1. Billie Connelly has undiagnosed Post-partum depression
The protagonist of the story, Billie, has two children, one of which is still nursing/infant stage, and despite living in a huge house, not needing to work, having a charming and ripped fit husband who has a job as an investment power broker, she's having what looks like a mid-life crisis. She is having flashbacks to this one hot guy she dated, and how when she was in college she lived the hoe life, and then suddenly settled down into being a Desperate Housewife. In a particularly telling scene, Billie complains of the things lacking from her marital bed, and the timeframe completely fits over the time when she would have been pregnant and then post delivery.
Billie has undiagnosed post-partum depression, and does not have a strong maternal bond to her children. She isn't having a mid-life crisis because she already lived the hoe life, already did at the crazy, and that. This is why she's increasingly fantasizing and romanticising her past, there were no children there.
2. Brad Simon is not a good guy
Adam Demos does a fantastic job of selling the hot ex-boyfriend, but the character himself is a villain. Brad owns a 'record company' but almost never works, has a music stage in his apartment, and spends a lot of time around hot women at parties. This is almost a requirement for the story because the ex has to still be hot, still have a dirty or dangerous element, and has to have a degree of success. If Brad were just a band roadie, there would be no story. But there is more going on here that meets the eye.
There is no way that Brad isn't involved in backing clubs, music groups, and the underground scene, which means he is very likely eyeballs deep in drugs, doing them and dealing them. Clubs, drugs, music, the guy is a talent scout, and all that. Billie makes it painfully obvious that Brad is above normal good at having the sex. There is almost no way that my mind can correlate Brad being a good guy. He's a womanizer, a drug dealer, and the sort of guy who does stalker shit, posts nudes from his exes, and all of that. He's not a bad boy, he's a criminal who just hasn't been caught yet.
3. Sasha Snow is a Terrible Person
Sasha Snow is full of contradictions, and not in a fun way, but a problematic poorly written way. As Billie's BFF from college hoe life, Sasha is supposed to have a doctorate in psychology, and teaches for a living. She is a very young black woman without a shred of seriousness, dignity, or continuity. I'm sure there are a ton of young black psychology professors who are all about having dirty sex with C tier music acts in the back of small clubs, or when their privacy is violated by having their intimate sexual acts livestreamed without their knowledge or consent the response is DAYUM grrl, did my butt look good? This discontinuity is further jarred by the fact that a professor/doctor of psychology should be able to offer better advice that to bounce back and forth between supporting rekindling the hoe life, and being hostile because Billie is leaning into being a hoe again.
What we don't see from Sasha is seriousness or responsibility. Ergo, Sasha rode through college, never had to work a day for it, and someone else paid for it, a wealthy father. She is estranged from this family, and after barely getting through college (there is a huge window to interpret that there were some exchanges of sexual favors for passing grades, because she is terrible at psychology) and as a C grade doctorate, the only place that she could get a job was as a teacher, at the college she attended, because her father was likely an alumni. It doesn't matter what Sasha Snow does, because as a rich kid of wealth of privilege her life has no repercussions.
4. Cooper Connelly is Being Set Up
Seemingly the only sane person in the show, the straight laced Captain America-esque Cooper is an upright guy. He loves his wife, he loves his kids, he is a present and conscious spouse and father. He finds his wife's journal (almost deliberately left out for him to find, seriously) and reads it. Instead of getting mad about his fantasies, he tries to make things better for her so she is happy. There are shenanigans, doing teenager hooligan antics, and multiple attempts at daredevil romance. It doesn't work out well, but he's putting in the effort, while Billie mopes around about that hoe life wearing a nightie that looks like it was stolen from Little House on the Prairie.
This is against the background of Cooper making huge moves at his place of work, the sort of stuff that makes a guy a partner in an investment firm and he's torn between his career and providing for his family, and trying to deal with his wife before she acts out on her sexual fantasies and ruins their marriage. Cooper is being set up to be the bad guy because there is a smoking hot partner at the firm and the tension between them is obvious. Billie is by this point lying to Cooper, has been texting and calling her ex, and has been seeing him as well.
When Cooper does cross the line, and it will happen, it will either be seen as a justification for Billie to go full hoe life on Brad's dirty dangler, or that will have already happened and instead of the narrative being about Billie needing to destroy her marriage, it will be about Cooper being a bad guy and harming her.
5. Maturity and Gentrification
One of the themes that is ALMOST embraced is that maturity and its overlap with gentrification in urban areas. There are two overlapping arcs, Billie and Brad from their past relationship and Billie and Cooper and her mid-life crisis. In the past, the city is dark, steamy, and the road front is tattoo parlors, bars, clubs, young people in daring clothes. In the modern, everyone is middle-aged, with their sweaters around their necks, pushing strollers and discussing play dates over fro-yo. The tattoo parlors and seedy stage clubs have been gentrified into boutiques and cupcakeries.
This is an area where it falls short, because more could have been done with this theme. Billie needs a coming of age and acceptance of the fact that she is a mother as a redemptive arc. I haven't finished the series yet, but we'll see.
6. The Most International Thing We Own is Montreal Blend
One of the things that sticks out as being incongruous is the fact that Billie repeatedly and pointedly remarks is the lack of variety and attention in her current situation, and how things used to be so much hotter when she was younger. Despite this observation, there is almost nothing in the earlier flashbacks that is a notch or two above vanilla. While there is no reason the show has to delve into any niche or subculture, the only thing that is show is a hint of exhibitionism and having a lot of sex with a bunch of different guys because its exciting.
One of the areas where there is a relationship or writing failure is that the trade-off from being single to being in a committed relationship is adding intimacy and/or sophistication to the physical aspect of the relationship. Billie has seemingly not taken either course. She is completely indifferent to the fact that Cooper has a stressful job with long hours, and given her penchant for 1920s sleepware, doesn't seem like she's invested any energy into solving the problem other than grinding vibrators.
7. Know Your Audience
An easy thing for me to overlook is that I am very much not the target demographic for this show, and I'll freely admit the only reason I'm watching it is as research material. (I have written and published several romance novels) It is a fantasy intended for women, written by women, and directed by women. Kudos to them. All of the guys are hot, and none of the women are poorly written, even if there are a few issues I have.
Not Registered Yet? No problem.
Do you want Strolenati super powers? Registering. That's how you get super powers! These are just a couple powers you receive with more to come as you participate.
- Upvote and give XP to encourage useful comments.
- Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
- Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities (super powers).
- You should register. All your friends are doing it!