The Romanoffs

24

Comments

  • Will listen to the full cast after I see episode 2. I liked the first half of episode 1. I wish it had stopped when she decided not to go home. As beautiful as the episode was, I felt it went to cliched crap after that. Anushka was a joy throughout. Her takedown of Sofia was the best part of the episode. 

    Still, a promising start to a series I probably wouldn’t have watched without this podcast. 
  • Liked episode 2. Was more entertaining than 1, but not as gripping. The play for laughs made the first part, and I like Corey Stoll (?). It just went on too long. 
    JoshuaHeter
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    I haven't watched e2 yet. The wife and I watched e1 last night and really wished we had more time to watch the second one.

    It's possible I've seen Marthe Keller (Aushka) before, but I didn't recognize her and thought her performance was riveting. All the best scenes in this episode were rooted in her character. Eckhart looked pretty Eckharty until the very end when he cracked that huge smile behind that ridiculous beard.

    I'm kind of a sucker for a European hotel dramedy  (see The Grand Budapest Hotel).. so this totally scratched an itch for me. This episode may have accelerated the plans for Mr and Mrs Flukes to visit Europe. :)
    MichelleJaimieT
  • Had a little time to reflect:
    • I haven't looked, but it'd be nice for them to include a behind-the-scenes with each episode. At such a long run time, there's a lot to digest that may/may not be thematic throughout the series
    • Speaking of long run times, I thought both the two episodes could have used a little editing. They started out great, with me wanting to know more about the characters (specifically, Ashuka and Hajar). But then both plots took this sort of B-movie type twist. Of course, Greg was going to seduce Hajar. And of course, Michael was going to become some love-sick puppy after getting his fling on. Without some sort of twist in the plot, I was left wondering what the point of the stories were, even though I thought the stories were well filmed/acted. 
    • Two episodes in, I guess I shouldn't be expecting a common theme. The James Poniewozik / @Jim description of it as "a “Black Mirror” of relationships, privilege and ruling classes in decline." While adultery is at the forefront, I didn't really see anything but a surface connection to the Romanovs. It could be a tale of any rich people.
    • How did they decide between naming the series with two F's or a V?
    • Some people hear "Hagar" and think of the Bible. Me, I thought of the viking cartoon. Never Sammy.

    FlukesJaimieT
  • Just finished episode 1. I’m on the hook for number 2, if for no other reason than so I can listen to the podcast and know what the fuck they are talking about. Damnit, Baldmove, stop brainwashing me into watching what you’re watching! 

    And thank you for brainwashing me. I surrender. 
    JaimieTrkcrawfMichelle
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Other significance with Hagar... her son Ishmael is the branch-off for the Arabs, whereas Sarah's son was the branch-off for the Jews. So the Muslim connection is either more or less interesting, lol.
    majjam0770rkcrawfMichelle
  • I'm not buying Aaron Elkhart's turnaround in first episode, and big reveal from ep 2 is Corey Stoll can't dance. But I loved watching Stoll's rapid-boil anguish, it was beautiful.

    In all I think most of the characters—like the lore of the Romanov story—are excessive, out of proportion, simplified & exaggerated, etc., so I'm going to enjoy the series from that angle. Except Kerry Bishé, I loved her acting & thought her character was heartbreakingly real. 

    I got excited when I thought the marriage counselor was Vanessa Redgrave! Oh well. 
    Looking at the cast on IMDB there are so many favorites of mine that I have no choice but to watch. 
    Jim cracks me up when he's describing why/how Bishé (and Amy Adams) appeals to him....maybe I don't get it because I'm a straight woman but it still makes me laugh. 
    Yes @rkcrawf Hagar the Horrible!
    rkcrawf
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    @Kate23 I'm gay and Kerry Bishé is fine. She's like a real life Anna from Frozen. But Jim is right about her dangerous side too. Come to think of it, she's got both Anna and Elsa going for her...
    Kate23
  • Episode 3

    Was that all over the place? I liked the constant “sweet dreams” references bc of the song, and sort of bought how they were trying to get a better performance out of Christina’s character by mirroring the Romanov history, but the whole thing with the investors threw me. I felt like some part of it must gave gone over my head. 
  • I got the latest episode by the end but i am not sure it was worth the trip. Seemed like Weiner took an episode off.  Am I the only one that felt that I could SEE everyone acting. Like it was some college play involving some folks you've seen around campus. 
  • Ah, what the fuck was that? Did Matthew Weiner and David Lynch have a baby and named it Episode 3?
    MichelleReniKate23
  • Ah, what the fuck was that? Did Matthew Weiner and David Lynch have a baby and named it Episode 3?

    HaHaHaHa!! BEST comment yet! Oh and Gabe they forced us at gunpoint to deliver the bloody baby 
    CapeGabe
  • MichelleMichelle California
    So many questions.  Was it all real?  Was it all fake?  Was it a combination of real and fake?  Were they just gaslighting Christina Hendricks and if so, it must have been what actually happened to the actress that she took over for?  I'm so confused.

    That said, it was so good to see Christina Hendricks in another Matthew Weiner series.
    majjam0770
  • I liked it but it was very strange and kind of a stressful watch.  Seems like the director-lady had a lot riding on the fact that Christina Hendricks wouldn't change out of her costume all day at the end.  Paul Reiser continues to prove he is really great at playing amiable a-holes.  
  • I was completely absorbed by this episode while I was watching it, but I really don't know what to think about it. If it was all fake, why did they show stuff like Jacqueline talking to herself/"a ghost" alone in her room, and the wind blowing through all of her papers with the windows closed?
    Also, I would buy it if there was just one person (a really sick person) trying to gaslight Olivia, but find it impossible to believe that every last person, from her agent through the director and all the actors, down to even the receptionist is fine with the fact that they're essentially trying to drive a woman mad. And for what? Just to get a better performance out of her? Why not just hire a different actress?
    I think I need to rewatch this to see if I come away from it feeling any different.
    majjam0770JaimieTrkcrawf
  • Things happened in Episode 3 were real and not real. It's glorious and uncomfortable to watch. One of the earliest scenes where they were shooting the disposal of the Romanov corpses set the tone for me-- even by movie magic standard those bodies felt way too real. It blurred the line between fiction and reality. 

    This episode asked a lot from the audience to buy into the premise, including:
    - An international star would travel to a foreign set alone, without even a personal assistant.
    - A successful/in-demand actress carries only one cellphone with her, with no other electronic device. Not a laptop, a digital camera, or an IPad in sight. (This is a dead giveaway that the people making the show are at least two generations behind in terms of technology. I remember @A_Ron_Hubbard ; exasperated during the X-files coverage how Scully did her web search the same way his dad did, probably because Chris Carter had no idea how internet works.)
    - No wifi or any other modern technology at the hotel.

    But as soon as Christina Hendricks flashed her radiant smile, I just wanted to believe whatever she was selling. And the creepy/gorgeous hotel also reminded me of all the stories about how Stanley Kubrik (with the help of the whole production team) basically psychologically tortured Shelley Duvall continuously to get the performance he wanted for The Shining. That couldn't have been a coincidence.

    Also, Richard Harlow from Boardwalk Empire! Samuel definitely was an insufferable SOB but the best line of the episode has got to be "You're blaming it on the Method?" 

    @majjam0770 Re: the costume-- I think the goons would just make Olivia change into the whole Romanov getup if she was wearing her civilian clothes. 

    majjam0770JaimieT
  • CapeGabe said:
    Ah, what the fuck was that? Did Matthew Weiner and David Lynch have a baby and named it Episode 3?
    Almost. Episode 3 was co-written by Weiner and Lynch's long-time collaborator/ex-wife Mary Sweeney. I mean, they pretty much did a version of the Black Lodge in this episode. 

    Reni
  • Isabelle Huppert and Mark Valley in the same episode. Thank you!

    Also, maybe don't watch it under the influence. @Demic yes you could see it on Hendricks' face trying to decide whether those bodies were real, ugh.
    majjam0770Demic
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    I was not feeling this episode and was starting to phone surf when the ending started. Wow. Now I at least feel I understand the point, and I commend the effort, even if I thought it didn't quite work. 

    My understanding is... it's a 90-minute journey to get me to feel the shock of the assassination. Its contemporary package made it more real. At the beginning, Christina Hendrick's character was remarking how she couldn't believe there were cars then. Things like this don't seem to happen now, but it only ever happens now. All great tragedies happened during someone's now.

    But I think I wrote more words than this episode was worth. I haven't listened to the cast... I suspect they didn't like it either, but I've been wrong before.

  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Reni said:
    I was completely absorbed by this episode while I was watching it, but I really don't know what to think about it. If it was all fake, why did they show stuff like Jacqueline talking to herself/"a ghost" alone in her room, and the wind blowing through all of her papers with the windows closed?
    Also, I would buy it if there was just one person (a really sick person) trying to gaslight Olivia, but find it impossible to believe that every last person, from her agent through the director and all the actors, down to even the receptionist is fine with the fact that they're essentially trying to drive a woman mad. And for what? Just to get a better performance out of her? Why not just hire a different actress?
    I think I need to rewatch this to see if I come away from it feeling any different.

    This makes me think there might be some Jacqueline--as-Rasputin thing going. And as for everyone gaslighting Olivia, that's how it was for the Romanoffs in a way. Ugh, not a fan though.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited October 2018
    The promo for the next episode looks really good.  Also, John Slattery who I can't help but to still have a silver fox crush on. :love:   I'm definitely looking forward to it after last week's 'WTF did I just watch' episode. (Note: I didn't hate last week's, I just couldn't figure it out.)  (There's no YouTube vid but I pulled this one from Facebook.)

    https://www.facebook.com/TheRomanoffs/videos/184866129014171/



  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    What day do these episodes drop?
  • MichelleMichelle California
    JaimieT said:
    What day do these episodes drop?
    Friday, but you can usually catch it late Thursday nights if they're up in time. 
    JaimieTKate23rkcrawf
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Today’s episode is so good!  
  • MichelleMichelle California
    On second watch, I have a couple of thoughts.  My main thought is, Amanda Peet's character is a bitch.  The majority of her responses to her daughter, her daughter's in-laws, her ex-lover (John Slattery) are all just snappy, judgmental, and bitchy.  She's somewhat self-involved and only thinks about how her circumstances and current events affect her, not about how other people are feeling.  I feel like it's not until nearly the end of the episode when first she considered telling her husband about the parentage of her daughter, and then at dinner she had a gallstone attack, that it made her soften up.  My other thought is, with the daughter phoning John Slattery's character at the end for Amanda Peet so she could let him know she was in the hospital, and then having that tender conversation with him, telling him "I love you too", and then the look on her daughter's face - I think the daughter either instinctively knew about the affair or suspects that he's her father.  Not sure about that though.

    Did anyone else watch?
  • I watched but this episode didn't click for me. The first three kept me engaged and watching, but I found my attention wandering in this one.   I think Amanda Peet's character was not relatable.  And she played it a bit odd, I was getting a hint of a screwball comedy vibe from her of a pushy, entitled woman role, but no one was laughing.  The other characters just told her she was a bitch or let it go.  The daughter was kind of unlikeable too for me.   But I have been enjoying the anthology overall and there were good things about this episode.  I don't like to be a total complainer.  This one just wasn't a win for me.  In spite of my estimate of her performance, liked seeing Amanda Peet again, and John Slattery, and Diane Lane for the brief time she was in the episode.  And downtown New York looked great.  Made me want to visit!

  • Did Weiner just basically recycle the brunch scene with Roger and his daughter Margaret ("I forgive you." "And I forgive you.") from S7E1 of Mad Men? The dynamic and the tension were so similar between Julia and Ella. He even used the same word "serene" to describe both Margaret and Ella.

    @Michelle I think we're supposed to see Julia as unlikable. However, we're also looking in on possibly one of the most stressful days of her life. The decades-long lie about her daughter's biological father, her child making life choices she couldn't understand, and aging. I think there are examples of her being a decent, caring person in general-- out of all the people on the street, she was the only one stopping and helping the mother with the stroller navigating the revolving door, she continued to work at the homeless outreach organization even after getting physically assaulted, etc.

    I have a feeling that Eric was right-- that Daniel (John Slattery) never really grew up. If he wanted to be more involved in Ella's life, there were ways to be more than a "creepy fake uncle". However, the look on his face when he watched Eric walk Ella down the aisle was so heartbreaking that you couldn't help but feel for him.

    Julia's imaginary confession scene was my favorite of this episode. I could see her rehearsing the speech in her head over and over, for 20 years. From what she knew of her husband, and because of what a decent, loving person he was, she believed he would forgive her and still love her. Nonetheless, she never had the courage to be completely honest with him. How do you live with a lie so big? In the grand scheme of things, whoever Ella's father was probably makes very little difference. But to Julia, the weight of her betrayal, deception, and guilt was almost crushing. That's something Weiner does best.

    Michelle
  • This has been rough, because I want to like the show, but everything has been a bit mediocre. Beautiful and well-acted, but characters and plots that are difficult to relate to. Every episode I'm further convinced that I'm seeing a show about privileged people problems, which is okay. But without a week-to-week character to grow with, it makes it really hard to care about these assholes. Other than Hajar (I still want to write Hagar) and Corey Stoll's wife, most of the characters have been self-centered miserable people. At least with Mad Men (and Breaking Bad), you get those protagonists in a sympathetic light for awhile. Here, I feel like I'm watching a fictional version of the Kardashians. 


    CapeGabeDnowelsh
  • This series has been just meh for me.  I liked Episode 2 the best so far just because it was more interesting.  I agree with rkcrawf, I just don't care about these characters.
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited November 2018
    I'm 2/3 through episode 4 and I think I'm giving up after this one. This is just tedious as fuck. Mad Men is my favorite show, but now I question how much of that had to do with Weiner.

    Edit: Yeah, I'm done. 
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