Thankfully the show doesn’t drag out Maxine’s faux-coma, but it is starting to lose a little of its luster.
Staying on the Wagon: Kibby
With Maxine quickly getting out of her faux-coma as the network threatens to replace her, Kibby is so happy. Yet, when she gets alone time with Maxine, so comes the question of how reliable can she be? Granted, business wise, she has given her a second chance and gotten her parole officer off her back. But what that business or also personal as well?
Either way, Kibby doesn’t have time to ask for her little sister Tandy (Cassady McClincy) is in her dressing room. Why? Well, after Kibby’s mom was denied money she sends her sister to ask instead. Thus guilting Kibby into submission. Leading to her confront her mother about how she is raising Tandy as well as threaten for custody. Something her mother laughs at.
Though the struggle doesn’t end there. Kibby goes home after a long day, while trying to stay on the wagon, and finds Nick in bed with the guy from episode one.
As noted in the premiere, it really seems this show can be a leaping point for Bridges. For while Nina and Heather have sort of interesting storylines, they are dealing with the usual soap opera drama. Arguably, likely on FreeForm, you can see Kibby’s story being a solo deal. Of course, it would be kind of ironic to have that on a Disney-owned network, since most troubled child stars stem from them, but can’t you see it?
We have a former child star who had issues with drugs, alcohol, and a reliant parent just getting on her feet. Sobriety wise anyway. She is queer (or not identifying), trying to re-establish herself after being headline fodder for years, and… oh. I just realized Kibby could be Lindsay Lohan.
Even with that said, the point is that while most of the cast have tried and true soap opera stories, Kibby’s has something not as widely abused. Which, in the long run, should be quite beneficial to bridges.
The Lies We Tell: Nina, Heather, Shawn
Starting with Nina, she is very likely pregnant by Shawn. Someone who is growing tired of waiting for her to leave her husband. Yet, with Andrew about to hit the campaign trail, she doesn’t want to leave him. After all, she owes him. So, the idea seems to be, she is going to say she got a sperm donor and may just not reveal Shawn is the father. As for how long that lie will last? I’d be surprised if it lasts until the end of the season.
As for Heather? Well, we learn how and why she is getting bruises. However, it is hard to say whether this is abuse or not. If only because there seems to be some kind of enjoyment in it? You see, Brad Jr., alongside Heather working so much, is causing problems in Heather’s marriage. The type which leads her to be reminded of her Bible.
But here is when things get eyebrow raising. Those bruises we saw? It seems they are from a paddle. One in which Heather gets spanked with and while it seemed Brad might have been abusing her, it maybe not the case. For with a smile, as she is smacked on the bottom, it seems she may challenge Brad just for a spanking.
I’m struggling to care about Nina now. Not just because she is kind of boring, but Shawn is too as is Andrew. So with that love triangle having no fire, even with a baby added to the mix, I feel little reason to talk about her.
As for Heather? She leaves me with mixed feelings. Yay that she keeps defending her trans child. However, this whole beating thing has me just a bit confused. Is it when she is being beaten with a paddle on the behind she is okay? But when Brad decides to take it further is when they have problems? For it is clear Brad has anger issues but their dynamic isn’t like Perry and Celeste from Big Little Lies. There doesn’t seem to be any real complication here. Well, outside of traditional and Christian values. That of the old testament I’d say.
But again, there is this struggle to care. Which I don’t want to blame on the actors being familiar. If anything it is just these soap opera storylines. Of which, neither actor nor character brings something significant to. For while the MTF trans kid helps spice things up a little, I don’t see it as something significant yet. Especially for the kid isn’t given a strong focus and is just part of the reason for Heather’s marital issues.
Know Who You’re Playing With: Maxine, Mo
Mo decides to try to use Jason (Adam J. Harrington), a network exec, to try to push Maxine to the side. That doesn’t work. She then pulls her card on Maxine to try to blackmail her about cosmetic surgery. That doesn’t take either for Maxine just confesses about it. Thus leaving Mo with no leverage and Leon still ready to release that sex tape.
As for Maxine, outside of Mo’s antics? Well, not much is going on. She butts heads with Jason a bit, even Shawn about maybe finding love again, but they get rebuffed like Mo. Mostly because Maxine is messing around with William (Norm Lewis), the doorman, and he is giving her what he needs.
I feel the need to take away that positive label for episode 1 right now. For what once seemed like a show doing too much, but had the cast that could handle it, isn’t true. For while Bridges, Williams and Arnold are doing fine, the lesser known two are sort of floundering.
I mean, key example: Mo is basically losing in every battle she faces. She can’t win against Maxine, a big dog, nor a little pup like Leon. For most characters, perhaps even actors, it would mean an utter loss of steam. Yet, Arnold gives the impression that Mo is a comeback kid. That, yeah, she is experiencing some setbacks, but her perseverance will keep her around. Hence how she was able to get away with asking a guest on the show if he was gay[note]If this was a noteworthy show, I figure Maxine’s comments on Chris Jenner and Ann Coulter about their gender would be controversial. But I doubt the SJW are really checking for this show.[/note].
As for Maxine? With a love interest established, and drama in the form of some woman, Anna (Kristen Johnston), sniffing about, it seems while she quieted one beast she’ll have a new one to face soon. But, I gotta admit, Williams’ persona is the sole thing keeping Maxine from joining Heather and Nina. So here is hoping Anna, William, and others, help bolster her character and the show a bit.