Monday, September 12, 2016

REVIEW: 'One Mississippi' - Tig is Pulled into Serving as Queen of a Parade in 'Let the Good Times Roll'

Amazon's One Mississippi - Episode 1.04 "Let the Good Times Roll"

Finally feeling physically well, Tig readies for her return to Los Angeles. Before she goes, she is roped into replacing her mother as Mardi Gras Queen at the Bay St. Lucille parade. Remy and Bill are stymied in their search for romance and cats. Tig searches for Kate at the parade, but instead encounters Jessie, a news reporter who makes her want to stay in town a bit longer.

After the discovery of Dalton Green, Tig believes she has finally found everything that she was looking for following her mother's death. She was on a quest for answers. She needed to know more about her mother's life. It was how she was grieving. She needed this death to mean more than what it initially seemed. There just needed to be more to the story. Tig needed to discover a secret in order to re-conceptualize her mother's entire life. Caroline meant a lot to Tig. She was always there for support and a fun adventure. Tig has an idea of who her mother was. It was a picture painted with extreme detail because she was a part of her life for so long. But in death, Tig has wanted to learn more. She wanted to discover all the hidden secrets in the hopes of understanding things a bit more clearly. At first, it felt pointless. There was nothing to reveal. But then, she found something. She discovered Caroline had a baby with a married man and gave him up for adoption. This is the secret Tig has been searching for. Instead of dealing with it and how a new half-brother changes her life, she's convinced that she can now return to Los Angeles as a healthy human being again.

It has been six weeks since Caroline's funeral. Tig has stuck around town longer than she should because she was still processing her emotions. She now believes she is ready to return home and get back to the life she was living with Brooke. She's wrapping up things in Mississippi. She has booked her flight and is saying goodbye to everyone. She's not making a big deal about it. Nor is the rest of her family. They just sit down for dinner like every other night. There is nothing special going on whatsoever. Tig records her show at the local station and makes sure to show her appreciation to Kate for being such a great sound engineer during this time. And yet, there is a distinct pull that is keeping Tig in town. Part of it does feel like plot mechanics. This is exactly where Tig needs to be right now for the sake of the plot and the series. But the overwhelming feeling is that Tig isn't done addressing her feelings and emotions about this part of her life yet. She thinks she's better just because she finally got what she wanted from her mother's death. However, this season has shown that the dysfunction of her life and family extends far beyond her mother. Caroline was the catalyst for all of this. But there is much more at play that Tig needs to deal with.

At first, Tig stays because the organizers of the local mardi gras parade want her to step in as queen of the parade. It was something Caroline was scheduled to do. The ladies in charge didn't know if they should ask Tig to step in as a way of honoring her mother. This reveals a new layer to Caroline as well. Tig didn't know that she was a capable fundraiser. And yet, she was. That's why she was being given this honor in the first place. Plus, Bill and Remy didn't know about it at all. Bill hates parades while Remy is too caught up in his own life to care or listen to the rest of his family. So, Caroline is still capable of surprising her family even though Tig believes she has already solved all the mysteries of her life. Dalton was just a part of it. It wasn't Caroline's whole existence. There are still new facets for the family to discover. But they are starting to move past her death. This parade feels like the final sendoff for her. Tig agrees to do it largely because honoring her mother in such a way feels like something she should do. She feels no emotional attachment to the parade. She didn't even want to go in the first place. And now, she's forced to put on the crown and act ladylike to the entire town.

The parade itself goes off without a hitch. The same cannot be said for the family though. Their plans to make a day out of it and have a picnic are quickly tossed aside. Tig has an awkward and brief interview with a reporter about honoring her mother. Remy makes a play for the mother of one of his athletes and fails miserably. And lastly, Bill gets a tip to where he might be able to find Bonkers and immediately goes to find him. This really isn't an ideal day for any of them. It was nothing like they were expecting. Remy had fun marching with the rest of his Civil War reenactment troupe. But he's hopelessly pining for the women of his dreams instead of the ideal match standing right in front of him. He's tried to live his life as normally as possible. But that sadly feels true given his inability to talk to this woman in an engaging and appropriate way. Meanwhile, Bill still desperately wants to find Bonkers. He follows this lead only for the stray cat to not even be close to Bonkers. He was willing to drop everything for that cat. He abandoned his family and his plans just to be reunited. And now, he's only suffering even more. And finally, Tig keeps finding herself connecting better with the people in this town than the life she has in Los Angeles. The sexual chemistry is apparent between her and Jessie the reporter. Sure, it's forced but it also highlights how she could build a life here as well.

Tig is scared to spend too much time in her hometown. It brings back more painful memories than just her mother's death. She had to return to process those emotions. She has worked her way through that grieving process. The intersection of past and present has really been interestingly utilized this season. Here, Tig tells the story of how she failed the eighth grade twice on her show. And then, things flash back to that difficult period in her life and her mother trying to help her through it. It's a phenomenal sequence because of all the knowledge the audience now knows about Caroline. However, there's still so much secrecy at play in this point in time as well. Tig has made multiple jokes and references to being molested. It was clearly a traumatizing experience for her. But the audience knows none of the details about it. It's something that happened to her. She's still holding onto it as a trauma. It shows that she still has so much to process beyond her mother's death while being in this town. Bill can't believe she's still holding onto those feelings. To him, it's something that happened a long time ago in the past. It's no longer relevant because the guy who hurt her is now dead. He doesn't understand why she keeps bringing it up. But he can't understand. This experience didn't happen to him. It may be time for Tig to let it go. That's certainly what Brooke tells her to do. But that means Tig needs to face the dark corners of her past before leaving this town. She does so while embracing potential happiness as well. She doesn't return home to tell her family that she's staying a little longer. She instead goes to the bar to take Jessie up on her offer to buy her three drinks.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Let the Good Times Roll" was written by Robbie Pickering and directed by Ken Kwapis.
  • Tig and Bill are the same in so many ways. Bill can't let go of Bonkers even though it's likely he'll never return or be found. Tig can't let go of being molested because it was a defining experience in her life that she hasn't dealt with. They represent the harsh truths to one another. That's good for personal growth but it sure does make both feel lousy right now.
  • Brooke feels more like a typical Los Angeles character on a sitcom than a fully-realized human being on this particular show. It's a bit surprising given how well everything else about this world is done. Brooke is just super talkative about the weird Hollywood trends and going to see psychics for advice.
  • The show avoids the trappings of depicting Southern life as well. Too often shows depict this culture with the people being hicks. There are certainly some characters who are taken aback by Tig's appearance and sexuality. One of the parade organizers keeps wanting her to be more like a lady. But it's never a defining characteristic of this town.
  • Uncle Tommy is the one who told the parade organizers that Tig was still in town. He seems like a curious character in this family as well. He just drives his truck wherever he feels like it and everyone loves him for it. But it could be potentially dangerous considering he is going blind.
  • Bill really has become the scene stealer of the show. It's hilarious that he refuses to answer the door during the diner hour, wants Tig and Remy to be more considerate with their light usage, and starts running as soon as someone might have Bonkers.

As noted in previous reviews from this show, every episodic review was written without having seen any succeeding episodes. Similarly, it would be much appreciated if in the comments, the conversation would only revolve around the show up to this point in its run.