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peachmangosteen

S01.E10: Push Comes to Shove

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Took me two days to finish and a lot of fast forwarding because the writing and acting was horrible! Too much drama thrown in just to be drama to the point where it all felt hallow.

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Definitely “so bad it’s good” territory. Take a drink every time someone is naked. Another one every time someone says “Girrrrl!”.

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3 hours ago, ursula said:

Definitely “so bad it’s good” territory. Take a drink every time someone is naked. Another one every time someone says “Girrrrl!”.

I could write a new series just on the inconsistencies in this one

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I was three episodes in before I finally gave up with the bad writing and scenery chewing by the bad acting. Also, too much sex and nudity for teenagers. So I just skipped to the final episode to see who pushed Cassie off the roof. Disappointing, because I usually like dance shows, and looks like there could be a second season. I won’t watch. 

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I don’t mind naked and sex on shows. Big fan of Sense8 and Spartacus but with those shows the sex and naked was mostly part of the plot.   Not just random hookups.

 

Plus the acting was really bad.  I know people want mor stories with POC leads especially  black female leads but Naveah was just boring and her character had no real point through most of this.  I admit I fast forwarded a lot and skipped entire episodes but I much preferred June Park and even Bette.  Both stories have been done before and the show botched them both but they both had the potential to make for good tv.

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They really should have made the school university. It would have been slightly less skeevy to watch all the nudity in that case.

This was honestly totally trash but I enjoyed every second of it. There just aren’t enough fun bad shows nowadays so I appreciated it lol.

I wish they hadn’t made Shane’s boyfriend (Dev?) go rapey for a minute. It kind of ruined him coming around in the end.

So Nabil was in love with Cassie, then randomly in love with Neveah for literally a minute, and then apparently in love with June the whole time. Like what lol? It would have made more sense if he had hooked up with Caleb at some point. I really thought they were heading there. It would have half not made any sense but nothing ever did so. They just kept being naked together so I was like ok then I guess we’re going there but then they didn’t.

Oren and Naveah also came completely out of nowhere and made zero sense. Those were the 2 worst actors out of a lot of bad actors so they absolutely could not make that watchable so the nonsensical-ness of it really stood out. I actually really liked Oren though. He seemed like one of the few decent people tbh. I am still confused by the Shane stuff though. Are we supposed to assume Oren is bi or what exactly?

Mateo and Bette were one of the only couples that made sense and I thought they were cute. The scenes with Mateo’s family were some of the few scenes that were actually kinda good instead of bad good. And the Mateo actor was one of the few actors that wasn’t terrible.

I loled at Ramon being June’s dad. Like how the fuck did her mom not realize that until the second to last ep? Did she somehow never see that the show June was doing was choreographed by him? So stupid.

Speaking of Ramon, damn he got around lol. I’m not sure what we were supposed to make of the scene with him and Cassie or why he wanted Cassie to break up with Nabil. And now he’s dead. Although who knows, maybe somehow he’ll just be in a coma.

I did not like the cop but I did think the budding relationship between her and the dorm lady (Tori?) was kinda cute.

If there is another season I hope we see more of Wrench. He was the only decent adult. Also, the actor is really familiar to me but I can’t figure out why. The cop, Ramon, Delia, the lead dance guy (Thomas?), Bette/Delia’s mom, and Madame actors also looked familiar. I need to IMDb these people.

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14 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

know people want mor stories with POC leads especially  black female leads but Naveah was just boring and her character had no real point through most of this.  I admit I fast forwarded a lot and skipped entire episodes but I much preferred June Park and even Bette. 

Because the show runners rewrote her character from the book to diminish her relevance, and basically made Bette the lead, and June Park close second. That’s why Mateo and Bette made sense and Oren and Naveah didn’t, @peachmangosteen. Because the book’s OTP happened offscreen while Bette’s storyline got more focus. 

In the books, her name was Giselle, she came from a supportive two parent home and she had a totally different personality but I guess her name and not being an Angry Black Woman with a single jailbird mom wasn’t hood enough for a Netflix show.

So yeah, you concluding that the Black lead was borin, insignificant and unlikable is exactly the reaction the show-runner wanted you to have.

Edited by ursula
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10 hours ago, ursula said:

Because the show runners rewrote her character from the book to diminish her relevance, and basically made Bette the lead, and June Park close second. That’s why Mateo and Bette made sense and Oren and Naveah didn’t, @peachmangosteen. Because the book’s OTP happened offscreen while Bette’s storyline got more focus. 

In the books, her name was Giselle, she came from a supportive two parent home and she had a totally different personality but I guess her name and not being an Angry Black Woman with a single jailbird mom wasn’t hood enough for a Netflix show.

So yeah, you concluding that the Black lead was borin, insignificant and unlikable is exactly the reaction the show-runner wanted you to have.

Having not read the book, this is really interesting and frankly, annoying. Now, I get why Neveah’s character seemed to have no real purpose other than challenging institutions. Ballet seemed to be an afterthought to her. Based on the book character described in this post, “Giselle”would’ve made for a far more compelling main character than “Neveah.”

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19 hours ago, ursula said:

Because the show runners rewrote her character from the book to diminish her relevance, and basically made Bette the lead, and June Park close second. That’s why Mateo and Bette made sense and Oren and Naveah didn’t, @peachmangosteen. Because the book’s OTP happened offscreen while Bette’s storyline got more focus. 

In the books, her name was Giselle, she came from a supportive two parent home and she had a totally different personality but I guess her name and not being an Angry Black Woman with a single jailbird mom wasn’t hood enough for a Netflix show.

So yeah, you concluding that the Black lead was borin, insignificant and unlikable is exactly the reaction the show-runner wanted you to have.

I read the book series when it was first released and I'm in the middle of a reread. In the series in book 1 Bette, Gigi, and June were the leads and had equal parts. Book 2 was a little more uneven with Bette having a better story than the other two. But June and Bette were equally unlikable and devious. Also June had some hang ups about her half Korean identity which was a big part of the book especially since she had a rivalry with the other Asian girls. The show completely ignored any racism in ballet.

Oren and Naveah have very little in common with Alec and Gigi. Dohnielle described these characters in the show as remixes but I prefer the original. Gigi was a sweet girl from San Francisco from a middle class family positive family background. Not some struggling girl from the hood. And she had extraordinary talent and was a real threat to the girls at the school. Also I wouldn't call that pairing OTP. They were together for a bit in the books but didn't even last.  Alec was Bette's boyfriend but also Cassie's cousin and his father was the director of the conservatory. 

Shane replaced Will who was a side character. And imo Shane got better development than Naveah too even though I thought that shit with Oren was just for shock value and that scene in e2 was rapey. Also the relationship with Dev was inappropriate considering he's a grown ass man fucking a teen but folks aren't ready for that convo.

 

Edited by In2You
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12 hours ago, In2You said:

And imo Shane got better development than Naveah too even though I thought that shit with Oren was just for shock value and that scene in e2 was rapey. Also the relationship with Dev was inappropriate considering he's a grown ass man fucking a teen but folks aren't ready for that convo.

Agreed on both counts.

It's like they wanted us to get that Travis was bad because he assaulted June and raped Paige, but we weren't supposed to think Shane assaulted/raped Oren. And we were supposed to think Travis and co. (plus Ramon) were bad for going after teenaged girls, but that Dev and Shane were cute even though Dev was at least 25 years old.

Like,

confused schitts creek GIF by CBC

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2 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

Agreed on both counts.

It's like they wanted us to get that Travis was bad because he assaulted June and raped Paige, but we weren't supposed to think Shane assaulted/raped Oren. And we were supposed to think Travis and co. (plus Ramon) were bad for going after teenaged girls, but that Dev and Shane were cute even though Dev was at least 25 years old.

Like,

confused schitts creek GIF by CBC

I had gay friends in high school who were dating 25+ men the same way their were a few girls dating older men. And by college years they could look back on those relationships and realize they were wrong. It's like this show was trying to say those relationships are only wrong if the adult is old enough to be your parent. But even then they were trying to give Monique a free pass at the end it felt.

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22 minutes ago, In2You said:

It's like this show was trying to say those relationships are only wrong if the adult is old enough to be your parent. But even then they were trying to give Monique a free pass at the end it felt.

I had completely forgotten about that thing with her and Caleb. Very mixed messaging lol.

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On 12/19/2020 at 12:31 PM, peachmangosteen said:

I am still confused by the Shane stuff though. Are we supposed to assume Oren is bi or what exactly?

So I *think* we are supposed to believe Oren is straight, and that he was “allowing” Shane to get him off but made it clear there would be no real intimacy or possibility of a relationship, and I *think* this shitty arrangement was supposed to highlight how desperate for love Shane was and how little self-esteem he had. But the writing is so terrible, and the sex scene choreography was so ambiguous, it’s really anyone’s guess. They never showed Oren struggling with his feelings for Oren...just with regret about cheating & leading him on. This pairing would have made a little more sense if Oren hadn’t been in a relationship where he was already getting a lot of sex. I mean how many instances of “helping each other out” does he need in a day? But, again, the bad writing & acting. I never understood anyone’s motivations. 

BTW, Shane’s pairing with the adult Grindr bf should have similarly made the audience feel bad for him & his self loathing bc it was also extremely inappropriate. Shane acted like he was 14. How old was he supposed to be? But I guess it was true love (gag).

I'm old enough to remember Lauren Holly being the Next Big Thing & engaged to Jim Carrey in his prime. I don’t remember her being a huge scenery chewer. Good grief. Bette and Nabil were standouts for dancer-turned-actors. 
 

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On 12/17/2020 at 5:44 PM, In2You said:

Took me two days to finish and a lot of fast forwarding because the writing and acting was horrible! Too much drama thrown in just to be drama to the point where it all felt hallow.

Thank you! Even with the bad acting and nonsensical storyline, I thought the dancing would save it for me. But that was bad too! In every dance number no one was in sync, and it was so distracting. That's like group dance 101! And the solos were not as innovative or compelling as they thought. 

On 12/20/2020 at 1:02 AM, ursula said:

Because the show runners rewrote her character from the book to diminish her relevance, and basically made Bette the lead, and June Park close second. That’s why Mateo and Bette made sense and Oren and Naveah didn’t, @peachmangosteen. Because the book’s OTP happened offscreen while Bette’s storyline got more focus. 

In the books, her name was Giselle, she came from a supportive two parent home and she had a totally different personality but I guess her name and not being an Angry Black Woman with a single jailbird mom wasn’t hood enough for a Netflix show.

So yeah, you concluding that the Black lead was borin, insignificant and unlikable is exactly the reaction the show-runner wanted you to have.

 

On 12/20/2020 at 11:36 AM, Jess14 said:

Having not read the book, this is really interesting and frankly, annoying. Now, I get why Neveah’s character seemed to have no real purpose other than challenging institutions. Ballet seemed to be an afterthought to her. Based on the book character described in this post, “Giselle”would’ve made for a far more compelling main character than “Neveah.”

Thanks for sharing that @ursula. I hadn't read the book, so I wasn't aware that they had changed the character and her storyline.  I was so confused why she seemed to be doing everything in her power to get kicked out when ballet was supposed to be her life and this school, including the associated company, was her ultimate dream. You said it perfectly, @Jess14, ballet was an afterthought. It made no fucking sense. And if they were going to give her all of these "struggles" (which hard ass eye and neck roll to the team that thought the character had to come from drama; what, did they think us black folks wouldn't be able to relate to someone with a stable family?), at least link those back to the issues she was having with her dancing/fitting in.  

I really wanted to love this because of the potential for steamy teen drama featuring dance/ballet as a centerpiece, plus a black woman lead, but it was really fucking awful. And not in a so bad it's good way either (and I've watched and enjoyed some really bad TV/movies in my time...).

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13 minutes ago, luckyroll3 said:

Even with the bad acting and nonsensical storyline, I thought the dancing would save it for me. But that was bad too! In every dance number no one was in sync, and it was so distracting. That's like group dance 101!

Thank you! They were literally never in sync and it drove me insane lol.

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4 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

Thank you! They were literally never in sync and it drove me insane lol.

I've seen more innovative dancing in the Step Up movies. The dancing was fast forward material here too!

Edited by In2You
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45 minutes ago, In2You said:

I've seen more innovative dancing in the Step Up movies. The dancing was fast forward material here too!

And that was the sad part! The dancing should have been the one thing we had to look forward to. The leads of both Step Up 1 and 2 would have killed these dance scenes (yeah, yeah, I know Jenna Dewan is off to bigger and better things, but the who knows what the other chick is up to! And yeah she's probably in her 30s now, but several of the actors in TPT looked old as hell [looking at you Cassie], so she'd fit in).

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6 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

Thank you! Even with the bad acting and nonsensical storyline, I thought the dancing would save it for me. But that was bad too! In every dance number no one was in sync, and it was so distracting. That's like group dance 101! And the solos were not as innovative or compelling as they thought. 

 

Thanks for sharing that @ursula. I hadn't read the book, so I wasn't aware that they had changed the character and her storyline.  I was so confused why she seemed to be doing everything in her power to get kicked out when ballet was supposed to be her life and this school, including the associated company, was her ultimate dream. You said it perfectly, @Jess14, ballet was an afterthought. It made no fucking sense. And if they were going to give her all of these "struggles" (which hard ass eye and neck roll to the team that thought the character had to come from drama; what, did they think us black folks wouldn't be able to relate to someone with a stable family?), at least link those back to the issues she was having with her dancing/fitting in.  

I really wanted to love this because of the potential for steamy teen drama featuring dance/ballet as a centerpiece, plus a black woman lead, but it was really fucking awful. And not in a so bad it's good way either (and I've watched and enjoyed some really bad TV/movies in my time...).

Agree with everything here. The dancing was disappointing. 20 years later, I still remember the dancing from Center Stage. I won’t remember any dancing from this show next week. And don’t get me started on a classical ballet school putting on a showcase where non of the top students are en pointe.....yeah, whatever. 

I would really love to hear the showrunners explain why they felt the need to completely change the story for the black lead. I mean, can we have a show where the black dancer doesn’t have a bad attitude or poor technique, or isn’t consumed by family drama? And if she has to be consumed by family drama, can it not be because her mom is just a demanding stage mom, as opposed to getting out of prison? It’s just really annoying and lazy that they think black folks can’t relate to a stable family.
 

 

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Woof this was bad lol. I knew going in it would be trash but I thought it would be good fun trash lol. The acting was bad and most of the relationships were lacking chemistry. Bette and Matteo were the only couple I liked. It was nice he stood by her and she lived with his family for a bit.  If I was Bette I would have told my family to rot. Screw your parents lol.  Cassie well I honestly thought she was dead when the show started so I was surprised when we saw she was still in a coma.  One week so and so loved this person ect ect lol. I know teens fall in and out of love every week but for a show that is hard to watch. Relationships just showed up and started lol.  So Roman is now dead okay lol.  Course he was June's Father. 

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On 12/17/2020 at 4:06 PM, ursula said:

Definitely “so bad it’s good” territory. Take a drink every time someone is naked. Another one every time someone says “Girrrrl!”.

More like "so bad, it's really bad" territory

On 12/19/2020 at 10:31 AM, peachmangosteen said:

The scenes with Mateo’s family were some of the few scenes that were actually kinda good instead of bad good. 

I loled at Ramon being June’s dad. Like how the fuck did her mom not realize that until the second to last ep? Did she somehow never see that the show June was doing was choreographed by him? So stupid.

I thought the woman playing Mateo's mom was just horrible, but then her acting matched everyone else's. 

I couldn't believe it when they pulled out that "Ramon is June's father" crap at the last minute, ridiculous.

On 12/23/2020 at 6:14 AM, luckyroll3 said:

Thank you! Even with the bad acting and nonsensical storyline, I thought the dancing would save it for me. But that was bad too! In every dance number no one was in sync, and it was so distracting. That's like group dance 101! And the solos were not as innovative or compelling as they thought. 

YES, the dancing & the choreography were both bad too. This was just a terrible show. 

Somewhere along the line I guessed who did it, so no surprise there. This was just a horrible show with too much nudity & sex that didn't contribute to the story at all. And how is Cassie up & getting around already? If there's a 2nd season, I won't be back for it.

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I tortured myself with this show. Usually, I binge because I can't wait for the next episode. This one, I binged to put me out of my misery, but it felt like I was watching it for days and days instead of hours. My whole family was laughing about the show that never ended. I kept thinking it was going to get better.

What bothered me so much was the whiplash in characters and plot lines. Best friends/enemies (which I get there would be some of this in a competitive environment), bitchy mean girl/nice, let's take Madame down/oh no! we have to save the school, etc. I was wondering WTF was going on half the time. 

I agree about the nudity for a teen show, as well as the inappropriate relationships. Shane raped Oren. Oren said no, Shane shoved him on the bed and started having oral sex with him. Not OK. Shane was just trying to get Oren to love him. How in the world is any of that OK? 

It was weird to see Lauren Holly as Madame. She was on All My Children many years ago. Her acting hasn't improved and she needs to lighten up on the botox. However, for being almost 60 she looks pretty damn good. 

My favorite part was when they were in the car all laughing and giggling, then you see Bette getting woozy. When they crashed, the looks on the girls' faces, especially Neveah and June, were hilarious and overdramatic. Then, you see June in the ditch, thrown from the car. I was laughing so hard, which is not the reaction they wanted. She stands up, nary a scratch, just a few leaves in her hair. Comic gold. 

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I knew that this would be trash, but I was hoping for at least fun trash, but this was mostly just trashy trash. The dancing was always good when we got a chance to see it (and I do appreciate that they hired performers with real ballet experience) and there were some bits that I thought were pretty good, but over all this was an absolute hot mess. The acting was decent at best and terrible at worst, the plot itself was all over the place and riddled with clichés, the constant sex and nudity and creepy relationships between teens and adults was really uncomfortable to watch. They really should have made them college students or an adult company if they wanted us to spend so much time watching them have sex, even if I am sure most if not all of the actors are eighteen and over. They clearly wanted to do something about the exploitation of young ballerinas by older men, but we were also supposed to be rooting for Bette/Mateo and Dev/Shane, despite the fact that they are also both adults hooking up with teenagers (I assume Mateo is an adult) and were we supposed to feel bad for Madam Dubois at the end? Because I don't, she clearly knew what was happening to those girls and was also sleeping with her underage student who was friends with his family apparently which just makes it even creepier, especially if she has known Caleb growing up. 

The many boring and/or creepy romances are even more annoying because it left the dancing in the background, when the only thing that makes this show interesting is ballet and the behind the scenes look at training to be a professional dancer. Some of that was pretty good, but the show kept getting distracted by cliché stories about evil rich guys trafficking in pretty young dancers and disapproving parents and the fact that everyone in this school is pretty much horrible and are looking to stab each other in the back when they aren't trading partners like old leotards. No one really has a lot of moral high ground to stand on. 

I am really annoyed at the changes made to the female lead from the book this was based on, it sounds like they felt like they needed to give her a more stereotypical backstory for a young black women, like playing Black Person Backstory Bingo. She was raised by a single mom! Mom had an abusive boyfriend! Mom is in jail! From a low income neighborhood! Brother was shot by cops! She's angry a lot! Do they think that's the only backstory and personality you can give a black character?

Not too surprising that Ramon is dead, so I guess if we get another season they will have to play another round of "who killed the asshole" especially now that Cassie is back again. 

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I stuck with this because by the time I realized that the acting was never going to get any better I was invested in knowing who pushed Cassie off the roof.
 

This seemed like it had a lot of potential but every time they started to explore something interesting, it always took a bizarro nonsense turn. I lost track of the number of times these kids would go from friends to mortal enemies and back again. And while I think there probably is a story to tell there when it comes to the social hierarchies at a competitive dance academy, it was always written in the least convincing way possible. 

I waffled back and forth on who was the worst actor but ultimately decided it was a tie between the cop who seemed to only have one expression (vaguely angry looking out into the distance) and Caleb with that truly awful attempt at a southern accent that came and went in every scene. 
 

I used to write a lot of pretty terrible, rife with cliches, soap opera inspired stories in middle school but even twelve year old me would have laughed at the idea of June as Ramon’s daughter for how stupidly ridiculous it was. 

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On 12/19/2020 at 1:31 PM, peachmangosteen said:

I did not like the cop but I did think the budding relationship between her and the dorm lady (Tori?) was kinda cute.

OMG same. In fact, I would be lying if I said the reason I stuck with this show to the bitter end wasn't 90% to see if something ever came of them. Of course, knowing how terrible the writing was, part of me kind of expected it never to go anywhere because the writers probably came up with it as a way to fill up airtime/give the Torri character more to do, so I wasn't exactly suprised when that proved to be true, lol.

On 2/28/2021 at 1:24 AM, TeeMo said:

I waffled back and forth on who was the worst actor but ultimately decided it was a tie between the cop who seemed to only have one expression (vaguely angry looking out into the distance)

I don't disagree, which is odd, because I've seen the actress before on a Canadian show and she was actually pretty good. The things a bad script can do, I suppose.

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