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S04.E09: I Need Some Balance

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LETTING THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG — Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) decides that she needs to find a way to take her mind off her ex-boyfriends. Vincent Rodriguez III, Vella Lovell, Pete Gardner, Donna Lynne Champlin and Gabrielle Ruiz also star.   

Elizabeth Kiernan Averick wrote the episode, directed by Kimmy Gatewood (#409). 

Edited by dubbel zout · Reason: added description

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Using Cats as a metaphor for Rebecca's undercarriage problems? I fucking love this show.

Yeah, Rebecca didn't even do anything wrong this time (except let Josh stay as her roommate, but still). And men think WE are uppity about their past relationships...

Edited by Spartan Girl
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All the scenes with White Josh and his anxiety and reactions to Greg and Nathaniel just cracked me right up. Also Josh coming out in his briefs with the tennis racket to chase the feral cats away. 

That’s about all I’ve got. I wasn’t a fan of the stuff with the Cats. And I thought the story with Darryl and other guy whose name I can’t recall was boring. 

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Ha, I love that not only did we get the cats synonym for Rebecca's lady problems but that we got to return to Rebecca's dislike for the musical.

I enjoyed the temporary Greg/Nathaniel friendship more than I thought I would (and it's true that it can be hard to make new friends as an adult so I appreciated that too). I loved when Greg told Nathaniel to just be nice instead of telling people he's nice. 99% of the time, if you have to keep telling people who smart/hot/whatever you are (see also: every reality show talking head interview) then you probably aren't.

I'm also enjoying Rebecca and Josh as platonic friends. He seems to be a kind and considerate roommate who just happens to wander around the house in his underwear.

I liked how stressed/conflicted/concerned White Josh was about Greg and Nathaniel becoming friends. He knew it was just a matter of time before they realized that they were both Rebecca's exes but he just couldn't bring himself to be the bearer of bad news.

Jason seemed weird on the same level as Rebecca so I'm a little disappointed that things didn't work out between them. Should he really be that upset that her two ex-boyfriends showed up at her house unannounced? That's not really her fault.

I didn't love the Bert/Darryl storyline, but it was not at all surprising that it escalated until Paula used her mom skills to separate them. Maya hitting on Father Brah just made me shake my head. GURL.

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I didn't love the Bert/Darryl storyline, but it was not at all surprising that it escalated until Paula used her mom skills to separate them.

I've grown to hate the way the writers never seems to tell us why we should side with Darryl. Bert has been trying to create a friendlier work enviroment, everyone (including Nathaniel) has been receptive to this, and Darryl has a problem with it because people now like else? And then he attacks Bert for no reason?

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It just seems to me that the writers are going with "filler" story lines.  My favorite part was the story of White Josh, Nathaniel, and Greg.  The other two story lines really just bored me.  I am in for the rest of the season as I have overall enjoyed the series and am sad to see it end even though I think this is a weak final season.

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3 hours ago, quangtran said:

I've grown to hate the way the writers never seems to tell us why we should side with Darryl. Bert has been trying to create a friendlier work enviroment, everyone (including Nathaniel) has been receptive to this, and Darryl has a problem with it because people now like else? And then he attacks Bert for no reason?

I don't really like Darryl honestly. He's whiny, he's passive-aggressive and he pushes himself on everyone. And I LOATHED him in the car episode with Rebecca. He was pretty much completely in the wrong all around. He, to me, is the quintessential "nice guy." Just because he's bi doesn't make him any less of the "nice guy" stereotype to a tee, he's just a way more annoying version of one.

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It just seems to me that the writers are going with "filler" story lines.  My favorite part was the story of White Josh, Nathaniel, and Greg.  The other two story lines really just bored me.  I am in for the rest of the season as I have overall enjoyed the series and am sad to see it end even though I think this is a weak final season.

I agree.  I feel like this is a show where they have the perfect ending lined up, but the network wrongly gave them way too many episodes to get there.  So they have perhaps 15 minutes worth of real storyline in a given episode, and 30 minutes of nonsense filler.   

 

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Should he really be that upset that her two ex-boyfriends showed up at her house unannounced? That's not really her fault.

 

I think it's a good sign that Rebecca's various dramas may make it so she isn't worth pursuing a relationship.

Edited by txhorns79
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12 hours ago, srpturtle80 said:

I thought the story with Darryl and other guy whose name I can’t recall was boring. 

I wasn't a fan of the Darryl/Bert story, either, and I thought it took up way too much time. It felt like it was there just to give the other contract actors a reason to be in the episode. Filler, in other words. Though I'm never mad to see Father Brah.

I loved the Cats stuff. The spoof songs were spot on.

While sharing an ex might be a little weird, I don't see why Greg and Nathaniel can't be friends. I hope the show doesn't abandon that, because as @ElectricBoogaloo wrote, making friends as an adult, and one who's newish to a city (even though Greg is returning to West Covina), can be difficult.

Valencia's hair has been great lately. The shorter length really works for her.

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A lot of good jokes in this episode but my favorite was Maya talking about NPH and him hosting the Tony's and wondering who that lady was backstage wearing the tiny hat.  It took me a few seconds but then I was like, "Waitaminnit, wasn't that Rachel Bloom?"  HAH!

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What a great episode. I agree the Darryl/Burt stuff was boring, as are most things Darryl, but at least it brought us Rene Grube's "Please don't." to Maya. If the story had only been just an excuse to get Father Brah mediating, that would have been an improvement. However, the rest of it was great. It reminds me that I could never survive in a writers room, because if somebody pitched - Rebecca has a yeast infection and it's symbolized by characters from CATS manifesting themselves in her home, I'd have been "Ew."  And of course, it was the perfect obstacle for her as she attempted to get laid. Really the underlying structure worked like gangbusters, which is what you need in comedy, particularly as the climax of the comedy approached when the obstacles changed from the yeast infection to being Greg and Nathaniel. I also liked that CXG didn't rely on the star power of the guest stars to carry it but wrote each number to make the character's point strongly and specifically expressed.

Jason and NuGreg kind of look alike. I loved loved Jason. Who knew the actor who had no lines years ago in "Please don't be a murderer" had such a relaxed way with dialogue, managing to be genuine AND funny and communicating that he was smart and nice. He had very decent chemistry with Rachel Bloom as well as Gabrielle Ruiz. I never liked Greg, but at least with this Greg he seems to fit in better. I don't know if that's a plus or minus, as I can see this Greg being happy in West Covina and old Greg not so much (obviously).

I love Rachel Bloom for both using CATS as she did in this episode and taking the piss out of it, because it was perfect. I remember attending a performance, and thinking - wait, where the hell is the plot? And I could see all of the performers just out there vamping their hearts out, which only emphasized there was no damn story. For me it was exactly like "Funky Cat" in Rebecca's bathroom.

Also enjoyed both Josh's. WhiJo's commentary was hilarious, and I loved Josh running around helping out Rebecca and being a decent (if oblivious at times) roommate while the other guys were busy licking their wounds over their past with her. If anyone should be pissy about Rebecca it should be Josh, who was stalked, manipulated, menaced and then trashed/lied about by her, not to mention mocked, but his natural generous nature and probably therapy has him not obsessing, while the other two are still stuck. I also loved the line "Those are not platonic pants."

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1 hour ago, HerkyJerky said:

A lot of good jokes in this episode but my favorite was Maya talking about NPH and him hosting the Tony's and wondering who that lady was backstage wearing the tiny hat.  It took me a few seconds but then I was like, "Waitaminnit, wasn't that Rachel Bloom?"  HAH!

Lol YES! I forgot about that but I did burst out laughing at that line. 

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I love the return of Rebecca's dislike of Cats (so what if it has no plot!) and how it kept playing out throughout the episode. The spoof songs were spot on. I have a soft spot for Cats, but it really does have no plot beyond the cast getting to ham it up beyond all capacity to ham. 

Poor White Josh, forever stuck being the only sane man (almost) in West Covina. His anxiety about Greg and Nathaniel finding out that they share a very memorable ex was hilarious. "They think its just a normal friendship! Straight people are so tragic."  I hope that Greg and Nathaniel can stay friends, it really can be hard to make new friends as an adult, especially for guys. 

Considering how badly things went for her, its kind of sad that Rebecca actually didnt do anything wrong in this episode. She tried to move on in a pretty healthy way, but the crazy of the past just didnt want to leave her alone. And Josh does actually seem like a good roommate, even with all his Josh-ness. It takes a solid roommate to fight off feral cats for you! Its too bad that Jason was put off, he seemed like a good fit for her. And I always love when random minor characters pop back up. 

The new Greg is still weird to me, I am still not used to it. He seemed a bit more like original Greg this week, but its still taking a lot of getting used to. I keep having to remind myself that this guy is Greg, and has experiences everything that original Greg did. 

The Darryl plot was pretty pointless, and basically showed the worst parts of Darryl's personality. It was almost saved by the appearance of Father Brah though, and Maya trying to flirt with him, to no avail. 

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2 hours ago, DianeDobbler said:

I loved loved Jason. Who knew the actor who had no lines years ago in "Please don't be a murderer" had such a relaxed way with dialogue, managing to be genuine AND funny and communicating that he was smart and nice. He had very decent chemistry with Rachel Bloom as well as Gabrielle Ruiz.

Fun fact: the actor playing Jason was Gavroche in Les Misérables on Broadway when he was a kid (he also starred on Oliver Beene). Now I'm disappointed that we didn't get to hear him sing!

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9 hours ago, quangtran said:

I've grown to hate the way the writers never seems to tell us why we should side with Darryl. Bert has been trying to create a friendlier work enviroment, everyone (including Nathaniel) has been receptive to this, and Darryl has a problem with it because people now like else? And then he attacks Bert for no reason?

I agree. Although Darryl was eventually shown to be kind to Rebecca, he started off as an oblivious and desperate idiot and that hasn't gone away. It's not like he came back to work and everyone shunned him. He was just jealous that the other employees genuinely liked Bert. I get that no one wants to feel like they've been replaced, but dude, calm down! How about being grateful that someone kept the firm running while you were on paternity leave so that you have a job to come back to?

When he wanted to go to karaoke with Maya but she said she already had plans that night, what he should have done was respect the fact that she had already committed to something else beforehand and then asked, "When are you free so we can go to karaoke?" Instead he suggested that she cancel the plans she had already made, which is rude and selfish.

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Jason seemed weird on the same level as Rebecca so I'm a little disappointed that things didn't work out between them. Should he really be that upset that her two ex-boyfriends showed up at her house unannounced? That's not really her fault.

Ugh. I feel like that's what every dude I've ever known would do.

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Jason and NuGreg kind of look alike.

YES. It's terribly distracting!

I'm so disappointed in this season. This was my favorite show in its first two seasons, and even last season, it was ok, but now... this is a sad end to a once-great show.  I'll keep watching until the end, but... kind of sadly.

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this ep just wasn't that enjoyable, at least Rebecca's storyline wasn't. I appreciated the concept of her vaginal health interfering with her desire for sex, but the execution wasn't all that funny to me. I did like the Bert/Darryl tussle over the employees, it seemed natural to me that Darryl would feel neglected coming off paternity leave to find Bert was everyone's favorite boss. My favorite line came from the priest when he advocated for a more professional workplace, a plea that was ignored by all around.

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11 hours ago, driver18 said:

I don't really like Darryl honestly. He's whiny, he's passive-aggressive and he pushes himself on everyone. And I LOATHED him in the car episode with Rebecca. He was pretty much completely in the wrong all around. He, to me, is the quintessential "nice guy." Just because he's bi doesn't make him any less of the "nice guy" stereotype to a tee, he's just a way more annoying version of one.

I don't think Darryl is "the quintessential 'nice guy,'" but that's because he's not really a nice guy. He's the person who acts like it, but he's really a passive-aggressive dickhead. I've hated the character since his first appearance, and I really hated his romance with White Josh.

I could have done without Rebecca's flounder crotch storyline, but I share her hatred of "Cats," the worst of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals (and that's saying something).

White Josh's coworker was hot. Isn't that also his boyfriend?

And dayum, Josh and his black "panties."

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16 minutes ago, SmithW6079 said:

I don't think Darryl is "the quintessential 'nice guy,'" but that's because he's not really a nice guy. He's the person who acts like it, but he's really a passive-aggressive dickhead.

That's why I put 'nice guy.' In quotes. That is a trope. The 'nice guy' isn't actually a nice guy. He's really a passive-aggressive dickhead. Thus, yeah, Darryl is a quintessential 'nice guy.' Sure, he's not trying to use his 'nice guy' status to whine about women preferring bad boys to him, but he shares all the other characteristics of the 'nice guy' trope.

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Why has my once favorite “ guilty pleasure that no one else I know watches” become so unwatchable? I love that they “ go there” about real life problems but I’m kind of sick of hearing about UTI’s and yeast infections. That said, loved seeing Father Brah!

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"Okay, writers. We have access to a real gym for this week's episode, so make sure that you squeeze in as many scenes as possible there, even if you have to gerrymander the heck out of the storyline to do so!"

Also: What was the point of having an entire episode about how sad Rebecca is that all her friends are moving on in their lives and Valencia and her girlfriend moved to New York when the writers are just going to find ways to shoehorn them into episodes anyway? I thought they were premature with that whole thing, and this just demonstrates to me that I was correct.

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It's weird that the episode summary didn't mention the Darryl subplot at all. But yeah, it was pure filler. And 'filler' can be fun, but all this plot did was make Darryl look bad.

I did like the other plots, though. NuGreg and Nathaniel as two trains slowly colliding with WhiJo's anxiety about it good - even though it obviously wasn't going to end well.

They pretty much laid out the reasons why Rebecca shouldn't end up with any of her exes at the beginning, so I'm thinking it's likely that she's alone but happy at the end of the series.

I was rooting for her and Jason, so it sucks that blew up too.  :(  He seemed to match her level of 'crazy'. Or at least not mind it.

I loved that all Rebecca's problems in this episode were represented by characters from a musical she hates! Of course. There were costumes and lighting, but no full-on, staged musical numbers in this one. Kinda rare, if not the first time.

Should I just give up my dream that they give Josh a storyline? *SIGH*

 

6 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

White Josh's coworker was hot. Isn't that also his boyfriend?

 

It was his boyfriend; or at least the last time we saw him they had started dating. I think he's only been in one episode before this one. I'd almost forgotten about him.

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3 hours ago, Trini said:

 

I did like the other plots, though. NuGreg and Nathaniel as two trains slowly colliding with WhiJo's anxiety about it good - even though it obviously wasn't going to end well.

I loved that all Rebecca's problems in this episode were represented by characters from a musical she hates! Of course. There were costumes and lighting, but no full-on, staged musical numbers in this one. Kinda rare, if not the first time.

I enjoyed the Cats but found myself disliking Rebecca a lot in a way that I don't think I was supposed to do. (I think Other Rebecca puts me in a bad mood; I need to start skipping the opening theme.) Lying to Jason after the whole thing where she had thought that he had lied to her about being sick and he had gone to disgusting lengths to provide evidence that he was telling the truth just seemed stupid, especially since once she came clean with him she had no difficulty commenting that there were "other" sexual options available. 

Also, I wound up losing track of why it mattered whether Greg was friends with Nathaniel. How would it be more distressing than finding out about Rebecca and his dad? 

I did enjoy the porno Rebecca tried to watch, and the part where the actors appeared to her as Nathaniel, Josh, and Greg. Although I admit at first I thought she just happened to be watching a porno with Josh's lookalike Colin and it took me a minute to notice Nathaniel and Greg.

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I thought the episode was structured very well and managed to show chaos that really wasn't Rebecca's fault. She really didn't escalate the hiding of her infection - she was embarrassed, but finally came clean, so to speak, and that was it. In hindsight, the guys in the episode can go bite it. They all end up at Rebecca's. Rebecca is minding her own business trying to get off, as is her right. And Nathaniel and NuGreg are all pissy, as if it's just another Rebecca-mess. It had nothing to do with her, so the pouting and sullen was out of place. Jason I can kind of sympathize with. Rebecca bailed on one date, he was thrown out of the other, and I can see having her ex boyfriends show up would to Jason just be the final sign this wasn't meant to be. I do find it interesting that Josh, as a roommate, is just being a decent guy and not stirring up any drama, sulking, or acting obsessive re Rebecca. He's helping her.

I do like this season much better than last season. Last season I thought the first half was brilliant and the second half a hot mess. I even know people who quit the show then. The second half just seemed to want to continue the scheming and OTT without the underlying desperation, loneliness, denial and self-medicating that drove Rebecca before her diagnosis. It was just using Rebecca's illness to give her permission to be an asshole, and it also felt really fan-servicey in a way, like every plot was an excuse to get her fucking Nathaniel, whom they basically stopped really writing for. There was no anchor to the show.  Oh, and trashing Josh's life, and then pivoting to mocking him and treating him with contempt at every turn. That was a huge misfire. And not even starting with the whole Darryl and Hebekka and Heather idiocy.

This season it is very clear that Rebecca is MUCH better. I also think it is highlighting the true character of the guys she was with when she was un-well. It has also matured Paula, as I think the episode where Greg was re-introduced showed us. She was totally absorbed in her own life and goals, not channeling through Rebecca or blaming her family.

I always hated Darryl and Whijo as a couple. I could never see what Whijo saw in Darryl. OTOH, while Darryl is annoying and Burt is as well, I can't help thinking their employees are very lucky to be working in a sort of "Office" type environment where the boss just wants to be liked and win the approval of his employees. That has got to take down the stress level, as many boutique business environments are toxic as hell. This sort of dysfunction may be, as Father Brah said, what happens when you bring emotional needs into a transactional environment, but the transactional nature of things is barely present.

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On 1/12/2019 at 8:43 AM, dubbel zout said:

While sharing an ex might be a little weird, I don't see why Greg and Nathaniel can't be friends.

Because their last conversation before going to her house revealed they both want her back? So that'd probably create conflict between them in  very new friendship.

I am confused how the whole Jason plus all three exes in the same place scene even happened in the first place. I thought after Rebecca's coming clean text he told her to come over. So why were they at her house?

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17 hours ago, Eeksquire said:

I'm so disappointed in this season. This was my favorite show in its first two seasons, and even last season, it was ok, but now... this is a sad end to a once-great show.  I'll keep watching until the end, but... kind of sadly.

I feel very much the same. :/ I'm not sure why they felt the need to extend this final season to 18 episodes honestly. I hope they have some big twists in store for the end of the story. I don't think I can believe in Rebecca being happy as a single, pretzel store owner even if she is more mentally stable.

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Theatremouse, Jason said let's hang out tonight. I'll bring over a room spray, put on some thick sweats. 

I really really like this season so far, albeit it got off to a very rocky start. However, I thought the ship righted itself when it got out of the will they won't they Nathaniel shit, thank GOD, and when they actually made a decision to have Rebecca get healthy, instead of the "having it both ways" shit they did last season, where she had a diagnosis and was nominally getting better, but also acting like a jerk and being OTT and rationalizing because it's a "long process". (RME.) The Tucker episode, although problematic musically for me, did firmly establish that Rebecca has grown up. I felt renewed confidence in CXG when that episode happened. There are weirdnesses  - I don't know why they had Valencia move to NYC except for them wanting her there when Rebecca visited her mom - but surely they could have come up with another pretext to include Valencia. I think the pretzel business was from hunger - completely DOA. Don't believe in it at all. Rebecca and her financial situation is still ridiculous. I could theorize she made bank for the very short period of time she was out of law school and working in big law, but twice the show told us she was broke. Once while she was working for Darryl, another time when she was calculating her finances after her diagnosis. And still she spent thousands with no accounting where it came from. When they needed her to get a yeast infection though, suddenly she can only afford 3 for 5.00 workout tights. I think the Greg stuff is another having it both ways - he's grown, but then not grown at all. Considering his original interest in Rebecca was somewhat dysfunctional - per Aline, he wanted someone almost because she didn't want him - him still wanting her is disappointing. There are many ways to re-spark them without having him come back in basically the same place.

All that said, the show has much more clarity in its structure than the back half of last season. Rebecca is healthy. She is seeking a relationship, but obviously think revisiting her exes is a bad idea, although I expect that to shift soon. There's the mystery of - IS it a bad idea, or is it a possibly a good idea? However, I think it's extremely smart for the show to play it that she thinks it's bad right now.

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Yeah, not to pile on, but I'm also feeling underwhelmed by this season. I can't think of any episode I've truly loved, and only three songs have been memorable for me (Trapped in a Car, Don't Be a Lawyer, and What You Missed While You Were Popular). I think each of the previous seasons has had some sort of arc, while this one just feels like it's spinning it's wheels.

I thought this episode was just so-so, although I kind of enjoyed the Cats motif. I thought Funky Cat and Itchy Cat (Fred Armisen!) were particularly good, although I was almost too grossed out by the latter to watch.

One thing that I've noticed a bit more this season is that the jokes and callbacks sometimes feel a bit forced. I felt that way about Valencia's "I'm so good at spinning" line, and Rebecca commenting on Jason: "And I know he's not a murderer."

I'm still not feeling New Greg. His delivery vaguely resembles Old Greg's, but his expression just seems... blank? I'm rewatching some old episodes and I really feel like Santino's Greg was the most interesting/complex character on the show -he did a great job of playing snarky, bemused, insecure, bitter, lovestruck, cocky, etc. 

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I love this show and I really really (really!) wanted to get over OldGreg not returning, but...it's just not the same. It's not fair to the creators/producers/writers that I feel this way because they couldn't get the actor back for whatever reason, but...the NuGreg actor isn't bad. He isn't. It's just that when he and Nathaniel were in the gym, I imagined OldGreg and how different the scenes would be. How very snarky OldGreg would be. Oh, how he could bring the snark. And then when they both showed up at Rebecca's apartment, there was no spark. It's just not the same. The stakes aren't there. I don't care that Rebecca slept with this guy's dad. (Given the dad's own snark, I bet he wonders where OldGreg went, too.)

As for the cats...I loved it all. It brought me back to my own "itchy maki" days in NYC (my friends and I were sushi lovers so that's what we called the situation) and what a disaster this turn of events could be. (And ladies: back then, there was no OTC remedy for "itchy maki." The horror!) The oh-so-talented Megan Amram and Riki Lindhome were two of the cats and it was just fun. Which is what I love about this show. The goofy songs. The over-the-top situations. I'll be sad to see it end so I'm just going to enjoy what's left. I've gotta get over this Greg thing, I know.

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I can't get into new Greg either.  I imagine the current actor performing Greg's drinking song, or "tap that ass"....... I just can't see it.  The old Greg had a snarky cockiness the the new one doesn't have.  I feel bad, I know they couldn't get Santino Fontana, but.........  Oh well, it's still entertaining.

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The Bert/Darryl subplot was so bad I was sorry I didn't fast-forward through those scenes. I've never fast-forwarded through this show before, but that was almost insultingly bad. I expect better from kids' shows.

The Cats stuff was cute. The Nathaniel/Bland!Greg story just didn't amount to anything.

I wonder if the show needs Rebecca's dysfunction to make for good tv? Maybe that darkness is what drove it, because I agree with the comments that this season is seriously underwhelming. And the last time I thought it made for really good viewing was the first half of last season, up to Rebecca's diagnosis.

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I wonder if the show needs Rebecca's dysfunction to make for good tv? Maybe that darkness is what drove it, because I agree with the comments that this season is seriously underwhelming. And the last time I thought it made for really good viewing was the first half of last season, up to Rebecca's diagnosis.

I totally agree about when the show lost its oomph, but I think it's not because it needs the darkness, I think it's that the creators really didn't have as strong a post-diagnosis plan as they thought they did (or perhaps their original, Showtime plan can't be translated to the CW?).  And they were given too many episodes to fill this season.

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I assume the musical numbers are dwindling because Rebecca is living less in fantasyland as the show goes on and that's why they've begun to be performed more and more frequently by other people. But...it's definitely making it less than the show it used to be.

It's hard to believe this is only the midpoint of the season. Maybe they've been saving their best stuff for this final arc. I saw Rachel on the blue carpet at Critics Choice Awards saying the ending they originally envisioned for the show is still the ending they're leading to. So maybe it'll feel a bit more like the show's earlier seasons.

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22 hours ago, Eeksquire said:

I totally agree about when the show lost its oomph, but I think it's not because it needs the darkness, I think it's that the creators really didn't have as strong a post-diagnosis plan as they thought they did (or perhaps their original, Showtime plan can't be translated to the CW?).  And they were given too many episodes to fill this season.

On the evidence of the show to date, I don't think they had any post-diagnosis plan. And didn't they originally liken their show to Breaking Bad? Wasn't it supposed to be a protagonist spiralling into worse and worse behaviour? Maybe there was never supposed to be a season of learning and growing.

Edited by Kirsty
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I tihnk the post-diagnosis plan was very generic, not specific, not grounded as Bloom and McKenna always insist things should be. As out there as S1 and S2 were, with all the juggling of Josh, Greg, work, herself, her mom, the story was always extremely clear to me. They could really stretch out the beats because the story was anchored to a pursuit. So while Rebecca is pursuing, they can do a million detours, rest stops, etc., as long as the pursuit is still underneath, and, more importantly, as long as the real reasons behind it are still underneath it (those real reasons can account for detours as from time to time she thinks she can get what she needs without pursuing Josh but by "liking" Greg, or whatever). And as long as she doesn't deal with the real, undiagnosed reasons behind what she's doing, the story can go on and on and be expressed almost in an infinite number of ways, but of course, CXG is expressing it in romantic comedy tropes. I think even when some audience members would lose themselves in the tropes and start seeing her clear psychological issues as a "mere" obstacle to being with the right guy, instead of what the show was about. Anyway, the guys were the symptoms, Rebecca and what was really the matter with her was the story. Great premise, IMO. So much can and was deconstructed underneath that umbrella.

But the second half of S3, now that she was diagnosed, became all text, not subtext. I think they were so excited about SMT (maybe in reaction to whatever rumored backstage issues there had been w/Santino Fontana, which is what I suspect) they were just excited about having Rebecca and him fuck in a fan service-y way all the time, and the show wasn't grounded in anything anymore, and became really forced. I think they didn't break the show down properly in the second half of S3, or think it through. It was just - well, Rebecca is diagnosed now, but it's a struggle and a process, so she'll backslide - and that was it. It was backsliding with no stakes behind it at all, so it became cartoonish, overstated, forced, obnoxious, ridiculous (the hit man on Mona, the crap with Nathaniel and Josh's family, etc.). No stakes. It was just delaying her getting better, but she was going to get better, because she had therapy, and SOME awareness now. I felt everything in S3 was obnoxious - the contemptuous way Josh was treated, the bizarre decision to have Darryl want to be a dad again (WHY? WHY? I can't be the only one who always forgets to remember Darryl despite all the time his character and stories take up), the weird way they stopped developing Nathaniel's character. Turning Trent from an absurdist running joke to a real, serious-world threat. I think one of the only things I was looking forward to was whatever the story was behind "The first penis I saw" song and turned out there wasn't one. The season was overbearing and I stopped sympathizing with Rebecca. It was an all hat, no cowboy half season that stank of desperation because they were trying to keep the energy up without any fuel.

S4, I think the show has gotten honest with itself that it shouldn't try to re-set S1 and S2. In S3 they tried to have Rebecca doing the same things "because she backslides" and that wasn't strong enough, and, IMO there wasn't enough history with the new character she was doing it with. He became a WTF.  Also the hormone stuff they pulled was just the worst. And the time jump. Darryl's baby - one of the all time stupid ideas.

But now, they have accepted that Rebecca is better. They can make decent episodes out of it - IMO her little brother's visit turned out to be decent. She is sorting out her career and her family. She trying to live in the middle- not react to her three ex-boyfriends by renouncing love, but trying to find a healthy relationship somewhere else. There are small changes I enjoy - I enjoyed her dismayed reaction to the cattiness between her mother and Adrienne Levine's mother. In the past she'd have snarked herself or rolled up her sleeves and become combative. So really, this season is about - with whom will she end up (I really feel Aline has made it clear she's going to end up with one of the three - I could be wrong), and why? And how does she get there. I think there's enough of an investment from the first two seasons to make this sort of coda/resolution season compelling. The second half of S3 was just a huge mess falling into every problem every show seems to fall into when they want to stay in place while giving the illusion of forward motion, and the tail is wagging the dog.

Edited by DianeDobbler
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Back in the days of VHS tapes, my mother bought me a copy of "Cats" because she knew I liked musicals. I couldn't get through ten minutes of it before shutting it off. It's just so creepy and pointless. I think the novelty of it is what made it successful on the Broadway stage, but just to sit and watch it on TV is boring and strange. 

I also thought the theme was a little forced into this episode - like they decided they wanted to do some kind of Cats theme or parody and didn't really put the effort into making it fit organically into the plot. 

Bright side, I enjoyed the cameos by Fred Armisen and Riki Lindhome. So random. 

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To watch “Cats” on stage is also boring and weird.  We (spoiled teenagers) got to see lots of Broadway show through the Theater Development Fund and we each paid about $2.50 to see it.  Highway robbery!

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