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Fleishman Is in Trouble
: The Liver
December 29, 2022 10:37 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 -
Seth throws a party.
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(6 comments total)
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I think it was hard to come back from last week's utterly powerhouse episode, but I do think the final hour was worthwhile and beautiful.
For the first time I felt really compelled to think about the idea that the entire story has been told from outside, in Libby's POV. So when we see Lizzy and her husband joshing around, with her wearing the glasses with taped-on paper eyes -- which we'd already seen "happen" with Toby and Rachel -- it really drove home that we haven't been seeing an objectively truthful story unfold.
What does the ending mean? I choose to believe it means Toby and Rachel can reconcile enough to become effective co-parents. That Seth and his new wife will have a happy marriage. That Libby can achieve a modicum of acceptance about her life without blowing up her marriage.
Above all, what sits with me 12 hours after finishing it is that repetitive "right now...and now...and now..." Lovely.
on December 29, 2022 [
What a completely unexpected pleasure this series was. So much great writing and acting and such a complex twist in the plot. The third link above is excellent as well, but after reading it i'm not sure I could ever go back and read the book, knowing what I know.
As to the ending I think it is Libby's ending, she's the narrator and by this time it's clear that she has injected so much of her own fear and anxiety into it that it's her hopefulness that leads the story there. yes, the tears in Toby's eyes as she's telling it reveal that he has hope as well, but by the time the door opens Libby has drifted off to sleep and the details begin to blur and...fade to black.
on December 30, 2022 [
I will be unpacking that amazing scene with Libby and Toby at Seth's party for a while. To sift through the meta layers of storytelling, yes, but also the deep and unexpected emotion that develops between them. It's rare for me to see that kind of adult friendship depicted in all its weird, self-reverential, vulnerable, and intimate facets. The way someone who has known you always can access the whole of you and you of them.
on December 31, 2022 [
A really great show.
Not easy to make some very inside baseball New York things — like the relative poverty and challenged social status of doctors who aren’t orthopedic surgeons - into a resonating plot points.
The creeping nested narrative unreliability — first of Toby as viewpoint character and then of Libby as narrator — was beautifully done. I have first-hand experience of one piece of the unreliability: the super tight angles they used to depiction what is literally my country club as a claustrophobic pit-of-suburban-mom-anomie when it is more fairly depicted
on January 1 [
Man I really disliked this. The second to last episode was incredibly well acted, but the twist seemed like a cop out. I was hoping to see the situation completely flipped from Rachel’s perspective and appearing totally reasonable. Instead she’s just profoundly mentally ill.
And then the last riposted is Libby endlessly moping around like a teenager.
This show thinks it’s deep but it’s just tiresome.
on January 21
I was really disappointed by this finale and the show as a whole by extension! I thought the previous episode was astounding, but I felt the real cop out was going back to Libby's Toby-inflected POV after spending time with Rachel (especially because she's essentially disposed of after that episode, aside from continuing to be a fuzzy area in the background of Toby's life, apparently). I was under the impression that this would be some kind of subversion or reappraisal of the Philip Roth-style jerkoff urban/suburban ennui, but it really just feels like more of the same.
on January 25
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I wrote this