SHOW NOTES: S02E07, "Back to the Garden"
This week we're so excited to welcome Ryan Fogarty to the show! Ryan comes from Bay Shore, Long Island. He is a playwright and institutional fundraiser based in NYC. His play You'll Catch Flies will have its world premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco beginning January 17th, 2020 and will run through January and February. He watched Six Feet Under in real time back when he was in the closet. It was one of the many shows that led him to dramatic writing. Find him on Twitter at @prncsstrshmouth.
Though we briefly discussed Daniel Attais's directing credits in this episode, it's worth spending another minute on it, because he truly has worked on every show known to man. Among others, he has directed episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Homeland, The Americans, Castle Rock, Masters of Sex, True Detective, Resurrection, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Killing, The Walking Dead, Hung, House, New Girl, Entourage, Big Love, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Damages, Deadwood, Alias, The O.C., The Sopranos, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ally McBeal, Northern Exposure, Beverly Hills, 90210, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Melrose Place, and Miami Vice. Nicely done, Mr. Attais. We are very impressed.
There's a lot in this episode about Judaism's rules about suicide. According to this article, all contemporary Jewish traditions basically agree that suicide is incompatible with Jewish law—the body belongs to God, and therefore humans can't destroy their bodies on purpose. However, someone has to have taken their life "with sound mind" in order to deserve censure, and Jewish law establishes quite a high bar for what that means. Most rabbis "look for any basis on which to disqualify an apparent suicide so as to allow for traditional burial"—mental illness of any kind, including depression, is grounds for not holding a person responsible for their suicide. Because of this, people who die by suicide usually can be buried in Jewish cemeteries and traditional funeral rites can be observed for them. Assisted suicide for the terminally ill is not allowed under Jewish law, but withholding care that might artificially extend a person's life is permissible. (Had Rabbi Ari known what actually happened to Jeffrey, chances are that his service could've been held in the temple—he clearly had no intent to kill himself.)
Caroline wonders in this episode if there is a New York City Howl! Festival (though she definitely does not want to attend it). There once was, but it doesn't exist anymore—it occurred in Tompkins Square Park from 2003-2005, but then the founder, Two Boots Pizza owner Phil Hartman, ran out of money to fund it. Here's a picture of some performers from Vangeline Theater getting ready to perform at the NYC festival. (Photo by The Jackie Factory NYC.)
During Jeffrey's funeral, David points out that "the Jewish Friend" is in attendance. He means David Schwimmer, but we were confused because we thought several of the Friends were Jewish. Lilith Magazine asked creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman about that, and they said: “In our minds, the back story is that Ross is half-Jewish because Elliott Gould (as Ross’s father) is, and Christina Pickles (as Ross’s mother) sure isn’t. So he and Monica are half-Jewish. And I suppose Rachel is Jewish, though that’s not an aspect we’ve done much with. Now her mom’s Maria Thomas. We’ll see who we end up casting as her dad, and that will give us a better clue.” Ron Leibman was later cast as Rachel's dad, so she's likely also half. According to Jewish law, which is matrilineal, none of them are Jewish.
Caroline and Ryan wonder in this episode whether the clothing store Structure still exists. After a bit of research, we found that Limited Brands used to own Structure and sold it to Sears in 2003 after branding their own line Express Men. You can still buy Structure clothing directly through Sears, but they don't have their own stores anymore... so David will have no problem staying out of Structure.
A quick PSA brought to you by Taylor: here are the symptoms of appendicitis, according to Mayo Clinic. If you or your child is experiencing abdominal pain that starts near your navel and moves to the lower right side, please get it checked out!
Let's end with a treat—here is a lovely video of the first public performance of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" in 1969, just a few weeks after the actual Woodstock. Enjoy.