Sunday, August 16, 2020

REVIEW: 'P-Valley' - Generational Trauma Reverberates as Everyone Aspires for a More Prosperous Future in 'Legacy'

Starz's P-Valley - Episode 1.06 "Legacy"

All throughout the Pynk, surprising new bonds are formed as everyone fights to secure their bag and their future. Andre faces pushback on his deal with the warring Kyle brothers.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Starz's P-Valley.

"Legacy" was written by Katori Hall & Jacqui Rivera and directed by Tasha Smith

Communities often have rich histories. The opportunities or misfortunes of the present day can often be traced back to the decisions of the past. Granmuva can speak about her time as the manager of the club. She grew up with a history of civil rights. She recalls a time of economic prosperity and joyous energy throughout Chucalissa. But the mistakes she made may have only compounded and limited the decisions Clifford could make once he tried to rebrand the club as the Pynk. This building has been in the family for generations. And yet, the struggle Clifford faces today isn't all that different from what this community and his family have faced before. This isn't the first time that a business has been destroyed in this town. In fact, more places are abandoned than actually functional. Clifford aspires for more in the future. But the debts are expanding. The building could be sold out from underneath him. There may be nothing he can do. That's crushing to him and his family's spirit. Granmuva does her best to keep the power and excitement alive. Her presence has to prove that she still matters in this world. She does even though she is now blind. She can still navigate the world and offer the advice or opinion Clifford needs at any moment. She has the necessary perspective. Chucalissa may have changed. But hope is still allowed to prosper. People still see this place as their home. They hold onto that sentimentality believing that things won't change or fall into despair. That threat is always present though. The Pynk could go out of business in a week. Everyone could lose their jobs. The wealthy may come in and take over this community so that a new population can prosper. There is never the understanding that the people who have called this place their home for generations will be allowed to stay and earn a piece of that newfound wealth. Andre will fight for the place that he views as his home. This is where he was born. He left and became an accomplished lawyer. He sees better days ahead for his hometown. He is passionate about this evolution thanks to the casino project. And yet, he also feels torn because of the local discrimination and the pressure to thrive elsewhere. He too feels the call to be away from here. He will have a better time making something of himself if he moves to the big city and reunites with his wife. It's not worth the effort to invest in a small town like this that is already going down the drain. He holds onto hope because he has put so much into the project already. But he is also more than willing to forge the paperwork to stick it to the people who have never had to work in order to achieve something in this world. Some people have the wrong attachments to history. The Kyle brothers revere the Confederate memorabilia their father collected. They still see it as a just cause worth fighting for. They care about the big splashes they can make in the moment. They aren't interested in building for the future. Corbin Kyle has had to work though. He is actually a member of this community. As such, he feels the power to ask for respect and a piece of the coming prosperity. He wants to build on that investment despite the terror and animosity he constantly feels from his half-siblings. They use violence to intimidate. That's absolutely horrifying. They feel the power to do so because they haven't known anything else in their lives. They are accustomed to having these privileges. That means they don't ultimately care what happens to others around them. That lack of empathy is destructive to them. Sometimes it's important to be selfish and make a stand for oneself. Clifford refuses to be bulldozed by the politicians and developers who wish to take away the one piece of property that has mattered in his family for generations. He has the connections to potentially mount a campaign against the casino. That may not work in the end. But it may be the only option he has left. People are desperate sometimes. That makes crime more appealing. Hailey and Mercedes are working together to earn what they believe they deserve. It's a pattern that may only welcome more abuse into their lives. Hoping the inevitable stays awhile isn't a good strategy. It is already lurking around the corner just waiting to catch them. And yet, they still have admirable goals. They understand their lives may be better elsewhere. They may even be planning on making such changes. But they still feel attachments to this community. Those connections can keep them grounded. They even achieve everything they want in this world. The discomfort and tragedy still seems present though to the point that everyone may be perpetually trapped in this cycle of being unable to advance any further in their lives. They have to make do with what they have right now. It's colorful and enjoyable. However, they deserve more stability and certainty as well. Being able to build something and reap the rewards of such effort is a noble goal for everyone.