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Fosse/Virdon: Where Am I Going? (S1EP5 BBC-2 Fri 23 Aug 2019)

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Where Am I Going?: It’s 1973. Three months after Bob has checked himself out of the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, he has hired a weekend cottage in Southampton with his girlfriend Ann Reinking, to comfort his recently bereaved friend Neil Simon. Also invited are his friend Paddy Chayefsky, and Gwen, with her boyfriend Ron. Ann is concerned that Gwen won’t like her, but Bob reminds her that Gwen will be on her best behaviour since they are there for Neil.

Paddy informs Neil that Bob’s new project will star Dustin Hoffman, and Bob says that he is planning to film in Miami, since that is where Lenny Bruce, the subject of the movie, did his routines at the clubs.

When Gwen and Ron arrive, Bob does not remember being punched by Ron when he, in a drugged stupor, broke into Gwen’s apartment and got into bed with them. Bob and Gwen tease each other about being much older than their new partners and Gwen is surprised to learn that the Lenny project is still on, since Bob had not mentioned it for months. She is excited to tell Bob that they have finally got a theatre for their project of Chicago, but Bob is hesitant, saying he has a lot of work with the Lenny script.

Ann tells Paddy that she is concerned about Bob, since he checked himself out of the hospital after six days and has given up taking the prescribed lithium. Paddy is surprised, since Bob told him that the doctors had given him a clean bill of health – not that Bob should take a year off form working.

Over dinner, Paddy tactfully suggests to Bob that he should give up Lenny and take some time to decide on what his next project should be, not be pressured into doing Lenny simply because Hoffman is available. Gwen takes the opportunity to mention Chicago again. Gwen has a heart-to-heart with Ann, warning her that Bob’s idea of a relationship is that whatever Bob wants Bob gets, but assures her that she is different from Bob’s numerous other girlfriends, since he trusts her with Nicole.

Bob finally admits to Gwen that he doesn’t want to do Chicago. She is devastated, since she has taken ten years to get the rights. Ann has been unsettled by her conversation with Gwen and tells Bob that she wishes she could trust him. Bob ends up sleeping on the couch downstairs but is visited by Gwen, who reminds Bob that the only reason he got out of the hospital was that he called her to ask her to tell the doctors that he was a creative who was only being dramatic when he talked of wanting to kill himself.

Bob and Gwen end up in a passionate embrace. The next morning after breakfast Bob mentions to Paddy that he may have a few scenes of Chicago for him to look over in a couple of weeks. He has decided to do both projects.

Airdate: Friday 23 August 2019 from 9.00pm-9.45pm on BBC TWO.

Season 1 Episode 5

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