Wednesday, June 19, 2019

REVIEW: 'Grown-ish' - Zoey Struggles to Find a Job That Can Support Her Lifestyle in 'Can't Knock the Hustle'

Freeform's Grown-ish - Episode 2.14 "Can't Knock the Hustle"

Zoey starts to feel the impact of her dwindling bank account. Her friends encourage her to get a job, but she struggles to find something that vibes with her career goals. Ana and Aaron consider attempting the "Shield Challenge."

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.

"Can't Knock the Hustle" was written by Sara Lukasiewicz & Brady Morphy and directed by Pete Chatmon

This is the first episode that directly addresses Zoey getting cut off financially from her family after getting caught cheating on her chemistry test. That was presented as a rash decision her father made in the heat of the moment. Dre has always been prone to those kinds of actions. But it's important to see that he is sticking to his word. It's also just as keen to know that Bow supports him completely. And yet, they are still providing some financial assistance to Zoey. They are paying for her tuition, housing and books. That's a significant amount of money for a person in Zoey's current position. She doesn't fully appreciate that. She is just depressed that her car is being towed away and her funds have quickly disappeared because of her expensive lifestyle. She sees it as her parents no longer loving her. That is such an extreme reaction. And yet, this is an episode in which Zoey is at her most broad and insufferable. She suddenly becomes a person who doesn't know what it's like to be in a workplace. She sees everything as beneath her and not rising to the talents that she has to give to the world. She is very confident in that way. But she's incredibly self-centered as well. She is absolutely delusional and confrontational throughout this episode. That is crucial to make the final realization actually land. It just takes a lot to actually get to that point. She doesn't want to work a simple retail job even though it's for a high fashion boutique store. She sees folding and unfolding clothes as something that is not worth her time. She has no respect for the authority figures in that environment either. It's remarkable that she gets fired after only having the job for a few hours. That shows how she attributes the need for everything in her life to ultimately benefit her grand goals for her career. She doesn't want to do anything that could distract her or take her focus off of those ambitions. And yet, Doug points out that a job on the college campus can teach her valuable skills as well. In fact, that is a common experience for young adults nowadays. Zoey has always had so many opportunities. She is still privileged in a way. She just has to be knocked down a little bit in order to understand the struggle and hustle better. Her friends are all stunned by just how ill-equipped she actually is when it comes to performing in a standard job. They don't want to hear any judgment or criticism from her either. Her life is a mess. Sure, that doesn't mean that Nomi, Jazz and Sky are better in comparison. Their lives can absolutely be messy now as well. Nomi doesn't know how to face questions about her relationship with Paige. She still wants to keep it a secret. Of course, all of this also comes with the understanding that Zoey working at the college bookstore probably won't be the driving focus for a ton of stories moving forward. There was really only one episode spent on her internship. She saw that as her excuse for having higher standards in this job search. This is a show that doesn't really allow these premises to actually take root for a long time. This could absolutely be a cure-all for the financial drama and uncertainty in her life. It shouldn't be that easy. It might though. Elsewhere, Ana and Aaron are faced with an apparent requirement in order to be deemed truly real as a couple by their peers. It's absolutely ridiculous. They don't have to change their ways or appease other people in order to be happy, healthy and stable in this relationship. That just doesn't seem to bring any more depth to that particular story. Plus, the final beat of Vivek cruising for women to join him under the shield is pretty bad. That never should have worked out for him.