Binge-A-Thon: Gypsy (Season One)

Look, Gypsy isn’t a bad show. It’s just unfortunately not a particularly good one.

There’s a lot there that I liked. Naomi Watts is great. Billy Crudup is good (why isn’t he in more things? Or am I just not noticing?) The premise clicked with me. And it’s kind of a surprise to a see a woman Watts’ age getting the opportunity to be sultry and sexy and control her own erotic destiny. In so many ways, this felt like a story that, written by anyone else, would have starred a man, and I think it’s great to see that flipped on its head. Naomi Watts is an attractive woman. No reason she can’t be fucking around.

So the show worked in its broad strokes. Where it faltered was in the details. When you actually get into specifics, you discovered that your lead character – Watts’ Jean / Diane – was kind of an idiot.

Jean is a therapist living a double life as Diane who is a journalist. Diane exists, in part, so she can interact with the lives of the people she sees in therapy in a kind of undercover way. For example, she’ll scope out (and eventually fall for) one of her patient’s sexy exes who he’s obsessed with, or the daughter of a woman who Jean suspects may not be telling her the whole truth in their therapy sessions.

Sometimes it seems like these lies are coming from a place of goodness – as if she’s really trying to help these people – but things very quickly get out of hand, and Diane digs herself deeper and deeper into her own grave. Worst of all, while some of these choices she makes could be seen as accidents if you’re being generous, most of them are just plain dumb, with consequences that should be obvious to someone smart enough to be a therapist.

In the end, though, with so many lies and false identities swirling around her, not much comes of it, at least until the final episode. And even then, things only heat up in service of a cliffhanger that will ultimately never be resolved thanks to Netflix’ cancellation. And with no resolution coming, and most of the journey not worth the trip, Gypsy is a show best ignored.

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