Wednesday, February 20, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grown-ish' - Zoey Worries About Luca's Past After Seeing His Art Exhibit in 'Body Count'

Freeform's Grown-ish - Episode 2.09 "Body Count"

When Zoey sees that Luca's exhibit at the CalU Arts Fair dominantly features one of his ex-girlfriends, it sends her into a spiral of wanting to know more about his past. Nomi takes Professor Hewson's advice and tries to learn more about the queer community on campus.

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.

"Body Count" was written by Melanie Kirschbaum & Alexandra Decas and directed by Jude Weng

Is a relationship really healthy and stable if one person is feeling insecure and unable to express how she's feeling? Zoey, Ana and Nomi are all feeling that way at the moment. Of course, there are all insecure in their own ways. Zoey is surprised to see Luca's past all over his artwork. He is proud of the exhibit he has put together for the art fair. He processes what has happened in his past by putting it into his work. As such, he doesn't feel the need to talk about it in the present or dwell over it like Zoey is doing here. Of course, she wants some clarity as to the life that Luca lived before she met him. She wants to know what he has experienced and what made him into the person he is today. He doesn't feel like that's important at all. It's just vital that he is in love with Zoey right now. That's where all of the focus and attention should be. However, it's a real struggle for the two of them to get on the same page. She feels like cyber-stalking his past and his ex-girlfriend is the only way for her to get the whole story - especially since they have matching tattoos. Instead, it only creates more questions and makes her doubt the strength of their current relationship. It's not until the very end of the episode that she realizes she should only ask the questions she is willing to hear the answers to. She may still be plagued with doubts moving forward about if she is more in love with him than he is with her. And yet, she also has to trust him. Maybe then, this relationship will work. Of course, the show is being a little odd with its relationships at the moment because it is suggesting some things while focusing on completely different concepts. Ana and Aaron have been drawn to each other sexually for a couple of episodes now. It appears to be a pattern that they are incapable of breaking. They just keep having sex even though they wish to keep it hidden from everyone else. It doesn't matter that Luca ultimately saw them together in that context. It's mostly about Ana's own insecurities and feeling like Aaron is not the person she should be with simply because he doesn't understand what she's trying to say. He's right to say that it's creepy how she is an expert at cyber-stalking someone. He is right to be curious if she has done that with his past. Of course, he also wants to know why they can't just be more upfront about what they want out of this relationship. It feels like something that should exist out in public sooner rather than later. They do end the episode together. But again, it's hard to tell if this is truly something that is built to last. Meanwhile, there is a weird potential twist as it pertains to Nomi and her new gay mentor, Professor Hewson. The professor doesn't appear here at all. She just has a text conversation with Nomi and tells her to call her. And yet, there is the sneaking suspicion that Nomi connects better with her than with anyone else in the queer community on campus. It seems silly to put all of that pressure on one song. Halsey is a great artist but the show seems to be suggesting something more out of this moment. However, it's fascinating how the show is exploring the transition from accepting one's sexual identity and learning about the LGBTQ+ culture and history. Nomi wants to learn more. She just doesn't feel like she belongs in an environment that is suppose to be for her. It's just not her thing. That has to be okay as well. But the show is putting a little too much melodrama onto the situation.