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TPTea: Here's the Dish on The Trouble with Maggie Cole episodes 2 and 3

Join us as we break down what’s happening on your favorite TPT Passport shows

November 6, 2020

By Kelsey Derby

Welcome back to the TPTea, where TPT staffers take a closer look at some of the new shows on TPT Passport.

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If you’re not familiar with the term “spill the tea,” let us fill you in. The original Urban Dictionary definition breaks it down to another way of saying “the scoop” or “the news” in today’s terms. We decided to have a little fun with the phrase and “spill the tea” about our favorite shows.

If you missed our last installment, see here the breakdown of The Trouble with Maggie Cole, Episode 1.

This week, we’re focusing on episodes 2 & 3 of The Trouble with Maggie Cole BUT we’re trying not to give away too much if you haven’t gotten a chance to watch yet. We hope you’re viewing along with us either on TPT 2’s Sunday night line-up or by using your TPT Passport membership (all six episodes are available for binging!) but if not, feel free to keep reading.

The Trouble with Maggie Cole centers around Maggie Cole (Dawn French), the self-appointed oracle of a small fishing village in the UK. When asked to be interviewed for a local radio station she shares a little too much. Watch as hilarity unfolds!

four people speaking on a Zoom meeting

Brandon Wells in the upper left, Michael Brafford in the upper right, Kelsey Derby in the lower left and Madison Van Oort in the lower right.

First off, we wanted to let you know a bit about us! While we might rotate in more of our friends at TPT, this week four of us sat down (remotely of course) to chat.

Meet the TP-Team:

woman smelling flowers with text: keeping up appearancesName: Brandon (BW)
How long have you worked at TPT? Three and a half years.
What’s your favorite PBS show? Favorite PBS show is the 90’s Britcom, Keeping Up Appearances, as it hilariously lampoons the often absurdly intricate and often arbitrary British class distinctions.
What was your favorite moment in these two episodes? I loved the trenchfoot scene when Maggie dragged her foot across the doctor’s office. Especially the fact it’s this old weird disease from WWI when there was trench warfare and gangrene and foot rot and stuff. I thought that was hilarious.

animated fist with text first rainbow coalitionName: Madison (MV)
How long have you worked at TPT? Since September 2020.
What’s your favorite PBS show? My favorite PBS Show is the Independent Lens film The First Rainbow Coalition, because it provides a glimpse into the inspiring and oft-forgotten cross-racial social movement organizing of the late 1960s.
What was your favorite moment in these two episodes? I just really liked the situation with the doctor and Maggie. It was really nuanced and unexpected and brought up a bunch of questions about relationships and romance and what works for people.

two men with text sherlockName: Michael (MB)
How long have you worked at TPT? Almost six years.
What’s your favorite PBS show? I still get excited to find out which new British Mysteries are coming to PBS. Masterpiece’s Sherlock was the catalyst for my love of this genre. Now, after the kids go to bed, me and my wife enjoy binging new episodes of Endeavour, Grantchester, and Frankie Drake with TPT Passport.
What was your favorite moment in these two episodes? My favorite interaction so far was the scene where Jill went in to go talk to the headmaster and Karen, the secretary, was outside the office. Jill comes out and Karen says, “Oh, did I hear you say that, uh Roxanna was going home sick now?” and Jill responds, “Oh, I don’t know, Karen. That would depend on whether you were listening in to our conversation or not.” Jill really gave it to her, that was good.

white dog with spots with text wishboneName: Kelsey (KD)
How long have you worked at TPT? Two years.
What’s is your favorite PBS show? I absolutely loved watching Wishbone as a kid and it left lasting positive impressions of PBS. It was my favorite show growing up as I was, and still am, a huge dog and history lover.
What was your favorite moment in these two episodes? When Kelly, the hairstylist, says to her husband, “You thought you’d be the next Liam Gallagher,” and he responds with, “Noel,” and a disgusted face. Can you get more British than fighting over Gallagher brother’s footsteps you’re attempting to follow?

cast of Maggie Cole, all holding photoshopped tea cups

Instead of focusing in too much on the details, we thought we’d zoom out a bit and consider the wider-reaching moral issues this series is constantly grappling with. It’s been an overarching theme of all of our conversations because we agree the viewer is constantly re-evalulating their thoughts on Maggie and the rest of “the outed six.”

Consider the following statements and see whether you agree or disagree. We’d love to hear your thoughts: comment below, send us a message on Facebook or send us a message at [email protected].


maggie cole with a thumbs upMaggie is a good person who seriously messed up and just isn’t sure how to deal with it.

MV: I think we need a mediator here. I was really intrigued with the first episode because I feel like it brings up these questions of restorative justice, harm, and call out culture. All this stuff that is happening online and offline ask these big questions that people are talking about right now.

I think it’s clear that Maggie doesn’t have the tools that she needs to really address the harm that she’s caused, but she wants to. She says she wants to make it right and she wants to talk to everyone. I think that is a positive approach. But then, because she lacks the tools to really work through it, it turns into this thing where she’s causing additional harm in the way that she’s going about fixing things.

BW: I think what you said is correct. She wants the people she spoke about to forgive her. Yeah, she doesn’t want to do it because of them, because she feels like she just got caught saying bad things and many things she said were terrible, she’s listening to Peter (the husband) and is asking for tools to help her apologize.

maggie cole with a thumbs downMaggie is a real jerk which and what she did was just a consequence of her character.

BW: Does she actually believe she hasn’t done anything wrong? Because, if she doesn’t that’s way off-base.

KD: The friend! She was so mean to her best friend and it’s a miracle Jill is even acknowledging Maggie’s existence at this point.

MB: I remember the speech she made about not thinking she did anything wrong because I made a note of it. It was after Jill came to see her because she wanted the notebook for the event, and Maggie was like, “I didn’t do anything wrong! Well technically I did but I wasn’t the one to put it on the radio and I wasn’t the one to put it on the internet,” so it’s like she’s upset because she got caught. Other people put it out there for all to hear, but she’s the one that said it.

BW: Saying you didn’t think it was gonna end up on the radio, when you said it to the guy who was gonna put it on the radio so…

MV: She kept talking about how it was edited and out of context but they just aired everything she talked about! I don’t get how it could be out of context.

BW: Which context was the one that made it okay for you to call your best friend an idiot?

maggie cole with a sideways thumbMaggie isn’t good or bad and is as innocent as any other character, she made a simple mistake and should take no blame.

KD: I feel like she’s so far removed from what’s actually happening and she has it in her head that she hasn’t messed up. Clearly she gossips often and is constantly talking about other people which for all intents and purposes gossip is generally not that harmful. It usually just allows someone an outlet to talk about others in order to feel important and feel like they have this source of like knowledge. I think that she just did it at a really inappropriate time. You know, she should have known better, but at the same time there’s a part of me that’s thinks she just didn’t really think it through. She’s just a very self-involved person which isn’t unusual.

BW: If people printed all the things that I said I don’t think it would be good. And I have a sneaking suspicion that by the time we’re done, it’s going to challenge our view and our understanding of Maggie’s morality. I think at the end of this, Maggie is going to look much more moral in comparison to some of the other characters once we learn what they’ve done.

MB: Well, and I think what these two episodes have shut down is that while there is some truth to her gossip, there is something more to each story. We’re eventually going to find out what the real truth is to all of the stories that she told. The more we learn about each person’s situation it seems that I don’t like any of them! I don’t think there’s any morality in almost all of them.

KD: She did one bad thing, and we’re all judging her extremely hard on the one bad thing but all these other people have also done a lot of bad things and we weren’t paying as much attention or passing as much judgement on them because we were just so focused on her.

BW: Maybe we just shouldn’t be judging anyone?

We give these two episodes 3/5 teacups.
Tea CupTea CupTea Cup
Solid narrative but a bit focused on the up-ramp of this little town’s rollercoaster. We can’t wait ‘til the brakes release.

Catch us in two weeks for an episode 3 & 4 review.

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2020. All rights reserved.


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