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Pretty solid bet that for returning seasons of Apple’s headlining shows, they’ll drop them weekly. There have been some things they’ve released all at once, but for the most part they are not in the binge model for anything new. Nor should they be; they should be encouraging the habit of sticking around if they want the service to work out.
 

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Yeah, typically they release the first two or three episodes at once, then the rest weekly.
And I think even that is for debut seasons. We'll see what they do when they can get production ramped back up on everything, but so far the few season twos they've launched (Servant, Dickinson) have been one-at-a-time the whole way.
 

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I have a request for those watching new episodes as they become available.

Can the first person who posts about a new episode please preface their post with a spoiler announcement for that episode, e.g.

SPOILERS for Season X Episode Y "Episode Title" start here

I have just started watching the show and would love to read along in the thread as I make my way through season one, but of course I can't because there is no obvious place that discussion of a successive episode begins. For series like this one that release new episodes weekly, there is no reason we can't announce spoilers for new episodes, same as we used to do when we made individual threads for weekly shows. It would be nice to be able to read along with the discussion as I get caught up, instead of having to stay out of the thread for two full seasons.

(I think this is a convention we should adopt in all series threads in NP, actually, but let's start small, here. One small step, as it were.)

Thank you!
 

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I've finished season one and am ready to get into season two this weekend. Hopefully I'll be caught up before the final season two episode debuts and can start following along in real-time.

I enjoyed the first season although I think it had a little trouble deciding whether to be a melodramatic docudrama about space program what-ifs, or the 2020's version of a 90's syndicated sci-fi show like Ronald Moore used to work on. I do get the challenge. You can't have a show set in and around the space program without spending time in space, but unless every episode is going to leap forward 6-12 months (obviously the show is not averse to that), there's a limited amount of space stuff you can do without just turning it into Star Trek-level sci-fi. I'm not sure the first season quite managed it in either direction, but it didn't get too bogged down on earth or too destroy-disbelief in space to hurt too much. I'm looking forward to getting started on season two.

One other general comment: I spent most of the first season thinking the character work was kind of a weakness of the show but by the end found it to a be strength. Most of the characters were not likable most of the time and that caused me some difficulty in getting into the show. I was all set to love Karen, for example, because she is so beautiful, but for most of the season she was almost the worst person of any of them. Gordo was the charming rogue archetype without the charm, Ed was a robotic martinet, Tracy was weak; on and on. Curiously, the only character I liked much was the gruff Deke, and I didn't even like him at the end for his reaction to Ellen coming out to him (even if it was probably appropriate for the time). (I also liked Von Braun, and he turned out to be a Nazi.) But to my surprise, I had turned the corner on everyone (Deke the opposite way) by the end of the season, and that was thanks to deliberate character work put into the plot on each one's behalf. Karen learns there's a real person inside of her, Tracy learns there's a strong person inside of her, Gordo learns there's a sensitive person inside of him, Molly learns there's a non-self-destructive person inside of her, Ed learns... well, Ed didn't change much. And again, I didn't much care for Deke's heel turn at the end, though I got it (and he got his). But I was rooting for almost everyone by the last episode, and that was not a place I expected to end up given where it started. Good stuff.
 

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I'm generally not one for bingeing, but it was a slow weekend so I watched the first four episodes of season two and am nearly caught up. Really confident start to the season and I am enjoying it very much. I also tentatively read through the comments here for those episodes and am kind of surprised at the "get back to space" sentiments. The character work being done on earth this season is a lot more compelling (and more fun) than much of what we saw last season. Also, there is clearly a ton of space stuff about to come up; these first episodes have been busy setting a lot of things in motion. And the show can't plausibly (even in the context of its own reality) have a space crisis each week, so what people are really asking for is more bottle episodes like "Hi Bob", which from what I can tell was not a well-liked episode in season one. So anyway, even by episode four there's a lot of space action being telegraphed; I imagine and hope it has started to play out by episode six which has now debuted. I guess I'll find out in the next few days as I have time to watch more.
 

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The only parts of the alternate history that are tripping me up are the pop culture landmarks; e.g. Star Trek TWOK in 83' instead of 82, and Ghostbusters showing up before 84'. I don't know if that's intentional or just sloppy research and writing.
I got a big laugh out of Karen spitefully spoiling the end of TWOK for Ed.

I am 100% confident that these are deliberate changes. That's the kind of stuff that's in there to reward the attentive viewer who is interested in the small ways this reality differs from ours in addition to the glossy big ones.
 

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If you can't last 6 months without a smoke or a drink there are about 100 million other people to draw from for the astronaut programm.
I'm trying to figure out how the guy made that much drinkable hooch without it becoming a problem, both from the contraband side...
Granted it was "ten years" ago, but Ed had a bottle of commercial liquor with him on Jamestown.
 

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They have a common bond through Shane, which I think is all we are seeing here. Plus the kid is terrified of Ed, who would ruin his military career and his life in a half-second if anything ever happened with Karen. I would be stunned if the show goes there.
 

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It seems to me the show is going somewhere. I doubt they will actually hook up, but I suspect something is going to happen.
The series plan has been for each season to take place in a different decade. If they stick to that, our main cast is going to have to age out unless the plan is for them to spend half their time in the hair & makeup department. Newer, younger characters have to come in. That's why we spent so much time last season setting up Aleida's story, I think, and it's why we are spending time this season getting to know Kelly and Danny. In 10 years they'll presumably be Navy pilots and prime candidates for the astronaut program in the third season.

I could be wrong, but I suspect all this is nothing more than what we saw with Aleida last season: giving these characters some introduction and backstory so they can become main characters later (or have the option to be). Any kind of entanglement with Karen would seem take the Danny character right of the board for that, unless it were some version of him eventually telling her he has a crush, and her telling him gently to get over it. I mean, she looks at him and sees Shane!
 

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They already have a rift. They need another reason? And we learned recently they separated after Shane's death. Going to bust them up again? It's all completely unnecessary and out of left field for the show.

I mean, we're all just talking about how we are reading the situation of course, so I'm in no position to say anyone is wrong. But I sure hope so. I would think a lot less of the show if it bothered with any of that.
 

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The RL marriage failure rate for the Apollo-generation astronauts makes it very pertinent for the show. Marriages sticking together through the space race was the exception, not the rule.
But that's my point. The axis of the show is the hope and hardships that come from being in and around the space program. There is a ton of personal drama to be mined from that, none of which requires an affair with your dead kid's best friend. The affair part might justifiable; having it be one with Danny would be completely unnecessary.
 

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*** SPOILERS FOR S02E08 "And Here's To You" START HERE ***

Oh, Karen.

I listen to a podcast that does weekly episode discussions. After last week, when Karen kissed Danny, they made the point that there is a difference between a show having the confidence to let its characters make bad decisions, and the show itself making a bad decision. This show is one that has been so firmly in control of its characterization that the many bad choices the characters have made along the way have nearly always felt like (and proved to be) the former. The podcast hosts felt like this one one of the first cases where, at best, we couldn't be sure, but it sure felt like the latter. I felt it was such an obvious bad move for the show that I refused to interpret the obvious signs leading up to it to be what they were. Surely they weren't going to go there. It's a bad decision!

The show now having gone to the obvious next step, I still am in the camp of thinking this was a bad dramatic decision. We still have two episodes to learn why the show went there, but I can't see any payoff that will justify this method of getting there. It's not her having an affair, and it's not her having an affair with, effectively, a kid. It's her having an affair with her dead son's best friend! It is so uncomfortable that I just don't it being worth having done, no matter where it goes. Find some other way to get there.

That's too bad, because I really liked the rest of the episode. The scene with Tracy and Gordo smoking was gold. "Catch me if you can," Tracy says. Awesome. Great character. And the rehabilitation of Gordo has been handled really well. I'm glad her told her everything. I wish he had taken down the photo of Danielle with her broken arm, though.

Is Sally Ride going to quit?

It was obvious Aleida was going to call Bill "peanut" after Margo told him that story. I liked their scene at his house and that the show took the time to turn him into more of an actual person with the context around it and his hurt over twenty years of ridicule for what was a sacrifice on his part.

Who thinks Ellen is actually going to quit NASA? I'm guessing she is going to come out and let the chips fall where they may. The show has been good about acknowledging racism, misogyny, etc., and then letting its characters break those barriers.

Poignant scene with Molly in the jet, coming as close to the stars as she ever will again. Also badass. Another great character.

And all that without mentioning awkward Margo flirting, and shots fired on the moon!
 

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Not a fan with the Karen/Danny hook up. Why??!
For all my grinching about this development, it did click into place from a character standpoint this episode.

Last decade, Karen was barely alive. Ed was off having his astronaut adventures and even Shane, with his troublemaking escapades with Danny, had an independent life. Karen's whole life was constrained to being at home worrying about both of them.

Everything changed when Shane died. She bought the bar, which gave her something that was just her own. They adopted Kelly, who lived at home, and Ed took a desk job and came home at night. It was all in balance -- everybody had their thing, and then everybody came home.

Now, she's staring at history repeating. Ed is off having adventures again, and Kelly is about to move away for school (military school, no less). Karen would still have the bar, but for all the time she spends there it might as well be her living room. She can hang more ferns and serve different parmesan cheese, but it's a static life all over again, while the other two get to be independent and she gets to hang back and worry about them.

She wants agency like they have, so she impulsively sells the bar. Who knows what that will lead to, but the uncertainty was the point. A hot younger guy wants her and she can have it, so she'll take that too. She's in charge of these decisions. She's being independent. (And oh boy does she use Danny. Straight up tells him she wanted it so she took it, patronizingly tells him, "You were great, sweetie", and then orders him to get out via the back door and call in sick tomorrow. Nobody is the boss of new Karen!)

So this is two seasons of character-building coming to a head, and it makes sense. I get the act. I just don't get why they decided to have it be with Danny. I assume that, too, will lead to something. But again, it's hard to see what the endpoint could be that could not have been arrived at via her having an affair with almost anyone else, including a different younger man. This one just made me cringe.
 

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One other thing I forgot to mention. The title of the episode, "Here's To You", could not have been a more obvious allusion to The Graduate. No blinders on my eyes this time around. I saw that and knew we were going to have to watch Karen and Danny sleep together.

(Also, in that movie, Ben marries Mrs. Robinson's daughter. Karen's got a daughter, Kelly, and she and Danny will be away at school together. Hmmm.)
 

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It just felt that they could have done it in a less creepy way, up to and including an affair with Gordo. But, either way they could have written in a co-worker at the bar, someone known to Ed even who could have served the same purpose. It just felt unnecessary.
We've still got two episodes for them to show why they made this choice, but thus far, I am with you. I have no issue with Karen's behavior generally, including hooking up with a young man, but why this young man? Even if she wasn't thinking about Shane the whole time, I sure was. :) Ewww. I guess we'll see.

But I guess it just adds to some of the over the top melodrama.
We differ here, though. I don't think the show is particularly melodramatic, melodrama being plot for plot's sake, over characterization. (By the standard definition, the space stuff is the melodrama!) This has always been a character-driven drama with a space backdrop, and as such, the plot is going to be about the characters as much as the characters are there to serve the plot. I think so much of the reason it is watchable is because it does such a good job with its characters and their stories. It's one reason this potential fumble with Danny bugged me so much.

To each their own, of course. But I think the duality serves the show well.
 
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