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Mae Whitman is best known for Arrested Development and Parenthood. I've also seen her in several other roles, starting as a young girl in Independence Day and an episode of Friends. She has a very long IMDB profile for such a young actress although a lot of it is voice work in animated series which takes up less time than live action roles.

The other lead Retta has a significantly shorter IMDB profile and a quick scan shows nothing that I watched, so this will be the first thing I see her in.

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A trio of desperate suburban moms decide that being good never got them anywhere, and rob a supermarket in order to get a little cash to help them and their families out. Unfortunately, the supermarket is already the territory of a local gang, and the women soon find themselves in hot water.

 

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I know Mae Whitman as the voice of Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender. It will be cool to match a face with the voice. I didn't watch Parks and Rec regularly, but I do remember Retta on it. I didn't recognize Christina Hendricks, and I was a huge fan of Mad Men and her character Joan. 

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I never watched Mad Men. I went through Christina's IMDB profile and I think I've only seen her as Saffron on Firefly.

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Really? this sounds like a movie, in fact I think it has been one or six. I remember Fun With Dick and Jane. I don't think I'll be watching, the ads have annoyed me all during the Olympics. To me it sounds just about as bad as Two Broke Girls. 

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I didn't hate it.

The whole "man bad, woman good" message was a little heavy handed, but I'll give it a chance to see where it goes.  

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I'm into it. I love all three lead actresses.

Not sure why they didn't call the cops/an ambulance at the end. Self-defense--yes, I know they had too much to hide, but ... 

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I really, really want to like this show-Mad Men, Parks & Rec, and Parenthood are 3 of my all time favorites (my mind was blown at the very idea of Joan, Donna and Amber together!), but it was definitely way darker than I was expecting.  

I also thought they gave an awful lot away for the pilot.  We already know the basic backstory of each of the 3 leads, have met their kids/families (and even a husband’s mistress), the heist was both planned and carried out, they showed us how it saved each of their families, manager caught on and is trying to use blackmail, gang tracked them down and threatened them.  I just hope they saved some good plot lines for the rest of the season.  

Edited by reallyjustjen
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23 minutes ago, reallyjustjen said:

I really, really want to like this show-Mad Men, Community and Parenthood are 3 of my all time favorites (my mind was blown at the very idea of Joan, Donna and Amber together!), but it was definitely way darker than I was expecting.  

I also thought they gave an awful lot away for the pilot.  We already know the basic backstory of each of the 3 leads, have met their kids/families (and even a husband’s mistress), the heist was both planned and carried out, they showed us how it saved each of their families, manager caught on and is trying to use blackmail, gang tracked them down and threatened them.  I just hope they saved some good plot lines for the rest of the season.  

Retta is from Parks and Recs.

 

Yes it had a bit much. I think a good ending for the pilot would have been the guys showing up at Hendricks house or the manager seeing the tat.

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7 hours ago, RogerDodger said:

I didn't hate it.

The whole "man bad, woman good" message was a little heavy handed, but I'll give it a chance to see where it goes.  

I didn't like it. 

I only watched the first half  but I was turned off by the cliche' stories. I have seen Matthew Lillard playing a real adult in "the Bridge" so I was annoyed to see him back in his more stereotype role.  Plus dude have you seen your wife?  Why are you cheating with that twig? Hendricks character annoyed me too because she seemingly had the least reasons to be upset. What woman in this day and age has no idea what is going on with her finances? Or has no money of her own?  She could just get a job and make 30K. 

Even Hendrick's sister... why can't her daughter go live with her dad? Her daughter looks to be like 12 or so.. maybe it might be a nice change of pace?  Or, legal aid?   Dad didn't seem like a jerk. 

Only Retta seemed to have a story that would justify committing a crime like this and even she could have found another way. 

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I liked it well enough, but as it's already been said, an awful lot sure did happen in one episode thus far. I can only see the hijinks getting much more outlandish as it progresses. 

Edited by Syndicate
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I liked it until the drug kingpin showed up.  I really don't want to watch the show go down that road.

It almost seemed like they were implying that Mae's ex wasn't paying child support which makes no sense at all.  If he has the money to pay for private school, why isn't he paying for private school?  He doesn't need custody for that.  

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6 hours ago, BooBear said:

I didn't like it. 

I only watched the first half  but I was turned off by the cliche' stories. I have seen Matthew Lillard playing a real adult in "the Bridge" so I was annoyed to see him back in his more stereotype role.  Plus dude have you seen your wife?  Why are you cheating with that twig? Hendricks character annoyed me too because she seemingly had the least reasons to be upset. What woman in this day and age has no idea what is going on with her finances? Or has no money of her own?  She could just get a job and make 30K. 

Even Hendrick's sister... why can't her daughter go live with her dad? Her daughter looks to be like 12 or so.. maybe it might be a nice change of pace?  Or, legal aid?   Dad didn't seem like a jerk. 

Only Retta seemed to have a story that would justify committing a crime like this and even she could have found another way. 

While it's foreign to me (not making my own money and being in the dark about my finances is intolerable to me personally), I don't think it's that unusual. I used to work with a woman who was clueless about her finances aside from what she brought home. Once the company implemented a new payroll system and it goofed, which meant that people on a certain pay schedule didn't get paid. (Some people in the company were paid on the 15th and 30th and some were paid every other Friday. She and I were on the former; the people on the latter didn't get paid due to the system error.) So on that day, everyone was running around checking their accounts to see what was going on, and she just ... didn't. She was like "Oh, I don't look at that stuff. [Husband] handles it." Our team was laid off eventually and she decided to stay home with her kid (she was on maternity leave when she was laid off), so she could easily be in Christina Hendricks' character's position now. Hell - her husband was in outside sales so traveled a lot, and it would be very easy for him to cheat.

I'm not sure how Retta could have found a way, to be honest. $10K a month is out of reach for all but the 1%, the US healthcare system is terrible, and I doubt she gets benefits from her waitressing job or has any savings to draw from. I'd guess they'd be one of the many families who declare bankruptcy due to medical expenses.

I was curious to know how the sisters know Retta. It doesn't seem like a solidly middle-class housewife would have much to do with a struggling diner waitress. I'm guessing Mae Whitman is the link. Mae Whitman's ex is played Matt Saracen from Friday Night Lights, who is one of my favorite TV characters.

I was surprised that they were only $60K short. Christina Hendricks "took care of the mortgage" - didn't they have three mortgages that were overdue? I assumed she'd paid off the house entirely, which would be way more than $60K, but maybe she just got current.

I always give new shows that I'm interested in two episodes because often shows find their footing after the kinks are worked out of the pilot. Plus the cast is great, so I'll give it one more episode.

Edited by Empress1
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I turned it off as soon as I saw the husband performing oral sex on the young chick. Ugh! I'm not a prude, but there is a time and place. Dis too much!!!

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Frankly I thought the $30K they originally planned on was not going to come close to giving them what they needed. Assuming they split it by 3: Rhetta would get 1 month's worth of treatment (forget about the cucumber water doctor's fee). What's Christina's mortgage(s)? $10K would do the trick for a custody lawyer, I assume. 

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I agree with you. Mae Whitman's character was the only one for whom her share of the $30K would probably be enough. The other two would probably have to rob a store every month to take care of the kid's medication and the three mortgages.

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I was mad at Retta's daughter's doctor for not suggesting the med, even if it he thought it was out of her reach. There are programs that can help, GoFundMe, etc.  No guarantee she would have found the money, but let the parents figure out if they can do it. It's fiction, I know, and each woman needed her reason to turn to robbery. I like the cast so well I might be back next week. 

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1 hour ago, Sharonana said:

I turned it off as soon as I saw the husband performing oral sex on the young chick. Ugh! I'm not a prude, but there is a time and place. Dis too much!!!

I missed the first half or so, musta missed this in there. But when the attacker wanted the woman to perform oral on him (I don't remember their names) I thought that was a bit much on prime time tv, her getting down on her knees between his legs. I'm not a prude either,  you gotta draw the line somewhere. The whole attack scene (both of them) creeped me out for some reason. Not sure if I'll watch again next week.

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That certainly took a dark turn, didn't it? I think this has potential, but I dont really know how this can be sustained for a whole series. I thought that the show would take about half a season to get to the robbery, with the moms all getting more and more desperate, planning the robbery, and then carrying the robbery out, and THEN dealing with the consequences. I will give it a few more episodes to see if I think it will have anything to offer. I guess with killing the skeevy attempted rapist, they will need to cover up that murder as well, and it will just keep on going, with the women getting deeper into crime, Breaking Bad style. 

The premise is basically a darker version of this silly teen movie I used to like as a kid called Sugar and Spice, where a group of high school cheerleaders decide to rob a grocery story/bank branch to help their captain, who got pregnant and disowned by her parents, and they needed money for the baby. But that was all played for laughs and camp, and most of the movie was about them planning the robbery, and trying to hide out afterwards. So its weird for me to see this almost same exact plot played so much more seriously. 

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14 hours ago, itsjustme said:

Retta is from Parks and Recs.

 

Yes it had a bit much. I think a good ending for the pilot would have been the guys showing up at Hendricks house or the manager seeing the tat.

Blergh, of course!  That's what happens when I see tweets from Alison Brie and Joel McHale as I watch this show.  Thanks, itsjustme!

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1 hour ago, chickenella said:

I missed the first half or so, musta missed this in there. But when the attacker wanted the woman to perform oral on him (I don't remember their names) I thought that was a bit much on prime time tv, her getting down on her knees between his legs. I'm not a prude either,  you gotta draw the line somewhere. The whole attack scene (both of them) creeped me out for some reason. Not sure if I'll watch again next week.

Definitely not made for prime time TV. It kinda/sorta presents itself as a fun comedy. I can imagine some kids watching this with their parents and they come upon this scene, then scramble to turn off the TV. Oh the questions! Ha! Glad I don't have to worry about that anymore.

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4 hours ago, Empress1 said:

While it's foreign to me (not making my own money and being in the dark about my finances is intolerable to me personally), I don't think it's that unusual. 

I'm not sure how Retta could have found a way, to be honest. $10K a month is out of reach for all but the 1%, 

With regard to Chistina's character ok sure let me take it back, how could anyone but a moron not pay attention to finances in this day and age. And I don't want to watch a moron. 

With regard to Retta... I need to aquatint you with a little thing called "Go Fund Me." seriously even the worst dregs of society and raise about 1K on their for their heroin needles.  Not to mention the various medical charities out there and even the drug companies have programs for those in need. 

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2 hours ago, Darian said:

I was mad at Retta's daughter's doctor for not suggesting the med, even if it he thought it was out of her reach. There are programs that can help, GoFundMe, etc.  No guarantee she would have found the money, but let the parents figure out if they can do it. It's fiction, I know, and each woman needed her reason to turn to robbery. I like the cast so well I might be back next week. 

Not disagreeing about the doctor part, but they specifically said the Go Fund Me page for the daughter has been up for years and they haven't gotten enough to make a difference clearly given where the daughter was being treated. Retta is using the page as a cover now to explain away the money for the appointment and medication to her husband.

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How stupid was it to rob the store Mae Whitman works at? Any of the other employees would have identified her based on voice, eyes, height, and build, even without the tramp stamp.

And Mae, for someone who makes fun of stupid robbers who get caught, way to stay under the radar with the new Porsche.

I really like the three actresses but I won't be able to keep watching if the plots don't improve.

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1 hour ago, BooBear said:

With regard to Chistina's character ok sure let me take it back, how could anyone but a moron not pay attention to finances in this day and age. And I don't want to watch a moron. 

With regard to Retta... I need to aquatint you with a little thing called "Go Fund Me." seriously even the worst dregs of society and raise about 1K on their for their heroin needles.  Not to mention the various medical charities out there and even the drug companies have programs for those in need. 

You don't need to acquaint me with GoFundMe, thanks. I'm familiar. But as @JasmineFlower said, they'd tried that and it hadn't worked. And it seems they'd need ten grand a month indefinitely (I'm not clear on whether the medication is taken forever in lieu of a kidney transplant or if it sustains the daughter until a transplant can take place), which is a tall order. Even the platform suggests that you think small.

Health care costs are the number one reason Americans declare bankruptcy. It's not a stretch at all to believe that a diner waitress and a security guard couldn't find the money to pay for their child's very expensive pre-existing condition.

35 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

How stupid was it to rob the store Mae Whitman works at? Any of the other employees would have identified her based on voice, eyes, height, and build, even without the tramp stamp.

And Mae, for someone who makes fun of stupid robbers who get caught, way to stay under the radar with the new Porsche.

I really like the three actresses but I won't be able to keep watching if the plots don't improve.

It was really dumb for the one with the most identifying mark to go with the manager, and really dumb for Mae to go inside. Have her wait with the car!

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I love the actresses, but this might be a bit too much for me.  Also, I'm not sure how long they can keep this story going.  This is the type of story where consequences need to happen to keep the story going, but the consequences will end up being story-ending.  I'll tune back in, but the jury is still out for me.

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

That certainly took a dark turn, didn't it? I think this has potential, but I dont really know how this can be sustained for a whole series. I thought that the show would take about half a season to get to the robbery, with the moms all getting more and more desperate, planning the robbery, and then carrying the robbery out, and THEN dealing with the consequences. I will give it a few more episodes to see if I think it will have anything to offer. I guess with killing the skeevy attempted rapist, they will need to cover up that murder as well, and it will just keep on going, with the women getting deeper into crime, Breaking Bad style. 

The premise is basically a darker version of this silly teen movie I used to like as a kid called Sugar and Spice, where a group of high school cheerleaders decide to rob a grocery story/bank branch to help their captain, who got pregnant and disowned by her parents, and they needed money for the baby. But that was all played for laughs and camp, and most of the movie was about them planning the robbery, and trying to hide out afterwards. So its weird for me to see this almost same exact plot played so much more seriously. 

I thought it would take a while, too. I would have preferred to get to know everyone, and then have certain things happen at the end of the episode.

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42 minutes ago, Morksmate said:

I love the actresses, but this might be a bit too much for me.  Also, I'm not sure how long they can keep this story going.  This is the type of story where consequences need to happen to keep the story going, but the consequences will end up being story-ending.  I'll tune back in, but the jury is still out for me.

It will indeed be interesting to see how they can keep this going for the next 9 episodes! I've heard that their crimes just keep piling on from week to week, and it's already gotten started. They have both a robbery and a dead body to contend with already. Expect the next episode to show the women scrambling to illegally dispose of the supermarket manager's corpse.

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1 hour ago, JasmineFlower said:

Not disagreeing about the doctor part, but they specifically said the Go Fund Me page for the daughter has been up for years and they haven't gotten enough to make a difference clearly given where the daughter was being treated. Retta is using the page as a cover now to explain away the money for the appointment and medication to her husband.

They really are borrowing liberally from Breaking Bad, aren't there? Did the doctor know that? Though even if he did, it wasn't his call not to tell her about something that ended up working wonders. (I know you aren't disagreeing on that but it ticked me off more than it should have). 

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I think them adding the issue of the gender confused / undecided teen on top of the entire plot (Mae Whitman's daughter as played by Izzy Stannard who appears to be a gender fluid actress) is a bit too much. It makes the story too busy and is not relevant to the main plot. Such a storyline would be better suited to a family drama rather than a sideline in a comedy about three women robbing a store.

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10 minutes ago, Marvin said:

I think them adding the issue of the gender confused / undecided teen on top of the entire plot (Mae Whitman's daughter as played by Izzy Stannard who appears to be a gender fluid actress) is a bit too much. It makes the story too busy and is not relevant to the main plot. Such a storyline would be better suited to a family drama rather than a sideline in a comedy about three women robbing a store.

I think the gender confused teen was created likely to be a subplot which will probably become more actively played as the show progresses. Also, despite the largely comedic moments in the pilot, this show is also being billed as a drama, so I suppose the confused teen aspect will ultimately fit.

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1 hour ago, Empress1 said:

Health care costs are the number one reason Americans declare bankruptcy. It's not a stretch at all to believe that a diner waitress and a security guard couldn't find the money to pay for their child's very expensive pre-existing condition.

It is a stretch to think she would participate in a felony crime without exhausting all options first. But I will admit she had the best reasons.  I don't believe that go fund me wouldn't have worked. Just the kids at her school and families likely would have been able to raise the funds.  The show can say it didn't work but it is hard to believe. 

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I love the actresses, but this might be a bit too much for me.  Also, I'm not sure how long they can keep this story going.  This is the type of story where consequences need to happen to keep the story going, but the consequences will end up being story-ending.  I'll tune back in, but the jury is still out for me.

I like Christina Hendricks and Retta.  Mae Whitman's character mostly annoyed me with her ridiculous reckless spending after she got the money.  I also understand that Mr. Supermarket Manager likely would not have been swayed from his rape plan, but it would have been nice for someone to point out to him that he's now an accomplice after the fact due to his blackmail scheme, so if he turns them in, he could find himself in a huge amount of trouble as well. 

I am interested to see where all this goes, but I really wonder how the storyline can be sustained. 

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I agree that they really packed a lot (maybe even too much?) into the pilot, but I think that's one of the necessities for network dramas these days. Ratings are crucial and if you can't hook people in the pilot you rarely get a chance to scramble back up. I definitely feel spoiled, between cable and streaming, to get a lot of shows that take a nice slow build, but I respect that the networks don't have that same privilege.

The thing is even if the story doesn't hold up for me, the three leads would definitely keep me turning in. They're all fantastic actresses on their own and together I thought they had great chemistry.

The attempted rape was telegraphed from a mile away but it still felt really abrupt and alarming, tonally. The reviews have been saying that this is a "crime of the week" kind of show so I guess there's going to be a domino effect of them all digging themselves deeper. Something will probably go awry when they (presumably) try to get rid of the body next week.

15 hours ago, BooBear said:

Even Hendrick's sister... why can't her daughter go live with her dad? Her daughter looks to be like 12 or so.. maybe it might be a nice change of pace?  Or, legal aid?   Dad didn't seem like a jerk. 

I don't think he seemed overtly like a jerk but they were definitely implying some stuff when he suggested Catholic school and therapy, i.e. that having a queer daughter isn't something he's super stoked about. Besides having a shitty job, Mae Whitman's character appears to genuinely love her daughter and their apartment was pretty nice, it's not like she's negligent or can't provide for her. And a nice change of pace isn't a good enough reason to sue for custody.

10 hours ago, Empress1 said:

While it's foreign to me (not making my own money and being in the dark about my finances is intolerable to me personally), I don't think it's that unusual. I used to work with a woman who was clueless about her finances aside from what she brought home. Once the company implemented a new payroll system and it goofed, which meant that people on a certain pay schedule didn't get paid. (Some people in the company were paid on the 15th and 30th and some were paid every other Friday. She and I were on the former; the people on the latter didn't get paid due to the system error.) So on that day, everyone was running around checking their accounts to see what was going on, and she just ... didn't. She was like "Oh, I don't look at that stuff. [Husband] handles it." Our team was laid off eventually and she decided to stay home with her kid (she was on maternity leave when she was laid off), so she could easily be in Christina Hendricks' character's position now. Hell - her husband was in outside sales so traveled a lot, and it would be very easy for him to cheat.

I agree with you that a fully-functional adult should be able to keep on top of their own finances (it especially pisses me off when women act like it's the man's job to do that; take care of yourself, ladies, you never know when something terrible could happen and you end up on your own!), but these people do exist. I personally know someone who was born fairly wealthy and doesn't have a care in the world about her finances. She spends money like it's going out of style and just shrugs off notifications of overdrawn accounts. She also has a lot of different people who do things for her and have access to her financials. Any of these people could clean her out in a second. It stresses me out and it's not even my money.

Christina Hendricks's character seems otherwise intelligent so the ignorance of her financial situation is a little strange, but some people truly just don't worry about it, or weren't taught the proper money-managing skills and find the idea of keeping on top of it too daunting.

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Besides Mad Men (Joan 5eva!) Christina Hendricks is fantastic in the weirdly-underpromoted and buried-under-limited-release film adaptation of Dark Places (the book was written by Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame). It was jarring to see her so un-Joan-like but she gives a great and haunting performance.

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3 hours ago, Syndicate said:

I think the gender confused teen was created likely to be a subplot which will probably become more actively played as the show progresses. Also, despite the largely comedic moments in the pilot, this show is also being billed as a drama, so I suppose the confused teen aspect will ultimately fit.

Yeah, I don't think they would cast someone as good as Zach Gilford if they weren't planning on that plot being a major one in the future. 

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The Porsche was pretty silly, too. 

What was funny is it was coming from the same person who was telling the girls about how it was only "stupid" criminals who get caught.  I would think one of the first things the police look for after a major robbery are large cash purchases made by people of seemingly limited means. 

Edited by txhorns79
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It was funny in the darkly fun way I kinda dig.  I am interested to see where this goes.  

As for consequences it depends on what you mean?  I’d you mean prison then no I don’t think so.  Honestly I think the consequences may be the reverse.  This was “supposed” to be a one time thing to get them out of financial debt but they may find out that getting out may not be an option.  They could end up getting deeper and deeper until getting out is no longer an option fir one or all of them.

Weeds and Breaking Bad kept the story going with varying success.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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19 hours ago, helenamonster said:

I don't think he seemed overtly like a jerk but they were definitely implying some stuff when he suggested Catholic school and therapy, i.e. that having a queer daughter isn't something he's super stoked about. Besides having a shitty job, Mae Whitman's character appears to genuinely love her daughter and their apartment was pretty nice, it's not like she's negligent or can't provide for her. And a nice change of pace isn't a good enough reason to sue for custody.

 

This was my take, too. The reference to therapy, the school that didn't sound like a good fit, etc. He seemed to genuinely care about their kid, but I thought there was enough there to infer that he might not be fully supportive. Also, I don't know many parents who would be stoked about having their custody arrangement messed with when they couldn't avoid adequate representation.

 

I thought the pilot was pretty good. It felt like a movie. I couldn't believe everything they managed to squeeze in. If it swings too hard on the drama side of things, I will probably be out because of personal tasted, but I thought there was a good balance of dark and humor in the first episode. With regard to Christina Hendrick's character being in the dark, I used to see it not infrequently in my Succession work. One spouse handles paying bills and tracking finances as part of the distribution of family labor, and the other doesn't even have the passwords to the accounts.

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