Julia starting her show

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As Julia gains supporters at WGBH, her father comes to town and causes subtle chaos in her household.

Aired (HBO Max) 3/31/2022
Directed By Melanie Mayron
Written By Eboni Booth
Introduced This Episode
John James Cromwell
Albert Jefferson Mays
Dorothy Lindsey Broad

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


While Hunter supports Julia, Russ still doesn’t see it, so he tries to kill the show the best way he can: numbers. The math doesn’t lie, and between building a set, the food, and more, Julia’s show is too expensive for public television. However, with money being the only issue, Julia says she’ll pay for it without talking to Paul or securing the finances for a full-season order.

But, between Avis and Dorothy, a neighbor, they refuse to let Julia’s dream die, never mind let Paul dominate it. So Avis has it where Paul will have a split focus and Dorothy? She becomes an assistant of sorts. Though it isn’t just Avis setting Paul up for an art showing that has him distracted, Julia’s father, John coming to visit also distracts him. This is the first time in a year Julia has seen her father, and while he cares for his daughter, it is quite clear he and Paul don’t see eye to eye.

Yet, the visit is nice. At least for Julia, and she hopes to see her dad soon, even if most of his comments are laced with some form of disappointment. But, in the long run, even if Julia isn’t the lady he wanted or expected her to be, there is no denying she lives up to the precedents set in the family of being willing to pioneer with minimal support.

Which may make you wonder, where is Alice in all this? Hunter decides he needs Russ to produce Julia’s show due to experience, so Alice is put on Albert’s show since it already runs smoothly. Albert isn’t happy about this, for it messes with what was comfortable for him. Also, seeing all the fuss over Julia makes him into more of a diva than ever.

However, despite losing Alice, Russ being hands-on, her father’s hot/cold comments, and Paul, Julia does her official first show and is quite excited. Even if the first time was a tad bit rough.

Things To Note

  • Russ’ wife is pregnant

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How much did the show cost to produce?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Julia’s profile-raising, and her potentially questioning if she can start being paid

Collected Quote(s)

The funny thing about being wrong […] is that right until you realize it, it feels the same as being right.
— Hunter



Julia and John’s Dynamic

John (James Cromwell) telling his daughter to be a lady
John (James Cromwell)

The best origin story for any character is the establishment of the relationship between them and their parents. Through watching Julia and John, you see both that Julia is undoubtedly her father’s child thanks to her pursuing a new venture, no matter what anyone says, yet also the same confidence she gets from him, she gets insecurities. His whole “Be a lady” thing bothers her. It makes her feel less than, and you can fathom it links to her fears that going through menopause would mean Paul would like her less. For if she doesn’t have one of the key notable things women go through, will Paul still see her as a woman?

Add in that John is cold and cruel, and you further understand why Avis may find Paul to be a bit overbearing, but Julia quite likes the affection and rolls well when Paul originally downplayed what she wanted to do. Simply put, she was used to a man talking to her like that.


The beauty of Russ is that he isn’t an all-the-way villain. Is he an adversary toward Alice and Julia? Yes. But it isn’t like he is terrible to his wife and everyone else. He exists in that weird middle. Depending on the circumstances, he can be lovable, neutral, or an ass. Which I appreciate since it could be so easy to pain Russ as someone Julia has to win over and make him seem lonely, miserable, and reliant on his job to feel powerful in the world.

However, Julia, the show, doesn’t do that. Russ has a life, could switch careers if he wanted to, and simply is someone dealing with situations and people out of his wheelhouse. The Alberts of the world, those who seem like thespians, are what he is used to. The Julias? It’s a new experience, and you could say a necessary one, for if Russ does end up back in the theater, he’ll have the ability to find, grow, and direct those like Julia who have that something people love, even if in its rawest form.

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Julia starting her show
Julia: Season 1/ Episode 3 “Beef Bourguignon” – Recap/ Review
Julia and John's Dynamic

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