Wednesday, June 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grown-ish' - Zoey Has a Drastic Reaction to Learning About Ana and Aaron's Relationship in 'Fake Love'

Freeform's Grown-ish - Episode 2.12 "Fake Love"

Zoey is left to deal with the aftermath of getting caught cheating on her exam, including getting cut off financially by her parents. She takes another devastating hit when Aaron accidentally reveals that he and Ana have been hooking up, causing a snowball of feelings, fracturing her friendships with everyone around her.

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.

"Fake Love" was written by Craig Doyle and directed by Stella Meghie

The first half of the season concluded with two major moments. Zoey was cut off by her father after she cheated on her exam. And then, she learned that Ana and Aaron had been seeing each other. Now, this is a show that absolutely prioritizes the romantic drama over some of the other conflicts that could define these characters' lives. In the long run, Zoey no longer having the financial support and security from her family is a much bigger deal. In her college mind though, the betrayal from her best friend is all that she can think about. She was so distraught when she ran into Aaron. That's why he assumed that she knew the truth about his relationship with Ana. Aaron and Ana still struggle to define what is currently going on between them as well. However, it is getting more serious. That's what increased the pressure on needing to tell Zoey the truth. It came out in the worst possible way. As such, Zoey feels like her best friend broke the number one rule of girl code. And yet, everyone is forced to question just what constitutes an ex in today's ever-changing world. Zoey and Aaron were never in a relationship. They certainly had feelings for one another. They never acted on them though. At that time, Zoey was faced with a choice between three guys. She chose Luca. She is still happily in a relationship with him as well. Their relationship has actually been very steady and successful this season. As such, it should also be telling why she has such a big reaction to learning about Ana and Aaron as a couple. Luca sees it as her potentially still having feelings for another guy. That could make everyone feel insecure. It's a lot of drama where everyone has an incredibly personal stake in the situation. It's relaxing and insightful when Zoey escapes to Vivek and Doug who can offer her the clarity she needs without having any deeper connection to the situation. That makes them good friends to her. They are also good friends to Aaron. They want to ensure that he doesn't add to all of the drama currently happening over at the girls' apartment. They realize he screwed up and shouldn't make anything worse. Aaron still ultimately goes over there with the intention of comforting Ana. And yet, she pulls away. She decides to sleep instead of talk because she is more concerned about what all of this means for her friendship with Zoey. That means so much to her. But she also made a mistake in not being upfront from the very beginning. That's a mistake she has made. That's what fuels Zoey's reaction throughout all of this. It leads to Zoey once again making a huge declaration in saying that Ana is just her roommate now and not her best friend. That ensures that all of this doesn't reach a happy and neat conclusion by the end of the episode. That was the expected way for all of this to develop. Zoey and Ana go on their own individual journeys as they contemplate what all of this means. How does the understanding of girl code inform their lives in 2019? It's a complicated subject. One that changes because of how loosely defined relationships can be now. But it's very dramatic when Zoey continues to isolate herself. She does so because she doesn't know if she can trust Ana again. And yet, she also does so in order to distract herself from the true threat of no longer having the financial support of her family after disappointing them at school. Again, that's the much more pressing issue that largely goes ignored here.