Tuesday, July 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Good Trouble' - Davia Clashes With Her Mother While Callie Starts a New Job in 'Unfiltered'

Freeform's Good Trouble - Episode 2.04 "Unfiltered"

Davia's mom comes to town, stirring up old issues. Callie and Malika make some mistakes attempting to help people. Meanwhile, Mariana tries to figure out what to do about the problems from the app beta test and gets confronted by the other women on the grievance committee.

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 Good Trouble.

"Unfiltered" was written by Resheida Brady and directed by Laura Nisbet Peters

This show started as a spinoff following Callie and Mariana's adventures as young adults in Los Angeles. Their stories and workplaces have absolutely been the priority for the show. The rest of the ensemble and their personal lives have been extremely hit-or-miss. Their character arcs often start and stop at weird intervals. And yet, that's what makes it significant when the show decides to prioritize some of the other characters while mostly just moving the pieces around in Callie and Mariana's lives. Now, that isn't always a beneficial thing. It can make it seem as if those characters are in holding patterns and unable to make too much progress right away with whatever is going on. However, their stories here mostly just highlight their continued evolution in the workplace. Callie gets a new job at a legal aid office. This hour is mostly just introducing that space and the new characters who exist there. Of course, none of those newcomers make much of an impression. It's mostly just commendable for the inclusive casting. Plus, it further highlights that the State of California was right to fail Callie on her bar exam because she continues to make mistakes when it comes to practicing the law. Sure, she doesn't have to deal with any kind of major consequences. It just means she makes an awkward first impression on the people in this office who already see her as having too big of an idealistic ego despite failing the bar. Meanwhile, it remains difficult to understand exactly what the show is hoping to achieve at Mariana's workplace through her relationships with Raj and Evan. With Raj, it's the simple and romantic relationship that is familiar to these kinds of shows. With Evan, it has the potential of going too far in a way that may reduce all of this down to a broad message of toxic workplace harassment with certain individuals being in positions of power despite being clueless over how their actions could be perceived. The audience will have to wait and see how that particular story continues to develop. And yet, the main focus of this hour comes from Davia as she has to deal with a visit from her mother. The show had previously teased that she is a condescending monster who bullies her daughter online about her weight. But now, that is seen in action. It proves how people can act completely different when around their family. Davia doesn't want to make her mother feel the same way that she does. That just means she has to continually deal with the near-constant remarks about her weight and how it is keeping her from being seen as sexually desirable. Davia has always been a role model who has done great things for her friends while enjoying a healthy sex life. But all of this continues to inform her motivations as it pertains to holding onto certain relationships despite how unhealthy they can be. Sure, the show introduces some awkwardness by saying that Dennis has slept with Davia's mom during a previous visit. That's a big reveal that seems likely to implode the intimate friendship they have. Right now though, it's mostly just all-consuming and devastating as Davia fights to be seen and respected as her authentic self but finds resistance everywhere she goes. She's not always right when it comes to her handling of things. She sees the importance of not using filters on Instagram. And yet, she still clings to her mother and Jeff for love even though they aren't good influences for her. That may only fuel her anorexia to flare up again. That's precarious while also ensuring that the audience cares about her and sees her in a way no one else in her life does at the moment.