|Fleishman Is in Trouble|
|Created by||Taffy Brodesser-Akner|
|Based on||Fleishman Is in Trouble|
by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||43–67 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney Platform Distribution|
|Original network||FX on Hulu|
|Original release||November 17 –|
December 29, 2022
Fleishman Is in Trouble is an American drama streaming television miniseries created by Taffy Brodesser-Akner based on her 2019 novel of the same name. The series premiered on FX on Hulu on November 17, 2022.
Toby Fleishman, the protagonist, is a recently divorced man in his 40's using dating apps for the first time. As he begins to find successes he never found in his youth, his ex-wife Rachel disappears without a trace, leaving him with their kids. As he balances looking after his children, a promotion at the hospital where he works, and all the women in Manhattan, he realizes that he'll never be able to figure out what happened to his wife until he can be more honest about what happened to their marriage in the first place.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date |
|1||"Summon Your Witnesses"||Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton||Taffy Brodesser-Akner||November 17, 2022|
|Toby Fleishman, a New York City hepatologist, signs up for a dating app following his recent divorce from Rachel, his spouse of 15 years, and begins having frequent, casual sex. On advice from his therapist, he reconnects with his old friends Libby and Seth, whom he had not seen since the first years of his marriage. Rachel drops their children, Hannah and Solly, off at Toby's apartment a day early, compelling him to leave them with a babysitter while he goes on a date and has sex with a woman named Tess. The next day, Rachel does not show up to pick up the kids or respond to any of Toby's calls. Tess arrives to again have sex with Toby but believes she is being put on when she sees his children, and storms out. Libby, happily married, realizes she is envious of Toby rediscovering himself in the wake of his separation.|
|2||"Welcome to Paniquil"||Alice Wu||Taffy Brodesser-Akner||November 17, 2022|
|Toby fires the babysitter after he realizes that Solly used his computer to look up pornography, and takes them to Rachel's house in the Hamptons when she does not show up to take them. He is ejected from the property when the new housekeeper does not recognize him, causing him to have an epiphany about moving on in the wake of his divorce. He finally gets Hannah a cell phone and sends the kids to summer camp, taking his time off to get lunch with Libby and Seth. While talking about Rachel, he realizes the reason for her silence could be that she is in danger, and leaves in a panic, only to encounter her friends, who tell him that they saw her sleeping in the park.|
|3||"Free Pass"||Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton||Mike Goldbach||November 24, 2022|
|In flashbacks, Toby and Rachel meet at a college party and quickly fall in love and get married, although their successes in their respective industries slowly drive a wedge between them. Rachel's first pregnancy becomes traumatic when the doctor breaks her water without her consent, and she becomes withdrawn until Toby encourages her to go to a support group and hires a nanny, inspiring her to start her own theatre talent agency. Their marriage continues to deteriorate, culminating on a night when they fight over Toby's suggestion of moving to Philadelphia, and they have a dinner with Rachel's friends, where she admits she would sleep with Sam Rothberg, a successful man the Fleishmans know, during a question about "free passes." In the present, Toby remembers this incident and looks up Rothberg on Facebook, realizing that Rachel's last known location is a short drive from where Rothberg is.|
|4||"God, What an Idiot He Was!"||Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini||Taffy Brodesser-Akner||December 1, 2022|
|Toby storms over to his former apartment and finds evidence that Rothberg had been there, leaving him feeling emasculated and angry, which increases when Nahid, a regular hookup of his, turns down an offer for a date. He compulsively goes to visit Libby and her family, but finds that he feels awkward around her husband. He snaps at Libby and leaves to go get dinner with Seth, who is being investigated for being involved in insider trading. Toby realizes, looking around the restaurant, that Rachel was attracted to Rothberg because of his confident, forwardly wealthy attitude. He gets a call from the hospital and learns that a woman around his age has been approved for a liver transplant, and he sleeps in the hospital overnight while she has the surgery, having a sexual dream about her. He wakes to see that she has recovered and is rejoicing with her husband, causing him to finally accept that Rachel is steadily seeing someone else.|
|5||"Vantablack"||Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini||Taffy Brodesser-Akner||December 8, 2022|
|Two years prior, Libby, a writer for a men's magazine, becomes disillusioned after seeing the successes of men who have been hired long after her and a veteran, misogynist writer. She resolves to write a novel but never does, and in the present, goes on a vacation with her family that increases tensions between her and her husband. Toby goes out for a night with Seth, who has lost his job, and is inspired to buy the dachshund puppy his children have always wanted. He again asks Nahid out on a date, but she explains her husband is a conservative news anchor that she never sees but is still obligated to be wed to. He is called to pick up Hannah from camp, learning that she sent a suggestive photograph to a male camper who showed his friends, and takes Solly with him when he finds himself disgusted with the lack of punishment on the boy's end. He tells the kids about Rachel's choice to abandon them. As the kids return home, he considers going to confront Rachel when he learns she is in her apartment, but decides not to and takes the kids to the American Museum of Natural History to see a vantablack exhibit that he visited alone earlier. Solly becomes frightened while inside and hurries off, but Toby and Hannah follow him and sit together outside.|
|6||"This Is My Enjoyment"||Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini||Taffy Brodesser-Akner||December 15, 2022|
|Toby breaks things off with Nahid when he realizes he needs to have a more normal approach to relationships. He gets passed over for a promotion at work due to how many personal days he has been taking, and compulsively asks out one of the students he has been mentoring when she tries to reassure him, which she awkwardly turns down. Toby goes to an annual meetup for his college trip to Israel that he has not been to since he married Rachel and has a great time, although after observing an argument between Libby and her husband that reminds him of how Rachel once spoke to him, gets in an argument with her and Seth. She stops by his apartment on the way back to her house to use the bathroom, and ends up lamenting about how much she misses her past before realizing Toby has fallen asleep. She falls asleep in his bed, and delays going home by wandering through the city, where she ends up sitting across from Rachel.|
|7||"Me-Time"||Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton||Taffy Brodesser-Akner||December 22, 2022|
|After Toby leaves, Rachel begins to have an affair with Rothberg despite his wife being her good friend, and she is delighted to find that he is genuinely interested in her. He takes her to a resort near his house where she undergoes a meditation procedure meant to purge all her stressors and traumas, and Rothberg abruptly leaves her when she becomes more detached as a result. She gets rid of her phone and spends the rest of her reserved time at the resort before returning home, staying indoors and losing track of the days. After a long enough time, she gets a new phone and snaps out of it, going to see her oldest and most important client, but discovers that she has been dropped after weeks of no communication. She wanders the city until she encounters Libby, who takes her back to her apartment, listens to her recount this, and puts her to bed.|
|8||"The Liver"||Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini||Taffy Brodesser-Akner||December 29, 2022|
|Libby goes back to Toby's apartment to update him, but he takes no interest in Rachel's breakdown and asks her to leave. After taking the woman off life support at her husband's request, he begins finalizing the details of Hannah's bat mitzvah. She reveals that she does not want to go through with it, and Toby, understanding the importance forming her own tradition holds to her, indulges her and gives her her own coming of age ceremony. He takes his children to the vantablack exhibit again, and this time, they stay inside. Libby finally returns to her family and continues to fight with her husband, and attends a party Seth invites her and Toby to. As they realize the party is a front for Seth to propose to his girlfriend, Toby and Libby make up and discuss her idea for a book based on Toby's divorce. The conversation soon transitions into her thoughts on how her life changed after she got married, and she returns home to her family and gets in bed with her husband, at peace. Toby returns to his apartment and decides to get a new one. As he looks out over the city, Rachel opens the door behind him and enters, exactly how Libby said she would end her book.|
On September 12, 2019, it was announced that ABC Signature had won a 10-studio bidding war for the rights to the novel Fleishman Is in Trouble, with the project being developed for FX. Taffy Brodesser-Akner, the author of the original novel, was attached to write the adaptation as well as executive produce the project alongside Susannah Grant, Carl Beverly, and Sarah Timberman. On March 11, 2021, it was announced that the project was given a limited series order consisting of nine episodes, with the series now set to premiere exclusively on Hulu as part of FX on Hulu. Upon the series order announcement, Brodesser-Akner said:
I'm thrilled to be extending Fleishman's life onto the screen with such smart, thoughtful and courageous partners. When I was writing this book, my aim was to resolve for myself the mystifying dynamics and politics of marriage and middle age. Writing the book didn't help much, so I'm hoping that making this show does the trick.
On August 13, 2021, during FX Networks' Summer 2021 TCA Press Tour panel, it was announced that Little Miss Sunshine filmmaking duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris were attached to direct multiple episodes of the series.
The limited series was released on November 17, 2022, with the first two episodes available immediately and the rest debuting on a weekly basis.
In November 2021, Lizzy Caplan and Jesse Eisenberg joined the cast of the series in series regular roles, marking their second collaboration together after Now You See Me 2. In January 2022, Claire Danes and Adam Brody joined the cast in series regular roles, while Maxim Jasper Swinton and Meara Mahoney Gross joined the cast in recurring roles. In February 2022, Joy Suprano joined the cast in a recurring role. In March 2022, Michael Gaston, Ralph Adriel Johnson and Brian Miskell joined in recurring roles. In April 2022, Christian Slater and Josh Radnor joined the cast in recurring roles.
Principal photography began by February 2022, in New York City.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 83% approval rating with an average rating of 8.2/10, based on 36 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "The characters Fleishman Is in Trouble spends time with aren't the most likable bunch, but the series examines their foibles with compelling insight—and they're brought to life by a terrific trio of stars." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 79 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Annie Berke of The A.V. Club gave the series an A− and said, "These eight episodes and the characters in them are doing their best, and Fleishman's best is far better than most." Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the series 3 out of 4 stars and wrote, "This is an exceedingly well-cast show, with Eisenberg, Danes, Caplan and Brody all playing to their strengths and hitting notes we've seen them master in previous roles."
|2023||80th Golden Globe Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Television Film||Claire Danes||Nominated|||
|28th Critics' Choice Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television||Nominated|||
|USC Scripter Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay – Television||Taffy Brodesser-Akner (for "The Liver")||Pending|||
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Limited Series||Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Cindy Chupack, Allison P. Davis, Mike Goldbach, Boo Killebrew||Pending|||