Weekend Watch Special Edition — 12/2/22
SPOTLIGHT: Fleishman Is In Trouble
Happy Friday, TueNighters! We’re kicking off the first weekend in December with a special edition of the Weekend Watch and this week’s spotlight pick by seasoned journalist and TueNighter, Brooke Bizzell Stachyra.
Spotlight: Fleishman Is In Trouble | Season 1 (FX)
Anyone who’s been through a difficult divorce can connect with FX’s Fleishman is in Trouble, based on the best-selling 2019 novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who adapted the book for the series and executive produced the show. FIIT focuses on recently-divorced, 41-year-old hepatologist Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg) navigating life as a newly-single dad to an 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. After 15 years of marriage, he’s overwhelmed by dating apps, yet shocked by his success with myriad racially and physically diverse 30- and 40-something women he calls “a bevy of interested sexual partners.” We watch as he figures out how to balance his sexual awakening with his career, co-parent with his difficult ex-wife and reconnect with two old friends she hated.
Claire Danes, as Toby’s success-hungry, high-maintenance ex-wife Rachel, and Lizzy Caplan and Adam Brody as his friends, shine in their roles. Caplan is particularly good as Libby, a former writer and now suburban New Jersey housewife who also serves as the series’ narrator. At times she brilliantly translates Toby’s daughter’s disgust for him by ad-libbing “you fucking idiot” at the end of the tween’s sentences.
The Big Apple plays a starring role in the series, which hooked me as a native New Yawkah. From its skyline to the 92nd St Y, and iconic spots throughout Central Park, the tony Upper East Side figures significantly in the plot and setting. When the marriage ends, so does Toby’s residency in the snazzy doorman building. His new apartment, although quite nice for Manhattan, is in a less appealing section of the UES and disgusts his daughter Hannah, who is too embarrassed to bring her wealthy private schoolmates home.
Great writing, an engaging cast, and the love letter to NYC made this show a win for me. Plus, as a divorcée myself, I gained some insight into why my ex-husband may have blocked my number. Just sayin’!
— Brooke Bizzell Stachyra
*Check out this week’s TueDo List for more recommendations from the TueNight team.