Therapist Jean Holloway has everything going for her, great career, great marriage and a great kid. Except she doesn’t, Jean is unfufilled by the life she’s living and finds herself becoming entrenched in her patients lives and she’s enjoying it.
Gypsy is showing the double life of Jean Holloway as she begins a relationship with her patients ex-girlfriend and things grow more complex from there.
Watching Naomi Watts play out this complicated woman on the verge is a thrill to watch. She brings a level of complicated anxiety to this woman that makes her come across as both empathetic and terrifying at the same time.
Gypsy enjoys its level of prestige from Watts and her performance is equally matched by Billy Crudup and Sophie Cookson who perfectly capture the two sides of her life.
Creator Lisa Rubin has been something of an indie favourite with a recent Vanity Fair article citing her ‘reputation for writing good sex scenes. They were sprinkled through her feature scripts, which centred on flawed women grappling with issues like control, obsession, identity, and sexuality.’ And the show captures this perfectly, this show focuses on the sexuality (not neccessarily hetreosexual or homosexual, just the sheer need to get something from the people around her)
But this represents one of my main issues with this show. Jean is a complex woman governed by her desires but so is every other woman, Sidney is seen as hypersexual through Jean’s gaze and with no real autonomy of her own. Alexis, Michael’s assistant is lovesick over him and her patient Addison is embroiled in her own contemptous love affair.
There’s slight glimpses into Michael Holloway’s independent life which makes a case to root for this relationship but we don’t see enough of him to really like or dislike him.
I’m all for complex women but I couldn’t help but want more of a look at the people surrounding Jean, I would have loved to see a whole episode from the perspective of Sidney or one of Jean’s patients but sadly we just diving more and more into her twisted web.
The production values are beautiful, a virtual walk through slick photography and gorgeous scenery. If they’d amped up either the camp factor or the drama this show could be one to watch but at the moment Gypsy seems to be all talk and no bite.