May 1, 2020 at 2:35 am #1203456832
I actually cannot believe how many pans this series is getting. That’s the problem it’s got really is that it’s not divisive enough. Those who like it only *like* it and those who don’t really *hate* it. I’m tempted to predict a shutout. Even The Politician got a trio of 100s on Metacritic.
Agree, the only thing worse than being bad is being boring.
Emmys FYC | Alan Tudyk in “Resident Alien” | Ego Nwodim in “Saturday Night Live” | Kaley Cuoco in “Harley Quinn” | “Dickinson” | “P-Valley” | “Pose” | “Superstore”May 1, 2020 at 2:37 am #1203456834
I have it still getting series, but dropped it to 5.
I have Parsons and Mantello getting in because the category is so empty and they are actually getting good notices. Also they are both Emmy favourites so there is that.
I removed Criss because the younger actors arent getting any praises, and many reviews barely mentioned him.
Supporting Actress is too crowded so I took Taylor out.May 1, 2020 at 2:38 am #1203456838
I’ve watched the first episode so far. It’s enjoyable, nicely shot, very shallow. The scene with Patti LuPone is better than the rest. It’s too much sex.May 1, 2020 at 3:01 am #1203456848
The Imdb score was at 5.5 even before the series debuted.May 1, 2020 at 3:49 am #1203456866
“Hooray for Hollywood”: Okay so this was good. But so far, that’s it. I am not one for actor assassinations but it’s hard to short change that the big problem is Corenswet. I thought he was excellent in The Politician, full of charisma and sentimentality. Here he is so unbelievably bland that he almost kills the entire thing. Everything around him is pulsating with energy, from the delightful score to the fervent direction to the snappy script to the bold performances of LuPone and McDermott (both brilliant). But he is just so flat and even more than that he’s such an odd character to begin a series that’s supposedly about rewriting Hollywood’s wrongs with. Are we supposed to believe he deserves to succeed? Currently it comes across that just because he is a good-looking white guy that we should invest in him making it whereas if Corenswet had poured any ounce of the charm he has previously shown into this role I could have gotten on board with him in a kind of traditional romantic lead sense. Instead he is just a lazy (seriously does he want to even work to be an actor – turn up to that crowd on time asshole), self-pitying guy who we also learn has cheated on his wife. Again, this could be interesting if Corenswet leant into that and gunned for him as an antihero but alas. Making things even worse for him is the fact that the second Jeremy Pope arrives he is electric. A complicated soul but one that you are instantly full of compassion for. Why couldn’t this premiere have been about him?
But yeah I’m going to keep watching as it is definitely enjoyable and I’m yet to see how on earth any critic has been so harsh on it. I sense so far that they just had their knives sharpened for Murphy so when it wasn’t quite on the mark they were ready.
Last thing to note: every behind-the-scenes craft on this is an absolute triumph. Especially Production Design, Costume Design, Hairstyling and Make-up where Emmys are almost inevitably incoming.May 1, 2020 at 4:23 am #1203456903
I did not like the first episode.May 1, 2020 at 4:37 am #1203456917
Half way through and Corenswet’s character is awful and only takes away from the show. If everything involving his character was wiped away, the show would be 10x better. The writing is also laughable at points. I’m just tired of some of these half baked social commentaries that aren’t half as progressive as they think they are. That being said, there are definitely entertaining points.May 1, 2020 at 4:41 am #1203456921
Welp, the first episode was very meh and the writing was incredibly predictable. I’m going to continue watching because Corensweet is eye-candy and I am a thirsty ho. I wish Ryan would stick to directing, which he is good/great at, and leave the writing to people who are good at it. He has great ideas but sometimes it is just too much (as it was in this episode).May 1, 2020 at 5:25 am #1203456959
As someone who is many episodes in at this point, I’ll have to respectfully disagree, re: Corenswet. His character, Jack, comes off so earnest and optimistic with an ere of innocence and naivete that it’s jarring at first. Because characters like that existed moreso in Old Hollywood and really are no longer written as such today. I guess that is even made more jarring given the last thing most people saw David in was his character in The Politician, River, that had such a quiet sweetness to him, whose seemingly perfect veneer was saddled with inner demons. There David displayed his charisma as an actor with very little screentime, maximizing the most of it with what he had. Jack is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum in terms of character, which I think shows a good range for him. Where River was finely attuned to his emotions, Jack is very much at his emotional infancy, figuring out his life and responsibilities as an adult; as a newlywed with children on the way. Having to quickly mature and adapt himself to ‘normal’ life with all it’s responsibilities as I’m sure all veterans who are thrust into war at young ages, missing the crucial developmental stages in life between being a teenager and adulthood. To put it plainly, it stunts an individual. I know this from the conversations I had with my grandfather who served in WWII who married my grandmother before being shipped off and had kids at a young age when he returned. There are scars not only physical but emotionally and psychologically as well.
Jack is very much Jefferson Smith-like from Mr. Smith goes to Washington, pre-going to Washington. But just like Jefferson’s journey, Jack grows as the show progresses and the intentionality behind Corenswet’s initial character choices for Jack which seemed jarring at first are slowly made apparent as the situational experiences the show puts his character through, layers on maturity and growth as he becomes more self-aware of how ‘Hollywood’ and it’s seedy underbelly reveals itself to be beyond the idealistic nature and expectations with which he came in with from the pilot. The earnestness and optimism doesn’t fade, because that is at the core of Jack as a person (there is a throughline of Jack wrestling with often failing to be a ‘good’ person) but the idealism and naivete fades as that pristine, idealistic sheen of Hollywood fades in the story. I can see though how Jack as a character may not quite fit into the fabric of Hollywood that Murphy was weaving together. He is a straight white male. Which on paper is seemingly at odds with the vision the story is attempting to portray. But I think there is some commentary there to be had that I’ll hold off on until I’ve finished the series.
In contrast… in walks Jake Picking as Roy Fitzgerald/Rock Hudson who similarly is played as naive and also very questionably dumb, but the execution is, well, let’s just say the deer in headlights expression that is conveyed on screen multiple times is so strikingly obtuse, I questioned on many occasion whether that was Rock supposed to be uncomfortable in the story’s situation he found himself in or if Jake Picking was just straight-up uncomfortable on set. There definitely is a stark contrast between Samara Weaving and David Corenswet’s abilities as actors (acting as actors) compared to Jake Picking and Laura Harrier executing that same task. As referenced in many reviews where Jeremy/David as leads are lauded whereas Laura and Jake are fixated on as the weakest links of the cast. Without going into spoilers, the gulf is so wide in acting abilities, that it’s especially exposed and transparent in episode four, aptly titled – (Screen) Test.
The vets do definitely steal a lot of the scenes, their lines are juicier because Murphy and co. gave them material that was more sardonic and biting. They got the lion’s share of zingers, flowing monologues and patent Murphy one-liners. It’s just hard to compete with because the veteran actor’s characters have gone through the tumbler cycle of Hollywood many times, as the actors playing them have, which lends them more complexity and depth whereas all the younglings, similar to the characters they play, have the factory-fresh sheen still on.
I’ll say this, it’s an easy binge for those that don’t mind the usual Murphy pulpiness and cheesiness that his shows entail. But this definitely lies on the complete opposite line of what is in vogue today, which favors these dark character studies where the players are thrown the book in terms of being affected by the humanistic traumas of everyday life. Which is what many critics wanted of this and were largely delivered in Feud. This veers more into the fantastical, and at times, ludicrous. But this is typical Ryan Murphy pushing and prodding.May 1, 2020 at 6:34 am #1203456995
“Hooray for Hollywood Part 2”: Darren Criss joins Jeremy Pope in the list of people who would have been better leads for this show than David Corenswet. He’s another magnetic presence here I’m pleased to say. I found him very hit and miss on Glee then terrific in Versace so am pleased to say he’s leant more in the latter direction with this.
This show is so cheesy. And yes that means it’s indescribably entertaining – already I kind of wish it was a network show so we’d have 22 episodes of it – but it also so regularly damages the possibility of any sincerity. Take two of Pope’s scenes from this episode. One with Jake Picking is absolutely great, nicely placed leading to genuinely a cute moment of coaching – it’s full of big ideas but it feels small. Then another with Darren Criss in a bar where they both pine for a Hollywood that takes them seriously and may as well have burst into song about this being the shows big theme. Both scenes tackle the yearning for outsiders to fit in but the difference is that one feels real and the other feels preachy. As such, you can guess which one hits the spot of sincerity.
As with the premiere, this show should be thankful for its veteran actors. Taylor, LuPone and Mantello charge through their scenes creating an excitement about the show’s plotlines that is otherwise lacking. Then you have the arrival of Parsons, who just took his one scene like a bull by the horns and made it his bitch. Incredibly sinister and actually producing the kind of gut-punch of disgust for Picking that I feel like we were supposed to feel for Corenswet at some point. Corenswet continues to be a problem although I’m sure he’ll be pleased by the arrival of Laura Harrier and Samara Weaving in this episode as it means he’s no longer giving the plainest or worst performance on the show respectively. Weaving especially is doing the kind of work I’d give a razzie to if this was a movie. I see the above post mentioned Picking and maybe it’s because he is getting better material and has been gifted moments with Parsons and Pope but I don’t see any problems with his performance so far. His own self-disgust is transparent but not self-pitying and it’s nice to have a shier persona amongst all of these big personalities. The true test of his abilities will come soon I imagine as Wilson seeks to transform Roy into Rock.May 1, 2020 at 6:43 am #1203457001
Oh thanks for reminding me Stegeo: I was actually surprised by how little sex there is in this. The way the critics were talking I was expecting something really smutty but we’ve only had what 4 brief sex scenes in two episodes? Which for a show about a gas station prostitution ring is really not that much. These prudy critics should try watching The Deuce.May 1, 2020 at 7:09 am #1203457021
That’s a terrible first episode.May 1, 2020 at 8:23 am #1203457132
Just finished it. Going to do the positives and negatives before episodes and grades.
Laura Harrier/Darren Criss/Jeremy Pope/Patti Lupone are excellent in this
I didn’t love this at all. It kinda fell into the “meh” catagory until it hit it’s stride which was good not great.
Parsons was awful.
Queen Latifah I love but I didn’t buy her her in this role at all. I know she was a guest role but it just seemed a little bit miscast
“Hooray For Hollywood”: B. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t a good start either.
“Hooray For Hollywood: Part 2”: C: Yikes.
“Outlaws”: B. Good Bounce back from the previous episode.
“(Screen) Tests”: A. The best of the 7 episodes.
“Jump”: B+. Good not great.
“Meg”: B+. Good Not great.
“A Hollywood Ending”: B. Meh.
Overall: I guess I’d say: B+ or maybe BMay 1, 2020 at 10:06 am #1203457339
Am I the only one that found the redemption are for Jim Pearson’s character to be quite unearned and disgusting? His character is a sexual predator. I absolutely hated how he started trying to become a good person at the end. And then they tried to make humor out of his sexual humor.
This could have been a great show if Ryan Murphy wasn’t involved. It had great ideas, but was not near as progressive as it wanted to be.
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