Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gypsy - Morgan Stop





****/****
We all pretend don’t we? Some of us are just more honest about it.

So Jean carefully cultivates her new “persona”, this single journalist who graduated Stanford named Diane Hart. Even giving herself an address, repeating all this façade to herself while brushing her teeth in the second episode of Gypsy, Morgan Stop; Jean seems to be in the process of creating a second life .


And why not, right? There is a scene involving one of several affluent mothers Jean happens upon in the supermarket she knows. The “affluent circle” with their kids and gossiping nature…this is exhausting for someone like Jean who seems less content to be such a fixture among them. If anything she’d prefer to be Diane Hart. I guess that is a major emphasis pointed out by Gypsy, that being a successful therapist in and of itself isn’t exactly all that bad (not too shabby at her job, either) but having to endure the pratfalls of chatterbox mothers and act the part (trying to conceal her disdain and frustrations in this role is obvious although she hides it the best she can) seems to be another issue entirely.






The more exposure, the harder it’ll be to get off the drug.

But how not to fall into that trap, though. The same as Sam, Diane could very well end up in a similar place if she allows herself to become too involved with Sidney. When Jean masturbates at the thought of Sidney, it is clear that this young woman is set in her mind and that desire is becoming deeply rooted. As she goes through her notes regarding Sam and how Sidney is such an overwhelming addiction he is unable to go without her, Jean adopts a plan for him to avoid her in order to be “rehabilitated”. Meanwhile, Jean fantasizes about Sidney (involved somewhat with Sam, but Sidney is clearly the focus) and is overcome with lust.

I love Naomi Watts. She is just an extraordinary actress. It is too bad Netflix lost faith so soon with Gypsy because Watts is watchable. I love seeing all that behind her eyes. God, she’s good at conveying stewing thought just collecting itself within her mind. She’ll share with folks but a lot of what Jean contemplates and broods on is kept to herself. Yet we are privy to it because we are allowed as viewers.

The “therapy business” can be frustrating. A client who will not accept any responsibility for her estrangement with her daughter leaves Jean lamenting to her therapist peers. This client feels as if the therapy just isn’t working, maybe needing a “break” from Jean. Sharing this with those around her who offer their own insight and opinion more or less is a seeking of advice and hope for some answer that will dislodge the rut. Jean is told that the daughter isn’t her patient, the mother is. So Jean has to reach the mother somehow regardless of whether or not the daughter isn’t totally to blame.










So far the marriage between Jean and Michael doesn’t appear to be necessarily inauthentic or disingenuous as much as unfulfilling. Jean yearns to experience something more, something different, but there is obvious discomfort and uncertainty when she goes to those clubs where Sidney is. She is drawn towards her, specifically, perhaps not to the “club scene” Sidney inhabits. Michael “works late” while his secretary grins when he isn’t looking because she’s so elated to be near him longer…and alone when no one else is in the office. So we are seeing these two with hearts—it appears—longing for others. They will return home to each other but for how long?

There is a scene where Jean is at the salon getting her hair done while she talks to Rebecca, the daughter of her patient, Claire. Claire is the mother who seems to be smothering her daughter yet feels she is just being the worrying mother who wants what is best for Rebecca. Jean seems unable to resist seeing matters from both sides, her patient and the other person that seems to be that fixture of obsession. Jean visits Sidney after therapy with Sam out of curiosity. Jean needs to see how that other person really is. Same with Rebecca who is not necessarily the problem child Claire might embellish so.










Jean and Michael, at the end, share a drink and relax on their couch. Both harbor other interests but I don’t think you see a lack of love between them. I think perhaps there are other interests setting up shop in their marriage, but Jean and Michael will keep them buried away and concealed for the time being. But when will the chickens come home to roost? How long can they disguise certain urges both of them feel? I guess that is what I glean from the show so early in its first season.

I do find the machinations driving Diane and Sidney compelling in that both are challenged through their association with each other. Sidney has ignited a low lit flame in Diane while Diane confronts Sidney with the truth of how she treats those in her orbit. I loved that reaction from Sophie Cookson when her Sidney is told point blank from Diane that others become a casualty thanks to her. Absorbing that is a shock because in times past others cater to her every whim, are held completely in her web, totally under her spell, absolutely bewitched. And here is this woman she meets who will call her on her bullshit and not just be another easily manipulated foil. Yet Diane does find her fascinating. In their conversations, Diane spills it that she finds her a “human Rorschach”, not quite so easy to pigeonhole or figure out. Sidney mentions to Diane that she doesn’t like anyone looking behind the curtain yet that is where Diane wishes to investigate the most. Sidney wants to be an enigma. Diane wouldn’t go so far out of her way, in a part of town she doesn’t normally frequent, if Sidney didn’t offer an allure.

I look forward to seeing the dynamic of Jean and Sidney as it progresses because that wasn’t Diane that boldly told her off. Sidney finding someone willing to challenge her just might be an aphrodisiac in its own right. The subplots involving Jean’s daughter’s possible gender identity and how those in her affluent world might offer awkward tension and anxiety and the troubled patients that seem to test her patience as a therapist aren’t quite as interesting to me, admittedly, but I understand their purpose. We need to see why Jean might enjoy escaping into Diane and encounter a side of herself that is freeing and liberating. How many of us are like that, right? I know I am. Sure, I fantasize about what it might be like to be someone else or have this alternate, parallel life outside my current one. I can only imagine many, many of us are like that, even if that is a secret never shared. How many marriages feature two people who care for each other but desire someone else? Is the domestic life that we currently have all that satisfying despite how it might look ideal on the surface? Gypsy is that kind of show which raises those questions.

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