Good Trouble: Season 1/ Episode 1 “DTLA” [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card for Freeform's Good Trouble.
64.85% (1)

Good Trouble is charged with messages of equality mixed in with the relationship (platonic and otherwise) drama fans of its predecessor are used to.


Network
Freeform
Creator Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Director(s) Jon M. Chu
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Air Date 1/1/2019
Genre(s) Drama, Young Adult
Good If You Like Progressive TV Programming

Racial & Cultural Diversity

Your Usual 20 Something Drama with Random Sex Partners, Job Anxiety, and Unnecessarily Complicated Relationships

Isn’t For You If You Don’t Like Your TV Programs Being Political
Introduced This Episode
Mariana Cierra Ramirez
Callie Maia Mitchell
Judge Wilson Roger Bart
Casey Chloé Wepper
Rebecca Molly McCook
Ben Ken Kirby
Alice Sherry Cola
Malika Zuri Adele
Gael Tommy Martinez
Davia Emma Hunton

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The Introduction

We experience a 5-year jump since the end of The Fosters, and now Mariana and Callie are college graduates and have decided to live together in Los Angeles. It is there where Mariana has found a job at a tech startup named Speckulate and Callie has found a job working under a conservative federal judge, last name Wilson. For both of these girls, their jobs don’t start off ideal.

Mariana’s issue is Speckulate is a boy’s club, and while there is one female team lead, Casey, it is clear that when it comes to software and engineering, Mariana is a minority. Something which weighs on her a bit, as she tries to get acclimated. As for Callie? Well, her issue is that she is a clerk for a conservative judge, who claims he doesn’t do judicial activism, and her fellow clerks are Rebecca and Ben. Now, while Rebecca seems nice, Ben is a butt hole. So, put those two together, and a judge Callie disagrees with fundamentally, you can see head-butting coming.

Oh, but we didn’t even talk about the place they live at! First of all, The Coterie is a communal living styled apartment building. So, while Mariana and Callie have their loft, the bathroom and kitchen are shared. Now, not everyone makes that much of an impression but Alice, the landlord, we learn is queer and very much into the setup she provides her tenants. There is also Malika, who was in foster care like Callie, but never found her forever family, and then there is Gael.

For those who watched The Fosters, you may remember the show had a fondness for love triangles. Well, between Gael, Mariana, and Callie, there seemed to be the possibility of a love triangle. However, between Callie decided to back off, after having sex with Gael, and Marianna making a discovery about him, that may no longer be an issue.

Giving us a very intriguing first episode and the kind of program you know you could only find on FreeForm.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering how Callie talks about how Marianna isn’t able to live alone, how did she handle MIT? That was on the other side of the country.

Highlights

Social Politics

Callie (Maia Mitchell) talking to Malika about a case where a Black kid was shot by cops.
Callie (Maia Mitchell): I read that the city’s trying to get the case dismissed.

One of the things you have to love about FreeForm is that, for its better shows, it presents a lot of topical characters and stories. Of which, thinking back to the beginning of The Fosters, we got bombarded with one thing after another and while many sometimes felt rushed, many topics addressed were ahead of their time. I’m talking about immigration issues, women being harassed in the workplace, and many other issues which usually weren’t part of shows marketed to young adults. Well, considering their ages at the time, teenagers.

Then, in later seasons, the show kept up with that by having a trans character, dealing with gun violence, mental health, parenting in your 20s, and all of that built up expectations for this show. Many of which the show seemingly may live up to. We got Alice who is dealing with the fact that she is Asian and queer and her mom being old school. Black Lives Matter is in full effect with Callie being the clerk for the shooting of a young Black man, Gael is seemingly bi-sexual, sexism in Marianna’s workplace and with Judge Wilson, a conservative voice.

Cultural Diversity

One of the other things The Fosters championed, that many shows struggle with, is not just having racial diversity, in terms of skin tones, but cultural diversity. We had a bi-racial lesbian, a cop who came from a blue-collar background, two children of Latin descent, someone who was in the foster system, family members who were addicts, and so much more. Good Trouble seems no different in addressing that, within arm’s reach, at any given day, there are a multitude of stories far unlike our own.

Alice (Sherry Cola) introducing herself to Callie and Mariana.
Alice (Sherry Cola)

As noted above, we got Alice who is closeted to her folks, a disappointment in some ways, yet owns her own apartment building. We got Gael who is a bi-sexual man. Mind you, kind of fitting into a ho stereotype right now, but Gael deserves sexual liberation as much as anyone else. Also, we got Davia who is body positivity, and formerly was anorexic, Malika who was in the foster system but didn’t get lucky like Callie, and the list goes on. Pretty much, this show finds a way to be inclusive to different ethnic groups, and recognizes their culture, without making it seem it is to avoid criticism. Instead, Good Trouble presents the idea that, like its predecessor, it isn’t at the forefront to be seen but because of its dedication to the work which put it there.

On The Fence

Your Usual Heightened 20-Something Drama

While I loved the messages and stories of The Fosters, there came a point where the drama used to tell those stories just was too much. Between Brandon and Callie going back and forth, the situations Callie seemingly was drawn to, and a handful of other lesser things, it was hard not to get both exhausted and built up a certain tolerance. For while you get storylines like what we got from Girls United, this was paired with the type of drama which occasionally eclipse the message and the strength of individual character.

Now, concerning Good Trouble, the fear is that we may get more of the same. Yes, we got a Black Lives Matter storyline, but with Callie hiding from Malika she is on the case, who knows how they may handle that. Yet, there isn’t a need to threat unnecessarily. Considering Callie revealed to Marianna that she slept with Gael and didn’t keep that a secret, nor having sex with him twice, there is hope.

How Judge Wilson Will Be Handled

Judge Wilson (Roger Bart) talking to Callie about a case.
Judge Wilson (Roger Bart)

Taking note of Grown-ish and how they handled their conservative character, I must admit I fear one-sided writing. Now, while I have very few conservative viewpoints, there is a need to recognize that people who are beholden to conservative beliefs aren’t going anywhere. With that in mind, they can’t always play the role of either the villain or be pushed to seem other. Leading me to hope Good Trouble takes note of how The Bold Type handled gun control and violence.

What I mean by that is, I hope the show doesn’t try to make Judge Wilson. At least not because Callie’s passion inspired him to. Also, with him taking note he is not an activist judge, it would be interesting to see how he holds that as a standard yet sometimes falters. Essentially what I’m saying here is, I want to see layers and a complicated figure. One that Callie truly does learn from and maybe even, when it comes to his possible conservative viewpoints, she may agree. Perhaps even change her mind about some things.

First Impression: Positive (Watch This)

I must admit that expecting this show to get a bit over the top does have me fearing investing in this, yet I do miss how varied the stories get because of the cultures and underrepresented people that are made. So while rated positive just because the show seems good, and you can see its potential, there is a bit of caution in that. Mostly in the form of how it may handle Judge Wilson and how it handles its diverse cast in the long run.


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 2, Episode 8 “Disruptions” [Summer Finale]In an emotional, or dramatic, finale, if not both, Callie has had enough, Mariana makes things worse at work, and our favorite queer relationships might be in trouble.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 8/6/2019
Introduced This Episode
Kendra Azita Ghanizada
Sariya Presilah Nunez
  • Things Have Just Become Too Complicated:Lindsay, Alice, Joey, Elijah, Gael
  • You Said Too Much While Saying Very Little:Amanda, Evan, Mariana, Kendra, Davia, Dennis, Jennifer, Jeff, Sariya, Teresa, Marcus, Callie
  • Needing A Change: Malika, Issac, Judge Wilson, Callie, Mariana, Gael, Jamie
Season 2, Episode 6 “Twenty-Fine”It’s Malika’s birthday and tensions between people who live at The Coterie and their partners nearly throw off the vibe she was aiming for.
Director(s) Chandra Wilson
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Ashly Perez
Air Date 7/23/2019
  • Love Is In The Air: Malika, Isaac, Davia, Dennis
  • I Just Want You More Confident: Joey, Alice, Raj, Mariana, Gael, Elijah
  • Sisters Fight Sometimes: Mariana, Raj, Jamie, Callie
Season 2, Episode 7 “In The Middle”While nearly everyone is given a grand opportunity, so comes the question of what they are willing to sacrifice? Be it professional relationships or personal.
Director(s) Jay Chandrasekhar
Writer(s) Nicole Paulhus
Air Date 7/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Amanda Allison Paige
  • Does He Or Doesn’t He Alice?: Alice, Dennis, Jeff, Davia
  • Under Pressure: Mariana, Evan, Gael, Elijah
  • Who Needs A Comfort Zone?: Callie, Mariana, Davia, Teresa, Marcus, Malika, Isaac, Gael, Jamie
Season 2, Episode 5 “Happy Heckling”As Evan reveals his intentions, things blow up at Speckulate. Also, Callie is once again struggling with her dating and life choices.
Director(s) Erica Dunton
Writer(s) Adam Starks
Air Date 7/16/2019
Introduced This Episode
Lindsay Rhea Butcher
  • An Up And Coming Talent: Alice, Joey, Lindsay
  • I’m Not Who You Think I Am: Elijah, Gael, Callie, Marcus, Jamie, Alice
  • Something Beyond Co-Workers: Mariana, Alex, Raj, Evan, Josh
Season 2, Episode 4 "Unfiltered"Despite Callie starting a new job, old habits die hard. Also, Davia’s mom, Bonnie, comes to town and reminds us of another reason Davia doesn’t want to go home.
Director(s) Laura Nisbet Peters
Writer(s) Resheida Brady
Air Date 7/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
Bonnie Reagan Pasternak
Gina Rachel Rosenbloom
Marcus Juan Antonio
Teresa Lisandra Tena
  • Pay The Cost To Be A Boss: Gina, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Pulling A Callie: Callie, Joseph, Isaac, Malika, Marcus, Teresa
  • Mommie Dearest: Davia, Dennis, Bonnie
Season 2, Episode 3 “Doble Quince”Jazmin decides to have a Doble Quince, and despite it being her party, nearly everyone else’s minds are on other things.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Ashly Perez
Air Date 7/2/2019
  • A Lady Is Allowed Her Secrets: Malika, Dom, Isaac, Joseph
  • You Can’t Have A Relationship Without Honest Conversations: Joey, Alice, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Sometimes Progress Doesn’t Come Soon Enough: Gael, Elijah, Jazmin, Jamie, Callie
Season 2, Episode 1 “Percussions” [Season Premiere]The verdict of the Jamal Thompson case is delivered, Mariana deals with how her personal and professional life has changed, and Alice prepares her next chapter.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 6/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jacob Carter Rush Adkins
  • The Struggle To Move Forward: Dennis, Jacob, Davia, Jeff
  • A Change Gon’ Come: Alice, Joey, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Was This The Battle Or Was It The War?:Sandra, Judge Wilson, Malika, Callie, Jamie, Gael
Season 2, Episode 2 "Torn"Drastic moves are made in order to go from surviving to being happy, thriving even, but they naturally come at a cost.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 6/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Naomi Denise Dowse
Elijah Denim Richards
Joseph Richard Brooks
  • Case Of The Ex: Davia, Jeff, Elijah, Gael, Callie
  • Moving Past The Pain: Joseph, Dom, Malika, Dennis, Davia
  • A Complicated Future: Callie, Mariana, Evan, Raj, Jamie, Judge Wilson, Naomi, Malika
Season 1, Episode 13 “Vitamin C”Callie facing the camera, after being unable to choose between Gael and Jamie.
Nearly everything comes to a head as Good Trouble ends its first season which thankfully will be followed up by season 2 in June.
Director(s) Joanna Johnson
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 4/2/2019
Introduced This Episode
Viv Riley Go
  • From Another’s Eyes: Viv, Davia, Malika, Dom, Sandra
  • The Truth Will Set You Free And Freedom Is A Dangerous Gift: Mariana, Angela, Josh, Evan, Callie, Sumi, Joey, Meera, Alice, Ben
  • Picking Up The Pieces: Raj, Mariana, Dom, Isaac, Malika, Callie, Jamie, Gael, Davia, Dennis, Alice, Trae, Malika, Jeff
Season 1, Episode 12 “Broken Arted”You may think the title of this episode, “Broken Arted” is about romance but what’ll break your heart is the loss of something, rather someone beyond love.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
Air Date 3/26/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nathan Brandon Barash
  • True Intentions: Raj, Evan, Angela, Mariana, Josh, Malika, Casey
  • A Complicated Relationship: Gael, Bryan, Callie, Jamie, Jasmin, Sumi, Alice, Meera, Joey
  • Goodbye Big Brother?: Mariana, Dennis, Davia, Jeff, Nathan, Jenn
Season 1, Episode 11 “Less Than”Good Trouble dives into varying topics dealing with race from pay gaps, representation, privilege, and also how to be an ally this episode.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Kimberly Ndombe
Air Date 3/19/2019
  • She’s Still In Love: Alice, Sumi, Meera, Joey
  • In The Minority: Malika, Isaac, Sandra, Mariana, Casey, Evan, Davia, Josh, Angela
  • The Work Drama Continues: Kate, Judge Wilson, Callie, Jamie, Tate
Season 1, Episode 10 “Re-Birthday”What begins as a fun night out, with 0 focus on work, leads to a lot of people addressing current relationships, boundaries, and self-respect.
Director(s) Aprill Winney
Writer(s) Claudia Forestieri, Dan Richter
Air Date 3/12/2019
Introduced This Episode
Brandon David Lambert
  • Communication Issues: Isaac, Malika, Brandon, Dennis, Jamie, Callie, Gael, Bryan
  • Boundary Issues: Sumi, Mariana, Raj, Alice
  • It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To: Davia, Dennis, Jeff
Season 1, Episode 9 “Willful Blindness”On top of meeting Malika and Alice’s illustrious mothers, and Rebecca’s, someone says goodbye to Good Trouble.
Director(s) Kelli Williams
Writer(s) Lauren Moon
Air Date 3/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Moe (Malika’s Mom) Karole Foreman
Diane TBD
Trea Lee Chen
Kate Dianne Doan
  • Life In The Closet: Trea, Alice, Joey, Sumi, Meera
  • Identity Issues: Callie, Bryan, Gael, Mariana, Rebecca, Diane, Judge Wilson, Kate
  • A New Kind Of Family: Moe, Dom, Malika, Mariana, Sandra
Season 1, Episode 8 “Byte Club”Rebecca’s past is revealed as she flirts with a future that includes Jesus and Mariana’s Byte Club begins and finds a vital ally of the male staff.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Nicole Paulhus
Air Date 2/26/2019
Introduced This Episode
Tate Zachary Gordon
Angela Heather Mazur
Josh Charlie Bodin
Jesus Noah Centineo
  • When or Where Did I Go Wrong?: Callie, Judge Wilson, Tate
  • Always Be Ready: Dennis, Jesus, Rebecca
  • No Woman Left Behind: Mariana, Casey, Callie, Raj, Rebecca, Angela, Josh, Alex, Ben
Season 1, Episode 7 "Swipe Right"“Swipe Right” is purely about establishing the beginning, possible end, of nearly every characters current or future relationship.
Director(s) Troian Bellisario
Writer(s) Ally Musika
Air Date 2/19/2019
Introduced This Episode
Paul Joe Burke
Isaac Sarunas J. Jackson
Joey Daisy Eagan
Eli Steven Krueger
Lara Alisa Allapach
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Paul, Isaac, Joey, Eli, Lara, Mariana, Malika, Davia, Alice, Sumi
  • I Can’t Give All, So I Have To Give Nothing: Callie, Gael
Season 1, Episode 6 "Imposter"While the truth helps Callie flourish, Mariana is getting sick and tired of being sick and tired. Also, Jazmin returns and clues us into how difficult her life is.
Director(s) Geoff Haley
Writer(s) Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
Air Date 2/12/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jennifer Annie Little
  • The Truth Will Set You Free: Judge Wilson, Jamie, Callie, Dennis, Davia, Ben, Jennifer
  • What It’s Like To Be Me: Jazmin, Gael, Callie, Jamie
  • Fight Club: Alex, Raj, Mariana, Casey, Evan
Season 1, Episode 5 "Parental Guidance Suggested"Stef and Lena come to The Coterie and reveal what is going on in their lives, and shine a light on Dennis.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 2/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Dennis Josh Pence
Stef Teri Polo
Lena Sherri Saum
  • Moms Are Coming!: Callie, Gael, Mariana, Malika, Bryan, Davia, Stef, Lena
  • Introducing Dennis: Stef, Dennis
  • The Truth Sets You Free/ Someone Who Understands: Lena, Malika, Callie, Mariana, Gael, Bryan, Ben, Davia
Season 1, Episode 4 “Playing The Game”Mariana and Alice are given the opportunity to stand up for themselves, as Davia and Callie are tasked with a needed shift in an important relationship.
Director(s)Michael Medico
Writer(s)Cristian Martinez
Air Date1/29/2019
Introduced This Episode
LibbyJessica Tuck
JeffChris Sheffield
  • The Boy Back Home: Davia, Jeff, Mariana
  • You Got To Stand Up For Yourself: Mariana, Raj, Casey, Alice, Malika, Sumi, Alex
  • We All Have Our Secrets: Libby, Judge Wilson, Rebecca, Ben, Callie, Malika
Season 1, Episode 3 “Allies”Both Mariana and Callie continue to struggle with office politics as Malika’s activism puts her at odds with her family.
Director(s)Laura Nisbet Peters
Writer(s)Kris Q. Rehl
Air Date1/22/2019
Introduced This Episode
JamieBeau Mirchoff
SandraNicki Micheaux
EvanT.J. Linnard
RajDhruv Uday Singh
SamMax Cutler
JazminHailie Sahar
  • You Make Time For The Things, And People, You Think Are Important: Malika, Sandra, Dom
  • Slowing Down The Train Won’t Mean It Won’t Get To Its Destination: Mariana, Alex, Raj, Sam, Evan, Casey
  • Step Your Game Up: Jamie, Callie, Rebecca, Ben, Judge Wilson, Gael, Bryan, Davia

Season 1/ Episode 1 “DTLA”

Good Trouble is charged with messages of equality mixed in with the relationship (platonic and otherwise) drama fans of its predecessor are used to.

Creator Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Director(s) Jon M. Chu
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Air Date 1/1/2019
Genre(s) Drama, Young Adult
Good If You Like Progressive TV Programming

Racial & Cultural Diversity

Your Usual 20 Something Drama with Random Sex Partners, Job Anxiety, and Unnecessarily Complicated Relationships

Isn’t For You If You Don’t Like Your TV Programs Being Political
Introduced This Episode
Mariana Cierra Ramirez
Callie Maia Mitchell
Judge Wilson Roger Bart
Casey Chloé Wepper
Rebecca Molly McCook
Ben Ken Kirby
Alice Sherry Cola
Malika Zuri Adele
Gael Tommy Martinez
Davia Emma Hunton

Season 1, Episode 2 “The Coterie”

We got a conversation on bi-sexuality, the backstory of multiple characters and work drama – aka what will probably be the usual from Good Trouble.

Director(s)Peter Paige
Writer(s)Joanna Johnson
Air Date1/15/2019
Introduced This Episode
JudeHayden Byerly
BryanMichael Galante
Dom (Malika’s Brother)J. Mallory McCree
SumiKara Wang
AlexDustin Ingram
  • Let’s Talk About Sex(uality): Jude, Callie, Gael, Bryan, Sumi, Alice
  • The Outsider: Mariana, Alex, Davia
  • I’m Trying Here: Malika, Dom, Callie, Rebecca, Mariana, Ben

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4 COMMENTS

    • Yup yup. Though, be aware that the drama may one day over run many of the messages the show presents and the characters who whose backgrounds are rarely featured in the combination the show presents.

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