Wednesday, January 23, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grown-ish' - Zoey, Ana and Nomi Continue to Figure Out How to Live as Roommates in 'Girls Like You'

Freeform's Grown-ish - Episode 2.05 "Girls Like You"

When Nomi's endless string of one-night stands starts to throw off the apartment dynamic, Zoey and Ana confront her. Aaron encourages Ana to let loose for a night and the friends all agree to check off an item from their bucket list.

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.

"Girls Like You" was written by Hailey Chavez and directed by Todd Biermann

It's fascinating to watch as Grown-ish is shifting into more of an ensemble driven comedy. The main story here focuses almost entirely on Nomi and how her sex life is interrupting the dynamic in the apartment for Zoey and Ana. Meanwhile, the subplot features the other members of the ensemble just out having fun and experiencing things they have never done before. The show has always stated the power and importance of friendship. It highlights how this group of young adults rely on each other for strength and understanding in an ever-changing world. They don't always have the best reactions. Zoey and Ana may not articulate their point-of-view to Nomi well enough to avoid an epic confrontation with her. However, they don't wish to shame her in any way. They just want to point out something that she needs to be aware of now that she has them as roommates. Sure, it fundamentally revolves around the idea that Zoey and Ana see it as a problem that Nomi keeps bringing straight girls back to the apartment for sex. They fully accept her as bisexual. They have no problem with it whatsoever. It's just the frequency she is having sex and the numerous partners she is bringing around the apartment. That's distracting and can be disruptive. But all of this is ultimately about Nomi's own feelings of insecurity. She will fight back when Ana calls her a misogynist and a predator. She is better than a straight guy preying on the insecurities of a desperate woman. She actually cares and listens to the women she is sleeping with. However, that too may represent a problem because it's essentially a move of hers just to get physical pleasure. She doesn't want anything more from this relationship. In fact, she sees it as a power move because these women are experimenting with her and will never forget the experience. It means nothing to her. But it still strikes a nerve. The tables are ultimately turned with Zoey needing to be the one to listen for once. She is very supportive of her friend. She helps analyze how Nomi feels about all of this and what she may actually be going through. And yet, there is only so much that Zoey can offer her. It takes guidance from the gender studies professor for Nomi to accept that this is just a crutch she is relying on to ensure that she never has to come out to her parents. That's the next step that she has to take in order to have a more fulfilling life. She has such immense happiness from being out on campus. But there is still that part of her that she is keeping a secret from people who are also important in her life. As such, she is still holding herself back because of that fear of the unknown over what the future might bring. Of course, fear of the unknown may not be as scary as it seems. That is also illustrated throughout the subplot with the other characters just trying things they've never done before. Most of them are silly things like eating pizza with pineapples, doing karaoke or kissing a white boy. However, it's still freeing in a way as well. It highlights how Ana is still adjusting to life surrounded by people with different identities and perspectives than hers. And now, she is welcoming that fully into her own life. That just comes with a surprising kiss with Aaron. They may be a case of opposites attracting. But that's still very exciting and enticing for the future as well.