is the #2 tv series on Netflix this week. It's about a high-powered Manhattan lawyer (are there lawyers in any other city?). But I couldn't find anyting else to review for gay characters or subtexts, so here goes. Maybe there will be some grey-suit hunks in steam rooms.
Scene 1: We're in NYC! You can tell because of the shots of Central Park and the Empire State Building. Pink high heel shoes tell us that if you want to get ahead, you have to keep moving. They eventually are revealed to be Ingrid, a lawyer in a pink business outfit, standing out amid the throngs of grey-suit men. A Korean-American Ingrid? I take it her parents were not interested in embracing their cultural heritage? Or is Ingrid the name she adopted to get ahead, figuring something Nordic would play better? She gives some coin to a homeless guy, gets jostled by a grey-suit man, and tells us that this city is tough on a girl who wants to get ahead.
Inside the glass-and-steel building, she meets her friend, a woman in a blue business outfit. They discuss Ingrid's obsessive drive to be made junior partner at her law firm. It's down to her, Dan, and Todd, but they have penises, so she has to do something spectacular to tip the balance, like land a major account.
When they arrive upstairs, Dan and Todd, and a third guy, Hunter, can't wait to start their hetero-horny hostile-workplace sexism: "she's got a wide margin on the face-body quotient. She looks like you from the back, and Dan from the front. Ugh!" So the epitome of ugliness is...a man. Got it!
The three grey suits don't have any distinguishing characteristics: they are all fratboy-style hunks, they mention sports every 10 seconds, and they view women as beings designed to screw. But in case you are interested, they are played by Zane Philips (top photo), Nolan Gerald Funk (left), and Will Stout (not enough room).
Everyone drools over Ultra-Richster Marty Adler, who will decide on the next junior partner. They have to really butter him up!
Ingrid rushes to her office, ignores a phone call from her mother, and tells her assistant to gather all the intel needed to wow Richster Marty Adler.
She also meets her new paralegal Justin (Roby Attal, left), a white dudebro who has his feet on his desk and is busily texting and ignoring his duties.
Ingrid's friend sees him and asks "What the hell?" The answer: HR thought that assigning her only paralegals of color might be construed as racist, so they got her a white one. I guess they couldn't find a white one who was any good.
Friend shoves his feet off the desk and yells: "Ingrid graduated #2 in her class at Harvard Law. You will show her some respect!"
Scene 2: Friend decides that this would be a perfect time to discuss Ingrid's love life: "What happened to the Brit you hooked up with long time ago? You said he was like Bogart from Casablanca?" Ingrid relives the experience, with flashbacks (no beefcake). "It was love at first sight, but he was leaving for London the next day, so we agreed to just a hookup."
"Well, he was just hired by this firm. A chance for you to get laid, and take your mind off your obsession with becoming partner!" Why do you care so much? Are you a standard romcom friend who exists only to goad the big city girl into accepting the small-town hunk? Or, in this case, hunky Brit?
Scene 3: Ingrid runs into Tyler (Bradley Gibson, no non-jfif photos), who is wearing a blue suit instead of a grey suit, so obviously a nice guy. This series is as color-coordinated as an old Western. He is bragging to someone on his cellphone that he has landed a bunch of accounts, plus he started reading Vogue, Teen Vogue, and Women's Wear Daily when he was 11. The guy on the phone is impressed, and gives him the account.
I assume that he is a standard romcom gay bff, but then he asks Ingrid to "come say hi to the kids at the reception tonight." So straight.
Not looking where she is going, Ingrid has a splat! meet-cute encounter with...you guessed it, the Brit, Jeff Murphy (Dominic Sherwood). He stares in cliched teencom Girl-of-my-dreams lust, but unfortunately he doesn't remember Ingrid from their long-ago hookup. He was way drunk that night. Ingrid is way pissed.
Whoops, Brit Jeff was hired at level five, whatever that means, so he's in the running for junior partner. Romance between competitors, a cliched...um, I mean classic romcom trope.
All of the contenders -- Dan, Todd, Brit Jeff, and Ingrid -- watch in amusement as the Richster who will decide their fate demolishes fawning acolyte Sanders: "Don't ask if you can ask a fucking question, just ask the fucking question! And don't laugh. Laughter is a coward's expression of fear." I'll bet Ingrid falls in love with him. Personally, I'd like to date Sanders.
They bet on which cliched business phrase Richster will use first.
Scene 5: A meeting. Who wants to work on getting a corporate merger contract worth $2.9 billion? Wait -- is that the law firm's fee? Ingrid announces her qualifications, repeatedly, and is ignored. He assigns grey suit Dan instead. "And this deal is confidential. Any leak, and I will fucking tear up your fucking license my fucking self."
Out in the hallway, Dan assigns Ingrid some grunt work. She fumes. Is she going to start murdering these grey suits?
Scene 6: Another meeting. The big boss walks right by Ingrid to shake hands with dudebro paralegal Justin, because he has a penis. Maybe he wants to see it? Then he orders Ingrid to bring them some wine. She relegates the task to Justin. "Oh...you're the associate? Sorry...you look so...young." He means "lacking a penis." Everybody else arrives, and Ingrid is ignored again as they delve into sports and car metaphors.
Scene 7: Evening. Ingrid at a piano bar, with her two bffs trying to push her toward Brit Jeff. Whoops, he's rude, starting off by criticizing her name. "Ingrid Bergman was a famous actress who starred in Casablanca, the only movie I've ever made time to watch, so deal with it!" She criticizes him for going into law for the money, instead of for the love of rules and regulations.
Another guy, Nick (Rob Heaps), hits on Ingrid by talking about his thesis on the mind-body problem in philosophy. His advisor was the famous Dr. Thomas Nagel. She is impressed. "We're all here by an accident of string theory, a hiccup of a probability function. The heat death of the universe, the end of all matter and energy." Not the best pick-up line, but it works: they make a date for Friday.
Scene 8: Back home in her nearly bare apartment, Ingrid fields a phone message from Mom about her sister: "Where is she? She won't answer my texts!" So, Sis is dead?
In the morning, Ingrid is ordering her hot paralegal Justin around, when Mom calls. At work -- urgent! "Your sister isn't just ghosting me. None of her friends have heard from her for three days!" So Ingrid goes to Sis's apartment building. Nobody home.
Oh, well, back to work. "While you were gone, Richster dropped by, but we couldn't find you, so someone who has a penis and plays basketball in the hallway got the job." She rushes over to Richster's office, but all he says is "Stay here all night in case I need you." You mean, in case you need coffee?
Uh-oh, Nick the Mind-Body guy calls, cancels for Friday, and asks her out for tonight!
"Nope, can't do it."
"But you're exactly my type!" Not a good pickup line, either.
Scene 9: Ingrid working by herself in the dark office. Oh boy, maybe something exciting will happen. An intruder? Someone with intel about her sister's disappearance? Nope, she goes home to bed.
Scene 10: Another darn meeting. They're discussing budgetary concerns. Andy Warhol once released a film that consisted of a man sleeping for eight hours. Nothing else. But that's not so weird. I'm sitting here watching people working.
22 minutes of this snoozefest left. I'm fast-forwarding until someone is murdered, or uncovers a dark secret, or discovers that magic is real.
Nada. Let's look at the episode list: They have lunch. They head upstate. A talent show. A retreat. A diversity gala. Thanksgiving. Holiday Party. The news about who made junior partner. Ugh! I go to enough meetings at work. Why should I watch a tv show about people going to meetings at work?
Beefcake: All of the guys are hot, but they are in grey suits all the time.
Other Sights: Inside the office all the time.
Gay Characters: According to a review, BFF Tyler is actually gay. Gay men on tv rarely invite people to their kids' recitals, but maybe he's fully assimilated, with a husband, dog, kids, and a house on Long Island.
Heterosexism: In the absence of anything exciting or mildly interesting, I assume that the plot will be about Ingrid learning to stop obsessing about work and "enjoy life," which means get a boyfriend.
Racism and Sexism: Ubiquitous. Ingrid just takes every microagression, as if it's 1985. Doesn't this law firm have a HR to complain to?
My Grade: Sorry, I'm too sleepy to grade