Tuesday, March 26, 2019

TV Tuesday: Good Trouble

I've written here before about The Fosters, a family drama that began on ABC Family, which is now Freeform. You can read my review at the link - I still love this show and am currently watching the final season 5 on Netflix. It's my ultimate comfort TV (even better than The Gilmore Girls), about a blended family headed by a lesbian couple with a mix of biological, adopted, and foster kids. It's one of those shows where surprising plot twists happen in every episode, and this one family endures so much hardship, but it is also warm and full of love. So, imagine how thrilled I was to discover a Fosters sequel!! While my husband was out of town, I was searching On Demand for something to watch just for me, and saw a new show called Good Trouble that had just posted its first episode. It was about two sisters, just out of college, who move to L.A. and live together. I started to watch the first episode and was shocked to realize the two sisters were Callie and Mariana from The Fosters!

So, in that first episode, Callie, played by Maia Mitchell, and Mariana, played by Cierra Ramirez, are driving a rental truck to L.A. to begin their adult lives. Callie is fresh out of law school, with a job clerking for a judge, and Mariana has just graduated from MIT and is starting a software engineering job at a tech start-up. Mariana has chosen their first post-college digs: a communal living space in the upper floors of an old theater building. It's got lots of character...and lots of characters! I haven't been able to count, but they have lots of company in this cool old space, and Callie and Mariana share a room. Of course, being a spin-off of The Fosters, they run into all sorts of problems right from the first episode. Callie, who has strong liberal views (hey, she grew up in a multi-racial, lesbian-led household), is working for a conservative judge, and her first case is about a police shooting of a black boy...and one of her new roommates is involved in protesting the shooting and is getting close to the boy's mother. For Mariana, her dream job with her sparkling, impressive degree comes with racism and some serious gender bias. Her co-workers are almost all males who treat her like a second-class citizen (and an idiot). And of course, there are sister squabbles and lots of romantic possibilities and hooking up for the two of them.

Just like The Fosters, this show is packed full of crises and issues in every episode, which keeps it interesting, thoughtful, and compelling. Though the actresses playing Callie and Mariana are at the center of the action, the show features a multi-cultural ensemble cast who add in additional crises and issues, and the acting is engaging. Right from that first episode, I was surprised to see how much semi-explicit (but not graphic) sex is included in the show (this is definitely no longer ABC Family) - Callie dates a bisexual man and Mariana gets involved in a threesome in one episode! Though the Fosters' kids were always getting into trouble (including exploring sexuality as teens), this is definitely more of a grown-up nature, which is appropriate for the show's themes and ages. I am loving Good Trouble for all the same reasons I love The Fosters: great cast, good writing, exploring interesting moral dilemmas in every episode, warmth, and just the right touch of humor and lightness. You can watch this new show without watching The Fosters - they explain what backstory you need to know - but why would you? All five seasons of The Fosters is still available on Netflix, so you can begin making your way through those episodes while you wait for each new weekly episode of Good Trouble. And knowing those details just makes Good Trouble all the richer. For fans of The Fosters, Callie and Mariana's siblings and moms often make guest appearances. I am thoroughly enjoying revisiting characters from one of my favorite teen shows as adults and can't wait to see what happens next!

Season 1 of Good Trouble is currently airing on Freeform, so it is available On Demand or at the Freeform website for free (11 episodes have aired so far). You can catch up on The Fosters on Netflix. Good Trouble is also available for $1.99 an episode on Amazon, as are all the seasons of The Fosters.


  1. I watched a number of episodes of The Fosters so it's nice to see characters that I know. This one looks promising.

    1. I'm enjoying it, Helen! Fosters is my comfort TV :)