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ElectricBoogaloo

State of the Union

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Written by Nick Hornby (Brooklyn, An Education) and directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, A Very English Scandal), State of the Union explores the world of Louise (Oscar-nominee Rosamund Pike) and Tom (Emmy-winner Chris O'Dowd) as they attempt to repair their crumbling marriage through weekly marital therapy sessions.

Before each appointment, the couple meets at a pub where they delve into how they came together and, how eventually, their marriage fell into disrepair. Throughout each episode, audiences are provided with an honest and humorous take on contemporary relationships.

Premieres 5/6/19

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S1.E1: Marathon

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Louise and Tom prepare for their first marital counseling session and try to work out how they got to this point.

S1.E2: Antique Globes

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Tom commends himself for the courage it took to turn up late to last week's session and promises to now be there from the beginning.

Original air date: 5/6/19

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Watched Episode 1 yesterday. I loved it! I have a huge crush on Rosamund Pike and it was nice to see her have a chance to play some comedy. Chris O'Dowd plays the soulful funnyman so well. And I love this 10 minute format. 

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I love Nick Hornby so I will read anything he writes. The adaptations of his books have varied, but since he wrote this specifically for tv, I was looking forward to it (and FYI - State of the Union is available as a book!). I've only had a chance to watch the first episode so far, but I'm not at all surprised that the dialogue is great.

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FYI - Sundance is airing one episode per night (ten nights in a row) but they released two per day on Sundance Now so they're all out and they can all be discussed.

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S1.E2

I just could not handle the husband patting himself on the back for having the courage and strength to show up 35 late to the therapy session HE insisted on. That makes him sound like the kind of person who wants a pat on the back because he put his socks in the laundry hamper instead of leaving them strewn about.

I am loving how invested they are in the couple before them after only two weeks. I can't wait until they realize that whoever is after them might be watching them the same way.

Ha, I totally cracked up when Louise said they were going to spend their entire session talking about Brexit. Serves him right if he finally registered to vote just so he could vote the opposite way of her friends. Yes, let's potentially plunge the nation's economy straight into the toilet purely out of spite towards your wife's friends. I think that told me all I really need to know about his thought process.

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S1.E3: Syria

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Tom and Louise discuss the lost passion in their relationship, and if it is something that can be found again.

Original air date: 5/8/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/7/19

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1.3

Louise is right - privacy and lying are different. They're supposed to be honest with their therapist but he doesn't want her to know that the reason Louise was all worked up about Brexit during their session was because he voted for it?

As for his later statement about the other couple ("If they're that passionate about each other, what are they doing in counseling?") just goes to show what he thinks is most important in a relationship. You can be passionate for each other and still have a lot of problems (I specifically remember one of my friends telling me about several very serious issues with her boyfriend at the time and then counterbalancing that with "but the sex is great!"). Yes, lack of passion can be an issue in a relationship, but having passion doesn't mean everything else is great. In the first episode, Louise said that one of the reasons she had an affair was because it had been months since they'd had sex with each other, so if he thinks sex is so important to relationship, why doesn't he want to have sex with his hot wife? And why has he continued to stay married to her if that bedrock is gone?

"You know what's wrong? We've aged differently. I think that 40 is like 30 except you have to go to the gym more. You think that 44 is like 65 except your children are younger."

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S1.E4: Plaster Cast

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Tom asks Louise to back him up in a lie with their counselor.

Original air date: 5/9/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/7/19

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1.4

Argh, again with lying to the therapist. What is the point of going to therapy if you're not going to be honest? The fact that he tried to manipulate Louise into lying for him annoyed me even more. Ugh.

I still can't figure out why Tom still hasn't left since he seems so miserable. Is it the kids? Is it that he doesn't want to support himself? Is it because he's resigned himself to the routine he has (the devil you know and all that)? He seems very resistant to discussing anything useful or making any changes in their relationship.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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S1.E5: Normal Slope

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When Tom moves out following a bad session, Louise suggests that it could be the start of a slippery slope.

Original air date: 5/10/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/8/19

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1.5

Tom's man child ways continue to bother me. I'm totally fine if he wants to move out of the house. Sometimes people need space in a situation like this. But it is not okay for him to expect his wife to pick up all the slack in terms of the kids. She works. He does not. The least he can do is come by the house after school (when she isn't home anyway so there's no chance of them getting into a fight).

But on top of that, HE moved out but he expects HER to inform the kids? Sorry, no. And then he calls her during the midmorning rush to ask her to bring him some clothes? Again, he doesn't have a job so he has ALL DAY to go by the house when she and the kids are gone so that he can pick up socks and pants and shirts. First of all, he should have packed better when he left. Secondly, he only asked for two of each, so somehow that's going to be enough to last him? He's obviously staying somewhere that's close enough for him to get to their therapy session, but he just can't get to the house to pick up more clothes for himself? This guy is infuriating. And then he blamed her for not putting his stuff in a bag for him? Sorry, I didn't have time to gift wrap it either.

Also shitty: refusing to tell her where she was staying. It would be one thing if he had just escaped an abusive relationship and was afraid for his life, but he's just being petty and withholding information to annoy her.

"I saw an email"? Sounds like Tom was snooping.

His insistence on knowing whether she would start up with Matthew again if he left for good showed annoyed me because instead of focusing on their marriage and how to fix things between them, he's obsessing about hypothetical situations. Stop thinking about what she might do if XYZ and start thinking about what you should do right now.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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S1.E6: Nigel and Naomi

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When Louise complains that Tom's effort feels contrived, Tom realizes that he has to remain himself while acting differently.

Original air date: 5/13/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/8/19

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1.6

This episode finally gave me a glimmer of hope that Tom and Louise can work things out (despite their jovial musings about Naomi the tea shop owner and Nigel the bank manager). This was the least hostile and most open they've been with each other. I still think they need to make some changes, but it doesn't seem completely hopeless.

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S1.E7: Call the Midwife

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Louise admits that she's ashamed of Tom's lack of employment; the couple decide to communicate more openly.

Original air date: 5/14/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/9/19

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1.7

HA! I loved that the older couple before them knew that Tom and Louise were seeing Kenyon!

I really hope they were being serious when they said they were just going to be open and honest in their next session. It's about time!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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S1.E8: Dolphins

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Louise and Tom reflect on why and how they got together in the first place.

Original air date: 5/15/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/9/19

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1.8

I like that their talks are more conversational and less combative. Instead of going around in circles, it seems like they are beginning to go forward. They are finally inching towards resolution and figuring out how to be together.

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S1.E9: Prison Sex

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When Louise and Tom discuss a breakthrough in their relationship, Louise wonders if it was, in fact, a breakthrough; Louise asks Tom to move back in.

Original air date: 5/16/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/10/19

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1.9

Awww, Tom and Louise were so giddy from having sex the night before, which was cute and a nice contrast from how they were the first few episodes.

But damn, Louise suggesting that he move back home seemed a little soon. One night of sex isn't going to fix everything.

I hope the old husband is okay!

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S1.E10: Another Drink

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Tom moves back in and feels that his and Louise's issues are resolved; the couple agree that they wouldn't be friends if they weren't married, and look for the right word to describe their relationship.

Original air date: 5/17/19
Available on Sundance Now: 5/10/19

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1.10

Ugh, it's frustrating that Tom thinks having sex twice and moving back into the house means everything is fixed and they don't need to go to therapy anymore. He even said that they started going to therapy because they weren't having sex anymore, but in the beginning he said it was because she slept with Matthew.

When Louise brought up how alcoholics keep going to AA meetings, I thought she was going to make that analogous to continuing to see Kenyon. I really am glad that they seem like they're able to be more honest and open with each other, but I don't know if 8 weeks of therapy (they skipped week 10 and they also skipped the week when Tom fell) is enough to fix everything or give them all the tools they need to have a happy, healthy marriage.

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On 5/12/2019 at 6:38 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I still can't figure out why Tom still hasn't left since he seems so miserable. Is it the kids? Is it that he doesn't want to support himself? Is it because he's resigned himself to the routine he has (the devil you know and all that)? He seems very resistant to discussing anything useful or making any changes in their relationship.

I think he's afraid. He knows that Louise is waaaaay out of his league and he's afraid Kenyon (ha!) Is going to realize it and get Louise to recognize it. The status quo lets him stay in denial.

Edited by talktoomuch
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On 5/12/2019 at 7:01 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

His insistence on knowing whether she would start up with Matthew again if he left for good showed annoyed me because instead of focusing on their marriage and how to fix things between them, he's obsessing about hypothetical situations. Stop thinking about what she might do if XYZ and start thinking about what you should do right now.

I hope this is not frustrating for you @ElectricBoogaloo, but I'm watching the one-a-days. I don't want to binge because I don't want it to be over so quickly.

Anyway, totally agree with your assessment here as Louise clearly did. The recurring theme is that Tom prefers to live in his mind because he knows he does not measure up in reality. And his ego is still shattered from Louise cheating.

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