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S01.E08: Thank You and Good Night

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Joel was actually funny and sexy in the scenes at Midge's parent's apartment. Joel and Midge had a cute rapport that reflected earlier scenes when they were enjoying their relationship. By contrast, I am not enthralled by the Suzy character.

In my ideal second season, Joel would realize that the standup career is Midge's dream--not his. In the last show, he told the booker that he would return until he got a slot on stage "because Midge wants me to be a comedian". Because he is actually witty, he will write material for her act and be a supportive husband.

Edited by grayson
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Because he is actually witty, he will write material for her act.

I honestly don't remember anything witty that he has said, Midge to me was the funny one in the relationship.

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1 hour ago, grayson said:

Because he is actually witty, he will write material for her act and be a supportive husband.

I don't mind Joel, but he seems more like an appreciator of comedy than a comedian.  Quite possibly Midge couldn't be doing what she does if not for being exposed to a variety of comedy acts while she was dating Joel.  The comment about continuing to try to get a slot because Midge wanted him to seemed weird--it seemed clear in the pilot it was his dream and he was persistent enough to go to Open Mic night consistently.  Even if Midge did pave the way for his success with her brisket and her notebook.

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1 hour ago, grayson said:

Joel was actually funny and sexy in the scenes at Midge's parent's apartment. Joel and Midge had a cute rapport that reflected earlier scenes when they were enjoying their relationship. By contrast, I am not enthralled by the Suzy character.

In my ideal second season, Joel would realize that the standup career is Midge's dream--not his. In the last show, he told the booker that he would return until he got a slot on stage "because Midge wants me to be a comedian". Because he is actually witty, he will write material for her act and be a supportive husband.

It's just the opposite for me. I've fallen in love with Suzy (she did put me off for a bit). Joel is blah for me. 

I don't tend to root for cheaters getting back with their spouses, no matter how charming they might be  (not that I think Joel is charming) but it happens all the time, and sometimes successfully. 

On the other hand, Joel and Midge do have good chemistry when they're together, though I think Midge is doing the heavy lifting.

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I do think they are going to attempt to redeem Joel, but I hope they don't go down the road of her tryimg to have the perfect life put to much pressure on him. Like when he notes how beautiful she looks after the night at her parents where she is without makeup and her hair a mess contrasted to how he is used to seeing her in the mornings with hair perfectly coiffed and made up. 

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Finished this today. I've really enjoyed it an look forward to the next season! It had its flaws, but that's some of the fun, right? 

I'm a pretty big Gilmore Girls fanatic, so I'm having fun identifying so many parallels between the two shows and the Sherman-Palladino style, though some of their common threads make me roll my eyes. I'm bummed that ASP still seems to be convinced that a dude punching out another dude, even (or perhaps especially) if it's to protect his lady's "honor," is a romantic gesture of love. (See: Joel, Luke, Dean/Jess, etc. Did it happen in Bunheads? Somehow I never watched Bunheads.) Also, word to the poster above comparing Joel to Christopher. Privileged and weak compared to the strong and funny female lead, but he somehow manages to keep pulling her back in through their shared history and cute but immature rapport.

But I love the seasonal wonderland feel of the show. Aww, the magic of snow! I first binged Gilmore Girls during a snowstorm, and have felt some lovely nostalgia watching this show over a snowy holiday season too. 

It's interesting that Midge's mom feels so betrayed by secrets and half-truths when she has most certainly led the charge on her family's involvement in various betrayals, from sneaking the beauty regimens behind her husband's back, to covering up her feelings about Joel's parents, to pushing the beds apart, to lying to the neighbors about Midge and Joel's breakup. Half-truths have come naturally to her, and have been a constant way for her to protect her lifestyle, which is now crumbling. I'm looking forward to more of her growth in the coming season. Also, I've had a bit of a girlcrush on Marin Hinkle for a long time, so it's nice to see her again in a show I like and want to watch.  I was going to say that the only "problem" I have with her on the show is that she looks like she could be Midge's sister instead of her mother, but looking on IMDB, Marin Hinkle really is 51. Damn, she looks good...I might have to start sneaking on some night cream too!

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On 12/24/2017 at 4:34 PM, shron17 said:

I don't mind Joel, but he seems more like an appreciator of comedy than a comedian. 

Didn't he even say at one point that he tried to write original material and failed?

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On December 7, 2017 at 6:36 PM, OtterMommy said:

No, we are not supposed to like him....yet.  Based on how this episode ended, it looks like they are setting him up as a man who has hit rock bottom.  Where they go from there could go any number of ways

One obvious storyline would be a variation on the Sonny and Cher act—including the eventual, inevitable breakup—perhaps with Joel being told by club owners that they will not book Midge if Joel is on stage, which leads to him taking a managerial role, which leads to conflict with Suzy and more infidelities with bimbos to soothe his ego, and finally his departure to California—which would give a nice place to park the kids off stage.

 I don't know if I will be back for more, except I've been fascinated with Rachel Broshanan since Manhattan, and, like others here, I'd like to see more of this version of Lenny Bruce—with him and Midge having at least one drunken one night stand—plus, Tony Shaloub always amuses me. But still—I was never addicted to the Gilmore Girls, inspite of my appreciation for the witty dialogue, and here, as others have also noted, that clever patter is often distractingly anachronistic.

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Biakbiak notes:

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I honestly don't remember anything witty that he has said, Midge to me was the funny one in the relationship.

Midge (to me) is definitely the performer of the pair. Joel is quick-witted in conversation (which Midge appreciates), but his clever quips may not translate to a career as a standup comedian. I loved that Joel beamed with pride and appreciation for her comedy during her wedding "toast"--he was not threatened or resentful that she was "the funny one" in the relationship.

Funny Joel moments: When he pursued Midge at the frat party, his quips to and about Palmer were witty and flawlessly timed (although, somewhat mean-spirited).

                                   At Midge's parents' home after the birthday party, his jokes about his father's sleeping habits were amusing.

                                  As Midge was pushing him out of her bedroom window, he teased her that he had left his wallet in the kitchen.

I confess that Joel is sexy and appealing to me--which is extremely surprising because I am definitely not attracted to smaller men in general. Maybe I feel protective of him because he is struggling and, unlike Midge, he does not have the support of his father, who disparaged his intelligence and ability.

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I'll be the voice of disconsent here and say I'm happy about the news that the show will be focusing on the parents as well. Joel not so much. I also see him as a Christopher and the original never appealed much to me. I love Midge and Susie, but I'm not sure they're enough to sustain the show, and Abe and Rose work really well for me. In fact, I think it works to have them more involved from the start unlike GG.

On 02. 12. 2017. at 5:07 AM, Megan said:

Weird that Midge's bedroom is right off the kitchen... an odd layout also on GG. I wonder why.

I gather the second bedroom went to Midge's brother, who was both a boy and older, and Midge got what was originally the maid's room. The parents never changed that one so she's back in it, and the kids are in what used to be Noah's room.

On 08. 12. 2017. at 7:46 PM, RedHackle said:

Also, anachronisms such as the modern language and expressions bothered me at first. But they seem so consistent about them that I'm now wondering if it's deliberate? But one thing that really bothered me - in this episode, she said she used to unhook every other hook on her bra to make it easier on Joel. I don't think the writers really thought that one through; do you know how hard it would be to do that on those old long-line bras? The hooks on those things were so close together that undoing only every other one would be all but impossible.

If anyone could do it, it's Midge I-measure-my-proportionate-ancles-and-calves-daily Maisel.

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redhackle: you might be right. I know for sure that I had a 30 foot cord bought from Woolworths or somewhere by 1974, and I'm sure I knew of them before that, probably back to about 1970. If you could buy cheap knockoffs then, I would assume you could buy them from the phone company for some time before that (otherwise, why create a cheap knockoff?), but exactly when I don't really know.

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On 12/30/2017 at 9:16 AM, grayson said:

As Midge was pushing him out of her bedroom window, he teased her that he had left his wallet in the kitchen.

Much like the other things you listed I don't think this was funny and certainly not witty.

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I respect your views, biakbiak.

I am protective of Joel--I do not want to believe that Midge's ascendancy requires his emasculation.

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I don’t see it as having anything to do with emasculation, Joel’s weakness is part of his character. His father was right, he gives up on things. He gave up on his marriage (despite great support), he gave up on his mistress when his friends and family disapproved, he gave up on comedy when he had a bad night, and he quit his job (despite earning a promotion). He becomes disillusioned easily and walks away. That makes him a terrible choice for a husband.

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10 hours ago, 7-Zark-7 said:

I don’t see it as having anything to do with emasculation, Joel’s weakness is part of his character. His father was right, he gives up on things. He gave up on his marriage (despite great support), he gave up on his mistress when his friends and family disapproved, he gave up on comedy when he had a bad night, and he quit his job (despite earning a promotion). He becomes disillusioned easily and walks away. That makes him a terrible choice for a husband.


When you put it that way, he does seem glum but everyone has room to grow. If he sees that impulsiveness and works on it,  maybe.  The Sonny & Cher comment was interesting, but Joel being the one put down all the time wouldn't work now and Sonny felt he was in control (until Cher said bye) If they want to keep him in the fold, they might come up with something. The idea of him helping her though is intriguing but her manager might mind. Up until now, her family is out of the fold, her dad heard about the arrest record but it really didn't say for what and the gentleman alluded to his college days so maybe her dad thought it was during hers?

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On December 4, 2017 at 9:56 AM, screenaddict said:

I'm also one of the three people on the internet who doesn't have a problem with Joel. They were married. They have kids. He's going to be in and out of her life, and any guy with half of a brain will be attracted to Midge. I don't even mind seeing them together. Maybe he can be her stay-at-home husband while she does the comedy circuit. (OK, that was a joke.) I do think anyone who's living a life on the stage, especially someone doing comedy, needs someone to ground them. That may not be Joel, but I hope future episodes establish a relationship with someone to balance the mania of being funny.

I don't think Joel is that bad.  I get why he and Midge broke up.  They were married but had no intimacy.  When Joel saw Midge after they spent the night in her old bedroom he said, "do you always look like that in the morning?"  BOOM.  Joel had no idea what Midge looked like in the morning, he had no idea what she looked like sans make up, because she created an air of perfection, she was playing a part that she thought she was supposed to play.  It's kind of like Midge was  Sophie Lennon, playing a character, a fake, a character of a woman.

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I really loved the whole series, even though it took me awhile to get around to finishing it. It was great seeing Midge struggling a bit to find her voice, but also finding some success. It really was probably bad form to talk about a big time comic like that, but she seems to have come out of it alright. Maybe. At least Lenny Bruce has her back. I know she cant actually end up with Lenny Bruce, but they have great chemistry, and I love the guy who plays him. He comes off a super cynical and kind of an asshole, but not a bad guy at all. 

I am super torn on Joel and Midge. I dont think Joel is an awful person or beyond redemption, but he is just so wishy washy. He isnt happy, and keeps trying to change his life to make himself happy, instead of just working at making his actual life better. He blames Midge for being miserable, but he was actually miserable for totally non related reasons, and choose to blame her. Plus, the two had some serious communications problems (Midge does full make up before he wakes up, he doesn't tell her about their financial situation) that would need to get worked through before they got back together. I dont want them back together right now, but maybe if Joel did a lot of soul searching and really made it up to Midge, and they talked a LOT about their problems, they could get together at some point in a future season. He does at least seem to acknowledge that shes super funny at least. Now, maybe tell HER that how great her act is, instead of some random asshole. 

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4 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

  (Midge does full make up before he wakes up, he doesn't tell her about their financial situation) that would need to get worked through before they got back together. I dont want them back together right now,

Heh, I don't think that would get worked out for several decades. I remember my Dad saying how terrible it was to see a woman with her hair in curlers. And my mom never knew the whole picture of their finances.

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6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

(Midge does full make up before he wakes up, he doesn't tell her about their financial situation) that would need to get worked through before they got back together

That really spoke to me about their non intimacy.  Just because two people have sex and make babies, doesn't mean they have any intimacy.  I looked at Joel and Midge as two people wearing masks, at first their masks fall in love with each other; now the people behind the masks need to fall in love with each other.  

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8 hours ago, Neurochick said:

That really spoke to me about their non intimacy.  Just because two people have sex and make babies, doesn't mean they have any intimacy.  I looked at Joel and Midge as two people wearing masks, at first their masks fall in love with each other; now the people behind the masks need to fall in love with each other.  

I agree, women were taught to do that at times, but I never understood it. Your marriage, relationship was based on a facade? I hope if the writers agree, that they can start over again maybe with a fresh page. They do have children and deserve to make sure it is over when enough time has gone by to give space to hurt feelings.

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That really spoke to me about their non intimacy.  Just because two people have sex and make babies, doesn't mean they have any intimacy.  I looked at Joel and Midge as two people wearing masks, at first their masks fall in love with each other; now the people behind the masks need to fall in love with each other.  

I would change that somewhat to say that Midge wore a mask, while Joel has always been himself.  Or at least, my impression was that Midge made real efforts to hide herself from Joel, while he mostly did what he wanted with her support, until he decided he didn't need it anymore. 

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I would agree that they were both pretending but in different ways. Joel was mostly himself, doing and saying what he wanted, but trying to project an image of capability and stability beyond what was actually there (stand up, lying about the finances, etc.). Meanwhile, Midge was employing these cosmetic masks but I don't think that deception was completely antithetical to her character because she is a highly capable, type A personality. How I genuinely see the situation and why I think everyone in right in their own way in how they see Joel is that the writers laid the groundwork for an argument about emasculation and both of them struggling under the gender expectations of the time period. They did have all those scenes in the beginning of episodes to try and convince you to root for their relationship. But ultimately, the way the story was structured and the way individual moments reveal Joel's character undid all of that flimsy groundwork. For instance, it's like how Twilight tries to be romantic but then Edward Cullen behaves like an abusive stalker. There are conflicting forces at work so you can read the story different ways depending on what you want to see and it's not a story where that can be mistaken for complexity. It's a story that definitely wants you to feel a certain way and has failed at that for a portion of the audience. 

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On 12/4/2017 at 10:48 PM, retrograde said:

I agree with others that she has far more chemistry with the Lenny Bruce character -- but him being Lenny Bruce kinda restricts where they can go there. It's a shame they didn't just make him Lenny Bruce-esque. I think an original character would've stood up just fine with the same role.

 

I feel really ashamed to admit this...but I didn't know who Lenny Bruce was before bingeing the show. (I blame my sheltered childhood.) Don't worry everyone, I've since watched many Youtube videos of his acts, read his Wiki, etc. The actor does a great job mimicking his hand movements and finger snapping. However, since I decided to jump into these 8 episodes without reading any reviews, I was blissfully ignorant and assumed Lenny was an original character who was obviously being set up as a love interest for next season. Then I logged on to the message board and...cue record scratch. It'd be a shame if the writers held themselves back and avoided the chemistry Midge and Lenny have in future seasons just because they're dealing with a historical figure. 

It was a fun ride bingeing this show in one day, watching Midge go from obedient housewife to kickass comedienne. I was worried at first the writers were making Midge a little too perfect, and for some reason, the fact that she didn't cough smoking her first joint really took me out of the realm of possibilities, so I'm glad she coughed on the second hit. But I really enjoy Midge as a character, want to steal her entire wardrobe, and hope to see her travel more next season and get larger gigs. 

Also, I'm fine with the writers keeping Joel around, but maybe cut back his screentime next season. Unless we're on a very slow burn storyline where Midge and Joel get back together for good in the series finale, I don't necessarily want to see him in every single episode next season. More screentime to Lenny, Suzy, side characters, and new characters would be appreciated.

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I would have wished she didn't smoke the joint. That would deviate from typical Hollywood. I can predict so much when it comes to Hollywood. They have a specific trope.

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I took a break between episode 7 and this one so I didn't recall Rose and Abe being so estranged? Did one event lead up to this? 

Loved that it was Midge's act of helping Lenny Bruce in the beginning of the series which led to his returning the favor now. 

At first, I was surprised that Midge slept with Joel again and decided take him back. Given the time and the fact that she still loved him, I think that I can understand her decision (trying not to look at it with a 2018 lens). 

Looking forward to the parents finding out about Midge's new career. 

Loved the triumphant declaration of her name. 

Edited by LisaM
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I binged on this all weekend, and I did enjoy the world the show built, but not necessarily all of the characters. I think they are really going to have to step up Miriam's comedy material if they want to launch her into stardom. To me, most of her routines  seemed weak and all over the place, punctuated by crass vulgarity that didn't quite fit with her character. She also seemed too bright to have done something like trash a really famous comedian onstage. I mean I understand being disillusioned by the chasm between the on-stage/off-stage personas, but good grief, if nothing else, the woman sent her home with a box of French macarons and a fur coat!

Unlike some people, I have zero sympathy for Joel, and hope to see less of him in the future. From the moment they revealed him in the first episode, I thought he was a horrible mismatch for Miriam, appearance, intelligence, wit, charm, and drive-wise. They did not seem to have any chemistry to me, and I was sorry to see Miriam cave and spend the night with him following their kid's birthday. I quite enjoyed seeing Suzy tear a strip off of him in the finale.

She definitely had much more chemistry with the actor playing Lenny Bruce. I'm not familiar with the actor playing him, but he's doing a good job, and also bears a decent resemblance to the real comedian. Hopefully he'll continue to pop up here and there as a sort of debauched comedy fairy godfather.

I also really enjoyed her parents, and her adventures at her department store job - she is a natural as a saleswoman, so I liked that they put her in that environment. I'll give a 2nd season a look - in the meantime, I will daydream about  living in a fabulous apartment, and wearing that glorious wardrobe!

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55 minutes ago, LisaM said:

I took a break between episode 7 and this one so I didn't recall Rose and Abe being so estranged? Did one event lead up to this? 

She found out about Joel asking Midge to take him back a while ago and her turning him down. And, what’s more, that Abe knew about it all along, and neither Midge nor he told her.

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Joel is a weenie. Much like Christopher in GG, Joel is not a bad person but he lacks spine. 

The scene when he tells her how overwhelmed he is by her is telling. I did like that scene in the record store, though when he knows immediately it's Midge.. Rachel Brosnahan is great in this part. And I like her parents, a lot. Tony Shalhoub amongst the books out of his study (that's passive aggressive warfare and it's fantastic) and saying "I will have to kill you. I’ll feel bad about it but it will happen."

And obviously, Susie.

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On 1/1/2018 at 2:15 PM, grayson said:

I respect your views, biakbiak.

I am protective of Joel--I do not want to believe that Midge's ascendancy requires his emasculation.

He's too pathetic to be emasculated, in the first place.

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Not to keep constantly comparing this to GG but... he is Christopher. And I suspect he'll hang around just as long. 

Spot on. And it's going to be a drag because to me at least, Joel is a very unappealing character with an uninteresting storyline. The show doesn't need to focus on a sad sack character. It just brings everything down when he appears onscreen. The last straw was when he blew his big presentation and then quit. I mean, come on.  

I wanted to scream at Midge when she slept with him after the party. Then she did a good job of explaining why that happened, when talking to her father about how they might get back together. The show hadn't really shown those emotions in her before, unless her standup rants were intended for that purpose. But the moment was well-acted and made me more forgiving.

I enjoyed the series very much overall. Rachel Brosnahan was a revelation. She even seemed real as a comic. Her stage presence and delivery were right on even when the material wasn't laugh-out-loud funny. I liked Susie. I liked the Weismanns although they aren't the strength of the show. I loved the music and adored the costuming.

On the con side, it bothered me quite a bit that Midge's children were such an afterthought. Such is the way of TV, but it would have worked just as well, maybe better, to have Midge and Joel a young couple without any kids. 

That last scene, though, was perfection. Great way to send us off wanting more. I'll be back.

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The last straw was when he blew his big presentation and then quit. I mean, come on.  

That was the worst. He had this big plan to step up and provide for his family. It lasted a day. And then "fuck it." And I don't believe he was angry at Midge talking about them. He was angry that she's good from the first second he heard it.

Another contrast between Midge and Joel I like is that she enjoys doing her day job. She sees it as material and cares about doing a good job. Joel thinks the world is unfair because he has to work at a job handed to him.

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It's not my experience that everyone who is truly funny is using it as a coping mechanism for pain. I know some really funny people. MMV of course, but I don't think Midge needs a thing. I think she's quick, extremely observant, and very confident, and has a terrific sense of the absurd.

I agree that may be true for some but it isn't universal. There are well-adjusted hilarious people. And many of her best jokes weren't Joel related. Her parents sex life, her son asking about the lump, her work were all part of her tight ten. Not her bad marriage.

I don't want her to get back with Joel. But their hating each other isn't necessary for her comedy.

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We see him all "noble" telling Abe he's stepped up at work and is going to pay for Midge's home, the kids best possible schooling, travel, etc. etc., leaving nothing for himself.

Although we all know he would never have followed through with that. Like his father says he isn't a follow through guy. And he decided that supporting his family didn't mean shit because of hearing Midge's recording.

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Looking forward to the parents finding out about Midge's new career. 

They have so many clues. I think it's inevitable that they put the pieces together. She's out late but either won't say where she goes or lies, she has to dress up nice, she was arrested for obscenity and exposing herself in public (Abe knows she was arrested and can get the records), and she suddenly has very expensive presents from benefactors but she won't say who. They are smart people they'll figure out she's a high-end escort soon!

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Didn't he even say at one point that he tried to write original material and failed?

He said he tried something original with one joke and then Midge points out she wrote that joke. Then he says it bombed and she says because he didn't tell it right.

It was all the way in the first episode and so much has been packed into this season but it's worth remembering that even when he was the comic and she was the supportive wife anything remotely original about his act was her. She wrote an opener for him in the cab. She encouraged him to work off the cuff like on the holes in his sweater and then later clarified that she had thought he would say something funny about it. She understood that stealing acts is wrong. She understands why Bob Newheart's delivery is better. She understood about schmoozing people to get stage time.

It's always been her. I don't see what he could possibly add to her act. And how could she ever trust he wasn't stealing bits that she will have to say?

My nightmare is that they do officially get back together and he decides he wants to manage her rather than Susie.

I wouldn't be surprised if Midge is served with divorce papers in the first episode of next season. But, as was said above, he isn't going anywhere. I think they'll get together on a more equal basis by the end of the second season even if I don't like it. But then the tension might come from him wanting to insert himself in her comedy career more than she likes but since she's still ultimately the good housewife she doesn't feel comfortable saying that.

Edited by CherithCutestory
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I don’t really understand what ASP is doing with Joel.  Seeing their flashbacks - I find myself wondering how we went from their wedding day when he wanted to marry her twice to his confessing an affair and walking out with her suitcase.  I find that more interesting than her standup, frankly, but it’s not like I want more Joel on my screen.

Abe is my favorite character in all this.

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2 hours ago, Crs97 said:

I don’t really understand what ASP is doing with Joel.  Seeing their flashbacks - I find myself wondering how we went from their wedding day when he wanted to marry her twice to his confessing an affair and walking out with her suitcase.  I find that more interesting than her standup, frankly, but it’s not like I want more Joel on my screen.

Abe is my favorite character in all this.

Mine too, but then again Tony Shaloub always starts at the head of the pack with me, because I love him so much.

Edited by Clanstarling
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15 hours ago, Crs97 said:

I don’t really understand what ASP is doing with Joel.  Seeing their flashbacks - I find myself wondering how we went from their wedding day when he wanted to marry her twice to his confessing an affair and walking out with her suitcase.  I find that more interesting than her standup, frankly, but it’s not like I want more Joel on my screen.

Abe is my favorite character in all this.

Joel also seemed super in love with Midge the first time we saw her do her brisket routine. And that was a week before he bombed. And after he bombed he confessed he'd been cheating on her for months. So, even when he seemed to completely adore her and thought she supported his comedy 100% she still wasn't enough for him.

I don't think there is much more to it than his being a spoiled, entitled brat who doesn't appreciate what he has. And I think he left because he couldn't stand the idea of Midge not adoring him completely. Just like he said when they fought in his apartment.

Edited by CherithCutestory
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I think maybe it's what he also said: not that Midge wasn't enough, but that she was too much. Too much of a good thing that he couldn't live up to/couldn't compete with/didn't deserve. When feeling that way, many women do more and try harder; some men blame her, and act out.

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1 hour ago, CherithCutestory said:

Joel also seemed super in love with Midge the first time we saw her do her brisket routine. And that was a week before he bombed. And after he bombed he confessed he'd been cheating on her for months.

By "brisket routine" you mean Midge getting him a better time slot at the comedy club, right? If so, maybe we might not have been seeing Joel so much in love with Midge as with himself, if you get my drift--that is, he was happy he was going to be able to perform at a better time, and expressed that happiness with what appeared to be appreciation for Midge. IDK.

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16 hours ago, CherithCutestory said:

Joel also seemed super in love with Midge the first time we saw her do her brisket routine. And that was a week before he bombed. And after he bombed he confessed he'd been cheating on her for months. So, even when he seemed to completely adore her and thought she supported his comedy 100% she still wasn't enough for him.

I don't think there is much more to it than his being a spoiled, entitled brat who doesn't appreciate what he has. And I think he left because he couldn't stand the idea of Midge not adoring him completely. Just like he said when they fought in his apartment.

I think a man can be totally in love with his wife (or believe he is) and still cheat because of bullshit personal stuff. (Women, too.) Joel has imposter/inferiority issues: His wife is almost too perfect. She's marvelous and driven. He's mediocre and passive. He has a family to support and is ashamed to tell his wife they can't afford their lifestyle and don't own their home. He was handed a job he hasn't earned and as a result he isn't respected. Even as he appreciates how Midge's brisket and hustle get him better stage times, he probably resents that he needs her to make it happen. It's easy to imagine he wonders how he can live up to all of this. When it will all fall apart. Enter Penny, the dumb secretary who makes him feel smart and successful. It's easier to be with her and play at being the man he wants to be than actually deal with his fears and talk to Midge.

I think the true fear was not her not adoring him, but her leaving him because the scales fall from her eyes and she sees he isn't good enough. So he left first. 

ETA: A lot of people ended up in lives that didn't satisfy them 60 years ago. There was such a strong middle-class push to get married young to someone "suitable", buy a house, have kids, mom stays home, dad finds a safe career, and stay the course no matter what. And, of course, never talk about your problems. It's still pretty strong today, but there's more room to push back and at least ask the questions.

Edited by snarktini
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On 12/2/2017 at 10:34 AM, 2727 said:

 

Maybe the best line of the series from Abe to Midge: "I will have to kill you. I’ll feel bad about it but it will happen."

 

Followed up by Midge asking him if he needed a hand getting over his books-“No, I don’t know where I’m headed”.

Midge better not be pregnant with #3 because of sleeping with Joel!

If season 2 is going to have Midge be a real success, could Joel ask for money in the divorce?

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Midge better not be pregnant with #3 because of sleeping with Joel!

Oh, Jesus Christ. I didn't even think of that. Please no. 

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4 hours ago, snarktini said:

I think a man can be totally in love with his wife (or believe he is) and still cheat because of bullshit personal stuff. (Women, too.) Joel has imposter/inferiority issues: His wife is almost too perfect. She's marvelous and driven. He's mediocre and passive. He has a family to support and is ashamed to tell his wife they can't afford their lifestyle and don't own their home. He was handed a job he hasn't earned and as a result he isn't respected. Even as he appreciates how Midge's brisket and hustle get him better stage times, he probably resents that he needs her to make it happen. It's easy to imagine he wonders how he can live up to all of this. When it will all fall apart. Enter Penny, the dumb secretary who makes him feel smart and successful. It's easier to be with her and play at being the man he wants to be than actually deal with his fears and talk to Midge.

I think the true fear was not her not adoring him, but her leaving him because the scales fall from her eyes and she sees he isn't good enough. So he left first. 

ETA: A lot of people ended up in lives that didn't satisfy them 60 years ago. There was such a strong middle-class push to get married young to someone "suitable", buy a house, have kids, mom stays home, dad finds a safe career, and stay the course no matter what. And, of course, never talk about your problems. It's still pretty strong today, but there's more room to push back and at least ask the questions.

So long story short he's just an asshole.

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I never saw a single moment of Gilmore Girls and have no idea who the creator/showrunner is or what she's about.   I feel pretty lucky that I was able to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel without expectations.

Joel is a millstone around Midge's neck.   In many ways he reminded me of the husband character in Orange Is the New Black.   I felt deflated when Midge slept with him and toyed with the idea of getting back together.  Joel shit on her.   He shit on their kids.  He shit on their family.  

Now I see the point of the teased reconciliation -- it sweetened the sting of the final scene.   Joel gets his comeuppance, big time.   In the space of just a few minutes, every self-serving fantasy he ever indulged lies in ashes at his feet.

My only problem with this show is the duality of Midge's character.   In the daytime, she's a perfect lady; at night, she swills booze and swears like a sailor.   She seems to love her parents, but when apart from them she is filled with resentment and publicly holds them up to ridicule.   She sleeps with Joel and tells her father she loves Joel, misses him -- and then proceeds to make a human sacrifice of him on stage.   I know it's supposed to be an act, but the show hasn't yet shown how or where Midge draws the line between comedy and real venom.    At this point, what I see is Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.  

All in all, I like the show, especially the glamour of old New York and the period sets, costumes, etc. 

Edited by millennium
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16 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

Midge better not be pregnant with #3 because of sleeping with Joel!

I hadn't considered this, but it seems likely if they didn't have a condom handy (and they probably didn't) and if Midge was ovulating, which would have temporarily increased her libido and could explain why she went for it. But, ugh, I would prefer to think she realized she did not want more babies and did have a condom at the ready. Anyway, my first reaction to reading this was that there will be a back alley abortion scenario. :>(     Or maybe she will have another kid, and maybe she'll have fallen into bed with Lenny Bruce one night within a day or two of the Joel hookup, and the paternity of the child will be ambiguous. 

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5 hours ago, millennium said:

My only problem with this show is the duality of Midge's character.   In the daytime, she's a perfect lady; at night, she swills booze and swears like a sailor.   She seems to love her parents, but when apart from them she is filled with resentment and publicly holds them up to ridicule.   She sleeps with Joel and tells her father she loves Joel, misses him -- and then proceeds to make a human sacrifice of him on stage.   I know it's supposed to be an act, but the show hasn't yet shown how or where Midge draws the line between comedy and real venom.    At this point, what I see is Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.  

 

I hope they do something interesting with this. When Sophie asked about her "character" I thought...she's already playing one everyday! Perfect, marvelous Midge is the act. She constructed the perfect life and perfect appearance....but it's all just a veneer. There's no authenticity to her daytime persona. 

There's a lot of masks in the show. Joel. Sophie. Midge. Susie. People aren't who they pretend to be. There's some good storytelling there, if they take advantage of it.

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My only problem with this show is the duality of Midge's character.   In the daytime, she's a perfect lady; at night, she swills booze and swears like a sailor.   She seems to love her parents, but when apart from them she is filled with resentment and publicly holds them up to ridicule.   She sleeps with Joel and tells her father she loves Joel, misses him -- and then proceeds to make a human sacrifice of him on stage.   I know it's supposed to be an act, but the show hasn't yet shown how or where Midge draws the line between comedy and real venom.    At this point, what I see is Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.  

I actually think Midge is very consistent day to night. She jokes and swears in the daytime too. The only time we've seen her get really drunk is when Joel left her, which is understandable, and then the time she got high with the jazz musicians. But otherwise we've only seen her drink moderately. For instance when she was out all night with Susie seeing comedians she was sober when she got home and only sipped a couple of drinks. She even pointed out that she can't just get drunk every time she wants to perform (Susie asked if she had ever met any comedians.)

She also didn't sacrifice him up. She dissed Penny not Joel. That he put her in that position doesn't mean she's sacrificing him up. Those were his actions.

I also don't think she's said anything particularly mean about her parents. She's said they have sex.

I don't think she's the perfect lady in the day, at all. She's good at being a housewife and putting herself together. But she often says inappropriate things.

Edited by CherithCutestory
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On 12/2/2017 at 11:05 PM, aradia22 said:

Tracy was a weird character to suddenly pop up. I was like, whoa, did we jump into hipster Brooklyn for a second? Where'd she come from?

Also, to revisit, her set wasn't that funny. It was more of a rant than a series of jokes. And again, really don't see what she was so mad at Sophie for.

"Make a new friend. I'm tired of this one." Also, how long is that damn phone cord?

How did he have time to arrange those books? And Edith Piaf! If we're going to have so many flashbacks, I'd like to see Rose in Paris at some point.

I was amused by Imogen's baby matchmaking on the carousel.

In that carousel scene, something I realized is that there's a distinct lack of sexual tension with Joel and Miriam. They tried to make it happen in the kitchen later but that wasn't sexual tension. That was a kiss that came out of nowhere. They don't really seem to want each other. 

Sigh... Joel telling Miriam how perfect she is. I mean, I get it. He's weak. But that doesn't really make me want to root for them to get back together. Because I don't think he'd be happy being the man behind the famous comedienne. I do get the point they're making about him finally being able to see her as she is (without all her prep with the bra hooks and the powder and the nighttime makeup) but I still think the big underlying problems are there. Her strength is too challenging to his masculinity.

I liked seeing the burlesque place. Though I thought that was a little out of date. Gypsy Rose Lee wrote her memoir in 1957 so by 1950, I'd assume burlesque was already fading. 

Oh my God, that adorable green suit!

When Penny was ranting she reminded me SO much of Paris from Gilmore Girls.

LOL, Tony Shalhoub. So good.

Kitty! I love the random kitties. 

See, at the first setback, Joel quits. 

I am sure there were some chorus boys in the hava nagila sequence but it went too fast for me to recognize anyone. I think one of them might have been in Book of Mormon.

Ah, so that's why we have Lenny Bruce. As a Deus Ex Machina.

OK, I get why Susie and Joel had to have that argument. They are her two paths and in some way they reflect two sides of Midge. But it also felt weird for them to exempt her from the decision/conversation.

I doubt that's the last we'll see of Joel though.

The phone cord at my childhood home was that long too.  Adapters and extensions, only three phones in the house, basement, kitchen, master bedroom.  When I was in trouble, my dad would take the extension cords and hide them.  I'm 53.  

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Late to the party. I enjoyed this very much. The dresses, gowns, coats, hats etc. alone were so fantastic (until you realized how much women had to put up with to look that put together). As for Joel: I think the flaw is in the writing - the show needed the break-up as the prime motivator for Midge's path. But TPTB also wanted (at least for the time being) to keep Midge and Joel as the central couple to pull a will-they/won't-they with a twist. Joel's motivation for leaving Midge was never fully explained - he had cheated on her way before that evening when he tanked on stage. So what was it that drove him away? The only explanation the show has delivered so far is that he's 'weak'. That's not particularly endearing. Neither is him dumping Penny as soon as the parentd disapproved. At the same time the show has been carefully dropped little moments of redemption. Joel cares about his children (okay, mostly about his son), he accepts all the blame (rightly so) and he tries to make sure his family is well provided for. Since humans are complicated this could all work - but somehow it doesn't here. The characterisation is not so much off-balance as it is inconsistent. And so I can't root for the couple to get back together nor for them to split up for good - I'm mostly confused.

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I have a continuity question. Did Joel say something about his father being in a foxhole in the war but earlier they were showing Joel's bar mitzvah in 1943. Could Joel's father have been in WWI? He doesn't seem old enough for that.  Otherwise I wondered during the bar mitzvah scene why the father was not serving in the war. Or I also thought his factory was a necessary war industry exempting him from the draft. It seemed a bit much that they could have had that huge bar mitzvah during the war years.  

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"Foxhole" was definitely a World War I term, and if Moishe's the same age as Kevin Pollak -- 60 -- he's old enough. Born in 1898, he'd have been 18 or 19 when the U.S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917, and 43 on Pearl Harbor Day.

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