Fosse/Verdon: Me and My Baby
April 23, 2019 8:44 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Gwen and Bob pursue separate projects; Gwen thinks back to the beginning of her career and the circumstances that led her here.
posted by oh yeah! (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
In some ways, this was the best episode yet, perhaps because it not only focused on Gwen, but also aspects of her life I didn't know about.

Although I was amused that after an episode that focused on how hard film editing is, I saw a comment that it was the best episode because the flashbacks were handled more effectively. Thanks to a different *director.* (Or ya know, it was the editing. Or the writing.)

I thought the opening sequence (his imaginary dance coming in the building) wasn't done that well, but perhaps it didn't work because Rockwell doesn't seem that great a dancer.

Oh, and BTW I think it was in a previous thread that someone said they don't actually like Fosse's choreography. Hello, you! I've always found the distinctive jagged, angular, broken arm/leg look a little off myself. But I'm still here for the musical theatre indulgence, and for Michelle Williams.

Even after wiki'ing, I'm still not clear how much the son was part of Gwen's life as he grew up. But man, this left no doubt she was raped in her parents' home during a party *they hosted,* then forced to marry the rapist when she got pregnant. Then ended up leaving the baby to earn money as a dancer. (Ugh, the baby cries that haunted the rest of the episode.)
posted by NorthernLite at 7:14 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Weirdly, I think Rockwell not being a great dancer works for this series. I think the writer’s and producers are trying to show how much of the Fosse style is borne of his collaborations with women who can execute his vision, and Rockwell’s middling dancing skills sells how much the Fosse style was collaborative.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:59 AM on April 25


Rockwell is known in the biz to be a terrific dancer; it's a huge part of why he was cast. Not sure what others are seeing.
posted by tzikeh at 1:06 PM on April 25


There's a Vanity Fair piece on the details of Verdon's first marriage, and it links to Verdon's obituary in People with a quote from her son:
Finishing high school at 17, she eloped with Hollywood trade journalist James Henaghan; they had a son, James Jr., but divorced five years later. “She strived to keep a sense of normalcy in our lives,” says James Jr., now 57, who grew up splitting his time between his maternal grandparents, a Connecticut boarding school and his mother’s New York City apartment. “It was different from a normal childhood. But it was normal for me.”
She may have been in his life more than the show admits, and I think that makes Bob's comment, "What do you know about boys? You've never raised one" even more cutting and thoughtless. Michelle Williams as Gwen, rehearsing that speech from the play, put so much into it.
posted by gladly at 10:23 AM on April 27


The first time I watched it I thought Bob's comment meant he forgot she had a son. The second time I thought it could mean that he was implying she didn't raise him enough to be able to relate it to a boy.

The first time I watched it I didn't realize that the significance of the flashback of her leaving her son is that to act in the scene she has to replay that scene in her head to make her voice and face appear accurate. And so she relives that whole trauma and then looks to the director for some validation, did I do it? Is this worth it? And gets nothing. And she's going to have to go through this every night. And Bobby just let her down again. It makes sense that she'd then want to call to mind her favorite memory of validation to give herself some dopamine.
posted by bleep at 8:31 PM on April 27


I was impressed by the Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:41 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


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