Friday’s Freeform Round-Up

Happy Friday and welcome to Ramblings, Rants, Reviews new segment: Friday’s Freeform Round-Up. Every Friday (hopefully) I will be recapping what has happened on the Freeform shows I’m watching and my thoughts about the episode.

I’ll be talking about Party Of Five, Good Trouble, The Bold Type, and Grown-ish this week. Sadly, I am behind on Everything’s Gonna Be Okay but hopefully, I can catch up so I can include them in Friday’s Freeform Round-up.

Spoilers ahead.

Party Of Five — “Dos y Dos”

This week on Party of Five, the Acosta children faced even more obstacles as they struggle to live without their parents. Emilio finds out that Val has been going by the name “Amanda Davis” at her dance classes. Emilio convinces Val to come clean to her new friends and things do not end great for her. It’s all too much for little Val to handle and she ends up running away. The kids eventually find Val at an immigration center near the Mexico border — Val was trying to go see her mom.

Meanwhile, Beto discovers some interesting news about his girlfriend, Ella. Lucia reveals that she has feelings for her new mentor — that doesn’t end well either. And Emilio struggles with his identity.

In the end, Emilio decides to send his siblings to Mexico to be reunited with their parents. Unfortunately, due to his DACA status, Emilio is not able to go with them. It’s a scene that mirrors the first episode of the series as we see the four Acosta children approach busses while Emilio stands on the other side — this time alone.

Obviously, a lot was going on this episode and naturally, I have some thoughts.

Val’s storyline has been interesting but since viewers have known where she got the name “Amanda Davis” from I didn’t find the revelation from the Acosta children groundbreaking. The impactful part of her storyline came when she reunites with her siblings and tells Emilio not to be bad at her. It’s a small statement but one that a kid in trouble would tell their parent. Maybe, Val has finally come to terms with the fact that Emilio is in charge. I also cried when Emilio told Val how brave she was and that it’s time for her to finish her journey and go see their parents.

In regards to Beto and Ella, I wasn’t all that invested. One thing I do like about these two is that they juxtapose their struggles. Beto’s parents aren’t in the picture and he’d give anything to have them back. Ella has both her parents and yet, they’re constantly fighting over her or causing her unneeded grief. It’s an interesting juxtaposition because it shows that anyone can have family struggles going on — even if everything seems perfect from the outside. I also think Ella’s story touched on a very real thing for many children of divorced families. I don’t think it’s uncommon for kids to act out in order to get their parents’ attention and these pleas for attention can be even more over-the-top for kids in divorced households.

Lucia’s storyline really threw me for a loop. I had no idea that she had romantic feelings for Sully, her new mentor. In fact, it felt like a rushed storyline. If this is the angle the writers were going for, I think we needed to see hints of Lucia’s feelings sooner instead of being thrown into this awkward dinner party. Also, there’s a major age difference between these two that’s just not acceptable. Freeform (or ABC Family) may have been able to get away with Aria and Mr. Fitz but this is 2020 and people aren’t as quick to accept kid/adult love-stories anymore, at least I’m not. I am interested to see how the writers handle this and Lucia’s newfound sexuality.

Lastly, I want to talk about Emilio. In this episode, Emilio struggles with his identity. He doesn’t feel Mexican enough because he was raised in the US and his parents wanted him to assimilate. He says, “They wanted me to speak English without an accent, I played football instead of soccer,” I listened to music different than my parents, and my friends and girlfriends have all been white. And yet, he says I’m not American enough because of his DACA status. He’s stuck in this limbo and feels like he’s not apart of either community.

His inner struggle was the most moving in my opinion because it’s a very real inner struggle to have. This is a real issue among first-generation children and it’s also a real issue for children of mixed races. Our society gives off this idea that you can only identify as one thing, check one box but that’s a very troubling and limiting viewpoint to have. Emilio is capable of being Mexican AND American, just by being himself. I’m sure that’s something we’re going to see explored as the season, and hopefully series continues.

As for next week, well we’re in for a wild ride. We’ve seen that their mom is busy all day babysitting Amanda Davis, while their father struggles with his new job and perhaps a bit of alcoholism. The “everything’s okay” image they have presented to their children might be exposed next week.

You can watch Party of Five on Freeform, Hulu, Youtube, Sling TV, or Amazon Prime Video.

Good Trouble — “Fragility”

Meanwhile, on Good Trouble, Davia comes to the terms with her white fragility when it comes to connecting with her classroom full of children of color. She finally reads the book Malika bought for her and begins to understand why being “color blind” only adds to racial tensions instead of erasing them. She apologizes to her class and has a real breakthrough moment with them. Unfortunately, she’s still caught in the middle when she mentions she’s planning on meeting with a group of teachers who advocate against the school’s “diversion program” to her boss who advises against it.

Elsewhere, Callie learns that Jamie bought the engagement ring for his ex-girlfriend because it was “what he was supposed to do.” This presents an interesting theory that Jamie does what he’s told, except when it comes to falling in love with Callie. As the engagement ring storyline is put to rest, we move on to discover that Jaime has taken over the Anwei now that Callie has stepped down from it. Jaime defends his decision to take the case on by saying he convinced them to give the tenants even more money to relocate. This doesn’t sit well with Callie who would rather see the tenants stay in their homes.

Mariana is also dealing with a complicated set of problems as she finally admits that she has feelings for her boss, Evan. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Raj, is helping out Mariana’s new roommate, Isabella, at a kid’s birthday party. It’s clear that Mariana and Raj both have feelings for other people and yet they’re both in love with each other. The sooner these two come clean to each other, the sooner their relationship can grow stronger. Who knows, maybe we’re moving into polyamorous territory.

So, here’s my take:

I loved Davia’s storyline. I think it’s really important especially since she is a white educator in a school that has a lot of children of color. I’m glad the show decided to showcase that being “color blind” doesn’t work. And I love that Davia has finally abandoned the idea that she has to constantly defend herself for “not being racist” and instead has accepted that she has been racially insensitive at times. I’m really interested to see this storyline progress and I hope Davia makes the right decision and joins the other teachers.

I also think Davia’s storyline brings attention to the “diversion program” which isn’t commonly known. I think the show did the right thing by giving viewers both opinions on whether or not the diversion program is helpful. The principal thinks it is because it’ll keep the kids out of trouble but Davia’s co-worker believes it’s a streamline to the prison system. This storyline could also spill into Callie’s world as she has a passion for fighting for people’s rights. Who knows, maybe this will finally give Davia and Callie some common ground between them.

Moving on, I find Callie and Jamie’s relationship really interesting and it’s only gotten more interesting now that their work lives are being intertwined. I mean honestly, this was bound to happen given that they’re both lawyers — or, hoping to be a lawyer.

As I mentioned above, Jamie’s conversation about the ring sparks this idea that he does what he’s told. He’s living the life his parents choose for him. Dating Callie seems to be his first act of individualism and perhaps, rebellion against his parents. We know they’re not fond of Callie, especially since their daughter is already married to an Adams-Foster. Given these hints, I wonder if Jamie even wanted to be a lawyer at all. Obviously, he’s good at it and it pays for his lifestyle but is he happy? Deep down I think he does share the same beliefs as Callie — that people deserve to be treated fairly. I’m interested to see if he begins to realize his unhappiness in his job while working on this case.

And then we have Mariana who is still struggling at work. I was slightly confused as to why Raj wasn’t included in the press coverage for the app since he was on the team. I guess I don’t remember him being taken off the project but evidently, he was. One good thing did come out of his removal, and that’s that he can stick up for Mariana and the rest of the team when Alex starts complaining as he always does. I loved that Raj put the salary ladder idea into perspective for Alex noting that not only did it benefit women but also people of color like himself.

Speaking of Raj, his relationship with Isabella is interesting, to say the least. Obviously, there are some serious feelings involved. It kind of reminds me of that Friends episode where Joey is dating some girl but Chandler has a deeper connection with her. I believe Raj and Mariana love each other, but I also believe that they’re not always honest with each other which is a problem. Their common ground seems to be work and that’s it.

As for Mariana and Evan, well I don’t support that idea. Mariana was fair in her statement to say that she and Evan can never be a thing because it would dismiss all the hard work she’s put into her job and her app. It’s an unfortunate reality but it is real. Hopefully, we can end the unnecessary love-triangle but I doubt it, this is a Freeform drama after all.

You can watch Good Trouble on Freeform, Hulu, Youtube, Sling TV, or Amazon Prime Video.

The Bold Type — “Tearing Down The Donut Wall”

This week on The Bold Type, the team at Scarlett magazine tackled weddings! Jane pitches the idea of doing a wedding round-up which would include a millennial take on weddings, a fashion shoot, and a dose of reality for Ms. Jane Sloane. Meanwhile, Sutton struggles with her own thoughts about weddings while also dealing with Oliver who is upset with her after a Carly incident. As for Kat, well she’s finally taking Jacqueline’s advice and setting time aside for herself. The only problem is that she discovers that having sex with random women might be a bit harder than she thought.

I really resonated with Jane this episode and her idealized version of weddings. I was just as shocked as Jane was when she discovered that her co-workers didn’t share her same obsession with weddings. I was extremely disappointed in Jane for throwing away her article because of Jacqueline’s marital troubles. We’ve seen Jane tackle hard subjects before and this would have been another opportunity for her to explore the complex ideas of weddings and marriage. I’m glad she got a lecture from Jacqueline because she damn well deserved one. And I loved that Jane took accountability for her lackluster job instead of making excuses.

Sutton presented an interesting argument about wedding dresses being a uniform in this episode. It’s something I’ve never thought of before as a wedding dress lover but Sutton made some good points. It can feel like a uniform because there are all these expectations surrounding them. Sutton’s issues weren’t really the wedding dresses or Carly’s uniform though, it was the fact that she has an unflattering image of what weddings are thanks to her mother’s past. I’m glad we got to see Sutton glow in a wedding dress — it seems like it was the push she needs to start accepting the idea that she’s going to be a bride and a wife soon.

And then there was Kat. Honestly, I was glad we moved away from her activism for a moment but this week’s storyline didn’t do it for me — or for her. Kat’s thought process of matching with someone so wrong with her in order to get laid was an interesting (and probably relatable) concept, but of course, things backfired on her. Maybe the moral of her arc this episode is not to judge a book by it’s cover.

Honestly, my favorite part of this week’s episode was Tom Austen. Let me tell you I scream and paused my TV to make sure it was actually him, boy did I miss his face. I really hope he sticks around for a bit and maybe, even becomes important to the series. Fingers crossed!

You can watch The Bold Type on Freeform, Hulu, Youtube, Sling TV, or Amazon Prime Video.

Grown-ish — “Real Life S—!”

This week’s Grown-ish episode had the cast tackling real-life shit, as the title suggests. After Aaron’s student debt discovery last season, he sets out to find a job that will help him begin paying off those loans. After selling himself as a “diversity hire” doesn’t work, he enlists Zoey’s help to get him an interview at her dad’s advertising company. Meanwhile, Zoey must deal with Jillian after finding out that she’s hooking up with Luca. Finally, Skye continues to deal with her feelings about dating Rodney, who she learned last week is not black.

The most powerful moment of this episode came in the first minute when Grown-ish displayed this very real statistic:

“By age 30, the average white male college graduate will have paid off 44% of their student college debt. The average Black male will owe 11% more than when they graduated.”

This statistic was the backbone of Aaron’s entire struggle this episode in trying to find a job. And honestly, extremely eye-opening. I knew that student college debt was out of control but I had no idea just how bad it was. I did feel like the solution Aaron found was very sitcom-y, but hey, this is TV. Plus working as the dean’s assistant would allow him to stay on campus longer which means the show won’t lose him because he’s set to graduate this year.

Also regarding the statistic, I loved that Jazz pointed out that while it might be tough for Aaron to find a job, he still has a better shot of getting hired than she did. It was a nice touch to remind viewers that racial discrimination and gender discrimination still occur in the workplace, in case anyone forgot.

I feel like the angle of Zoey being selfish has been so many times already. Yes, this time it’s Aaron who finally calls her out on it and maybe that’ll force her to change but at this point I doubt it. She’s already been called selfish by her then-boyfriend, her best friend, hell, even her dad and nothing has taken. It’s a real shame because there’s so much the show could be doing with the character of Zoey and yet we keep getting the same old storylines. It almost feels like she’s a background character even though she’s supposed to be the lead of this ensemble.

Skye’s storyline was really interesting though, I am glad we got a resolution to it. I do think it presented an interesting argument though in that Skye couldn’t fathom dating anyone who wasn’t black because she feared they wouldn’t be able to connect and understand each other. To me, this storyline showcases that while race does matter and is important, it doesn’t have to define everything. Also, I loved her call out line to the track guys about how they can date all the white girls they want but when she dates a white guy it’s unacceptable. It was a great moment, even if it was an overreaction on her point.

I will say I missed Nomi immensely this episode and I truly hope she returns to the show somehow.

You can watch Grown-ish on Freeform, Hulu, Youtube, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, or Vudu.

And that concludes my first ever Friday’s Freeform Round-Up! Tune in next Friday when I sound off on the same shows and spew more of my random opinions!

Let me know what you think my commenting below or by tweeting me @3RsBlog.

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