Another Netflix Original Series. I love Naomi Watts, always have ... she's another super-talented Aussie actress. She's exactly my age (ok, two years older) and still looks great, usually ... I mean from some angles, in some lighting, she looks her age, but generally she looks good.
She plays a shrink here ... a bored shrink, with a boring fake sociopath lawyer husband, and troubled elementary-school-aged daughter. They live in Westchester or Rockland county and commute into the City for work. Big house, fancy clothes, "upper middle class white people." Naomi pops anti-anxiety drugs and steals prescription pads from her doctor friends (she's a Ph.D., not an M.D., so not a real drug-dispensing shrink, more of a cognitive therapist). Her husband may or may not be diddling his secretary (he isn't of course, because he's boring).
She gets involved in her patients' lives in weird, inappropriate ways. She's a nutcase in short, you know, this is a "psychological thriller." Anyway, I don't know where this show is going, it's ten episodes long ... again, I would probably instantly drop it if it weren't for Naomi Watts, who is just *so good* (remember Mulholland Drive? Yes, Naomi Watts did that breakdown scene at the end, where you realize it's all a dream, which still sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it).
In episode two we learn that Naomi drives a Volvo SUV, masturbates, and can't pronounce "Rorschach," which makes me wonder about her psychoanalytic capabilities. She gets closer to the girl who has such power over one of her customers, er, clients. This is some kind of feminine power play thing I'm not terribly interested in... paid attention to the credits this time to learn that the show was "created and written by Lisa Rubin." Uh oh, a C.W. By thing. I'm not sure if I can keep my interest up for this ... I may be too much of a manly man to deal with this bullshit for much longer.
In episode three we learn that they live in Fairfield county, CT, not downstate NY. Naomi pops some pills she stole from one of her Stepford wife (Soulcycle wife?) "friends," and plans a brilliant birthday party for her kid. But she has a blow-up with the same Stepford wife at the party, very embarrassing. Will lead to permanent ostracism, but Naomi sort of wants that. And there's Blythe Danner, playing Naomi's mother ... she's now the go-to actress for evil WASP moms in their 70s.
This show will appeal to women and homosexual men, but not so much straight guys. Beautiful bored Gen-X women, popping pills in posh suburbs, pursuing lesbian relationships with someone half their age, pining for their lost youth or looking for some excitement in middle age ... I'm not sure how interesting this really is. But Naomi Watts *is* very attractive and talented so I will soldier on.
On to episode four, I really don't know what's going on. Nice to see a Zippo lighter being given as a gift, and I was wrong about Naomi driving a Volvo; it's an Infiniti QX60. Oddly they obscured the front badge of it, I guess there are no freebies in Product Placement Land. The hot black (light black) secretary is starting to make a move on boring old married-to-Naomi guy... will he crack? We also learn that Naomi has a degree from Johns Hopkins. Her weird meddling in her patients' lives seems less sinister in this episode ... it's more like unconventional problem solving now. Anyway, will I be able to get through eight or ten of these episodes?? Not sure.
On to episode five ... ok, this is basically a midlife crisis story, but instead of a middle-aged married man having a fling with a younger model, it's a middle-aged married woman having a fling with a younger model. Naomi sneaks off again and has dinner at this hippie-dippie commune place (where I wondered who's paying for the wine?) ... she decides there and then to go all-in on the young lass from Sussex. Hubby left at home with idiot football buddies and a sad bag of ancient weed. There was a really good shot of the Infiniti QX60's grille with the brand obscured ... nearly looked like a Chinese Chery!
Boring hubby tries to rekindle things with Naomi via a night of hot sex in a swank hotel in episode six. All I could think during the sex scene was, "don't pinch your fingers in the door! don't pinch your fingers in the door!" And of course since both these actors are approaching 50 years old, the scene was totally unrealistic.
Boring hubby is going to Texas for two nights (with hot secretary, so maybe he'll crack there), which gives Naomi a chance to plan something big with the lass from Sussex. Oh, I almost forgot, but the episode ends with Naomi having a panic attack. Blurred vision, rapid breathing, fear of death, the whole thing -- not fun.
Episode seven ... I *loved* this episode, great, great stuff, and not least because of the music. Booze, pot, Blue Is The Warmest Color style sex, infidelity ... it just captured the mood and feelings really well, the pacing was great, I thought. Spoiler: Boring hubby did not crack and give in to the offer from his beautiful black secretary, which was truly dumb, er, heroic behavior. As I said, after the hippie dippie dinner, Naomi *knew* she was going to hook up with the lass from Sussex, there was no stopping her, no second thoughts.
Why they had the black secretary coming out of the other lawyer's room at the end of the episode, I don't know, I thought it was unnecessary, it just makes her out as a slut, which she isn't really, or wasn't ... it makes boring hubby's decision look like the obvious one in hindsight, and it shouldn't be ... he should be second guessing himself about that one into the grave.
Naomi should know that the pot the kids smoke today is nothing like the stuff from our youth (Louis CK has a very funny bit about this).
Episode eight ... I waited quite a while after episode seven before watching it, since I didn't want to ruin the high of that episode ... and now I can't remember what happened, other than boring lawyer Dad's name is mud at the firm, everybody thinks he slept with his secretary even though he didn't. Also we learn that Naomi keeps an apartment in the City under her maiden name (Hart) and her alias "Diane." Her husband doesn't know about this place. Naomi lets her druggie girl patient stay there (see below). The druggie girl repays the favor by digging through all of Naomi's locked-up stuff and discovering some of her many secrets.
Episode nine ... The lass from Sussex posted the surreptitiously snapped photo of her kiss with Naomi on Instagram ... this news oddly doesn't freak out Naomi ... she knows Sam has a gun, but apparently isn't that worried that he'll go nuts ... Blythe Danner does a beautiful job playing WASP Mommy Dearest and reveals that it is she who pays for the upper west side apartment, and that Naomi never went to Stanford, while sticking the knife in in multiple other ways during their pleasant family meal. Writer Rubin no doubt sees WASP family life as incredibly tortured and twisted, which it is only some of the time; I can report from experience.
Weird scene with Boring Lawyer Dad and his beautiful secretary (see below) ... "I care about you but nothing's gonna happen," what's that all about? Naomi is popping pills trying to hold everything together. The school shrink thinks their kid should be put on Ritalin or something (more Mercedes payments for him!), but Naomi, a PhD psychotherapist, isn't so quick to accept the prescription. The lass from Sussex takes the train out to Darien (we've narrowed it down to the town in Fairfield county now) to pout in Naomi's Infiniti QX60 with obscured badge ... a "Mom car." Next episode is the final episode ... no way they can wrap this all up, must have been angling for a multi-season deal from the start.
Episode 10, final episode of the season ... I've decided that Gypsy belongs in the "Slick but Dumb" file ... the production values are great, the acting is decent, wardrobe, make-up, lighting, sets -- all the technical details -- are very good but the story itself is DUMB or worse, BORING.
Beautiful Naomi may be leading a sort of double life, and messing with her psychotherapy patients in weird ways, but who really cares? Episode seven was good, but one episode does not make a great season, and I certainly won't be watching the next one.