Julia: S2.E1 Loup en Croûte

Sarah Lancashire in Julia

Julia: Loup en Croûte begins season two of Julia with Julia Child (Sarah Lancashire) and her husband Paul (David Hyde Pierce) in France. They are staying at the Provence home of Julia’s cookbook partner, Simca (Isabella Rossellini). They’ve been there three months and the two cooks have yet to agree on a single recipe for the cookbook. Time is running out. There are spoilers ahead.

Isabella Rossellini and Sarah Lancashire in Julia

Julia and Simca have a love/hate relationship. There’s competition to have their own recipes chosen, there’s love between them, but there’s on huge hangup. That hangup represents the theme of season 2: change.

Julia wants to update some of the traditional recipes, make them more accessible to the American audience and American kitchens she’s working with at home. Simca wants things to stay the same.

That One Scene

Julia: Loup en Croûte has one telling scene.

Julia and Simca go to the restaurant of a famous chef. They order Loup en Croûte, which is fish baked inside a brioche and served with a tomato based sauce. What happens in this scene encapsulates everything about the season’s theme of change as well as being a vivid portrait of Julia Child.

When Julia tastes the fish, her reaction is orgasmic. Sarah Lancashire shows it so beautifully as she coos and moans over the fresh taste. “Light as a balloon,” she declares. “I feel like a virgin again.”

Simca, on the other hand, thinks without any butter or cream the fish has no flavor.

In one brief exchange, we’ve seen into the earthy heart and appetites of Julia Child and seen the two cookbook partners locked in a battle between tradition and change. Season 2 is off to a brilliant start.

Brittany Bradford and Fran Kranz in Julia

Back in Boston Alice (Brittany Bradford), Russ (Fran Kranz), and the others at the television station are scrambling to come up with any kind of programming that will be interesting and relevant and draw viewers the way Julia’s show does. It’s the 1960s. Things are changing everywhere. Russ wants to talk about Viet Nam, racism, and big topics. Alice wants programming for women by women. Russ calls Alice “pal.” This drives me nuts. It’s demeaning.

Alice hired a new director for Julia’s show: Elaine Levitch (Rachel Bloom). She should be a wonderful addition to the cast and the feminist waves of change at the station and in society in general.

With Julia gone, Avis (Bebe Neuwirth) took a job at Harvard. She’s meeting all kinds of new people there. Now that The French Chef is everywhere around the country and the station is making money, it’s not clear where Avis will fit into the story. She and Julia will remain friends, but what else will come isn’t clear yet.

Julia is on Max. Melanie Mayron directed this episode. Share your comments about episode 1 below. 🙂

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