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Season Two: Marvelous General Discussion

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Also, his rehabilitation has already started in season one when he fought for a promotion and worked hard to set his family for life.

Wasn't his "plan" completely impractical?  From what I recall, he set aside money for everyone but himself and didn't seem to understand that he would also need money to live.

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On 12/10/2018 at 2:01 PM, qtpye said:

Because in order for Joel not to look like a spoiled princeling that he semed like in season 1, they had to retcon his parents being complete idiots without him.  Luckily, it is such a good show that most of it was pretty funny. Even when his father just gives him a huge sum of money, they have to qualify it with him stealing money from Joel for many years.

I went back and watched season 1 last weekend and one of the flashbacks was to Joel's bat mitvah and his father taking the money Joel received to pay for the bat mitzvah and giving Joel an explanation for why, and there were a few other off-handed comments that made it clear Moishe was not as flush as he appeared to be and would manipulate money to appear to be more in control of his finances than he was, so the whole money mis-management thread wasn't as out-of-character as it may seem. 

Also, someone commented in one of the threads that it didn't make sense that the two families were still spending so much time together, such as at temple, but in season 1 there was a scene when they were in the temple and a comment was made by one of the parents (I can't remember by which) about how they went in together on their seats in the temple pews (I hope that is what they are called in temples; I don't know for sure).  So I guess if they made a joint donation to the temple for some sort of "reserved" seating, it makes sense they would still be together there. As far as the dinners, there are grandchildren involved and I think in those times it was probably more common for families brought together by a wedding to maintain the joined family even if the marriage didn't last. That's my take on it anyway . . .

Edited by SailorGirl
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5 hours ago, millennium said:

It's feeling more and more like The Marvelous Mr. Weissman.

I like Abe fine, but it seems like he (his marriage, his job, his interactions with his son, his "boy" in the Catskills, his cafe table in Paris, his disappointments, his math classes, his life decisions) have taken over the show this season. It's too much for me.

Abe's journey isn't the worst plot, though; that would be the fucking money map.

On a more positive note, I enjoyed Susie's side stories in the Catskills, when she visited her family, switching her apartment with the Italians, and her kidnapping by the mobsters. There's so much more to her than the jaded, bad-tempered booker at the Gaslight we first met.

Edited by 2727
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1 hour ago, 2727 said:

I like Abe fine, but it seems like he (his marriage, his job, his interactions with his son, his "boy" in the Catskills, his cafe table in Paris, his disappointments, his math classes, his life decisions) have taken over the show this season. It's too much for me.

 

Same here.  Shalhoub was good as an ensemble player (Wings) but when given too much attention he quickly wears out his welcome (I hated Monk).  It baffles me why, when the show has this fresh new talent (Rachel Brosnahan), they're squandering so much potential on Shalhoub.   

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 6:55 AM, qtpye said:

 

In the finale when she was talking about three before 30 like her friend, I was kinda like “You got to be kidding me”. It never occurred to me that she would ever want another child, let alone be sad about it. The thing is I doubt Midge’s department store job is doing much to support her lavish lifestyle. In today’s world we would really get on her for not spending more time with her kids even though the wealthy in our society have nannies. I also kind of wonder if there is anyone in her group that has any ambitions beyond being a wife and mother? The Jewish society of Midge’s socioeconomic  group was famous for creating a lot of pioneers and Trail Blazers of intellectual feminist movement.  I also wonder how Midge would react  if she is not automatically the smartest woman in the room. She might be very welcoming or It might actually intimidate her a little bit.

The Midge of Season One was totally a housewife.  I can visualize the "3 before 30", because she probably came up with that idea in her teens, while dreaming of her perfect wedding and classic 6 apartment.  Even the comedy, she was supporting her husband's desire to be a comedian.  I don't actually think she had a nanny; currently her parent's housekeeper helps with the kids, and she was shown in Season One dropping them off with sitters or her mother (and her mother's housekeeper).

I think Midge would be intimidated by not being the smartest woman in the room.

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On 12/12/2018 at 10:58 AM, 2727 said:

I like Abe fine, but it seems like he (his marriage, his job, his interactions with his son, his "boy" in the Catskills, his cafe table in Paris, his disappointments, his math classes, his life decisions) have taken over the show this season. It's too much for me.

Abe's journey isn't the worst plot, though; that would be the fucking money map.

On a more positive note, I enjoyed Susie's side stories in the Catskills, when she visited her family, switching her apartment with the Italians, and her kidnapping by the mobsters. There's so much more to her than the jaded, bad-tempered booker at the Gaslight we first met.

I enjoyed the character revelations of both Susie and Abe, though I found the Catskills much more enjoyable than Paris.  I didn't see an Unpopular Opinions topic, but I probably have some.  I find many of the characters actually unpleasant/unlikable, those two included at times (though they seem to make me laugh the most) but this show is like a page-turner novel that I want to see what they do next.  I swear like a sailor myself sometimes, but Susie's vulgarity is just excessive.  Midge is charismatic, witty, multi-talented, fun to watch, but she is a hit-or-miss parent and careless friend.  I almost didn't want to watch anymore after she made a wreck of her co-worker's wedding.  I thought the Paris scenes were too campy for my taste, but forged onward, and oddly wasn't put off by the Catskills.  There's very little subtlety, except for maybe Lenny Bruce, who is a great addition.  I think much of the stand-up is not very funny; I expected to laugh more for a show about a comedian. The verbal anachronisms seem like amateurish writing.  Yet despite myself, this show captivates me, this season even more than the first.  It's the whole package I suppose, music, art direction, costumes, and acting.  I really do like it overall. 

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24 minutes ago, ShadowFacts said:

I enjoyed the character revelations of both Susie and Abe, though I found the Catskills much more enjoyable than Paris.  I didn't see an Unpopular Opinions topic, but I probably have some.  I find many of the characters actually unpleasant/unlikable, those two included at times (though they seem to make me laugh the most) but this show is like a page-turner novel that I want to see what they do next.  I swear like a sailor myself sometimes, but Susie's vulgarity is just excessive.  Midge is charismatic, witty, multi-talented, fun to watch, but she is a hit-or-miss parent and careless friend.  I almost didn't want to watch anymore after she made a wreck of her co-worker's wedding.  I thought the Paris scenes were too campy for my taste, but forged onward, and oddly wasn't put off by the Catskills.  There's very little subtlety, except for maybe Lenny Bruce, who is a great addition.  I think much of the stand-up is not very funny; I expected to laugh more for a show about a comedian. The verbal anachronisms seem like amateurish writing.  Yet despite myself, this show captivates me, this season even more than the first.  It's the whole package I suppose, music, art direction, costumes, and acting.  I really do like it overall. 

I watched a show specifically about the supposedly best up and coming comedians in LA during the seventies. The show was okay and the dialogue and the banter between the comedians could often be quite sharp and witty, However, when any of these comedians went on stage their supposedly funny routines stunk. It really sank the show, It seems like a lot of good tv writers have a hard time writing in show stand up comedy that is actually funny.

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On 12/12/2018 at 4:22 AM, debraran said:

Re Depression, I hear this a LOT from kids with parents from this era (not mine though, no hidden money) Some are Italian, some Jewish, but I heard from kids who grew up in relative poverty and found stashes of money hidden under drawers, bankbooks they knew nothing about, 20,000 life insurance policy's never spoken of. One daughter said she found 5,000 in a tin in the pantry. She said it was like a scavenger hunt and she still wonders if she missed something.

I'm German-American (grandparents came from Europe in the 1890s).  My mom was in her teens during the Depression. Shortly before her death, she started to tell me all the places she had hidden cash.  I quickly concluded that she had hidden it everywhere.  When I went through her house, I looked in every drawer, every box, every envelope, every tin (especially the vintage ones), and every pocket in every garment in her closet (which was extensive, she liked to shop at Goodwill).  In small amounts - $50 here, $100 there - I found $17,000!  In her honor, I traded it at the bank for nice new $100 bills and put it in a safe deposit box.  It's waiting for me if I need it.  ;-)

At least the cash was straight-forward.  Apparently in the 50s, insurance salesmen would go door-to-door selling policies for a nickle a week.  These were small value, only a couple of hundred, but enough to get you buried if you died.  My mom took one out on everybody, including me.   As time went on, the insurance companies restructured so that these policies became shares.  There're a handful that my mom never cashed out. She passed away 12 years ago and there's one with MetLife I'm still trying to get resolved. 

I will not even get into my uncle and the safe deposit boxes in a dozen different banks. 

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By the end of the season, I didn’t like Midge at all. Maybe even a bit before the end. 

She has carelessly ruined things for a lot of people  - her coworkers wedding, Susies life, her fiancé, her parents even, though they aren’t likable either - and manages to ignore her children almost all the time.

She’s a strong willed, selfish person who does what she wants, and maybe later apologizes when it backfires.

She is just too fake, too brittle and too fantasy-like for me to enjoy this season. I felt last season, yes her life is a fantasy view of the world, but she was softer and a little kinder.

This season shows how her world revolves only around her much more clearly than last season.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the series has her ending up alone in a big house. 

To me, Susie is the best thing about the show. They stuck her in the Catskills woods with a ludicrous plunger and plot, but she managed to barely carry it. It can’t possibly ever get worse than that for her character.

I will watch another season. But this season was a major drop from Season 1 to me.

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This season drove home to me that Midge is RUTHLESS in her ambition. It's the entire driving force of her life at this point. Whether that level of determination and purpose is seen as a positive trait is up to each viewer.

To me, Midge is stepping on and using others in order to realize her own dream and it just makes me sigh. I wanted to give ASP another chance after I ended up thoroughly disliking Lorelai due to her selfish behavior, but it seems like ASP just can't help herself.

The ASP heroine: She flits through life, beautiful, put together, smart, funny, world wise and charming! Everyone is drawn to her! She makes friends wherever she goes! She may rub up against some parental issues, but eh. She's pretty and snarky and we forgive her.

Just don't ask her to do anything for you in return.

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17 hours ago, 2727 said:

This season drove home to me that Midge is RUTHLESS in her ambition. It's the entire driving force of her life at this point. Whether that level of determination and purpose is seen as a positive trait is up to each viewer.

To me, Midge is stepping on and using others in order to realize her own dream and it just makes me sigh. I wanted to give ASP another chance after I ended up thoroughly disliking Lorelai due to her selfish behavior, but it seems like ASP just can't help herself.

The ASP heroine: She flits through life, beautiful, put together, smart, funny, world wise and charming! Everyone is drawn to her! She makes friends wherever she goes! She may rub up against some parental issues, but eh. She's pretty and snarky and we forgive her.

Just don't ask her to do anything for you in return.

I view Midge as Lorelai on steroids.  At least Lorelai placed her daughter at the top of her priorities.  My eyes rolled hard when Midge told her friend's newborn that they were going to be great friends.   Nope, not when Midge could barely spare 30 seconds for her own baby daughter when she said her first word, "mama". 

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29 minutes ago, ShadowFacts said:

I view Midge as Lorelai on steroids.  At least Lorelai placed her daughter at the top of her priorities.  My eyes rolled hard when Midge told her friend's newborn that they were going to be great friends.   Nope, not when Midge could barely spare 30 seconds for her own baby daughter when she said her first word, "mama". 

I didn’t watch Gilmore Girls so I can’t compare.

I think the children are merely there to keep sad sack Joel in the picture. Maybe my turning point against Midge was most likely when she left the baby in the hot car. She takes better care of her clothes. I remember last season she didn’t have a picture of her kids and thought that was a good reason to ruin the band intro.

I feel like this could have been a good endpoint for the show. It’s a beautiful fantasy about spoiled wealthy upper west side people in the late 50s, but it lost a great deal of the first season charm for me.

I don’t think Midge as a character/ person is that great- it’s more I really admire the actress playing her with such gusto. Same with her immediate family. Though the earnest sisters-in-law is ok.

The only characters that appeal to me to see more are Susie and Lenny Bruce (though we know how that ends.) The singer too Shy Baldwin is appealing. 

Edited by rose711
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I don’t understand why this show keeps pushing Joel so hard. He’s the worst in an ensemble of pretty selfish characters. He’s more of a baby than the actual baby (“You left me back!”), and he’s allowed to sleep around but becomes furious when Midge dares to move on with someone who seems to support her career after Joel refused to get back together with Midge after she wouldn’t quit comedy. But, if Midge is perfectly fine with hurting Benjamin, maybe she and Joel deserve each other. 

I do love the idea of this show ending with Midge in a huge house all alone, just like Sophie, after she’s ostacized everyone who’s ever cared about her, but I feel like the writers want us to see her selfishness as ambition and drive. Rather than overall assholery. 

Edited to add that I DO really enjoy this show. But that last scene frustrated the hell out of me. 

Edited by Mockingbird
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42 minutes ago, AuntieMame said:

I don’t think Benjamin is willing to really go without a traditional wife in the way he would have to for Midge to pursue not only her career but her own growth and actualization. 

If ASP wants to explore it, and if Zachary Levi is available, this could work next season—Benjamin gets his truly "weird" gf, which is what he really wants.

Meanwhile, I really appreciate all of this:

42 minutes ago, AuntieMame said:

. . . I felt that the marriage would destroy Midge, that pieces of her soul would be sacrificed even though she would have love and social status and acceptance in return she would lose essential portions of her true self. This horrific choice is forced on all talented women and I saw this so clearly as effervescent Midge went flying out the door after her call with Shay. Midges choice is between her heart and her soul and either way she and the people around her lose. Does it really have to be this way? 

Despite the loneliness alluded to by Bruce and Howell, I don’t think they’re alluding to the same thing. The expectations for men are different. Male artists are often infamous for their egotism, arrogance and I’ll treatment of the people around them (Picasso and Hemingway are easy examples) but this usually adds to their mythic status even if they’re judged an ass, it is all due to their genius, whereas women don’t get the same credit for the genius, but do get the opprobrium of committing a serious emotional and social crime. 

—because it conveys all of the emotional nuance missing from the #MeToo stories.

ETA: or what @millennium said.

Edited by shapeshifter
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Oh, I think there is plenty of nuance in the MeToo stories of everyday women, but these aren’t the stories we are hearing now. The movement has been taken over by people whose credibility falls by the day. 

Back when we were hearing from everyday women, there was an essay in The NY Times magazine that described the everyday harassment that many women deal with from the time of early childhood.

Among other incidents the essayist described a man exposing himself to her when she was five by letting his package escape the leg of his shorts and watching her face to see her reaction.  I had the exact experience at a similar age. The thing that struck me so forcibly was that the essayist made the same excuses for the man in her mind that I did: that perhaps he didn’t know that he was exposing himself, that he was unaware of his penis once he put his pants on. Then when older that he couldn’t help himself. Did this incident scar the essayist or myself for life? No. 

But it was the first memory of many, many incidents since, death or fear by a thousand pecks of a chicken. And in cases of molestation, abuse, assault and rape death and fear by faster means. More importantly, for everyday women, the MeToo movement showed us that we were not alone. That this is lived experience common to most women. That it isn’t something horrible and specific to us as individuals that “makes” some men act this way. For me, that was a large part of the power of MeToo. 

Another example, because of MeToo, I discovered that the handsy father of a friend, who genuinely scared me as a teenage girl had groped all of us. Makes you wonder what he did to his daughter. 

Other than the connection of sexism I don’t see how the now colonized MeToo movement conflates with the conflicts of a talented woman who is also a mother. Unless you mean that women are expected to provide sexual access and emotional labor and are criticized and punished when they don’t. That women get all of the responsibility but no power when it comes to children and that women and girls are considered men’s rightful sexual prey and any challenge to that makes people uncomfortable, including many women. We’ve been socialized to consider our desirability above all else. Being a bad mother or considered a slut are still two of the worst things you can say about a woman closely followed by being ugly and they still have power...just look at all of the conversations about Midge’s failures as a mother on this board. 

Dont get me wrong, Midge isn’t an engaged parent at this time, neither is Joel but the lion’s share of the blame and the responsibility will still go to Midge. Think about Joel accepting the same six month gig in an alternate reality. Even though I understand why my initial emotional reaction to that scenario is different. 

It will be interesting to watch how the writers cope with these conflicts without being too heavy handed. Maybe all extremely talented people have to make some of these choices but the burden of consequences for everyone has always been mitigated for men. Society would also bemoan the loss of a talented man to society but not the gifts of talented women. The loss of women’s genius isn’t even seen as a loss and this is because women and their unrecognized love and service to the people around them is the very thing that mitigates and supports men’s individuation. This and the dehumanization of being objectified as prey is what MeToo and feminism are identifying in their purist form. That the movement has been co-opted in such a way that the experience of average women is no longer even visible and the voices being heard are easily criticized and dismissed keeps the status quo firmly in place. Best of all it makes the status quo look righteous and inevitable. 

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13 hours ago, Mockingbird said:

I don’t understand why this show keeps pushing Joel so hard. He’s the worst in an ensemble of pretty selfish characters. He’s more of a baby than the actual baby (“You left me back!”), and he’s allowed to sleep around but becomes furious when Midge dares to move on with someone who seems to support her career after Joel refused to get back together with Midge after she wouldn’t quit comedy. But, if Midge is perfectly fine with hurting Benjamin, maybe she and Joel deserve each other. 

I do love the idea of this show ending with Midge in a huge house all alone, just like Sophie, after she’s ostacized everyone who’s ever cared about her, but I feel like the writers want us to see her selfishness as ambition and drive. Rather than overall assholery. 

I think Joel has to be around to watch the kids along with her parents but everything seems up in the air right now. I love Abe but can't respect him not taking a sabbatical if it goes that way instead of quitting. That's insane, mid-life crisis or not. I hope it was just a cliffhanger for interest. They never had Midge crazy about her kids, always an aloofness but working and working on the road for months as a raunchy comedian, IDK, that seems a bit much. Will she joke about that too?  How do you explain that mommy is telling jokes around the country and she'll mail you a post card. I know women know that travel a lot for work but they were always that way, nannies from the start. One girl when she was about 10 told me about her 3 Xmas trees in her house and her fancy birthday party coming up, cool gifts. When I said how nice it was, she bluntly said, her mom buys her lots of stuff because she feels guilty but she'd rather have one tree. I knew what she meant, older than her years, but I just said I looked forward to her party and left it at that. Since kids aren't shown much on TV, I'm sure it will lessen the air time for them.  The leaving the baby in the car, having them disappear  at the Catskills, it's who she is, but harder to relate to for me, because Midge didn't seem as bad before Joel left. 

 

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Edited by debraran
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1 hour ago, debraran said:

love Abe but can't respect him not taking a sabbatical if it goes that way instead of quitting. That's insane, mid-life crisis or not. I hope it was just a cliffhanger for interest.

Well, Rose could threaten to run off to France again (like she effectively threatened to do once this season after they came back), and, if threats don't work, I got the impression that it was cheap to live there, so they could go anyway, maybe even take the grandkids, and with Midge touring Europe, all's good. Maybe Benjamin could do some volunteer doctoring or research in Europe too. Mais oui, c'est bonne!

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: Stupid English autocorrect
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@ShadowFacts

Hey, in the real world, I agree. Children need to be raised and we all still struggle to figure out how to navigate the through line between childhood experiences and healthy, happy, productive adult. 

Do the parents, specifically the mothers have to be sacrificed on the altar of motherhood in a way that robs them of actualization and the benefit their talents might bring society and humanity to achieve this? Or are our easy condemnations more about controlling women who do vital work that isn’t really valued? 

It seems to me that we could solve the problem of balance between motherhood and women of talent fulfilling their talents. But we don’t want to. The answer to the question of why is where the solution lies. 

I also agree that the show is playing this for cheap laughs when an exploration of the conflict would have a lot of value in terms of answering the question of why. Especially since we saw Midge caring for and interacting with her children in the first episode. Even a mediocre mother would be far more concerned about the six month absence. Not to mention that basic questions of childcare would be immediate upon receiving the answer. Can she really just assume that her mother will fill in without a murmur? 

Edited by AuntieMame
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I agree that Midge is selfish and doesn't think of anyone else besides herself. We barely see her interacting with her kids. She agrees to touring for 6 months without thinking of how it is going to affect other people in her life.

I can't stand Joel and hate that she ran back to him in the end.

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5 hours ago, AuntieMame said:

I also agree that the show is playing this for cheap laughs when an exploration of the conflict would have a lot of value in terms of answering the question of why. Especially since we saw Midge caring for and interacting with her children in the first episode. Even a mediocre mother would be far more concerned about the six month absence. Not to mention that basic questions of childcare would be immediate upon receiving the answer. Can she really just assume that her mother will fill in without a murmur? 

Right, although it seems that Rose comes and goes with the greatest of ease, the grandkids don't seem to clip her wings much.  I think most of the childcare is done by Zelda.  Midge would need to at least discuss it with her mother, in the real world.  In TV land, kids, if they're not wisecracking, quickly become furniture, accoutrements, or invisible. 

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10 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Well, Rose could threaten to run off to France again (like she effectively threatened to do once this season after they came back), and, if threats don't work, I got the impression that it was cheap to live there, so they could go anyway, maybe even take the grandkids, and with Midge touring Europe, all's good. Maybe Benjamin could do some volunteer doctoring or research in Europe too. Mais oui, c'est bonne!

 

 

9 minutes ago, ShadowFacts said:

Right, although it seems that Rose comes and goes with the greatest of ease, the grandkids don't seem to clip her wings much.  I think most of the childcare is done by Zelda.  Midge would need to at least discuss it with her mother, in the real world.  In TV land, kids, if they're not wisecracking, quickly become furniture, accoutrements, or invisible. 

If Abe loses their income stream Rose will not be able to afford jetting off to Paris or the maid, who seems to do the majority of the cooking, cleaning, and child care. Maybe Midge hits it big next season and supports all of them.

The ego on Abe is astounding. He literally needs a crew of sycophants begging for his time so he can happily abuse them. He feels awful because his son has the nerve  to be more important than he is. Though, this is probably not too out of the question for someone who is a mathematical genius.

Edited by qtpye
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I think that maybe the ending of the season was about Midge realizing that she is a rather selfish person who loves her career and her passion and that she wants it more than she wants to be a wife or mother. She loves her kids, and her parents and even Joel and Benjamin, in their own ways, but she REALLY loves comedy, and she knows she has a knack for it. There is something kind of tragic about it. Midge knows that she cant have the career she wants without leaving her personal life behind, or putting it on the back burner, so here we are. 

I really enjoyed this season, and i think I liked it even better than last season. The production values are always on point, the clothes are to die for, the acting is great from everyone, and its just a fun, interesting story to get into, thats sharply written and I even thought this season was better paced than last season. I also think they did a lot more to develop the supporting characters, especially Abe and Rose, so that I was interested in them as well as Midge, and they had more to do than be background players in Midges story. 

I have mixed feelings about Joel. I have liked a lot of his scenes, and his plot about him trying to modernize his families business was fun, but I just cant full get on board with him knowing what he did. He left Midge high and dry, as well as the kids, to be with his vapid mistress who he was cheating on Midge with. And so much of that was based around him blaming Midge for all of his shortcomings, even though she was nothing but supportive. He might be learning a lesson, but thats a whole lot of baggage to get past. 

As for the Midge vs. Lorelei debate, maybe its because the bad taste of the GG new episodes lingers long in my mouth, but I think that Midge is still more likable than Lorelei. I could often love Lorelei, but she could be so mean sometimes, especially towards people whos only crime was liking something that Lorelei deemed "uncool" or being too perky, or not perky enough, or being overweight, or other such horrible things that make them deserving of her mockery. Except, its all supposed to be cute and funny, like we`re all supposed to be thinking "yeah, right there with you Lorelei! We hate fat people and bird watchers to! They arent cool like people who have elephant lamps, or eat a diet only of junk food and never gain a pound!" or that she is being super adorable. At least Midge is mostly only mean to people who deserve it, and when she is rude or insensitive to people who dont deserve it, like Mary or Imogene, people call her out on it. So, as of now, I still like Midge more. 

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11 hours ago, qtpye said:

 

If Abe loses their income stream Rose will not be able to afford jetting off to Paris or the maid, who seems to do the majority of the cooking, cleaning, and child care. Maybe Midge hits it big next season and supports all of them.

The ego on Abe is astounding. He literally needs a crew of sycophants begging for his time so he can happily abuse them. He feels awful because his son has the nerve  to be more important than he is. Though, this is probably not too out of the question for someone who is a mathematical genius.

I can see that, he had a certain stature there, seemed to be liked earlier in his career, thought he was more esteemed than his colleagues did. He seems to be having his own crisis and in the past, it's implied he loved his jobs and felt needed. His son is not only higher up than he is, they throw out the funny, but cutting remark, that even the custodians had more clearance than he did. It was a setup for him and the viewers to see him made small and insignificant. Giving up tenure is insane when you are supporting your family and help. Who will mind the children and where will they live? Europe can be a fun diversion but he's not a citizen there, maybe keep tenure and take a sabbatical there? My daughter spent 2 years in college and grad school in Europe and many of her professors were from the states, some permanently, some not.

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12 hours ago, qtpye said:

The ego on Abe is astounding. He literally needs a crew of sycophants begging for his time so he can happily abuse them.

Abe is a caricature or slight exaggeration of some of the older professors or retired professors of the academic institution where I am employed. Most of these outsized ego types are white men of a certain age—perhaps a dying breed in academia and elsewhere too. Perhaps in 20 years younger viewers will watch this series and ask if there were ever any real life people as foolishly arrogant as Abe.

Tony Shaloub's character of Monk was not much different than @qtpye's description of Abe in that he had an assistant/nurse and a police captain at his beck and call because he was a genius detective. I don't recall Abe being such a clone of Monk last season.

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3 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I don't recall Abe being such a clone of Monk last season.

Me either. Perhaps it's inevitable that some tonal characteristics and other mannerisms leak through because it is the same actor, but when Abe starts speaking quickly, nitpicking minor problems and repeating himself, that's his Monk muscle memory taking over. Prime example is the "packing for the Catskills" scenes.

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1 hour ago, 2727 said:

Me either. Perhaps it's inevitable that some tonal characteristics and other mannerisms leak through because it is the same actor, but when Abe starts speaking quickly, nitpicking minor problems and repeating himself, that's his Monk muscle memory taking over. Prime example is the "packing for the Catskills" scenes.

Yes, but he is following a script. For the first few episodes of the season, every time Abe spoke, I kept thinking that ASP must have been binge-watching Monk before she wrote his lines for this season. 

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12 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I really enjoyed this season, and i think I liked it even better than last season. The production values are always on point, the clothes are to die for, the acting is great from everyone, and its just a fun, interesting story to get into, thats sharply written and I even thought this season was better paced than last season. I also think they did a lot more to develop the supporting characters, especially Abe and Rose, so that I was interested in them as well as Midge, and they had more to do than be background players in Midges story. 

I feel this way, too, I liked this better than the first and largely because of the expansion of characters other than Midge.  I think most of the main characters are pretty prickly/egocentric/unlikable a lot of the time.  The ancillary ones like the B Altman girls, Imogene and her husband, and now Benjamin, and Joel's secretary are less caricatured and therefore more enjoyable to me, and their inclusion makes the overblown 'medicine' of the Maisels/Weissmans/Susie go down easier. 

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For me both seasons have been an outstanding success.

For me as well. I don't find "Joel" as troubling as many others either. Indeed, if their roles had been reversed, and Joel had shown up late at night, unplanned, essentially for a booty call at Midge's home (or place of work), I suspect there would be far more complaints. But when Midge does that, it's merely cute. and excused because Joel is unforgivable.  Yes, there's her "I'm always going to be alone" angst, but isn't she essentially cheating on the good doctor Benjamin as well?

Is the Sophie Lennon character based on a real person or a composite of real people? I know Midge is very loosely drawn from Joan Rivers, who of course had a prominent falling out with Johnny Carson, but I'm not aware of her feuds with any other comedians or entertainers. 

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8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Abe is a caricature or slight exaggeration of some of the older professors or retired professors of the academic institution where I am employed. Most of these outsized ego types are white men of a certain age—perhaps a dying breed in academia and elsewhere too. Perhaps in 20 years younger viewers will watch this series and ask if there were ever any real life people as foolishly arrogant as Abe.

Tony Shaloub's character of Monk was not much different than @qtpye's description of Abe in that he had an assistant/nurse and a police captain at his beck and call because he was a genius detective. I don't recall Abe being such a clone of Monk last season.

I think the show has pretty well demonstrated that every member of the family is self centered and happy to go chasing after whatever they want as individuals.

Maybe that’s to show where Midge gets her enormous ego and entitlement from? She was raised with it? She’s certainly of a type with her father.

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12 minutes ago, rose711 said:

I think the show has pretty well demonstrated that every member of the family is self centered and happy to go chasing after whatever they want as individuals.

Maybe that’s to show where Midge gets her enormous ego and entitlement from? She was raised with it? She’s certainly of a type with her father.

I also notice there is a competitive streak in the family, a sort of need to be better than everyone else. Even with silly things like swimsuit competitions.

 

8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Abe is a caricature or slight exaggeration of some of the older professors or retired professors of the academic institution where I am employed. Most of these outsized ego types are white men of a certain age—perhaps a dying breed in academia and elsewhere too. Perhaps in 20 years younger viewers will watch this series and ask if there were ever any real life people as foolishly arrogant as Abe.

Tony Shaloub's character of Monk was not much different than @qtpye's description of Abe in that he had an assistant/nurse and a police captain at his beck and call because he was a genius detective. I don't recall Abe being such a clone of Monk last season.

I think the worst of it was when he actually tried to sabotage that kid's law internship so that he would have his "boy" for the summer. Also, when the replacement kid was trying so hard, Abe let him know he would never be good enough.

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21 hours ago, ahpny said:

Is the Sophie Lennon character based on a real person or a composite of real people? I know Midge is very loosely drawn from Joan Rivers, who of course had a prominent falling out with Johnny Carson, but I'm not aware of her feuds with any other comedians or entertainers. 

I don't know who they're basing her on, but she reminds me of a variant on Phyllis Diller.  The difference is she was actually pretty funny, where Sophie is not so much. Phyllis Diller was pretty groundbreaking, I remember my mom loved her.  

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On 12/9/2018 at 3:00 PM, debraran said:

So many of my Jewish neighbors go the the Catskills every summer but they don't have that much fun. ; ) I liked Paris and Catskills, very funny.

I always love Midge's clothes but nothing this year is as sweet as this one. I don't like 50's clothes for comfort but this was adorable.  Anyone else have a favorite outfit. ; )5c0d73fb84921_mrsmaisel.thumb.jpg.d95e9f3dd6e18c9dea8e3398c21b2e1c.jpg

THAT is also MY favorite outfit!!!

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2 hours ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

THAT is also MY favorite outfit!!!

That outfit was amazing.  : )  I think it was one of her best. Even beat the wedding dress.

I know they aren't in style but that dress can be perfect for a garden shower or party. : )

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How awesome would it be if some intrepid designer created a Mrs. Maisel fashion line? I would totally buy that dress/coat as well as some of the swing coats she's worn!

The summer after I graduated from college, I spent that summer working at a vintage (read: used and fixed up nicely) clothing store in Greenwich Village where I spent most of my income on employee discounts! And since I'd get first crack at the clothes, I had some really nice items but my favorite by far was a long (about lower/mid shin) black cashmere swing coat with bell sleeves with faceted black buttons up the back and at the cuffs ... it was truly spectacular, in fabulous condition, and set me back about $50 with my employee's discount.

I was living at home after graduation ... my mom was in the final months of a terminal illness so after most of four years away, I wanted to be there with her. Physically she was frail but not really bed-bound until the final few weeks, but her memory was pretty much gone.

I remember once the weather got cold, I couldn't find my coat and wondering what the hell had happened, and then a few weeks after my mom passed away (December), a friend of hers came over wearing it! I couldn't quite figure out what to say, so it was something along the lines of "Oh, hey, nice coat ..." and she said, "Yeah, your mom gave it to me. She said she never wore it so I could have it."

Almost 40 years later and I'm STILL kicking myself for not just saying, "Well, she never wore it because IT WAS MINE, and I'd really like it back" but I think I was so stunned that I just nodded. I would give anything to have that coat back. It was SO MIDGE!!!!!

 

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12 minutes ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

How awesome would it be if some intrepid designer created a Mrs. Maisel fashion line? I would totally buy that dress/coat as well as some of the swing coats she's worn!

The summer after I graduated from college, I spent that summer working at a vintage (read: used and fixed up nicely) clothing store in Greenwich Village where I spent most of my income on employee discounts! And since I'd get first crack at the clothes, I had some really nice items but my favorite by far was a long (about lower/mid shin) black cashmere swing coat with bell sleeves with faceted black buttons up the back and at the cuffs ... it was truly spectacular, in fabulous condition, and set me back about $50 with my employee's discount.

I was living at home after graduation ... my mom was in the final months of a terminal illness so after most of four years away, I wanted to be there with her. Physically she was frail but not really bed-bound until the final few weeks, but her memory was pretty much gone.

I remember once the weather got cold, I couldn't find my coat and wondering what the hell had happened, and then a few weeks after my mom passed away (December), a friend of hers came over wearing it! I couldn't quite figure out what to say, so it was something along the lines of "Oh, hey, nice coat ..." and she said, "Yeah, your mom gave it to me. She said she never wore it so I could have it."

Almost 40 years later and I'm STILL kicking myself for not just saying, "Well, she never wore it because IT WAS MINE, and I'd really like it back" but I think I was so stunned that I just nodded. I would give anything to have that coat back. It was SO MIDGE!!!!!

 

That sounds lovely. I wish you had it back but hopefully she is enjoying it as she should (or you will see it in another shop one day) ; )

I think they should have some items recreated for fans too. Swing coats are flattering and I always love the longer length. J Crew and others make more tightly fitted short swing coats but they don't have that swing and style.

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On 12/19/2018 at 7:02 AM, shapeshifter said:

Well, Rose could threaten to run off to France again (like she effectively threatened to do once this season after they came back), and, if threats don't work, I got the impression that it was cheap to live there, so they could go anyway, maybe even take the grandkids, and with Midge touring Europe, all's good. Maybe Benjamin could do some volunteer doctoring or research in Europe too. Mais oui, c'est bonne!

 

How hypocritical for Rose to give Midge the cold shoulder about the baby shower when she (Rose) ran away to Paris. And would Midge really have  just forgotten the baby shower instead of apologizing in advance for having to miss it because of her tour?  Those are two of my top peeves for the season.  Also the silliness of two wacky girls driving around in the Bonnie and Clyde car.   In the 50s people did not drive vehicles like that. You could buy used recent vintage cars for little money.  They could have afforded that. ASP anachronisms again. 

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Not sure if this should go in an as-yet-uncreated Season 3 Speculation thread, but, from the Catskills episode thread:

19 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:
On December 24, 2018 at 3:15 PM, Clanstarling said:
On December 24, 2018 at 12:51 PM, GussieK said:

Seriously, for me it was only fake drama that she couldn't tell her parents she wanted to be a performer. It just didn't ring true. Sure, Rose and Abe are peculiar prima donnas, but still . . . What were they going to do? Sit shiva? 

Yes it was. I'm not that deep and critical of a thinker. ;)

Eh, the way they've been portrayed, sitting shiva seems like it might have been an option.

I can totally picture (and wish we'd seen) Abe and Rose sitting shiva for their comedienne daughter with Midge and others making hysterically snarky comments about it. But where would the plot go from there? I don't see a good way to paint the script out of that corner. Too bad. Unless . . . [to be continued in the general season 2 thread]

 I can imagine Abe and Rose sitting shiva for Midge when they learn that not only is she a comedienne, but she is a commedienne who is abandoning her children and—even worse—her doctor/fiancé to go galavanting across Europe. Then, after some comedy gold moments of this scene, someone whispers in Rose's ear that it's Shy Baldwin who Midge will be touring with, at which point Midge is resurrected from the figurative dead.

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On 12/6/2018 at 11:03 AM, SailorGirl said:

I just finished bingeing the second season -- I personally thought it was even better than the first. I feel like everything was more polished, we got a lot more character development from all the main players -- I felt much more emotionally invested in all of them, and I definitely laughed out loud a lot more than the first season. I also liked that they showed some of the repercussions of Midge's always being "on" and that she's gaining a deeper understanding of both the positives -- and the negatives -- that come with the choice she's made to pursue success as a comedian. 

And on two utterly shallow notes . . . Hello Zachary Levi! I was peripherally aware of him before, but damn, he can show up on my tv screen any ol' time!!! 
And Rufus Sewell. Just this. Rufus Sewell. Any time, any place, any where. 

I'm all in for season 3!! 

I agree on all your points, especially Zachary Levi, LOL!

On 12/6/2018 at 2:46 PM, qtpye said:

I binged the entire season as a special treat for myself. I loved every moment and was sad when it was over. 

My greatest nitpick would be the rehabilitation of Joel at the expense of other characters, though thankfully not Midge (at least not usually). 

Last season Joel happily left his wife and children to play with some silly bimbo, he also freely stole material from Bob Newhart, and claimed that they owned their apartment when it was in his father’s name. His parents were more working class than his in laws but they still retained some dignity, even if his father could be a jerk. This season his parents are idiots who are hiding money all over the place (that they can not find) and need Joel to explain the benefits of a bank loan. Joel’s mother was never the posh fashion plate Midge’s mother is, but she still looked nice last season. This year she looks like a crazy person in unflattering dresses and gambling all night at mahjong. Joel is comes off looking like a saint for taking care and loving these two. I hated it when Joel had to rescue Susie from the closet and was ever so manly punching out the guy that would not pay them. The biggest eye roll was all the ladies in the Catskills fawning over Joel like he was Elvis Presley and of course now, conviently, he only has eyes for Midge. A whole resort full of eligible men and the woman all only want the unexceptional looking guy who deserted his wife and children...totally believable. 

I like Midge’s mom but sometimes it’s hard to relate to someone whose biggest issue seems to be that she does not know what to do with herself as a “lady of leisure”.  A lot of modern day women would kill to have her lifestyle of privilege.

Ovetall, excellent series and can not wait for the third season.

Good points about Joel. I'm glad he's not a total jerk like last season but I get what they did with his parents and all and I didn't like it either.

On 12/6/2018 at 4:19 PM, ChlcGirl said:

I put a lot of the stuff with Joel's parents down to ASP being .. ASP.  It happened in The Gilmore Girls.  During the first season, things were pleasantly eccentric but with each season after, things got more and more ridiculously over the top.  By the end of the seventh season it was like Stars Hollow was inhabited entirely by mental patients.  I had hoped that age would have curtailed this quirk in Amy but alas.  As soon as they started talking about Joel's mother having an accounting system based in ancient aramaic and the absence of the number 6 I knew we were in for it.

I loved the season overall but I did find myself disappointed in Midge's choice at the end.  Walking away from your kids for 6 months without a second thought? Throwing over a decent man who loved and accepted her without being jealous of her talent to go to JOEL?  Not smart.

I didn't get what Midge did in the end either. 

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On 12/8/2018 at 12:02 PM, Browndog319 said:

Because he was a trailblazer for the rights of an artist for free speech...tragic ending but doesn’t mean he wasn’t brilliant and world changing 

I hope they don't show his suicide on the show though.

On 12/9/2018 at 3:00 PM, debraran said:

So many of my Jewish neighbors go the the Catskills every summer but they don't have that much fun. ; ) I liked Paris and Catskills, very funny.

I always love Midge's clothes but nothing this year is as sweet as this one. I don't like 50's clothes for comfort but this was adorable.  Anyone else have a favorite outfit. ; )5c0d73fb84921_mrsmaisel.thumb.jpg.d95e9f3dd6e18c9dea8e3398c21b2e1c.jpg

That was a great outfit and the Catskills and the Paris scenes were the best.

On 12/9/2018 at 6:28 PM, shron17 said:

You might want to go a little farther, when you have a chance.  Susie has some even better scenes in episodes 4, 5 and 6.

I agree though the wedding reception scene was painful to watch.

On 12/9/2018 at 8:12 PM, shapeshifter said:

I was hoping the season would end with Rose and Abe living in Paris.
It just occurred to me that these lines following Abe's announcement that he's leaving the university give hope:

     [Rose] Colombia owns our apartment, Abe.
     [Abe] Yes they do.
     [Rose] So, what do we do? Move in with Miriam and Benjamin?

For the next year I will imagine them in that great big beautiful apartment in Paris with Midge stopping in during her European tour.
And in the Parisian atmosphere, they will be proud of her--plus, Rose loves Shy Baldwin.

But what's going to happen to the kids? Otherwise, I'd love them to go to Paris.

On 12/10/2018 at 9:24 AM, qtpye said:

That would be nice. I would like for them to live out the rest of their days being happy and enjoying themselves instead of constantly worrying about Midge’s drama or being a constant babysitter to her kids, particularly now that it looks like Joel is back in the picture.

I'd like for them to do that too. But will Joel step up and take care of the kids when Midge goes on tour? Or is she taking them with her or what. 

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On 12/10/2018 at 2:40 PM, Mrs peel said:

But the meeting Abe had with the lawyer son of an old friend seemed to indicate he was going to get involved in some social justice stuff (and there was the reference during his conversation with - I think - his son about Abe's "past" being an issue for Bell Labs).  So I don't think he's going back to Paris.

I agree with everyone about how Midge is being shown as a great comedian instead of allowing us to see her grow.  And the bad behavior at the wedding and missing the shower, as well as the "yeah, let's go away for 6 months without giving any consideration to anyone else" speaks to Midge being very self-involved.  Which isn't really new; she wanted/needed the "classic 6" apartment in NYC regardless of whether she and her husband could afford it; she moves back in with her parents and leaves the parenting to others, etc. 

The writers truly want us to forget she even has kids, because the Catskills episodes should have shown more with the children. 

The Benjamin relationship was rushed, and I feel we don't really know enough about him to know whether he would be ok with the realities of Midge's career.  He certainly seemed completely self-sufficient, not needing the classic (Jewish) wife.

Do we think Susie is going to Europe?  Or staying behind to manage her new client?  I had the sense she would/was required to drop Midge.  Though that entire sub-plot made no sense - why would an established comedian want to hire Susie?  I get she wanted someone committed to her client, that her current manager won't encourage her desire to be a serious actress, but Susie has no real connections.  Never mind the question of whether she could possibly make the switch to serious acting when she's so beloved as she is.  Can I say how much I love that actress?  Blanking on her name, but she's great in everything I've seen.

I do see a number of examples of Midge being self-involved, that's true.

I can get how we wouldn't see much of the older son, because he could be in the day camp, but we would see at least a little of him. But what about the baby? She couldn't be in a camp all day. 

Yeah the Benjamin relationship was rushed and while they seemed good together, I was thinking too, in the long run would he really accept her career and all?

On 12/11/2018 at 2:17 PM, qtpye said:

Also because he is tenured he could just take a long sabbatical and still keep the apartment. He is in a great position where he does not have to work to get paid.

I didn't get why he didn't just take a sabbatical and think about things. He could even do the social activist thing during his sabbatical.

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On 12/12/2018 at 4:49 AM, Bec said:

One scene before the scene with Joel hitting some balls and moping about wanting to be forgiven, he got pissy at Midge about "handing off" his children to another man without asking him (he just learned that Ethan met Benjamin), and while they were arguing back and forth, she yelled "I didn't leave you, you left me!", showing deep down inside she is actually still pretty damn angry at him, despite the amicable exterior. (And then Joel whined "you left me back!" like a petulant child.)

Honestly, I was like "go Midge!" for throwing that in his face. I've got zero patience for Joel's self-pity. He brought all this on himself. She didn't "leave" him - she gave him another chance when she didn't have to, and he blew it. I don't think he grovelled nearly enough yet to earn Midge's forgiveness. She's been far too nice to him and gave him far too many chances as it is.

He's got some nerve getting so bent out of shape over Ethan meeting Benjamin for a minute, when Midge let Ethan stay with him overnight back in season one, even though his mistress was living with him and it was a just an unpleasant surprise sprung on Midge.

While Joel is improved from last season, he still seems like a spoiled baby who never grew up.

On 12/14/2018 at 10:23 AM, ShadowFacts said:

I enjoyed the character revelations of both Susie and Abe, though I found the Catskills much more enjoyable than Paris.  I didn't see an Unpopular Opinions topic, but I probably have some.  I find many of the characters actually unpleasant/unlikable, those two included at times (though they seem to make me laugh the most) but this show is like a page-turner novel that I want to see what they do next.  I swear like a sailor myself sometimes, but Susie's vulgarity is just excessive.  Midge is charismatic, witty, multi-talented, fun to watch, but she is a hit-or-miss parent and careless friend.  I almost didn't want to watch anymore after she made a wreck of her co-worker's wedding.  I thought the Paris scenes were too campy for my taste, but forged onward, and oddly wasn't put off by the Catskills.  There's very little subtlety, except for maybe Lenny Bruce, who is a great addition.  I think much of the stand-up is not very funny; I expected to laugh more for a show about a comedian. The verbal anachronisms seem like amateurish writing.  Yet despite myself, this show captivates me, this season even more than the first.  It's the whole package I suppose, music, art direction, costumes, and acting.  I really do like it overall. 

I loved all the Susie stuff this season, especially the stuff with her in the Catskills.

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On 12/18/2018 at 11:28 AM, rose711 said:

I didn’t watch Gilmore Girls so I can’t compare.

I think the children are merely there to keep sad sack Joel in the picture. Maybe my turning point against Midge was most likely when she left the baby in the hot car. She takes better care of her clothes. I remember last season she didn’t have a picture of her kids and thought that was a good reason to ruin the band intro.

I feel like this could have been a good endpoint for the show. It’s a beautiful fantasy about spoiled wealthy upper west side people in the late 50s, but it lost a great deal of the first season charm for me.

I don’t think Midge as a character/ person is that great- it’s more I really admire the actress playing her with such gusto. Same with her immediate family. Though the earnest sisters-in-law is ok.

The only characters that appeal to me to see more are Susie and Lenny Bruce (though we know how that ends.) The singer too Shy Baldwin is appealing. 

I don't like the character of Midge personally, but I find her very intriguing and I admire her gumption to become a comedian in a time where it was unheard of a woman being a successful comedian. And the actress does a great job with the role. Susie is hilarious and the actress is great too and the character of Shai Baldwin is appealing.

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1 hour ago, Booklady1017 said:
On 12/9/2018 at 7:12 PM, shapeshifter said:

For the next year I will imagine them in that great big beautiful apartment in Paris with Midge stopping in during her European tour.
And in the Parisian atmosphere, they will be proud of her--plus, Rose loves Shy Baldwin.

But what's going to happen to the kids? Otherwise, I'd love them to go to Paris.

Oh, I meant to include the kids in the apartment in Paris too. With Zelda.

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9 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Oh, I meant to include the kids in the apartment in Paris too. With Zelda.

Yes, there would have to be Zelda or a French equivalent, but paid with what income stream?  Maybe Abe could get a job at a Paris university, he seemed to fall in fast with an intellectual crowd (a pretentious one) there, but signs point to him returning to his activist roots. 

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11 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Oh, I meant to include the kids in the apartment in Paris too. With Zelda.

 

11 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Oh, I meant to include the kids in the apartment in Paris too. With Zelda.

If Zelda’s willing to move to Paris, that’s perfect.

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On 12/10/2018 at 2:40 PM, Mrs peel said:

The writers truly want us to forget she even has kids, because the Catskills episodes should have shown more with the children. 

I think it's more that the writers want us to remember that Midge forgets that she has kids. Or rather, that Midge make no pretense that her children are essential to her identity and inner life, when they are not. What is essential to her, she hides. Or hid.

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I think the depiction of how the children are treated is in line the the times.  "Children should be seen and not heard....". Parents didn't play with their children or even talk to their children.  Of course looking at it through our modern day eyes, most are apallled.  But, I'm the age that Midge's children would be now.  Seems right on target to me.  I'm not saying it was right, but it was just how it was.

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29 minutes ago, kathe5133 said:

I think the depiction of how the children are treated is in line the the times.  "Children should be seen and not heard....". Parents didn't play with their children or even talk to their children.  Of course looking at it through our modern day eyes, most are apallled.  But, I'm the age that Midge's children would be now.  Seems right on target to me.  I'm not saying it was right, but it was just how it was.

Yes, my sister often tells of taking me by the hand in the 1950s to look for our mother at the neighbor's when she was just 4 years old and I was 2. She is appalled by it, but I don't think she thinks our situation was unique.  

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