Netflix’s ‘Gypsy’ Is Basically a Watered-Down Version of ‘Unfaithful’
If you haven’t seen Unfaithful, you better start figuring out how and when to rectify that. The 2002 hit film by director Adrian Lyne, (Flashdance) a well-known master at turning his female leads into strikingly irresistible figures of desire — who are built to torment the ready souls of every man that crosses their path — is a deeply evoking masterpiece that centers around the doomed affair between a gorgeous suburban housewife (played by the always magnificent Diana Lane) and an equally alluring stranger with a sexy accent (played by the very svelte Olivier Martinez).
The film captures the irresistible pull of these two characters in a way that makes us empathize with the dilemma Connie Sumner faces when she’s overwhelmed with the need to disrupt her otherwise perfect existence— that consists of her ruggedly handsome hubby played longingly by Richard Gere and her adorable young son — ensconced in the well-to-do fabric of Westchester, New York.
The idea that a woman with everything to lose decides to risk that sweetness for the benefit of episodic sexual encounters with a man she randomly met on the streets of Manhattan on an unusually windy day — sounds exciting — until you get to the part where the husband discovers the truth — after gathering evidence from the private investigator he hired — and all hell breaks loose.
As Netflix unfolds it’s new releases for fans that are hoping for a slew of fun to help soak up the sweat of the warm days ahead — there is a mixture of awesomeness and tragic misfires.
Glow is awesomely neon in its homage to the eighties — complete with a monster soundtrack and spandex-clad women — glistening in the power of glitter — and the right to be righteously trifling in a ring that demands drama to feed a pulsating audience.
If you’re looking for the right amount of distraction with sprays of nostalgic bewilderment — accompanied by a dollop of rock hard fantasies come true — then you will be enamored with cast of Glow.
But, lets not get carried away, even the best that ever does it — can make dreadful mistakes either on purpose or for the purpose of satisfying a quota that requires snag in the shawl of recognition.
Girlboss was absolutely abhorrent in it’s need to desperately please and appease dreamy millennials who need a bitchy, spoilt, and grotesquely clueless mascot to help elevate their prized disposition.
The series was based on the real life Nasty Gal — Sophie Amoruso who apparently terrorized her way to greatness with ease — because White girls have it like that. They can rob clothing boutiques, attempt to physically strip wealthy White ladies from their designer duds, and sob their way through obstacles that they created — without any consequences or forced life lessons.
I recovered from that exposure by trying to cleanse my vision with the new season of Scandal, but that also proved to be an epic fail. The overlay of background music coupled with the dramatics that are too dramatic to be perceived as dramatic scared me away for good.
Then Gypsy came along and I was ready for another character initiation. Unfortunately my expectations were dashed after the first half hour.
Naomi Watts who is consistently impeccable in all she does, is cast in the role of Jean Holloway (therapist) by day and Diane Hart (journalist) by night. There is the familiar play on the ultra-attractive White woman who is married to a hot White guy and has a cute White kid — while living a luxurious lifestyle that most would relish — except she is fantastically restless.
So, of course she uses her practice as an outlet for her insatiable urges. We are carried through the hurdles of her patients and then tossed into the complexities that give Jean reason to protect Diane’s identity with urgency.
Gypsy wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t trying so hard to be something it will never be. There is also the remarkable likeness to Unfaithful that makes you wish the writers had decided to follow the brilliance of that template — instead of the weary formula that is supposed to trap us but only ends up annoying.
Gypsy will leave you parched and unfulfilled because you won’t be able to appreciate the creation of a woman who has it all — and yet prefers to splurge on the gamble that allows her to assume different lives while struggling to maintain the one that matters.
A writer for Forbes.com dashingly exclaimed how the show nails the “female antihero narrative” by showcasing an extremely fetching professional woman in her forties, who is able to live her life on her own terms — without the restrictions that could ordinarily derail her quest for the seductively gratifying double life.
The problem with Gypsy has to be the incredulous way the heroine assumes her role as master manipulator at the expense of the people that she supposedly cares about or is employed to care for.
We can’t quite grasp why Jean finds Diane so appealing to the point that she spends her off hours — falling for a dull-at-best millennial (Sidney) who sings in a band and works as a barista at the coffee shop Jean/Diane frequents.
There is also the realization that Diane’s mistress’ ex-beau is also her client. The complication expands past this maze of sexual property and into the realm of once again watching a privileged White woman fuck it all up just for the fuck of it.
At least we felt something when Connie lost Paul at the hands of her husband Edward who couldn’t believe that his darling wife was capable of that level of betrayal.
But when it comes to Jean Holloway — all bets are off.
The series is a watered-down version of the real thing. There is nothing to convince us why this suburban wife deserves to relieve herself with strangers — despite an enviable sex life with her husband and overall domestic bliss.
Also, this is really not the way to unleash the “female-centric” theme that is aimed at giving ordinary women the freedom to mentally blossom through the empowering antics of the characters they closely monitor.
All we get is a painfully thin but astute actress doing her best to charm us with a performance that can’t rise above the crippling narcissistic vacuum — that seems to be the mandated stance of Americans who don’t give a damn about how other Americans are making it on a dime and a prayer.
Okay, I’m getting carried away, but I can’t help it — and you won’t be able to help yourself either if you dare to roam the jagged terrain of Gypsy.
Or maybe I’m just not okay with this validated form of White feminism that endorses naughty behavior that is strewn from a legacy that not many of us can either participate in or relate to — unless you have a vivid imagination and blatant ignorance that can’t be corrected.
I think I’ll stick with Claire Underwood and the supreme women of Queen Sugar. At least they know how to play hard and have fun without comprising the code of conduct that instructs the primal endurance of womanhood.
We are Women. Let us roar! But, not for nothing…