"Monday Mornings" Episode 1x04 Discussion Thread: "Forks Over Knives" - Jamie Bamber News — LiveJournal
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"Monday Mornings" Episode 1x04 Discussion Thread: "Forks Over Knives"

Another awesome screencap courtesy of lindy_tales

Busy night tonight so I'll be quick and to the point: here is your Monday Mornings discussion post for Week 4. Watch tonight and, if you can't watch tonight watch it soon, then come back here and share your thoughts. Ratings are still rather anemic for last weeks episode, but have stabilized (yes, yes I went with the bad medical puns). Unfortunately, I didn't come across any news about the +3 ratings this past week, but the reporting of ratings news seemed rather inconsistent for some reason.

Oh, and Jamie did a radio interview on 'The Bobby D Show' earlier today. I haven't had the opportunity to listen yet, but I'm sure it's excellent. ;)

ETA: Behind the Mask: 'Forks Over Knives'

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17 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 26th, 2013 11:56 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It was a good episode. We get to know Tina better. It was sad to see the state of her marriage. I actually felt bad for the ridgeways. In the book I had no sympathy for Tina at all. Glad they chose not to portray the situation with her being the detached wife and mother. Jennifer did a nice job tonight.

Of course I do have to complain that it was too Ty lite tonight. Jamie played the awkward scene at the elevator nicely.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 1st, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm thrilled they dropped the kids from the TV series. It's one thing to stay away from home when you have a failing marriage (it might not be the best way to handle the situation, but they're both adults and can understand what is going on), but Sanjay opted to include children it made her look selfish, uncaring and like an all around terrible person and mother.
(Deleted comment)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 1st, 2013 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Considering how little I liked this ep (I was on the verge of being ragey at one point), I was thankful this was a Jamie-lite ep. ;)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 27th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I decided not to post last night a) because I couldn't stay up long enough to properly gather my thoughts and b) I didnt want to half ass it and have it come out sounding like a whole lot of bitching and moaning. But, here it goes...

Really felt like this episode was a huge step backward from last week, which had a great deal of promise. Because in Tina's arc in particular, key events went down in the absence IMO of the context they needed in order to make the emotions really resonate. Plus I had some serious issues with the way the entire plot was handled. But before I get to that:

One thing I want to point out first is what, now that we are four episodes in, seems to be the number one thing that keeps thwarting the storytelling. There is a lot of compression in the character development because the show is trying to deliver some kind of resolution to, typically, three different plotlines in 44 minutes, which is incredibly difficult to do unless they are a part of an ongoing season or series-long arc. Though there clearly are some storylines that will be picked up again (as with the hand tremor woman) or are ongoing (Ty/Tina) it really is NOT the same, IMO as say, something like Justified which treats its players more like pieces on a chess board and methodically moves them toward an end game in the finale. There are patient of the week strands that need resolution every week on MM, and in working toward making that happen, other storylines and character beats don't get nearly enough time to breathe. (Last night it was Park's lawsuit, Gato's religion crisis, and Tina's marriage; if we only had an A-plot and a B-plot, for example, there would be a tremendous opportunity to finesse each storyline.) I don't see them changing that dynamic anytime soon, either, but who knows. Maybe they'll surprise me.

I will get Tina's storyline out of the way first, though there is so much to say I am sure I will forget things. I've already discussed this privately with others: Basically, as we had posted in a previous thread, the scene where she confesses to Mark had been leaked via one of the Scandinavian TNT affiliates so I had seen it already. It did not state which episode it was from, though, so I was stunned that it turned up so early; to nuke her marriage so soon in the season seemed so tremendously sudden. We still don't really know much about Mark at all other than he is snippy and they don't get along, and worse we still haven't really seen her and Ty as a *couple*! Now, I know we got quotes from Jamie and others in interviews which explicitly stated that some of the personal storylines would run second to the medicine and the professional aspect of the show. I also get that the show consciously seems to be going for a more serious tone a-la Chicago Hope and not to soap it up in any way. And that is FINE, really; I like a good hot romance as much as the next person, but it is not strictly a requirement. I went into this with a pretty open mind and whatever tone the show wants to strike is not the issue. What didnt work for me in this episode AT ALL is that now, suddenly, Tina's personal life is center stage and we have so little to go on to really connect with what is happening on screen. I don't need to see her and Ty in a sexy clinch if that is not what the show is after, but I *do* need to see them in some kind of tender moment that is just about them, however brief, to give their relationship context. Every moment they had of that nature so far until tonight had some other layer to it, like Ty's guilt over Quinn and Tina comforting him.

zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 27th, 2013 04:18 am (UTC) (Link Me)

Worse yet, putting aside the issue of whether Hooten's 311 call-out was appropriate, the moment where he dresses her down reads inconsistent with what I *think* the writers' intentions were, because we are still getting to know these characters. It is SO hard for me to try to reconcile what I would make of this if I hadn't read the book, but because I know Ty's paramount focus on his surgical cases trumps all of his personal connections (and this is also something Jamie has discussed in interviews, so clearly it is informing the way he is playing the part), I know that the way Hooten tells Tina that he will never reciprocate the way she sees their relationship is not about him being a man. Any more than Tina (whose compassion and desire to fix everything... including, one suspects, Ty to a certain extent... is again evident in Jen's performance but no more than implicit, at best, in the scripts so far) is more overtly involved in the affair because she is a woman. But damned if it didn't come off that way; it really, really had a whiff of "you are being an emotional woman, even though you are a brilliant surgeon" which I kind of doubt was the actual intent but there it is. I really don't think a lot of the character development that they are discussing in the writer's room is actually making it into the scripts and on screen, and as a result the audience has to fill in the blanks with what they have.

I also feel like, in general, Tina was portrayed much more emotionally fragile than she really needed to be post-311, where she actually had some of the steely grit that she displayed in the earlier episode defending Michelle. I'll give you an example that would have helped enormously: When Mark turns up at the hospital to serve the divorce papers, I get that she is in shock and dismay, and not just a little bit of mortification (her lover, and her friend, and her BOSS all watching this go down), but let's look at something in Tina's character notes; "her home life in turmoil, she takes refuge at the hospital." If Chelsea General is her refuge, and Mark is now on *her* turf in the one place she is most comfortable, would it not have made sense for her to defend her territory? That would still be entirely in character. To have her embarrassment turn to anger and have her lash out at him and demonstrate a bit of strength rather than continuing to crumble further? That would have balanced the rest of her arc SO. MUCH. And made the moment where she breaks down in tears at the very end have a hell of a lot more impact, IMO. (The additional 2 writers on this episode, besides DEK, are women BTW.)

I am hoping others will chime in on some of this, I dont want to bang on and on too much. As far as the other storylines, I probably found Park's the most successful because a) that actress who plays the hand tremors lady IS so very good (and was my favorite part of the pilot, I dont think I ever posted that!) and Keong is actually really bringing additional nuance to the character that *does* show a progression and development of character. His English even seemed fractionally better this week, like he's been practicing. :) Gato's storyline lead to a fairly decent push and shove in 311 (and another very good bar coda; at this point, I seriously want them to do AN ENTIRE EPISODE in the bar, because *that* shit is definitely working ;) )... but the resolution with the girl coming back seemed incredibly rushed and somewhat clumsy. As a non-religious person, on a personal level I really rather respect the notion of a child making their own decisions even if they are in stark contrast to their parents, but... well, see above about storylines having room to breathe.

Still continuing to see a lot of tweets and such from people who REALLY love the show, so clearly a lot of this either isn't an issue for some people or they aren't going into the show wanting quite the same thing out of it as I do. Certainly not going to stop watching anytime soon but basically, feeling really frustrated that I am continuing to see fundamental issues with the show that are holding it back and are (theoretically anyway) fixable. Le sigh.

Edited at 2013-02-27 06:36 am (UTC)
anteros_lmc From: anteros_lmc Date: February 27th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm kind with you on this one. I wasn't really very convinced by this episode and particularly by Tina's story arc. They've done absolutely nothing to establish that she has any kind of meaningful relationship with Ty, other than tell us that is the case. There really needs to be some kind of believable intimacy between them. For heaven's sake, Jamie can conjure up chemistry with a few meaningful glances so it wouldn't take much!

Since you left aside the appropriateness of Hooten's behaviour I'll pick it up. I think his attitude towards his staff is highly inappropriate and unprofessional, however he wouldn't be the first consultant to behave inappropriately so that's not to say it's unrealistic. I think he deserves to get his ass soundly kicked though.

On the basis of the show so far, Park still strikes me as the best developed character :}
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 1st, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Four episodes in and the show does a lot more telling than they do showing and it's very frustrating.

Another problem with Ty and Tina is I'm not feeling any romantic chemistry between Jamie and Jen. Michelle and Ty sparked more in their limited screen time last week.

I understand Hooten asking Tina about her personal life if he has any concerns of problems at home affecting her work. But in the 311 meeting in front of her colleagues? HELL NO.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 1st, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Because I had such an intense dislike for this episode and have been buried under work this week, I'm just going to elaborate on some of your thoughts since we are very much of a like mind on this particular episode.

(Last night it was Park's lawsuit, Gato's religion crisis, and Tina's marriage; if we only had an A-plot and a B-plot, for example, there would be a tremendous opportunity to finesse each storyline.)

Not only did we have the storylines you sited to deal with, but we also had the OCD patient, who we never got to see again. We were told his surgery was very high risk, then simply assured by Hooten he'd be fine. It's like the ran out of time to allow us to see their success and the patient, hopefully, taking his first steps to recovery. But they probably did run out of time because you can't cover FOUR A stories in 44 minutes. I'm also tired/bored of the hospital/doctors getting sued every week.

And while I found both Cases of the Week interesting and having the potential to raise tough questions and lead to thoughtful ethical and moral debates, the jam-packed episode barely allowed those involved to scratch the surface. To the point that when the young girl walked in questionings her faith and existence of God, I almost laughed.

I'm still rather ragey about Tina's storyline. The only aspect of it I liked (though, yeah, it came off more sexist then they perhaps intended) is that Hooten pointed out Ty does not fully share Tina's feelings (but this was the first of two discussions in which Tina needed to be enlightened by men). We've had instances of Tina declaring she may be in love with Ty, but we've seen nothing from Ty to indicate he is in love with Tina, nor was hopeful she'd leave her husband to be with him. It's also possible whatever romantic relationship that existed is largely over. I'm not getting a vibe anything is currently going on. Maybe friendship and support evolved into sex, but it ended, and while Ty is fine with that Tina perhaps wants to pursue a relationship.

Tina's one-sided feelings seem to be part of a larger problem: the female doctors are in need of a career, man and possibly kids. I felt we already had some of the discussions Tina had in this ep we had in earlier episodes with Sydney. Is Michelle going to see a baby next week and lament she may never have that? And I *might* be OK with some of this if we saw a single one of the men dealing with work/life balance issues.

I will say I LOVED the bar scene, complete with dueling impersonations. :) I really hope we see more of their lives (without getting soapy) outside the hospital. And seeing various combinations of the Chelsea General folks at the bar at the close of each episode would be welcome.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 2nd, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Tina's one-sided feelings seem to be part of a larger problem: the female doctors are in need of a career, man and possibly kids. I felt we already had some of the discussions Tina had in this ep we had in earlier episodes with Sydney.

The more I think about this, I am realizing it is actually a reversal of another thing I took away from the book hoping that they might develop..

BOOK DISCUSSION (avoid if you would rather watch the show w/out knowing ;)) - When we were questioning what Tina's motivations for her behavior were because they weren't very well explained, I remember throwing out the idea that maybe she she had settled down and had kids (as she does in the novel) because as a woman, there was something of a societal expectation for her to do so. To be the super career woman, of course she should be able to manage the job AND a family. Ty, meanwhile, we are told has had a fair share of relationships where it always ends before it gets to the point where it moves into something more subsantial than just sex and a bit of companionship, and he seems fine with that; it doesn't complicate his dedication to his job. I had wondered if perhaps Tina and Ty sparked initially because as personalities they actually had a hell of a lot in common, including to the extent that in her heart of hearts Tina might actually be happier if she were able to lead the kind of lifestyle Ty is afforded because it is more socially acceptable for a man to have a string of relationships with no long term commitment. But for whatever reason, she just never had the willpower to do what she wanted, damn the consequences. In a TV series, you could totally explore that and once her marriage is over, have her make the decision to be more independent and live the life she really wants (especially now, as the children have been dropped from the equation!) And believe me, I am not saying they should ditch exploring the idea of a career interfering with one's desire to have a marriage and kids entirely; they could certainly have that be something in the back of Sydney's mind, and maybe she does continue to be conflicted by her natural independence plus a desire for something more. And that's fine, some women do want that. But it is NOT for everybody, and it would be ideal if the show actually jumped on the opportunity to explore that and show a strong contrast of different emotional requirements on the part of the female characters.

Edited at 2013-03-02 04:33 pm (UTC)
kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: February 27th, 2013 08:04 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Okay. First of all. I strongly suggest two glasses of wine before watching MM. Second of all. Can someone please send me the final scene where Gato and Hooten do impressions of one another? My stupidfuckin DVR cut out just as Gato was doing his and I wanted to scream in frustration. Thirdly. This was my, so far, favorite episode. Which I know, flies in the face of zegeekgirl's assessment. But I will try to explain.

I loved Park's bit of cray cray. Zod this is so DEK. Leave it to him to pick nymphomania as a side effect. I knew from the gitgo that this was going to be amped up for black comedic effect and it was in spades. Anthony Heald came to the fore as Dr. Chilton in such a way that I wanted to stab him with a pen. But it helped so much in highlighting how wrong it was to sue Park for something he didn't have any clue about and that he tried so hard, the night before the deposition, to crack. I almost cried when he went through the whole "shame" and "honor" speech with his former patient and her husband. I'm Asian so this is the most emotion you will ever see from a traditional male confronted with this much possibility of losing 'face.' I'm just happy that they portrayed him so truthfully. And to have her gift him with a smiling portrait of himself? Well, that's probably the wine in me talking.

Okay, Gato. Dude, the Christian Scientist stuff - as a medical person - I don't really understand and he really did a great job conveying that sense of frustration and helplessness. I wanted to throttle the parents and any show that makes me feel something physical IS A GOOD SHOW. I'm so glad because now I know where he stands. He will need to be brought down with consequences to be a fully Byronic hero to me, but I root for Gato - at least a balance of him.

Tina, I've so far ignored. But what they did with her this epi was also true, at least to my way of thinking. It is a real problem/issue in medicine (and perhaps in law - DEK should know) to find someone who 'gets' what you're talking about when you come home. This is a real thing, nothing to take lightly. Surgery takes you through intense highs of adrenaline where it will take you hours to calm down, or if the patient dies? Intense lows from which you will also not be able to sleep or you need/want to spend hours in bed with anxiety and depression. The kind of stuff Tina was rattling off to her Dad was normal. I'm sure that on the other line, her Dad is used to this and either understands the procedures she's talking about (via Google) or pretends. It's the same thing as aftercare for someone who has been through something traumatic - almost like BDSM (I've read!). There is a headspace you go to when you're operating.

I don't envy being the spouse of a surgeon. So this kind of infidelity and Gato's reasoning (marry a surgeon) makes sense to me. The problem with Ty (from what's being told to us) is that he might be less of a listener for Tina and more of a competitor. That's why I don't think he's good for her and why Hooten is trying to discourage it.

Anyway, I know this is a primarily Jamie Bamber zone, but I just wanted to say that he is, yet again, on a show that I think deserves him. It's smart, it's difficult, and it feels, at least to me, very realistic. That's a gift considering what else is out there.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 28th, 2013 05:21 am (UTC) (Link Me)
You have every right to fly in the face of anyone's assessment, not just mine; variety helps keep a discussion interesting! Also... heh, I am the last person to shun the appeal of a bit of wine. (I am enjoying a well-earned glass of a very nice Argentinean pinot noir as we speak.) That said, while I am not strictly against the concept of a show that benefits from a tipple beforehand, I would have to say my own *personal* preference for MM would be that it *not* be one of those. ;)

Actually, the nymphomania side effect for the hand tremors woman is Gupta, not DEK; that is from the novel! I tried to hint at this character coming back down the line because I knew the show would do so. The resolution with that scene with the portrait is what felt rushed to me, but I still agree it is the most successful storyline of this episode.

Re: Marriage and medicine: I don't doubt anything that you are saying, at all. I can see how the work commitment of that lifestyle and the emotional toll it takes on you can affect you off-hours. To give you a somewhat less all-consuming example: My mother works as support staff in the infectious diseases department of a hospital, and she develops strong friendships with many patients who come in on a regular basis for their meds and checkups. Most of them are HIV and AIDS cases, some of whom are very sick indeed and when someone she has grown close to passes away, it is very very hard for her. And she used to work in a retirement home where she was also routinely having to deal with residents at the end of their lives, but it never gets any easier to lose someone you have grown fond of. I support her as best I can when it happens,but I can't imagine dealing with that regularly myself, I respect her so much for it. So conceptually, I get that.

THAT SAID ;) .... I think you also, if unintentionally, hit on a key factor of the issues with the episode that I was trying to convey. Namely:

The problem with Ty (from what's being told to us)

That's exactly it.. told to us. Not SHOWN to us; one of my major issues with a lot of the novel was that I felt Gupta put so much character development into big expositionary paragraphs and not so much into scenes where the characters interact. My own preference, which I was hoping for going into the show, was that it would engage in a lot less telling and a lot more showing to get these character beats across. Very quick example: I still have no idea what Mark does for a living. Is it strictly relevant to the show's progression? Maybe not, but as it pertains to me relating to the characters it could definitely help me contextualize better why he and Tina have grown so far apart as spouses. If, for example, each episode only had an A-plot and a B-plot to accomdate, there would be that extra breathing room that might allow for Mark to make an off-hand comment about how his day went that would tell us what he does, before the confrontation scene happens. That's an example of the kind of showing I mean; I would love if if the show as it is now doubled up on the dialogue where exposition happens naturally, in the moment rather than in a monologue, and gives us some much-needed additional texture and shading. Jamie and Jen and everyone else in the cast are doing the best they can to get all this across in their performances (with overall pretty damn admirable results), but it is not entirely up to them to do so.

Or, you know, Ty and Tina could just joke amongst themselves or cuddle a little, without having it happen in a really awkward moment in front of her husband. Let them be a *actualfax thing*, show! :D

p.s. what is your cable provider? You know, TNT has the full episodes up so you can see that final scene, but you need to log in first. ;)

Edited at 2013-02-28 05:54 am (UTC)
kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: February 28th, 2013 07:39 am (UTC) (Link Me)
The problem with TNT is that I don't think my provider supports the site. I tried with his appearances on Perception and that didn't work.

I knew I would be at a disadvantage trying to comment on MM if I hadn't read the book. In fact, I want very much to separate from that to try and accept the medium and DEK's interpretation, if that makes any sense.

I guess the thing I see about Tina's situation is that it almost doesn't matter (and this sounds really wrong) what her husband does for a living. Medical-speak is its own language, like technobabble on Star Trek, and it's very frustrating and tiring for a surgeon to explain everything in a layman way for a spouse and after a full day of doing that for patients and their families. In no way am I excusing infidelity. In fact, I'm very against the idea of a fling; you don't go outside your marriage to fix it. But there is a huge disconnect between surgeons and the average person in the same way the military can often feel and act upon. It's not meant to isolate, but it often does.

This may be the reason why I enjoy it and find the show less frustrating. I can be told these things and they make sense to me because I've seen them. It's probably a failing on the part of the writers (novelist included) that they can't convey that better visually.

I feel bad for the little Ty Wilson we're being shown. I agree with you there. The whiplash they've given his character is a bit bizarre at this point. But then you know more than I do re the book. I'm just watching on faith.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 1st, 2013 04:19 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Do you have Time Warner? Yeah, TNT app doesn't support it, which is appalling considering its their corporate sibling. The hell?

I wouldn't say you are at a disadvantage not having read the book at all; in a sense, since you don't have any expectations of where they might take the characters, that is liberating. Those of us who did read it have our own ideas about what they might keep, or change, or improve upon, but I wouldn't say that is any huge plus. (If they don't take advantage of what we might feel is an opportunity for improvement, for example, that can be a bit of a bummer ;) )

I should probably underline that what Mark does for a living is just an example I threw out there; it is, like I said, in the end irrelvant to moving the plot forward but having room in the script for organic reveals with regard to who these people are is what I am really missing. It is interesting that with your hospital background you might be experiencing some shorthand with the situations at hand; that could very well be! Though I am sure it is not a prerequisite to being able to look past the kind of frustration that some of us are experiencing.

With Ty, yes there is a lot in the book that could turn up in the show to further define his character; however, Quinn's surgery happens fairly early on in the book, too. Much of Ty's natural cocky,self-assured personality either comes out later in fits and starts or is described via the "telling and not showing" passages I described in the previous comment. This is why I enjoyed last week so much more, as it felt like more of the person Ty really is got to come out and play and Jamie really got to work with that! (I would probably extend that sentiment into this week and my complaint that Tina felt too put-upon overall, when I would have liked to see her hit a breaking point with Mark and push back the way she has done against Hooten on her cases. Jen plays that so well, it really could have worked.)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: March 1st, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
This may be the reason why I enjoy it and find the show less frustrating. I can be told these things and they make sense to me because I've seen them.

I get that. I work at a large, corporate law firm (but I'm not a lawyer). It's extremely difficult for me to watch legal shows because so many of them get it so completely wrong. I know a lot of people who love Suits, but the pilot caused me to go into a near blinding rage. On the other hand, I adore The Good Wife, which may not get all the courtroom stuff right, but the culture and environment of the law firm is very familiar to me. So, I can see how things that may bug the heck out of the rest of may ring very true for you. And I think there are a lot of great ideas in this episode, but I found the execution of those ideas lacking. (Also, of all the characters, I care least about Tina and she was so much the focus of this episode.)

kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: March 2nd, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
There is a definite disconnect between certain characters on the show and the audience. Ty and Tina are definitely used to establish the culture and environment (like you said) of the hospital and that's not necessarily the best idea - to lump it all into their laps and not spread it around.

I also don't get the feeling that Ty feels for her the way she does for him, but then we don't get very much of Ty other than he's a genius surgeon.
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: February 28th, 2013 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I keep typing up long posts and deleting them because they are SO NEGATIVE. I think what my main problem with the show boils down to is that the show is being used as a soapbox. Decent character development and good storytelling are being pushed aside so whatever point the show wants to make can be pushed to the front in heavy handed ways. When you do that you don't make your point well, your characters are just pawns for your larger purpose, and your stories are bad.

Also, could we find a different group to strip of bodily autonomy - enough with disregarding consent in teenaged girls. It doesn't matter if you (think you) know better, No means NO! I don't disagree that those two girls should have gotten treatment, but that they pressured and assaulted them is a big deal that isn't being acknowledged. That they've done this twice is disturbing. Even though Hooten called Gato on it he said he would have done the same thing.
anamarya From: anamarya Date: March 10th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Finally managed to see the episode. The first thing: not enough Jamie. I enjoyed his expressions in the few scenes that he had (especially the one by the elevator) but it was too little.

Then - I didn't liked HH's attitude in the MM meeting. He made it better later but in the meeting he was a big.....

Park is still making me laugh (in a good way). And he was right. Btw, it was nice to see his family.

I'll stop here, especially since this episode is like 2 weeks old.
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