Wednesday, January 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grown-ish' - Zoey Questions Her Future Career While Trying to Support Luca in 'Love Galore'

Freeform's Grown-ish - Episode 2.06 "Love Galore"

When Luca faces an exciting, high-pressure assignment for his design class, Zoey starts to wonder if she's made a mistake in her future career choice. Jazz and Sky are frustrated when they see that an untalented but undeniably sexy basketball player is receiving more attention than they are and debate with Aaron and Vivek if body image trumps skill.

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. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's Grown-ish.

"Love Galore" was written by Wade Allain-Marcus and directed by Todd Biermann

In real-life, former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote a recommendation letter for Yara Shahidi's college applications. And so, it's very meta for Grown-ish to produce an episode in which Zoey is trying to get the approval of the beloved public figure in order to validate herself as a person. Of course, there is also just a ton of speculation as to whether or not Mrs. Obama will actually make a cameo here. Again, it wouldn't be surprising considering the relationship she has already developed with the star of the show. But it would also be a little weird to see her popping up on a random episode of a Freeform show. That's something that the channel would try to get as much publicity out of as possible. Instead, it bills this episode as one where Luca feels the pressure to succeed because of a major assignment. The focus remains squarely on the characters and not on some celebrity cameo. This show absolutely lives in the real-world and has genuine conversations on topics that matter to this particular generation. Michelle Obama has helped shape education for the generation coming up and has been a role model to all women of color. Zoey's love for her is very understandable. But it also ties closely into her own crisis at the moment about not knowing what she wants out of her life. She dropped her design class because the pressure was becoming too much for her. This was no longer an environment where she was thriving and felt passionate about it. She always knew that her career would take her into the fashion world. Only now is she realizing that it won't be a part of the design aspect of the field. It's better for her to learn that now though instead of struggling with this class for the rest of the year. But again, it sets up an identity crisis where Zoey immediately thinks she made a mistake because she won't get to meet one of her heroes. Instead, she finds herself in the supportive girlfriend role of trying to lift Luca up so that he can succeed in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. At first, she simply doesn't know how to be the person Luca needs right now. The episode opens with them being so in sync. Again, that serves as validation for Zoey that everything is working out for her. The moment tension appears that's when she starts freaking out that everything is falling apart. She doesn't naturally respond to it as normal relationship drama in which couples argue from time to time. Plus, all of this concludes with Zoey helping Luca create a winning look. In doing so, she does get the validation from Michelle Obama even though it is only through a second-hand autograph. Luca made sure she got that though. That proves just how strong they are as a couple. The audience should be completely onboard with them moving forward. Plus, it also offers a hint that Zoey may have already found her new career path as a stylist. Elsewhere, the show is mostly in setup mode. Sure, it has an interesting conversation pertaining to Sky and Jazz who want their athletic performances to be the reason why people are invested in them. They don't want to use their looks in order to arouse people into the stands. But it's also something they now feel the pressure to do because sex appeal could open more doors for them. Based on their background, they understand the need to take any opportunity that may come their way - even if it encourages some bad impulses from Aaron and Vivek as well.