Mr. and Mrs. Smith - Season 1

Episodes 5 and 6 were really grating, though 6 was by far the worse. The things these people say to each other are the kind of deliberate injuries a relationship doesn’t ever recover from, and I don’t know why that shit is in the middle of this kind of a show. And the synopses for episodes 7 and 8 don’t read very promising, either. I found it really quite hard to watch. Who am I supposed to be empathizing with?

But isn’t part of the point that they are horrible people who are quite happy to kill and are more in it for the thrill than some sort of higher ideal?

I only saw the first two and am on the fence about noping out.

Welll, the show does make a token attempt to humanize them and give them some slight moral grounding so that you can feel ok with liking them. They go off-mission in a couple of cases to save someone, and the show makes apparent that the assassinations are of “bad people.” If the tone stays light and funny, it’s action movie de rigueur that they’re killing faceless goons. It’s like Nathan Drake being the biggest mass murderer in history. But if you go dark and start examining the complexity of their relationship and the psychological effects of this kind of job, it’s not light and funny anymore, and then yeah just becomes an unpleasant show about unpleasant people. That’s a fine line to walk, but I thought the show has done a decent job at it through episode 5. Really nicely done to undermine viewer expectations re: Jane’s pregnancy. (I turned to my girlfriend and said “she’s nauseous and a woman, therefore pregnant” and she had picked up on misdirections in that regard even earlier in the episode.) The guest stars have been awesome; Ron Perlman in episode 5 was a delight throughout–a perfect non-caricature of a grumpy old man.

Sure, but that only works as entertainment if there is something or someone to root for. If they make their leads into despicable characters in every respect, there isn’t anything left.

Succession says hi.

Oh, is that what they’re trying to do? Succession? That’s a clean miss, then.

Not saying that, just that you don’t need to have someone to root for in entertainment.

Aargh, this is yet another show doing spoilers in the credits.

I don’t even understand why they did that. They dumped all the episodes at once. It’s not as if you have to wait a week for each episode.

So I’m going to temper my feelings toward I liked this series, but didn’t really love it.

I can’t say I’ve ever watched anything that Maya Erskine has starred in, so she was really quite a revelation to me. Glover is great. The budget is lavish. The cavalcade of guest stars was elite. But it needed more of the silliness of the premise to spill over into energy on screen. Especially as they tried to keep it so low-key at the beginning, but the further you got into it the sillier everything got.

Right? Omigod, wasn’t she just so precious?

I really love that Amazon let Donald Glover do this, and I especially love it for his chemistry with Erskine, who is such a delight throughout. Even if just for its unpredictability, this feels like an offshoot of Atlanta, which is clear from the credits (significant overlaps with Atlanta credits!). It’s also like Atlanta for how much it explores the female lead’s perspective. This feels like it could have easily been written for Zazie Beetz, but Erskine really makes it her own. In fact, I thought she was the more interesting character in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. And it’s not easy to be more interesting than Donald Glover!

I also have some reservations about the overall arc, and especially that last episode. It just seems to far-fetched that two people who know each other that well would allow an easily addressed misunderstanding to drive such drastic actions. It just felt so contrived.

But I have a theory which is a minor spoiler for the overall season: Mr & Mrs Smith is attempting to match the arc of a romantic comedy, in which the boy and girl meet, resist each other, but finally give in and get together. Then, in the third act, some conflict comes between them and they break up before getting back together in a big finale. So in the eight-episode context of Mr & Mrs Smith, all that couples therapy stuff was a set up for the really dumb finale in which they try to kill each other because that’s the way the movie did it so that’s what the audience is expecting. Hence the big (spoilerz) twist (unspoilerz) that makes them fight each other even though it’s all just a big mistake. And now they have to go rogue for season two!

Also, is it just me or was Parker Posey kind of wasted here? There have been a bunch of great cameos and guest spots in this show, but I wish we’d gotten more of her, or at least that they’d written more for her character.

Just finished episode 3 and I’ve got a couple gripes. I’ve remained spoiler free from the above posts.

  1. These two numskulls aren’t exactly keeping a low profile. They were quite publicly attached to a super-rich guy who disappeared in episode 2 and there are tons of witnesses who could very accurately describe them. At a minimum they would be questioned by authorities. Same with the dead kidnappers in episode 3. The couple knows what the Smiths look like, and are we to assume that she knows they’re in the room next door and isn’t going to say anything? In any case, when a bunch of dead people are found at the resort, authorities are going to want to have a word with everyone staying there, right?
  2. This couple has basically no honeymoon period. They hook up in ep2 and by ep3 are already sniping at each other. Literally right after Jane says the super-cliche and tropey “just promise we won’t be like that” she gets real mean. Yikes. I have a feeling this relationship isn’t built on the strongest foundation!

She is incredible in Pen15.

Just finished it up, and I think my biggest issue with the show was that they definitely would have been caught, especially in a city like NYC with so much surveillance. They were not subtle.

Oh, and for spies, they were not at all suspicious of John/Jane #2. I was watching that whole episode waiting for the other shoe to drop, but they didn’t think anything at all was odd about the situation. Just dumb.

I just finished it and I have to agree with @tomchick - I’m really glad they let Donald Glover do this show and I loved him and Maya Erskine together. I also didn’t totally mind how mean-spirited some of the later episodes got, I think because the two of them were just so fun when they were mean to each other (and there was always a sense that they could hurt each other, which meant they cared, despite how much they were pretending not to). The couple’s therapy episode had me in stitches.

Them not being caught in NYC didn’t bother me because, having lived there for 10 years, I saw enough crazy shit (and no one care or pay attention) that while obviously not completely plausible, it was close enough for me to let it go. :)

My theory about season 2 is that it won’t be them and we’ll get a new couple trying it out. I’m pretty sure they’re dead.

We finally got around to watching the final 3 episodes and we thought the two therapy episodes were hilarious. We were howling at Sarah Paulsen being the worst therapist in history. I can see how those episodes could be tiresome, but they had enough truth and resonance for my own experience and my girlfriend’s that we loved them. The whole piano thing, omg. The last episode was the weakest mostly because it went for pathos and wasn’t that funny.

The piano bit was funny. The therapist was (stereotypically) amusing, but not very original. The cruel bickering between the two — the depth of the cruelty in what they had to say to each other — was not funny or entertaining for me. I don’t know what happened after that because we bailed on it.

The second they started arguing when she left the room I knew it was being recorded.