I have wanted to like FOSSE/VERDON, but I just don't. The sex scenes detract from any possible enjoyment of the thing. After watching the episode with the "Lenny Bruce" subplot, I rushed outside to take in a breath of fresh air and to feel the sunshine on my face. I find this series to be.......dreary.
Miles2Go2 said: "Just because something makes you feel uncomfortable that doesn’t make it bad. I thought that was a very telling scene about at least the way the miniseries is portraying Fosse. It told us a lot about both characters. His desperate need to still be a sexual being (rooted in his childhood sexual abuse) and her need to do what she needs to make him feel OK."We know these things based on everything else in the episode. This choice came off as tawdry, not insightful.
mc1227 said: "I think I’ve lost interest in this because I’ve come to the realization that I don’t like either of them. I love their talent and have enjoyed many collaborations but what awful people and parents they were. The sex scene in the hospital bed was enough for me to bail."This saddens me the most. Both of them are written as such unattractive people. I realize that Nichole Fosse – their daughter is an Executive Producer – but it bothers me that some people will think that this best represents these two extraordinarily talented people and that they will be remembered as these portrayals.And, why is the dancing so bad and sloppily performed?
I haven't felt the same ick factor regarding the Reinking/Fosse hospital scene since Joan slept with that car salesman on Mad Men. As evidence in the tedious Southampton house episode, Sam Rockwell has nice legs. I would love a spinoff series of Norbert Leo Butz as Paddy Chayefsky babysitting random children.
Simply contrast that hospital sex scene, which was AWFUL (Bob saying "I need to know if I'm still a man" or whatever that ridiculous line was), with the hospital scenes in All That Jazz, which are very different and both surprising and fun in their way.
qolbinau said: "Looks like Schwartz was a fan of the pippin episode and from his accounts it seems to be an accurate depiction of fosse who was ‘difficult’ ‘nasty’ and a ‘bully’ according to Schwartz." I thought his comments were revealing as well. Although I suppose it is easier to be more forthcoming about the dead.Again the series takes place in another time period and we can't help view it with today's sensibilities. One of the fun things about theatre people has always been that some tend to function against society norms. But it is no secret that some artist over the years have been very difficult and cruel and many have been very dysfunctional.
I love the miniseries- and did not at all find it icky that Fosse wanted to have sex on his hospital bed to see if he was still a man. Yes, this is a warts and all portrait of Fosse and Verdon- and because Nicole Fosse is involved in the project- I have to assume that it reveals many kernels of truth about the real personalities of both Fosse and Verdon. I personally do not find either one of them to be horrible people- Fosse is obsessed with his art- and he is not capable of being a loyal partner to Gwen- or any of his women- and the is too bad- but is that really so rare? In any profession? Gwen was driven by her art as well- she was a star and so badly wanted to be involved with creative and successful productions- and she was a loyal friend to Fosse- and seemed to me- a loving mother to Nicole. I am enjoying this miniseries- and really love the honesty and drama. It is an adult look at two flawed people- but it seems realistic to me. I love it- and can't wait for the next episode.
I agree with BWAY Baby2. I don't see what's so negative about the portrayal of Gwen Verdon, at least. Is anybody really surprised that she reached the pinnacle of her profession without a little calculation and an eye for opportunity? To me, that's what makes her interesting! If she merely smiled and tried to brighten every room without getting anything out of it, it wouldn't be believable, it would be boring, and Michelle Williams would have never accepted the part.The problem with the portrayal of Fosse is that Fosse himself already did it better in ALL THAT JAZZ. They really needed to find a different way to portray him that wouldn't constantly remind us that in the film, Roy Scheider was entirely self-centered and yet charming at the same time.
I don't think that the portrayal in ALL THAT JAZZ in any ways sullies this portrayal- this is not the life story of Fosse- this is Fosse?Verdon- and it explores in detail their private and professional relationship- All That Jazz exposed Fosse in a very real and scathing way- true- and this miniseries also portrays him in a manner which is consistent with his now portrayal in ATJ- but this is about the two of them- is it is exploring a different world- whereas ATJ was mainly Fosse. So it is different- and if the Fosse character was radically different from the one portrayed in All That Jazz- people would know it was not true. All in all, I love the drama and pesonall conflicts- a real scenes from a marriage- of two flawed, successful, ambitious, super talented artists-with lots of Broadway scenes as well- this is really a treat for many of us who love the milieu- the inside view of making a Broadway musical- a very adult look at two iconic talents who still exert an influence on current trends in theater.
Fascinating interview with the great Gwen Verdon: The Great Gwen Verdon
I´m reading Sam Wasson´s book about Fosse and the Reinking sex scene in the hospital is also described there...as well with other nurses...maybe not in the exact same way it´s shown on the series, but it´s there...
CarlosAlberto said: "Fascinating interview with the great Gwen Verdon:The Great Gwen Verdon"Sadly, ALL the Bob Fosse numbers she talks excitedly about -“The Alley Dance” from MY SISTER EILEEN and “Beat Me Daddy (Eight to the Bar)” from BIG DEAL were cut from the show during FOSSE’s out-of-town pre-Broadway tour in Los Angeles.
Here's the "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" number from BIG DEAL before it was cut from FOSSE.Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar
There's another ghost lingering over this show, and it's not just "All That Jazz." It's "BoJack Horseman;" much like you can't do a music biopic these days without being compared to the critically-acclaimed deconstruction of the genre "Walk Hard," it's nearly impossible to do a "troubled, entitled showbiz antihero" drama without being compared to the increasingly direct deconstruction of the genre that "BoJack" has evolved into. The "Lenny" episode in particular felt indebted to "Free Churro," which might win Will Arnett some awards.
I'm with B'way Bay 2 and others who are besotted with the series. I thought the bottle episode was stunningly conceived and executed; I watched it a second time. The series skewers woman-behind-the-man show biz tropes to give Verdon a drive and ambition to match her partner's. Both are portrayed as complex, flawed human beings. If Verdon is our root-for, it's because her newly profiled (and activated) agency often places Fosse in an adversarial -- force of antagonism -- position in the story construct. Rather than diminish either, it sets up a layered level of contention that arms each with facts, history, moments they can weaponize like Albee characters on shortest notice. Rather than traduce either career, the portrayal enhances our awareness that artists dig deep in themselves to express and achieve, and obstacles must be overcome, even among beloved collaborators.
As excited for this show as I was when I saw the very first commercial, part of me thinks that I would enjoy watching "ALL THAT JAZZ" again. I find the whole series very dull and depressing in tone. It has none of the excitement that I was expecting from all of the musicals, films and shows that he worked on. The acting isn't bad, I just feel that the overall tone needs to be raised a bit...
kofler22 said: "This week’s soundtrack includes We both reach for the gun and Razzle dazzle sung by Michelle Williams who sounds wonderful! "Huh? Aside from her spoken line “are you kidding?” in “We Both Reached for the Gun”, Michelle does NOT sing in either of those 2 tracks.
Gwen could sing "Razzle Dazzle" to Fosse to keep her in the show. The previews show that the producers want Gwen replaced.
BrodyFosse123 said: "kofler22 said: "This week’s soundtrack includes We both reach for the gun and Razzle dazzle sung by Michelle Williams who sounds wonderful! "Huh? Aside from her spoken line “are you kidding?” in “We Both Reached for the Gun”, Michelle does NOT sing in either of those 2 tracks."She sings it on the soundtrack!
After tonight's episode, Williams' deserves a truckload of Emmy's! Simply breathtaking tonight from start to finish. The Razzle Dazzle sequence was perfect and Gwen in the dressing room by herself when she returns had me shook.
I’ve been watching the show with interest, but mostly joylessly. Tonight, even “Nowadays” was turned into a complete downer. Where have wit, sly humor, vivacity gone? The show seems intent on showing us why we mustn’t love Fosse and Verdon, but it doesn’t even try to show us why we should love “Sweet Charity,” “Cabaret,” “Chicago.” I feel like it’s lost the thread, or maybe I just can’t follow what they’re trying to do.
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