Wednesday, June 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grown-ish' - Zoey Demands Her Brother, Junior, Have Her Back in Her Latest Beef in 'You Decide'

Freeform's Grown-ish - Episode 2.13 "You Decide"

To mask her true emotions, Zoey recruits her brother Junior to be her wingman at Titanium for a fun night out, ignoring the drama that is taking place around her. But that backfires when Junior makes an unexpected connection with one of Zoey's friends and she's left to face her emotions up front. Meanwhile, Nomi debates giving Paige another chance.

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.

"You Decide" was written by Crystal Jenkins and directed by Pete Chatmon

Zoey didn't mend fences with Ana and Aaron at the conclusion of the midseason return. As such, the burden was on this episode to make it clear whether that would continue through the remainder of the season or be cut off at some point. The show ultimately opts for the latter simply because this has always been a series about empowering female friendships. Zoey has always believed that she can handle anything so long as she has the support of her girls. That has meant so much to her. And now, she feels personally betrayed. The show isn't afraid to call her out as being completely wrong in this situation as well. She is the one who has the big reaction to everything going on with Ana, Aaron and Luca without considering their own feelings. A week passes between episodes. That's as long as the feud actually lasts though. It mostly amounts to Zoey crossing Ana out of a picture and drinking the last drops of milk on her. That's petty stuff. But it's also important to note that Zoey's apologies aren't sincere. She wants everything to be better simply because she determines that she is ready for things to go back to normal. Life doesn't work that way though. She has to care about other people's feelings and how she has actually hurt them. Luca feels insecure because he believes that Zoey still has feelings for Aaron. He sees that as the big reason why Ana and Aaron dating is such a massive betrayal to her. It takes more than just a simple "I'm Sorry" to smooth over that pain. Zoey doesn't know how to do that though. The advice she gets from her friends isn't all that better either. Nomi tells her that she has to ignore Luca for as long as possible so that he eventually comes back to her. Jazz says she has to seem uninterested in anything regarding their relationship that way she can maintain all of the power. That advice isn't great. Plus, Nomi and Jazz don't even follow it themselves. Nomi is quickly back on Paige's couch talking about how they can finally be a couple now that she is no longer in Paige's class. Meanwhile, Jazz and Doug are getting close once more. Those relationships are meant to come across as intimate and important. But it should also be fascinating to see if the show expects the audience to view them as healthy longterm. They have the potential of being like that. There is still just the underlying fear that they may not work out in the end. That fear permeates through Ana's life as well. She doesn't know how to be dating Aaron while her best friend is this angry at her. Ana isn't acting on this beef. She isn't making Zoey's life worse. She is just waiting for her friend to forgive her. It's up to Zoey to fix things. She does so because her brother actually has the best advice. Junior knows what it's like to live with Zoey. He knows that her apology skills are severely lacking. Sure, she may be embarrassed by him getting so close to Sky on the dance floor. And yet, that doesn't seem like a potential pairing that will last. It would require Junior to become a major presence on this show in addition to all of his responsibilities on Black-ish. But his insight is valuable. It means this episode concludes with everything going back to normal for the central crew. Sure, Zoey may be overcompensating to show just how cool she totally is with Ana and Aaron dating. But the largest obstacle has been overcome. Now, the show can focus on the heart of these relationships and how much they mean to the people actually in them instead of some outside threat.