‘Let’s not do this again’, a crackling satire against a Senate race

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Nick finds these generational bursts “invigorating,” but his real passion project is the lyrics to a musical about Didion’s move from California to the East Coast, tentatively titled “Hello to All That!” (Not as far-fetched as it sounds: News that Vanessa Redgrave would be appearing in a Broadway version of “The Year of Magical Thinking,” in 2007, prompted a former colleague of mine to write up some forward-looking numbers, including one on Didion’s fear of the LA freeway that started “Beep beep! Toot toot!”)

Nick’s little sister Greta causes more trouble: a Yalie who once aspired to a career in law, she worked at an Apple Store in Brooklyn and fell in love with a handsome YouTube nationalist named Xavier, who has a law firm frightening with affections for her: “my little chip”, “my little shrimp”, “my little duck”, “my little American cabbage”, etc. He lured her to Paris and tricked her into throwing a bottle of champagne out the window of the chic restaurant Fouquet’s a protest on the Champs-Élysées, an act of luxury radicalism that threatens to derail Nancy’s campaign.

Credit…Pierre Schottenfels

It’s a hug populated by urban elites. I can’t think of anyone in recent years who has ridiculed this cohort between the covers as freshly and effectively as Ginder. Greta and Xavier meet, for example, by building a mock Blockbuster store on a sandbox video game, Nostalgeum. She and Nick pay $52 for a boutique fitness class from “trample, lift, whip‘” in a studio in Chelsea where the instructor is happy to receive a bloody nose and a black eye. A restaurant selling noodles by the pound is called Me, Myself and Thai, with anthropomorphic, cannibalistic noodles painted on its walls; the students queuing there, faces buried in phones and “backpacks dangling from simple, drooping shoulders,” look a bit like noodles themselves. There’s an accusatory grandmother, Eugenia, with an Upper East Side townhouse, an open checkbook for Greta’s projects, and a fondness for Earl Gray and Degas. And when a corpse has to be wrapped and disposed of in the state-of-the-art compaction system of a Central Park West co-op building, one character parenthetically thinks of the high-end sheets used for the task: “Frette – that’s such a shame.

In a world increasingly starved for good dialogue, Ginder’s is abundant and crackling, like the goofy comedies of yesteryear. And sometimes even sincere. “It must be disappointing, to be called all these things,” thinks Nancy’s campaign manager when their opponent, the one supported by the investment banker, calls Nancy a “communist” and a “hypocrite”.

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