Good Trouble series premiere review: Callie and Mariana’s new life

Freeform LogoThe Good Trouble series premiere arrived on Freeform Tuesday night and there’s one thing we’ve realized about it right away: Callie and Mariana have a long and difficult road ahead for them in the event that they are going to make it in the city of Los Angeles.

From the get-go, the two young women realized that life in the City of Angels is not what they expected. Someone robbed their U-Haul, their new home proved itself to be one step above disrepair, and their new jobs were the worst. Callie had taken her clerkship with a conservative-leaning judge (note: Judge Wilson doesn’t like being called that), thinking that this would allow her to enact some sort of change on a larger level. Spoiler alert: It’s not happening. Instead, what this is really just doing is putting her into a position where she is being set up to fail. She can make progressive arguments and he can use those in order to better shoot them down. He’s been well aware of what she represents to him from the moment that she took the job; they’ve already clashed and it’s clear that it is going to take so much more than her just writing up arguments in order to make a dent with him.

Meanwhile, Mariana’s found herself in a larger tech firm run by a guy named Evan who doesn’t like to be bothered, and as it turns out, if you do bother him HR comes and humiliates you in front of everyone. That includes some of Mariana’s fellow team members, including some guys who like to tell juvenile jokes, goof off, and have a folder entitled “assets” on their computer that are exactly what you would expect. We like to think that some of the pervasive dude-bro mentality of the tech industry is starting to be filtered out in 2019, but maybe this show is doing its part to show that it’s not fully eradicated just yet.

While Callie and Mariana are tackling their professional struggles with a combination of frustration and determination, there is a more personal crisis that they must attend to — Callie slept with fellow Coterie resident Gael soon after arriving, not realizing that he and Mariana worked together and that Mariana had a crush on him. At first, this felt like an old storyline from The Fosters where Callie kept it a secret and it would eventually spiral out of control. That changed at the end of the episode where she admitted that she slept with Gael twice, including once after she knew the truth. Callie and Mariana also saw Gael hooking up with a guy in the closing minutes, a sign that he didn’t take whatever he and Callie had altogether seriously.

Creatively, was the show successful?

This was a nice evolution of The Fosters, but what mostly made it work was that there wasn’t a whole lot of time spent talking about the original show. People like Brandon, Jude, and Jesus were completely off the map — Lena and Stef were referenced via phone call, but we did not see them in the flesh. This show clearly wanted to establish itself as its own thing and for the most part, it was successful in that.

Do we think that both workplaces required a little bit more nuance? Sure, but at least the series deserves some credit for actually cultivating a realistic living situation for Callie and Mariana — even though they both have made some big steps forward in their lives and their education since The Fosters wrapped up, they still found themselves living in a cooperative housing situation with no furniture. This wasn’t one of those TV shows where characters magically have an apartment far above their means like the entire cast of Friends.

CarterMatt Verdict

A solid start for the new series with a lot of heart and two likable underdogs at the center of it. More work needs to be done on the supporting cast and showing that it can maintain momentum in the long-term; yet, Good Trouble has the potential to be a rather-good edition to Freeform’s lineup.

What did you think about the Good Trouble series premiere overall? Be sure to share some of your thoughts in the comments. (Photo: Freeform.)

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