Review: Gypsy (Season 1, Episode 1)

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The lack of subtlety – or anything else of substance – means this show a massive snooze-fest.

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This show has no chill while going nowhere at the same time. Jean Holloway (Naomi Watts) is a therapist who desperately needs therapy, becoming obsessed with people close to her patients. She doesn’t really get boundaries, creating the alias “Diane Hart” to get to know those connected to her patients. Oh, and so she can order her morning coffee and midday wine apparently.

Episode 1 starts with a voiceover from Jean as she paraphrases Freud’s thoughts on the unconscious before literally descending steps into The Rabbit Hole, a coffee shop/bar. Doesn’t the imagery just smack you in the face? She uses her alias ‘Diane’ to order coffee before going to work to listen to people’s problems: daughters, cheating partners and break-ups galore. From the outside looking in she “has it all” – a handsome husband (Billy Crudup), an adorable child, a good job and a lovely home. That said, she’s intensely jealous of her husband’s close relationship with his assistant, has a strained relationship with her mother (Blythe Danner) and struggles with her non-conforming daughter Dolly (Maren Heary), the eight-year-old desperate to spend time with boys and kiss other girls.

But of course neither Jean or the show seem to want to explore these issues. Instead she spends her time abusing her position as a therapist and getting to know Sidney, the ex-girlfriend of one of her patients. I’m not sure I want to know where the rest of the season is going if storylines like this one are emerging 15 minutes in. It’s all just a little unimaginative. While I understand the point that she’s acting out of character, it manages to be strange and incredibly dull at the same time.

Gypsy calls itself a psychological thriller, but there’s nothing gripping the viewer and no sense of urgency in its storylines. It moves such at a slow pace and I don’t really care if Jean gets caught by her patients, her boss or her husband. If fact, I don’t care about her as a character, or anyone except Dolly. I adore Dolly. It’s all just plodding along and I know that eventually someone will find out, but I’d be too bored to care by that point. It’s hard to tell if she’s a therapist to help people, or just to make her own pretty average life more exciting. Seemingly the latter.

For a psychological thriller to actually be a thriller you need characters who you care some way about, a plot that moves in some kind of direction and a sense of subtlety. It’s hard to care about Jean’s flirtation with Sidney and the effect it will have on her marriage when she doesn’t seem to care herself. Trust me, binge watching this will not pay off. I still don’t know why the show’s called Gypsy and I don’t really care.

Gypsy is available to watch now via Netflix.

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Politics and International Relations graduate, Live Editor 2016-18, now a semi-functional adult and journalist. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about the above @cmkavanagh on Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. avatar
    Cheryl Moore on

    First time I felt I understood the passion between women. So sick of every show that has men kissing and more getting 5 seasons and 1 show that shows passion between women is cancelled. We need more “Housewives, life of rich n famous, Ninja/ survival shows or animated non real life shows. I like psychological shows that make you feel and keep guessing. Netflix is becoming broadcast crap. Hope Amazon can pull its ratings more. Time to lighten my pocketbook as Hulu and Amazon are not afraid to give you something to think about. Sad!!

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