Because I actually want some Sundays where I don’t stay up late to watch TV and review episodes, I’ll be won’t be writing much about Mildred Pierce.
I like the pacing (despite complaints that it’s slow) and the acting is very strong. However, Veda is a potentially problematic character. From the onset, she’s not a good person, with her snooty ideas of the world and treatment of others, much like the character played by Hope Davis who interviewed Mildred. But Mildred, who is supposed to be strong and trying to stay afloat, falls for her charms (bitchiness?), inventing the story of getting the waitressing job so she can satisfy Veda. Initially, she rightfully spanks Veda but quickly reverses course. It kind of undercuts the strong, confident character we see waitressing and building her business.
Her actions can be explained by the fact that her husband left her and she doesn’t want to alienate her daughter. While that’s a plausible explanation to her implausible behavior, Veda’s overt vileness doesn’t help. The final scene of the second part once again emphasizes this, as Mildred goes to Veda after Ray’s death.