Thursday, November 19, 2020

REVIEW: 'B Positive' - Drew Finally Has Serious Conversations with His Ex-Wife and Daughter in 'Foreign Bodies'

CBS' B Positive - Episode 1.03 "Foreign Bodies"

While Gina makes herself at home in Drew's house, Drew begins to question whether he made the right decision.

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 CBS' B Positive.

"Foreign Bodies" was directed by James Burrows with story by Marco Pennette and teleplay by Alexa Junge & Preston Walker

It's a blessing that the show didn't produce an episode in which Julia and Maddie are in the dark about why Drew and Gina are suddenly living together. It was always a problem that Drew was keeping his renal failure a secret from them. They are his family. His marriage didn't work out. However, he still has to co-parent with Julia. This is a major change in his life. It's one that already seems to be invading every single aspect of it. The show goes the broad way in having Gina represent the physical embodiment of just how much this diagnosis needs to change things for Drew. He is suddenly woken up by a dog. He finds himself doing TikTok dances. It's a massive change for Gina as well. She is learning that it's not smart to put crocs in the dishwasher. Of course, every episode so far features her either jumping out or falling out of a window. That's a visual joke that implies just how prone to running she can be. That's always her first instinct. Living with Drew and making this commitment to him for the next few months has to ground her. She has to be a part of this family now. Drew wants boundaries. Gina is advised to keep the relationship purely transactional. He is providing her with a place to live in exchange for a kidney. Their friendship doesn't need to go beyond that. They have their individual lives as well. Gina can vent about what's going on with her friends at the retirement community. Drew can voice his concerns during his dialysis sessions. These new perspectives bluntly tell the leads what they should be expecting out of this new arrangement. Again, it's the broad way to deliver the point of the show across. It has to be spelled out to Gina and Drew so that they actually engage with each other in a meaningful way later on. But again, there is solid purpose in this episode because it invites Julia and Maddie into the story. They learn about Drew's diagnosis. It can change these relationships as well. Previously, Maddie just thought her dad was always acting weird. Everything he did was embarrassing. As such, nothing was truly special or out of normal. This uproots that notion. Now, she fears the worst. He could actually die because of the surgery he needs. He swears that he won't. He makes that promise hoping to keep it. And yet, Gina is the one who ultimately comforts Maddie. She is completely open and frank about what is going on in this household. She is perfectly reasonable in believing that Julia already knows what's going on. She invites herself into the conversation because her body is a significant part of the discussion. That is a major action that provides agency to her even though the story mostly uses her presence for comedic effect in that situation. But again, Gina can talk to Maddie in a way to hopefully ease her fears about what all of this could mean for her father. She offers a sense of parenting that she couldn't get anywhere else. That terrifies Drew. These are conversations that needed to be had though. He couldn't have just found some crazy story to explain why Gina is suddenly living with him. The truth opens the world up so that everyone can be involved in the decision-making process. Previously, Drew had to carry that burden by himself. And now, he can open up to Gina, his family and his new friends at dialysis. His world is expanding. That's a fortunate thing. The show even earns the emotional moments of this episode. That too represents a step in the right direction. Again, the plotting is still a little thin. It still doesn't entirely know what to do with all of its characters. All of this information seemingly reignites Julia's romantic desires and willingness to take care of Drew. They could theoretically reunite as a couple because the show is fundamentally about evolution as a result of this diagnosis. That may be the expected beat. Maddie would rejoice. However, the show still has to convince the audience about why we should be invested in the outcomes of any of these developments. It's on its way. However, the progress remains incredibly incremental.