I told you my sad, lonely story? I mean, my God, that was my very best line.

No I dont think he cared much about sleeping with her. It sounds like something he tried with every woman he meets. Certainly not enough to show her his famous hidden work - unless he’s been showing it to every woman to sleep with them. I think Benjamin would have known if he did that. Supposedly only one other person has seen it from what I remember.

What I think about Midge is she’s well put together and works hard on her looks but she’s not jaw dropping gorgeous that every guy wants her. There’s a reason there aren’t any really beautiful women on the show, she can’t hang.  She’s pretty but people notice her clothes more than they notice her.

Like I said, I don’t like her and the idea this guy would be so amazed by her in 15 minutes is not credible to me. The show was too glib with this and other episodes about her, but this one was the worse.

I’m not trying to ruin a show anyone really likes. I’m more frustrated if I go back and watch the first couple of episodes from last season, I thought the show was something that its not. I expected more because I didn’t understand the show. 

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On 12/22/2018 at 11:10 PM, shapeshifter said:

@ProudMary, it had not occurred to me that Midge unwittingly bought a Declan Howell, but you're right, it does fit. Still, I'd like some confirmation from ASP, or at least have her say it is certainly open to that interpretation.
If that is what was going on, Declan Howell would be kind of a forerunner of Banksy.

That’s actually exactly how I read it and came here to point out. But a bit late to the party I see lol

but starting from choosing a Brit to play him, then the mystery around his work, destruction of his own art. I wonder what was the timing of writing/filming vs the shredding incident. 

I’d like to thank casting for choosing not just any Brit though. I thoroughly enjoyed the view of slightly shredded shirt on Rufus Sewell /shallow moment 

damn that man can emote... 

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On 12/15/2018 at 12:09 PM, ShadowFacts said:

But the inaccuracy seems to extend to Abe, Joel, Susie of course, and probably others that I've forgotten.  I just don't think it was in wide use, unless maybe it was on the Upper West Side of NYC, but surely not in the midwest, not until much later.  Never heard it used until the 70s, and both sides of my family were earthy in their language. I was no stranger to colorful phraseology.

I agree; I grew up in the 60s and 70s and never heard that much cursing (until I got to college, and even then.... not this much), and my family was not "high born." We lived in Jersey FWIW.  It seemed really over the top that so many characters are using those words. 

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On 12/23/2018 at 8:42 PM, janie jones said:

I couldn't help but think that scene would have been a lot funnier if 

Regarding the anachronistic swearing -- I have no idea what swearing was like in the '50s, and I would say that most people don't know what swearing was like during the time they were growing up.  I think the vast majority of children don't know how the adults in their life really talk, since most adults try to watch their mouths around children. 

I found these answers to the swearing questions on Quora:

https://www.quora.com/Was-the-use-of-the-f-word-in-the-1950s-as-common-as-some-recent-shows-have-it-e-g-The-Marvelous-Mrs-Maisel-or-are-they-overcompensating-and-being-too-modern

"In male environments it was fairly common. In the mid 60s, I worked in the local paper mill in my home town and the major adjective was the F-bomb. As we were walking out of the mill one morning after a graveyard shift, one of my shift members complained: “I had to work all night on a fucking machine.” “Really?” I countered, “they have a fucking machine in there?” That was the level of normal conversation.

I have a brother who sat down to Sunday dinner after his first week in the mill. Perfectly deadpan, he said, “Pass the fuckin’ potatoes.” We all knew where that was coming from."

*****************************************

“ Social critics in the 1940s railed at the unchecked profanity of the returning GIs. In the '20s they were lambasting the vogue for four-letter words among the society slummers called mucker posers, the well-bred young people who felt the need "to emulate the manners and language of the longshoreman," as one critic put it. And so on down to the Victorians, whose sermons and statutes were full of references to public profanity. Swearing: A Long And #%@&$ History"

**********************

"There has always been a lot of swearing although the amount did vary by occupation and social class. However there were a couple of rules when I was young (in the 1950s and 60s). Don’t swear in front of children, and don’t swear in front of those of the opposite gender. Specific swear words have gone in and out of fashion."

**************************

"Lenny Bruce was convicted of obscenity in the U.S. in 1964.

The F word was not used in our home in the 1950s or 1960s.

Swearing was fairly common in blue-collar work environments and the military, which were exclusively male or nearly so.

Some intellectuals used the F word and other swearing either to shock - which wouldn't have worked if it was common - or as a way of claiming something more common to other classes."

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3 minutes ago, ChiCricket said:

Specific swear words have gone in and out of fashion."

This reminds me of something I read once about Deadwood, which was that the writers knew full well that they were writing anachronistic swearing.  But the really bad swear words from olden times are laughable now.  So they went ahead and used turn of the 21st century swearing to get the point across.  That could be what the writers are going for here.

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On 12/8/2018 at 2:04 PM, TexasGal said:

Why is she still wearing her wedding ring when she’s dating Dr. Dreamy?  He leaves Joel in the dust.

God, every time I think I can’t love Rufus Sewell any more, I do.  The scene in front of the painting was amazing.

Rufus Sewell was awesome. 

 

I too was wondering about Midge’s ring and WHY they aren’t divorced yet- or at least making progress. I know divorce was harder to get back then (longer waiting periods etc), but it’s been a year since he left so at least 6months since they officially decided they were not getting back together. Has anyone been to a lawyer to arrange alimony and child support? I’m scared they are keeping them married to get them back together. Ugh. 

I like Benjamin!

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The frequent use of the F word by increasing numbers of Midge's extended family is distracting; I never heard it growing up, and as an adult I only heard my father use tamer four letter words.

Your family must not be Italian.

I thought the dinner scene was hilarious but Midge was terrible about getting to the point. 

I know a lot of this is contrived and over the top but I find it so hilarious I don't care. The dialogue is brilliant and amusing and that's really what makes the show for me. If they dumbed it down so that everyone spoke as people do in real life there would be no show. 

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4 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Your family must not be Italian.

I thought the dinner scene was hilarious but Midge was terrible about getting to the point. 

I know a lot of this is contrived and over the top but I find it so hilarious I don't care. The dialogue is brilliant and amusing and that's really what makes the show for me. If they dumbed it down so that everyone spoke as people do in real life there would be no show. 

I think you make a point (in my mind anyway). The show IS over the top, and maybe it's not really intended to be an accurate depiction of life and relationships of that era. So if I relax about the details, maybe I can just enjoy the wit, the costumes, and the scenery.

Edited by Clanstarling
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I grew up in the 60s and 70s and never heard an adult, let alone family, use that word until I entered the working world after college.   Unfortunately, today's gutter standards seem to have backflowed and tainted the past.

Did you grow up in the working class, where your parents drank and there was spousal abuse -- on both sides?! Because, hey, I did and there was plenty of "language". Plenty. My ears were not virgin as a mere enfant. There were M-F-ing and all kinds of other juicy words used in my young life.

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