Sunday, January 5, 2020

REVIEW: 'Dare Me' - Colette Singles Addy Out to Maintain a Sense of Power Over the Squad in 'Mutually Assured Destruction'

USA's Dare Me - Episode 1.02 "Mutually Assured Destruction"

While Addy tries to ensure Colette's secret is safe with Beth, Colette makes a decision about Will.

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 USA's Dare Me.

"Mutually Assured Destruction" was written by Megan Abbott & Gina Fattore and directed by Jamie Travis

Everyone in this world can be a little dangerous and reckless. This drama features characters in their twenties and thirties trying to pass on some wisdom to high school students in the hopes of guiding them on better paths. Colette and Will have that sense of yearning. These teenagers are more talented than they were. Their futures look bright. It's inspiring. It can be quite intoxicating as well. That rush of excitement that only comes from scandalous actions is enthralling to these individuals. It culminated in a moment of passion between Colette and Will. The desires they once had have been reignited. It could do significant damage to their lives. Colette has a lot to lose because the entire town is putting pressure on her to succeed. She remains steady in her role as cheerleading coach though. However, the season is also fundamentally about the seduction of new obsession as it's paired with the disillusionment of past excitement. Addy and Beth have been best friends for awhile. However, Addy is starting to think that their goals no longer line up. Beth operates from a place of privilege. She has open disdain and hostility towards her father. But she can still rely on him for so much support. She has that luxury. She is the one who remains in a position of power because she believes it's perfectly fine to tease that she has a video of Colette and Will's affair. She uses it as a loyalty test for her best friend. Addy needs confirmation because so much of her hopes and dreams are associated with Colette succeeding in her job. She has to be all in on this cheer squad. They need to be perfect as they advance through the season. That is the only way she can achieve her goal of leaving this town and building something much better. As such, it's thrilling for her to be singled out by Colette. She presents as a woman operating from a sense of compassion. Of course, Colette is also making this teenage girl complicit in her affair. She may have had the discipline to avoid falling into temptation all over again. But it only takes some gentle pushing by Addy in order for Colette to be with Will once more. That presents as an opportunity for all. It's a chance for Addy to be alone in Colette's house to experience all the things she perceives as luxurious. This is what she wants for her own life. She views Colette as achieving her dreams and building something great after a rocky start. Sure, things can't be all that great if she is willing to have an affair. She is doing harm to her baby daughter and her husband, Matt. This family unit is fragile and at risk of falling apart. Addy sees it as a fantasy of love that can finally burn brightly and passionately. They couldn't work things out in high school. It wasn't meant to be. They have regrets over how things happened. They have the opportunity to do it all over again with new perspective. They have lived their own lives. They have their individual sense of purpose in this town and at this high school. That doesn't make them perfect role models. It may only prove that these teenagers can't look to anyone as examples for how to succeed in life. But that hope perseveres. It's a dream that many have to hold onto because the alternative is so depressing. All of this may inevitably end in a bloody mess. The show continually teases that. It proves that these relationships will only further intensify. Beth will remain seductive and manipulative. Meanwhile, Addy will continue to form a reverence for her coach. However, all of this may also damage these characters forever because of how destructive their actions can ultimately become. Right now, the tension is simmering and slowly escalating. That may be unsustainable in the long run especially with everything at stake and the pressure only increasing for all involved. Trying to maintain a sense of control can be outright toxic because it forces people into compromising positions. Both Colette and Beth are trying to use the sheer concept of trust and team unity to serve their selfish interests. That can be effective for them. But again, it may not be destined to last because of what's on the horizon.