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"Murphy Brown" revival 2018


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A lot of the writing is hokey and self-referential - I don't remember it being this way in the earlier seasons of the original show (which they're clearly trying to recapture). I do agree that the show needs to find it's groove again, and that the Murphy/Avery relationship continues to be the strongest part of the show. 

 

Poor Faith Ford is given scraps in this so far, as much as she tries, there isn't a character in Corky anymore. 

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The Bannon episode was probably the weakest so far for me (I'm still a week behind) - every line was shilling for applause and it felt very two dimensional. But I let it go bc tbh, after the last few weeks IRL those sentiments were what I needed.

 

The show ranges from decent to mediocre to downright silly to me and I'm enjoying it, flaws and all. I do agree Faith Ford is given the least so far. It's wish fulfillment and it suits me when I'm low.

 

I do wonder if Jim's cameo and flirtation with Phyllis will amount to more should he recur, either this season or if it gets renewed. I got the sense from his dialogue that Doris(?) was dead.

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The episodes seem to be getting more energetic, especially, in terms of comedic timing and the plot surrounding each episode.  

I just watched episodes six and seven and think it's a very good idea to really highlight the ensemble cast. 

 

I was wondering how they were going to resolve the Election episode (episode 6) and it sort of concluded on a cliffhanger, which was wise.  The only thing was watching episode 7 on the heels of the Election episode, there was no follow-up of the results, with good reason, of course.  It makes me wonder, though, if there is time to revisit some aspect of the midterms in a future episode this season, or are all the episodes already in the can?  At the core of that episode, imo was the B story of an apathetic Phyllis being convinced to vote because her employee Miguel, a Dreamer, cannot.

 

Episode 7 was really well done, imo, with the lifetime achievement award for Jim Dial being at the center and helping to advance plot and character trajectories and Miles being caught up in the drama of his employee Pat and Pat's catty ex-boyfriend, after just realizing that Pat was gay made me chuckle.  Jim and Murphy both coming to the realization that they've closed off parts of their life that they should be open to, was a nice moment.  I hope that John Larroquette is a recurring character.  Bette Midler as the gold-digging, grave snatching widow who was once one of Murphy's secretaries but is now the new owner of the network was a clever touch.  I'm sure that character will pop in from time to time.

I kind of like seeing the meanness seep out of Corky's studied sunshine demeanor but I do wonder how long they can stretch the menopause humor. 

 

One thing that this iteration of the show has done fairly well, which is admirable, is how they've gone about incorporating characters from the show's history with some of the newer characters.  

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As I'm not sure whether the show will be getting a second season and I am not a big fan of the forced political element, I had kind of drifted away, but I watched this one as I had wanted to see Bette Midler's cameo (she turned out to have a lot more to do than I had expected). Overall I thought it was pretty enjoyable. 

 

I still think that Murphy's home life is much more compelling than her being back in the media business - the strains to write for Frank, Corky and Miles don't help. Murphy and Avery continue to be a great mother/son duo, and Candice Bergen had effortless chemistry with John Larroquette (I didn't know he was even going to be on here). 

 

Jim's speech was a beautiful little thing, also working as a tribute to the show itself, and to Charles Kimbrough's career. The focus on his moving on with his life after losing Doris was tastefully done, with a lovely understated performance from Tyne Daly. 

 

I'm not a huge Katie Couric fan, but her catty digs with Corky amused me.

 

At first I could only roll my eyes at Miles and I was a bit annoyed that Pat's role in the episode amounted to long-suffering gay pal/lol people think the main character is gay, as it felt very '90s sitcom, but they made up for that with having the hot makeout session between Pat and his ex, which wasn't something I saw on many '90s sitcoms...

Edited by DRW50
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I'm like four episodes behind and need to catch up - my mom's loving it, though, so there's that! I'll do it this holiday weekend.

 

I am behind but I personally think everyone is well-served except Corky so far - Miles and Frank's place in the story is very like their original roles to me. Corky unfortunately is just a fairly thin ditz atm. I also think the show being political is baked-in and there's no way to ever avoid that given its past and past/present focus, but I do hope the political humor gets to be less about obvious applause lines (as it was in the last episode I saw, the Steve Bannon one which I felt was the weakest up to that point). And I love Nik Dodani (Pat)!

 

I suspected they were going there with Jim and Phyllis. I'm glad.

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I wasn't fond of the first few episodes, but it keeps getting better and better. The last episode I watched was when Jim got the award and it was really good! Easily the best. I didn't realize Pat was gay, but I loved how they did it. They introduced him as just a regular guy and it came up when it needed to. I love that he responded by saying how he thought it was obvious. I have two episodes to watch and I'm hoping they're just as good. I doubt they'll get a second season, but overall this experiment was worth it and it's held its own in terms of ratings. Nothing earth shattering, but it's doing fine. I hope one day we can get the original streaming, even with the music rights issue. I may have to look for a bootleg set.

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Really loved the awards show ep - trying to catch up for Thursday. Merle Dandridge (from Greenleaf, which I should catch up on) is consistently great when she appears as Diana. "I'm drunk right now." Loved everything with Murphy, John Larroquette as the judge, Jim and Phyllis, even Avery and the always-lovely Analeigh Tipton. And God bless them for giving me a gay makeout scene for Nik Dodani. Miles as the chaperone cracked me up.

 

Holding out on watching last week's ep because I hear it's very good but a bit sad. Not ready to deal with that yet.

 

Surprised and pleased that MB is holding relatively steady numbers-wise. I think there's a place for the show, however creaky, in these times, if only as political comfort food for a handful of generations on an older-skewing network like CBS. And I think it's managed to bridge the age gap fairly well with Nik Dodani, Jake McDorman, the young bartender, etc (and I love Julius, the stage manager who gets at least one good quip per episode). I know it's comforted me a lot - and still made me laugh a lot. I'd watch it if it went somewhere else, not that I expect that.

 

THR reports today that MB will not be back in January for 13 more episodes but wasn't intended to get a back order this season; it claims it "remains in consideration for renewal." The Wrap agrees with this assessment, but EW flat-out claims it won't be back, so believe what you like. I imagine it's very much on the bubble at best but I hope it gets one more season.

Edited by Vee
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This one managed to make me cringe and yet also moved me, depending on the scene. 

 

I know this happens all the time on sitcoms, but I wish Pat was not so frequently just there to be the token gay. Even the scene where he pretended to be a drugged-up Frank's brother, which was one of my favorites of the episode, ended up veering that way. 

 

The group's interaction with Diana feels so stilted and she seems to be on another show entirely. 

 

I'm glad that they had Avery mention that the "Wolf" network was responsible for fomenting division so it was his responsibility to try to get involved, but every time they try to compare Wolf and Fox I am reminded all over again that he just would not be allowed to do or say any of these things. He would have been fired from the network after this, if it had ever happened. I know they had to have him injured as well to demoralize Murphy, but I think they could have tried other ways. On a more positive note, the Murphy and Avery relationship works as well as ever, the scene with Frank and Avery was great (and you can actually believe the history between the characters), and Jake McDorman looks even more gorgeous with glasses. 

 

I still find myself cringing (see above) when the show tries to push the conflict between Murphy and the Trump administration. It feels less like astute political commentary and more like trying to get called out for some publicity. This isn't 1992, even if sometimes we may wish it was. 

 

The scenes with Frank were the standouts for me. Joe Regalbuto is a fine actor and I'd wondered if we were ever going to get to see that in the revival. I'm glad we did. His talking to Murphy about how he was now frightened to be a reporter in America was the type of honest, simple moment I wish we had more of on the show (or any show). 

 

I still think they do Faith Ford a bit of a disservice by only ever having Corky as comic relief, but I thought the gun scene was written fairly and didn't make her the butt of the joke, nor did it have the others lecture her at length for being a gun owner. I'm also glad they had the bit with Miles being worried about phone calls not turn into another oh Miles is so screwed up joke, and instead left it ambiguous. 

 

The best scene was the closing shot of Murphy, Frank and Corky holding each other's hands in solidarity. If this does turn out to be the last season, that would have been the perfect goodbye. 

Edited by DRW50
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28 minutes ago, Vee said:

I don't think it's fair to call Pat the token gay when up til a couple weeks ago we had no idea he was. Like Chris B I think he was well-established as a supporting character before this came to light.

 

The episode I watched a few weeks ago was pretty much all about him being gay and this one was as well so it's just my impression. 

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This episode was a good example of why I find the show kind of uneven. The scenes between the characters are lovely. I adore Murphy and Avery's relationship and the scene between Avery and Frank in the hospital felt sweet and lived-in. Then you get to that scene in the diner which was just cringeworthy. Not just because it was ham-fisted but because there were something like four or five black people in that diner. How am I supposed to believe that's a diner in Trump country? How am I supposed to be worried about Avery among the red hats with half the cast of Empire sitting there in the scene?

 

I do really like Julius though. 

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