November 9, 2020 at 10:52 pm #1203825762
Synopsis: Five young graduates do whatever it takes to make themselves indispensable at preeminent London investment bank Pierpoint & Co. As hungry outsider Harper (Myha’la Herrold) grapples with a decision that will gravely affect her future at the bank, she and party-boy Robert (Harry Lawtey) take very different approaches to their first few weeks in the bank. Meanwhile, Yasmin (Marisa Abela) braves the unchecked disrespect of her superiors and Hari’s (Nabhaan Rizwan) unhealthy work habits raise companywide red flags.
Written by Mickey Down and Konrad Kay; Directed by Lena Dunham.November 10, 2020 at 1:24 pm #1203827669
Myha’la Herrold is a stunning new breakthrough that I hope has a long career ahead of her. The pilot was all over the place from a writing standpoint, but at least it was beautifully directed by Lena Dunham. Unfortunately, the story tries to be so many things all at once and not landing in a definitive place convincingly. Variety described the series (and I’m paraphrasing here) as an amalgam of “The Wolf of Wall Street” meets “Melrose Place” meets “Succession” meets “Grey’s Anatomy.” The latter in particular, with even an early scene of a mentor telling a group of young interns that half of them won’t survive the program’s duration. (Dr. Richard Webber realness lol.) I also readily see that HBO has no confidence in this import show by airing it in the Monday night death trap time slot, so whatever. I’ll keep watching since I’m intrigued by Herrold and need to see Harper’s journey play itself out. Beyond that, I’m not entirely hopeful for its future prospects, ratings or awards.November 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm #1203827903
I found it engaging, introducing the audience into a specific setting and its mechanizations is always fun. In the same token, the narrative structure was conventional so much so that the twist of the episode was easy to predict. The pilot reminded me of ABC’s Quantico that aired long ago, of course this is on HBO and raunchier.November 10, 2020 at 3:58 pm #1203828075
It’s taken eleven months but finally 2020 has provided a show with a pulse. Ironic really given the contents of the episode. Can’t wait for next week.November 10, 2020 at 4:44 pm #1203828122
I enjoyed this and I’m eager to see if it grows into anything really substantial in the coming weeks. The shades of character development were certainly there without feeling sledgehammered in, but from a character introduction viewpoint and trying to cram in a lot of stories that could’ve easily been spread out over multiple episodes, there was a lot to handle here. I mean the only thing I know about the one girl (clearly not her name) is that she is nice and picks up everyone’s meals. However, there is enough here that I’m settled in to see what kind of story there is to tell about this workplace environment and the various approaches of young people to varying degrees of success, and if it wants to aim for that melodramatic workplace drama, there are worse hangs on television and it could be worth it if it at least becomes a fun show that plays up the drama both in and out of the office.November 10, 2020 at 5:50 pm #1203828276
I did like it very much, don’t know why HBO put it on the death slot on Monday, reminded me of the early Greys Anatomy days.
Hoping for it to find it’s audience.November 10, 2020 at 6:29 pm #1203828312
Not surprised by the ratings. Monday nights for ya. Watching shows filmed pre-covid is weird. It’s like they’re both dated and fascinating in a time-capsule sort of way.November 11, 2020 at 9:26 am #1203829349
I thought it was pretty shitty.November 11, 2020 at 9:30 am #1203829363
Saw the Pilot last night when it aired here (unlike <i>His Dark Materials </i>we get this one a day after you guys in the States).
The writing was a bit scattershot although I can understand the reviews saying this is trying to be both Mad Men and Euphoria at the same time (I was not expecting it to jump from a financial floor scene to a full frontal nudity scene within a second). The writing of Harper’s character felt like they had tried to rush all the things that were spread out about Don’s identity in season 1 of Mad Men into the space of an episode.
Leaving my issues with the writing to one side I thought it was a great pilot and the best one out of the new shows we’ve seen so far this year (apart from maybe Lovecraft Country) and that was due to Lena Dunham’s directing (which I thought was excellent and she deserves a nomination for it) and the performance. Myha’la Herrold is partly the reason I’m staying for this show. Absolutely phenomenal performance and the MVP of the premiere for me. I want to echo what Atypical said and I hope she has a. big career ahead of her. Harry Lawtey was also fantastic and so was Nabhaan Rizwan and I thought Sarah Parish’s guest performance and Ken Leung were great scene-stealers. The rest of the ensemble was good “but not great or phenomenal” but I’d say were SAG a meritocracy the performances in the Pilot would warrant an ensemble nomination.
Very intrigued by next week’s episode. The ratings aren’t great and I don’t see it going anywhere at the Globes, SAG or Emmys considering how little promotion and campaigning HBO has done for the show and how significantly smaller it is in profile to something like Lovecraft Country, We Are Who We Are, His Dark Materials, The Undoing etc however don’t be surprised to see it pop up at BAFTA (who I think might eat this up) or Critics Choice (for Herrold).
Also I thought the music composition was excellent. I will say though that they need to do a better job of pretending they’re in London and not Cardiff (where they filmed this). It felt very clear that they were in Cardiff at times to me (especially when she was in the car with Sarah Parish and they were showing the car moving it felt like someone had forgotten to put a green screen to make sure it didn’t look like a less busy emptier city).
FYC OSCARS : PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN IN ALL CATEGORIES (ESP. ACTRESS – Carey Mulligan AND ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY — EMERALD FENNELL), VANESSA KIRBY FOR "PIECES OF A WOMAN", ESSIE DAVIS FOR "BABYTEETH"November 16, 2020 at 5:19 pm #1203841895
Episode Title: “Quiet & Nice”
Synopsis: With Harper struggling to find her feet in a new city, Pierpoint throws an appreciation dinner to boost morale that sees her challenging a drunken, irate Kenny, while Gus alienates senior management by discussing his team’s future. Meanwhile, Yasmin comes face-to-face with the culture of her new team and takes her flirtation with Robert to risky new heights.
Discuss.November 17, 2020 at 12:18 pm #1203843921
This is where the critics start to make sense about the show’s indecipherable financial jargon and how it hampers things around it. They might as well be talking in Sanskrit for all the sense that it makes, though b/c the characters are so committed to what they’re saying, it might matter less to some. It could also be b/c unlike medical or legal jargon that audiences grew up on, the financial world isn’t explored with the same frequency, so that makes it all more foreign. It also shows just how deft something like “Succession” is where the writing is far superior to this series and mixes the business world with everything else so beautifully. The characters here are being fleshed out more beyond the “coffee girl” or “nerdy black gay guy.” I don’t know what the answer is to the jargon issue. We can’t always have a pandering Margot Robbie lying in a hot tub dumbing down sub-prime mortgage bonds to the audience, though it fully worked. I’ve never forgotten what a sub-prime mortgage bond is lmao. Maybe this will start to improve in the coming episodes, but I doubt it. Herrold is still the reason to continue watching, so that’s a plus, at least.November 23, 2020 at 2:06 am #1203856609
Episode Title: “Notting Hill”
Synopsis: Pierpoint loses a major client, but the grads face their most challenging—and potentially rewarding—test to date: devising pitches to drive new business. After the dissolution of his team finds him reassigned to a disinterested new supervisor, a creative Gus partners with Robert to catch Clement’s attention. Meanwhile, as she navigates a complicated living situation with Yasmin, Harper attempts to juggle conflicting requests from Eric and Daria.
Discuss.November 24, 2020 at 5:50 pm #1203868831
The cast is certainly appealing, but I could convey little of what actually happened here. Yes, Pierpoint lost a major client for some unforeseen reason, which led Harper’s supervisor to push her to take on risky bids and disrupt the hierarchy of things on the trading floor. Gus is dully pining over his married male lover. Robert is all eye candy with little brains. Yasmin could be a very dynamic character with better writing. I don’t know…still generally want to see where Harper’s journey takes her. Not sure this really needs more than one season.November 28, 2020 at 8:43 pm #1203881409
HBO released the rest of the season early on HBO Max and I accidentally ended up binging the rest of the episodes in one day today. I will try to save my spoilery thoughts for later if others are continuing to watch live, but I really delighted in devouring the rest of these episodes. This ensemble really comes to life by season’s end with some major standout performances from Myha’la Herrold, Harry Lawtey, Marisa Abela, and Freya Mavor. While it continues to feel overstuffed like earlier episodes, the delight in getting to know these characters and root for (and even sometimes against) them makes this a real joy to watch. At the start of the season, I said I would be fine if this settled into being a melodramatic workplace drama, and while it often is more than that, it does the basics so well that you can’t help but be entertained. I’d love to see the week-to-week conversation between episodes since there is much to devour, so even though I’m glad I got to tear through the season, this is a show that has value in digesting everything one week at a time. But at this point, I would just be happy if there were any conversation about the show. Maybe the early HBO Max drop starts something, but I’m really hoping we get to see more of this show down the line. I’ll share some plot-specific thoughts later on once others have had the chance to watch whether as a binge or throughout December.November 30, 2020 at 12:38 am #1203884095
Episode Title: “Sesh”
Synopsis: Harper’s workday spirals out of control after a wild birthday celebration with Robert, Yasmin, and Greg; as a discrepancy in one of her trades puts her team at risk for major losses, Harper seeks support from a surprising source; unexpected trouble at a networking event brings Yasmin and Robert closer; Gus further alienates his coworkers.
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