It's no secret by now that Good Trouble is at its absolute best when The Coterie crew and their extended family that keeps growing comes together.

And Good Trouble Season 3 Episode 15 delivered with a beautiful, fun, heartwarming hour that put our beloved Alice in the spotlight as she shared her heritage, family, and heart with viewers as much as she did her friends.

It's this wholesome, subversive content that makes this show great and timely, and ahead of the curve.

Because with its message of embracing and celebrating differences more than being negatively defined by them -- it invited us into Alice's culture, life, and her experiences as a queer Chinese- American woman.

And it did so while also displaying such basic and simple things that are so universal that it challenges any notion that what makes us different somehow makes us unattainable to each other as far as understanding, accepting, and embracing each other.

And that sounds preachy when the hour in its simplicity by merely dropping us into Alice's life as a queer Chinese woman during a holiday was far from it.

It was fun, and amusing, and heartwarming, and relatable whether you subscribe to any of the identities at the forefront or not.

And that's where Good Trouble always excels. Installments like this always nail that point home. It especially does this when it focuses on this diverse group of individuals who are a family coming together.

And they breeze through these storylines so casually that the significance of it in the cultural landscape of television doesn't even hit you straight on until you sit with it.

I thought I wanted to have this party to prove to my parents that I'm an adult, but I think what I really wanted was to share a piece of my culture with everyone. Sometimes it's hard to balance keeping Asian traditions alive and also trying to feel American. My comedy program folks and I have been through some tough times recently being forced into a stereotypical box. I realize that everyone's experience is different, no matter what you look like. Celebrating and understanding those differences go a long way. Tonight was healing for me, and I hope in some way for all of you. I've never been prouder to be Chinese, and I'm just so proud to be able to call all of you family.

Alice

We got an hour devoted to celebrating a significant Asian holiday in all of its beauty and glory, and the installment had multiple AAPI characters, too. It had characters speaking Chinese, and they even realistically depicted the bilingualism typically displayed with characters speaking in one language and responding in another.

And who in a million years would've envisioned that a series would dare to showcase a love triangle between three queer Asian-American women?

It's unprecedented, and yet that was roughly a D-plot of the hour, effortlessly slipped in like the series didn't break new ground with it. Good Trouble is committed to authentic, real diversity and representation via storytelling rather than self-congratulatory diversity for the sake of it.

Alice's journey of finding her voice and speaking up for herself has been a series-long arc for her character.

Mrs. Kwan: You're always so sensitive just like me. When I was young, my mother tried to toughen me up. We just want you to have thicker skin because life can be hard for someone with a sweet heart like yours.
Alice: Well, I am getting tougher. And I'm learning how to stand up for myself. I don't want you to make jokes and cut me down because that doesn't build me up. That doesn't make me feel good, and that's the only way that a sweet heart can survive in this world.

It's a personally relatable one. We've seen Alice take that on in her professional world, but it was refreshing and gratifying to see her succeed in her personal life with her family.

What started as Alice attempting to impress her parents and win their approval resulted in her shifting the nature of her relationship with them.

It was a perfect display of how the parental-child dynamic evolves as we become adults.

After a lifetime of feeling as if her parents, namely her mother, were too critical of her, Alice asserted herself and leveled with them about her love style and what she needs from them.

Mrs. Kwan admitted that her daughter was similar to her, soft-hearted and gentle, something we've come to learn, and her jibes, critiques, and teasing were her way of toughening Alice up. Because the world isn't too kind to the kindhearted. But hell, that's more of a reason we need more Alices.

But Alice admitted that it's not toughening her up; it's tearing her down. It was such a fantastic scene for Alice and another notable moment of progress and growth for her.

Meanwhile, Alice failed to realize that her parents were proud of her just for being her. She was so caught up in feeling as if she was in David's shadow that she never considered that her parents were as complimentary of her as they were her brother.

It was also refreshing that that series didn't lean into the negative connotations of the Tiger Mom trope.

Yes, Mrs. Kwan was nitpicky and critical, and she needed everything just so, but she was also warm, loving, pure-hearted, and funny. And Mr. Kwan was such a dad.

And at the heart of Alice and David's relationship, which was a perfect depiction, was that they didn't consider each other's perspective.

David wasn't a jerk. He didn't intend to upstage his sister, nor was he aware of how inadequate she felt in his shadow.

Instead, he shared how much he admired Alice. It was classic birth order goodness. As the oldest, he carried the weight of his parents' expectations and trying to make them proud.

He was battling insecurities and inadequacies of his own in that regard. And he got to hear about how funny and free-spirited Alice is compared to him.

David: Is everything OK between you and folks?
Alice: Yeah, don't worry, I didn't take your job as Golden Boy.
David: You think I like being the Golden Boy? I've had nothing but expectations placed on me since I was born. I mean you get to be everything you want to be because I'm the one who has to fulfill all of their dreams. Can you imagine if I wanted to be a stand up comedian?
Alice: No, because you're not funny.
David: You know all they ever talk about with me is you.

It's classic sibling conflict. As the oldest, David resonated with me.

But much like Alice was cultivating a new adult relationship with her parents -- she did the same with David.

David had the best and most sibling-like response to her coming out to him, and it was one of the best scenes of the hour. He didn't care about his sister's sexuality; he only wanted to spend more time with her.

And another of Alice's finest moments was her speech after her beautiful line dance with Sumi.

Alice: I'm gay.
David: Awesome. Maybe we can grab a bite next week?

Alice is coming into her own as a woman. Part of that is unabashedly embracing her heritage, standing tall and proud in it, and sharing it with those close to her.

It couldn't have been timelier and necessary as this wave of uplifting AAPI voices has rightfully taken a spot center stage and become a topic of conversation.

It was a beautiful moment for Alice as a character, for who and what she represents, and it was hard not to get emotional during that scene that transcended this show, this character, and that moment.

On a romantic front, Sumi has grown so much as a character. The chemistry between her and Alice is crackling. Lindsay sees it too.

Ruby is a perfectly fine woman who does like Alice. But if a girl has to get all Roy Kent from Ted Lasso about it, Alice deserves more than just fine, dammit.

Ruby supports her well enough now, but Alice was standing alone at first. And we've seen before that Alice is still trying to get over that.

But Sumi is coming in, aware of how one-sided their friendship used to be, and earnest and genuine in carrying her weight and hyping Alice, and I want that for her.

Their kiss was sweet and perfect. Love triangles, am I right?

We get all kinds of them on Good Trouble, including this unusual but mature arrangement with Callie, Gael, and Isabella.

Alice: Thanks, by the way. For being there for me. I never could've done all of this without you.
Sumi: It was nice getting to be there for you for a change.

Drunk Callie is the gift that keeps giving, and Maia Mitchell has excellent comedic timing and such that it's a shame that she doesn't get to use all of that more. But it's always a treat when she does.

She, Gael, and Isabella have a lot of boundaries to establish.

Bless Gael's heart, he's such a sweetie, but he couldn't balance giving the appropriate attention to his girlfriend and his baby mama.

He was truly smothering Isabella, and every attempt to micromanage her was painful. But it was worse when he neglected Callie to do it.

Again, they're doing a fine job of communicating with one another and finding mature solutions even when it's hard.

Callie's embarrassing, drunken suggestion that she move in with Gael wasn't the smartest, but the select nights to give all parties the space they need works.

And while Mariana butting in could've been disastrous, it was actually a crucial factor in getting Callie and Gael to communicate with each other.

Callie did need to tell Gael what she does and doesn't want to know about Isabella and the pregnancy. And Gael should have space to confide in his girlfriend without fearing that he's overwhelming her.

Callie: So about last night. I was maybe a little hammered, but the truth is I'm not ready for us to move in together. What I want is a little more time together.
Isabella: And I can stand a little less time together? I'm feeling a little smothered.

And as hurtful as it is to Callie, it does make sense that Gael introduces his parents to the mother of his child before his on-again-off-again girlfriend. Although, it's not lost that if he did it before during their many other dalliances, he could've avoided this awkwardness now.

Reality will come crashing down when Gael's parents get involved. They've done well, figuring things out for themselves, but his traditional parents won't understand this arrangement they have. They'll want Gael and Isabella to get married. I can feel it.

It's also worrisome that Callie is trying too hard to be okay with things that it feels like she's sacrificing a lot to make this work.

Meanwhile, Davia thinking about why polyamory wouldn't work for her was hilarious.

It was all fun and games when she thought about being with both the men in her life, but the second she pondered how she would feel if they also dated other people, it burst her bubble.

They could be an exclusive throuple, with her being the only connector between them. It's an option, too.

What was cute was that Dennis felt a bit inadequate when he couldn't save the dinner with an emergency trip to get rice balls.

But he made up for it by cooking the meal in his truck with Mrs. Kwan, and it was adorable, and he enjoyed himself.

Matt came in with the save for Davia, but he also helped Dennis fix the truck too. And they got along well.

Matt: I'm kind of risk-averse, which probably makes me a little boring.
Dennis: NO, not necessarily, impulsive people can be pretty boring too.
Matt: I don't know. Some people need a little element of surprise. Keeps things interesting.

With their talk about their differences, it seemed as though they were validating one another and acknowledging why the other is a catch, and it's nice that they can bond without the awkwardness despite their love for Davia.

And Davia's realization that she loves both of them puts her in a tougher position before. What does she even do? Matt and Dennis are both incredible guys who love her and would treat her well. It's no bad choice here, and you don't want to see any of them hurt.

But it is nice to see Dennis in a much better place than he was for most of the series. He's putting himself out here, interacting with more than Davia, and finding his own way.

He seemed genuinely tickled to death and happy when he was cooking with Mama Kwan, and he even took her advice about cutting his hair to heart.

Alice: what did you do? What did you do?
Dennis: Your mom told me to cut my hair.
Alice: Never cut your hair on New Year's Day.
Dennis: Why not?
Alice, Malika, Davia: It's bad luck!

I mean, sure, he messed up cutting his hair on New Year's Day, but damn he looks just as good with the shorter do.

As much as Malika is trying, her love life is no less complicated here.

She invited Tanya to the party too, and there were many funny moments with the three, but it's still so awkward.

Malika is having a rough time trying to navigate this poly lifestyle, but it seems like she jumped into this too soon after Isaac. It still gives me whiplash that she and Isaac ended the way that they did.

I think I'm scared to get too close to Dyonte not because this is new or because I met you but because I got really hurt in my last relationship. He gave up on me and us, and I'm scared of that happening again.

Malika

Malika is so hurt by Isaac's actions that when it comes to assigning blame (which neither of them should be blamed for anything), he's deemed the guilty party.

She's finally letting go, and she's not using Tanya as a buffer or feeling awkward about their arrangement, but while Malika doesn't want to get hurt, I don't envision this working out where she doesn't.

Additional Notes: 

  • Alice and Callie's lipstick was to die for.
  • The decorations around the Coterie were amazing, and so were both line dances and literally every single aspect of the Lunar New Year celebration. Every last detail felt so personal, and it was all so beautiful and majestic, and once again, I wish I was there at the Coterie.
  • Everything about Alice's arc during this installment had me in my feelings, proud of her and this show for what it takes on. 
  • I love the Kwan family with my whole heart, and I hope we see more of them in the future.
  • Drunk Callie is the best Callie of all the Callies, but also Isabella's reaction to drunk Callie was equally as hilarious, and they've made an Isabella fan out of me yet. 
  • Kelly's mohawk was rad, and I love that she's being incorporated into the series more. 
  • Does anyone else wish they could taste Dennis' cooking? He always seems to knock it out of the park, and I cannot wait to see what he does with this food truck. 
  • Speaking of Dennis, whether it's long locks, a man bun, or a short cut, he's always a snack. Davia's love life dilemma is stressful. How do you choose?
  • Dyonte and Tanya are nice and everything, but I really miss Isaac. 

Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics.

Did you love this hour?

Are you proud of Alice and her growth this season? 

Join us tomorrow for an exclusive interview with Sherry Cola!

Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts, and remember that You can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic.



source https://www.tvfanatic.com/2021/08/good-trouble-season-3-episode-15-review-lunar-new-year/

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