Tuesday, May 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Fosse/Verdon' - Bob Suffers a Heart Attack While Beginning Work on Chicago in 'All I Care About Is Love'

FX's Fosse/Verdon - Episode 1.06 "All I Care About Is Love"

As Bob is pulled between multiple projects, he and Gwen begin rehearsals for Chicago, but the mounting pressure may prove too much to bear.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FX's Fosse/Verdon.

"All I Care About Is Love" was written by Ike Holter and directed by Minkie Spiro

The previous episode ended on the ominous note of Bob having a heart attack after committing to the Lenny film and finally doing Chicago with Gwen. And now, this hour actually revolves around that central act and just how devastating it is to his life. It brings everything into perspective about his drive to work and to be understood. Gwen articulates to Nicole that she is perfectly fine with Ann being around because no one else can offer Bob the relationship that he has with her. She has the clarity that they speak the same language and see the world in the same way. Ann is the one who has always been worried about Bob taking on too much after the doctors told him to take a break. Instead, both Bob and Gwen are moving full steam ahead on these passion projects. Gwen sees Chicago as the big musical the pair have always dreamed of doing. This is their chance to actually mount the production. Meanwhile, Bob views Lenny as the chance to prove to the world that he is more than just a musical director. He always feels like he's cheating the world and that he is a fraud who hasn't been found out yet. This hour does such a remarkable job in highlighting the tragedy of Bob's life and his inability to actually stop and accept some responsibility for the way that things turned out. Sure, he has had so much success as a choreographer and director. However, he is also paralyzed with fear because it's been a year and a half since he has won an award. That shouldn't be a big deal whatsoever. But it is to Bob. He has to keep working because he still feels that he has to prove something to people. He is no longer the 20something who could die and everyone would remark on the greatness he never got to make. Sure, he could win another Oscar if he were to die right now because of the tragedy of it all. But he also sees the moment as having passed him by. He has lived long enough to disappoint people. That has been absolutely crippling to his mindset. And yet, he has been beaten into this understanding that he needs to be revered and validated at every moment in time. He understands that the sexual encounter he had when he was 13 was wildly inappropriate and scarred him for life. It has forever informed the relationships he has with other people. It means he validates his sexual prowess above all else. Sure, there is only so much he can blame his parents for when it comes to how his life turned out. But this sexual trauma is significant. He doesn't know how to reckon with it either. He celebrates the accomplishment with his friends. On the inside though, he understands just how complicated it truly is. He just can't express that with anyone. And so, he and Gwen are singularly focused on the work. They need to personally see over the creation of the art to make sure it's absolutely perfect. That has made them both successful in this business. They can wield that success to get exactly what they want. But there is also the undercurrent of tragedy throughout all of this because of the lack of understanding and awareness about these central issues. It's all about Bob and Gwen's dreams. He doesn't want to accept that he is having a heart attack. Even after the surgery, he believes that his life has been altered and forever ruined. As such, he forces Ann into sex even though she just wants to care for him. He places all of his hopes on that one specific act. That's not healthy in the slightest. Meanwhile, Gwen just wants to encourage him about Chicago waiting for him to fully recover. Everyone is committed to doing this with him as the director. It's the project they always envisioned of doing together. Neither one of them can be replaced. This will lead to great things for them in their careers. But again, it comes at a great personal expense. It's gotten to the point where they are resigned to this being enough. That's just tragic when it brings someone else into this dynamic like Nicole or Ann who are personally wrecked because of the whirlwind of Bob and Gwen's relationship. To them, it's hard to understand and mostly leaves them on the outside looking in despite how close they believe they are to this dazzling couple.