Wednesday, January 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grown-ish' - Zoey Breaks the Friendship Rules and Doesn't Know How to Apologize in 'New Rules'

Freeform's Grown-ish - Episode 2.03 "New Rules"

Zoey struggles to make amends after accidentally breaking one of the group's unspoken social rules and upsetting both Jazz and Luca. After Aaron and Vivek's kickback is shut down by campus police, they try to find other ways to turn up.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's Grown-ish.

"New Rules" was written by Lisa McQuillan and directed by Sam Bailey

The first season of Grown-ish absolutely wanted the audience to be aware that Zoey was taking adderall in order to help her stay focused and balance everything in her college life. It felt like an addiction for a long time only for nothing to really ever happen with that story development. As such, the audience should possibly also expect that when it comes to Zoey now suffering a panic attack. That is such a real and dramatic moment. In it, Zoey actually believes that she's dying and suddenly has regrets about the outfit she is wearing and the drama she started with her friends. It's the pressure that she has put on herself in order to survive and thrive in this environment. And yet, it could also introduce a very important conversation about taking care of one's mental health. This is something completely unexpected for Zoey. She doesn't know what it is or how to handle it. It means that she gets to skip her class. She even gets to have a sweet and comforting moment with Luca as he can just talk to her in a very rational way afterwards. He understands the pressure that she has been placing on herself. However, he also gets her to accept that she was in the wrong with her texting behavior and not telling Jazz about Doug's behavior. On the surface, all of this seems completely superfluous and nonsensical. And yet, it's also important for the audience to respect that these are friends who have developed these rules for being around each other and supportive of their individual lives. They cherish these bonds and don't want anything to potentially ruin them. But that's what Zoey does when she doesn't tell Jazz that Doug is at a coed party without her. Again, it doesn't seem like it should be a big deal at all. Zoey is torn because she doesn't want to start drama over nothing. Doug isn't doing anything wrong. He's just at a party his dorm is hosting. But Zoey also understands that Jazz likes being aware when Doug goes to coed parties without her especially after they previously discussed it. As such, this is a betrayal. Sure, it blows up into an extreme thing where Zoey is too oblivious to really function amongst her friends. She doesn't even get why Sky would choose her sister's side despite not knowing anything that's been going on with her friends. But again, Zoey can win back the support of the majority of her friends because she is sincere in her apology. And yet, it's very significant that Jazz doesn't accept that apology right away. She's the one wronged in this situation. That means that things may still be awkward moving forward while hinting at some possible serialization within the stories this season. That's very interesting. Elsewhere, it's just ridiculous that Aaron thought that being an R.A. wouldn't come with extra responsibilities. He is in charge and liable for whatever happens in the dorm. He continues his crusade for promoting black excellence. But it's still a justifiable wake up call when he realizes that he has to abide by the campus rules as well. Of course, he quickly finds a workaround in that situation simply by paying off the campus police. It's all played as simple and fun. But it would have been more interesting to see things from the perspective of someone not at these parties who is trying to sleep and can't because of the noise coming when it's suppose to be the quiet hours.