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Swimming with Sharks Review 2022 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew
As Lou Simms (Kiernan Shipka) starts her first day as an intern for Fountain Studios, she arrives just as Travis (Thomas Dekker), the assistant to CEO Joyce Holt (Diane Kruger) is in the middle of his orientation meeting. When he says she’s late, Travis informs her that when it says nine o’clock, it really means 8:30.
Joyce is a notoriously tough boss, who has gone through many an assistant and intern. She is also under the gun at Fountain, waiting for the company’s chairman, a crotchety old racist named Redmond (Donald Sutherland) to finally die so she can take over the company and bring on foreign investors so she can compete with bigger studios over movie rights to best-selling authors like Meredith Lockhart (Erika Alexander).
Despite the fact that she’s a faceless intern, Lou makes herself known around the studio on her first day, becoming friends with Marty (Finn Jones), a former intern who is now VP of development. There’s a reason why she’s so fascinated with Joyce, as we see back at her apartment; she has a wall of pictures of the CEO, including a photo where she’s marked out the face of Joyce’s husband Miles (Gerardo Celasco).
Joyce’s life outside the studio is markedly different than the tough, exacting, assistant-abusing image she projects at work. She and Miles are trying to conceive, and their sex life is mediocre at best; she finds satisfaction by cruising the streets at night looking for skateboarding f-boys.
When Meredith accepts a deal from Universal for the film rights to her books, Lou takes it upon herself to get Meredith to back out of the deal. It involves a lozenge inserted in her panties in a club bathroom. Let’s just say that Lou gets what she wants.
Executive producer Kathleen Robertson (who also plays Olive) has taken the basic structure of the Kevin Spacey/Frank Whaley film and pasted it onto a story about near-psychotic obsession. In doing so, she basically makes Swimming With Sharks more soapy than it needs to be, with a lot of elements that are thrown in for shock value but don’t really add to the essence of the plot.
People remember the original film mainly because of how vicious Spacey was as the tyrannical studio executive, which drove Whaley’s character to revenge. While Kruger plays the tough parts of Joyce Holt pretty well, the show takes pains to show exactly why she’s so tough. Traversing an industry as male-centric as the movie studios are gives a person a tough skin, especially when men like Redmond hold all the power.
In the second episode, Redmond humiliates Joyce by ordering her to finger his young girlfriend as a means of punishment for her trying to court outside investments. Between that and her troubles at home, it’s almost understandable why she has to be so steely at work. Either way, she’s not nearly as vicious as you might expect, especially in comparison to Spacey’s character.
Most of the craziness falls on Shipka, who plays blank-eyed obsession pretty well. Yes, she’s been trying to break through her image as Sally Draper for years, but this show definitely accomplishes it, especially the scene where she rubs that lozenge against her privates in order to entice Meredith. But we can also see where all of this is going, as Joyce ends up trusting Lou more and more, then being the victim of Lou’s obsessiveness.
Will there be twists along the way? Yep; the second episode ends on a down note for Alex (Ross Butler), Joyce’s other assistant, who’s trying to be sober in a business where everyone drinks heavily. But will those twists be germane to the main plot? Probably not.