Sunday, December 11, 2022

What I’m Watching: Fleishman is in Trouble

Fleishman is in Trouble: Season 1, Episode 5 “Vantablack” (B+)

It certainly doesn’t seem like Seth is the positive influence that Toby needs in his life right now, and Libby is already feeling left out of their friendship and could provide him much more helpful support. Even Seth isn’t feeling good about what he’s doing, dismissive of Toby’s exuberant reflections from their wild night out because he’s wallowing in self-pity about how he wears a suit because he might have a job interview at any moment and he’s going to have to break things off with Vanessa before she inevitably finds out that he lost his job. I appreciated the humor of Libby narrating about her trip to Disney World that the company would rather not have her mention, and it was great to learn about her backstory. Christian Slater is a great choice to play the author who is the picture of chauvinism, and I’m curious to see whether he’ll continue to play a role in Libby’s writing career, which appears to be headed towards a novel about a man, which is likely Toby given that she’s the narrator of this show. After tending to the emergency at Camp Marah, an amusing anagram of the real-life Camp Ramah, Toby was delicate but blunt in how he told his children that he didn’t think their mother was coming back. Hearing them sing “Fight Song” and seeing him surrounded by people at the dinner table felt like a burst of positivity and optimism, but then he was just alone again when his friends left and his kids went to sleep. Rachel is still out of reach, and I’m starting to wonder if we’re going to actually see her anytime soon.

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