If I was to be perfectly honest, I kind of want to drop this series. Yet, there is something which keeps me coming back. Maybe it is its potential? Perhaps the majority of the cast? It’s sort of hard to say, even with all that is noted below.
Leaks, Pettiness, and One Avoided Scandal: Kibby, Mo, Leon, Maxine
Kibby is really going through it. With her girlfriend gone and Maxine only caring to the point of what affects the show, she has no one really. Then, to make matters worse, she talks about Shawn and Nina’s affair in AA. Also, someone breaks AA trust and someone leaks it! Making it where she has no safe place to vent. Which, when she tells Maxine this, she pays for her to have a sober buddy. Which doesn’t really help but make things worse. If only because it helps Kibby realize Maxine doesn’t really trust her.
But she isn’t the only one who is finding things going from manageable to worse. Mo still decides to poke the bear, aka Maxine. For whether it is going off script or insulting her, she is ruining Maxine’s tight ship. But, to make matters worse though, Mo and Leon have been crafting some sort of Mo Uber/Lyft show. One which gets put on and is a big hit.
Something which of course upsets Maxine. After all, not only did she not get approval but it makes it that much harder to fire Mo. However, Maxine gets a reprieve. For while Maxine was trying to find a thief, who ends up being Ramona (Sarah Mack), she sees a sex tape. Not the one Leon has been holding over Mo, but still the two of them together. Thus giving Maxine a legal reason to fire Mo.
Kibby’s storyline is the only thing I haven’t become iffy about. Granted, they aren’t giving Bridges a lot of meat to sink her teeth into. However, it remains the only storyline where you can feel like her life isn’t pure drama. That is, compared to Mo who clearly is comic relief. For while it is understood this is Mo’s big break and all, and she has no other real options, she doesn’t act like it.
Something which I can’t pin on her ego, maybe her not getting along with women, Black women, light skinned black women, or just outright not respecting Maxine. Which makes it hard to see her as a complicated human being. For while it is nice that she is kind to Heather and seemingly accepting of Ella, throwing sprinkles on some ice cream doesn’t add any sort of flavor or richness to it.
But what should be interesting is the downfall Kibby seems to be on. Especially because it won’t be sudden but slow. Like, I can fully imagine them having her turn every which way to try to stay sober. But, with no support, she eventually gives into old bad habits. Especially since some old rival, played by Debbie Ryan [note]A true child star[/note] is coming into play. Something that you know is going to make things more taxing on her.
As for Mo? With her being a comic relief, it is kind of hard to say I care enough to theorize what is going on. Much less what could. Not to imply I don’t like Mo, but simply we have been given no reason to invest in her. Besides Mo being the funny one. But taking into consideration what Leon got on tape when Mo visited Heather’s family, it should be interesting to see if Mo may end up petty. Especially if she is expecting Heather to fight for her. Which doesn’t seem like that may be the case.
The Happy Home Facade: Heather, Nina, Shawn
Nina is in a bit of a pickle. Andrew knows she is pregnant, and it isn’t his. So, with this leverage, he is trying to control their eventual split. Something he is saying can be amicable or him riding a wave of revealing his wife’s infidelity. Which leads to a mutual threat of each other’s past being revealed. Something that, with both having high profile careers which can’t handle a scandal, means they are in a state of mutually assured destruction.
As for Heather? Things are getting difficult raising her daughters with Brad Sr. around. She has tried Christian Domestic Discipline, the whole whooping thing, and it doesn’t work. It leads to great sex but that’s it. The whole ordeal isn’t fixing their marriage. So she tells Brad to go to the basement. Something that, naturally, he isn’t trying to do. However, it is clear that their marriage is coming to a point where Heather can’t be the one bending over backwards as Brad plays man around the house.
Nina is floundering on this show. Her drama has such little appeal, even as they try to make it more complicated with her pre-Journalism life. Which I don’t know who to point a finger at. The writing, the actress, or those directly involved with her story?
As for Heather? She is on a tightrope. The idea of this conservative housewife putting family before trans-phobia is a beautiful thing. Especially as she battles her husband over it. Yet there is this feeling that the kid is a prop. Especially because Daytime Divas glosses over all the issues Ella would have as a trans kid. For nevermind Brad Sr., but what about Ella’s friends or her sisters? Much less, Ella isn’t good at keeping secrets. So the fact we haven’t seen Ella in Heather’s world outside of The Lunch Hour, pushes the problem further. But, perhaps in general, I’m just tired of Trans and people of color being treated as exotic accessories.
Secrets Can Kill: Anna, Maxine, William
To put it simply, Maxine and William are hiding something about her ex-husband. Something likely dealing with money and possibly his death. However, it isn’t necessarily clear what they did. What is clear though is that Anna is snooping in the right direction. Add on that Maxine did Anna dirty back in the day and you got a real good motive there.
Now, I should note, Maxine wasn’t completely horrible, when it came to Anna. Superficial? Absolutely. However, she did guide her career wise in such a way that it has allowed her to become who she is now. Though old wounds haven’t really healed. Hence this book Anna is writing on Maxine and trying to show who she is past the facade.
In the beginning, Williams playing someone similar to her Ugly Betty character was appealing. Like a continuation of an old fave. However, that was perhaps my nostalgia talking. For truly I’m growing tired of this Black and bougie character. Especially since, while it is recognized there are layers there, this show is too committed to being comedic to let everyone equally have complexity.
And just to clarify: Being messy and having drama doesn’t equal being complex. Something becoming more and more clear episode to episode.
Passing the buck is how you get passed over.