So, I've been sleeping on this show for a while. Watched the pilot when it came out in 2018 and it involved a suicide and near-suicide, and even though it starred my faves (James Roday Rodriguez, Shawn Spencer from "Psych" and Romany Malco, Jay in "Forty Year-Old Virgin") , I just never went back until recently. So now that I'm here and almost caught up to present (there are 4 seasons so far), here's my review:
It's fucking great. It's a super dramatic night-time soap opera kind of thing where you cannot BELIEVE so much misery befalls one large group of friends and their extended families, but you're glad it does because you LOVE watching them figure it out. They've covered mental illness, as I mentioned, but in pretty nuanced, consistently unbudging ways, as well as addiction, injury, immigration, racism, career challenges, the pandemic, sexual assault and child abuse, cancer and the aftermath, coming out, affairs and unplanned pregnancies, divorce, and much more. AND IT'S FUNNY. Because of the two guys I mentioned above, and, honestly, the whole cast, it's way funnier than it has to be, which keeps it real and compelling throughout. AND IT'S ABOUT FOOD, which is always good. The characters have been through some stuff and have done a lot of self-examination and therapy, and so speak more openly about their feelings, demonstrate more self-awareness than the average bear- this is notable, especially with the male characters- I mean, holy hell, and it's nice to be in this fantastical place to rest for a while.
My favorite character continues to be Maggie and my least favorite, Theo, which means, yes, I'm picking on a little kid, but that's mostly because he's better parented than my kids are and way better behaved, and it annoys me. Anyway, highly recommend this show. It's sweet and loving and other than the fact that a ridiculous amount of bad stuff happens to the same people, the human responses are (again, fairly enlightened but also ) pretty understandable and relatable and the slow moving growth of each character also tracks. I love it. Highly recommend.
NONE STABS out of 5 for my feminist movie/show review: This show does NOT make me want to stab anyone in the eyeball- it writes women BEAUTIFULLY with complexity and accuracy and the female friendships in it are stellar.
If you already are on board- who are your favorite and least favorite characters??
Sarah Z Writer.