NOW TV REVIEW
After seeing a post by my celebrity girlfriend, Zendaya, I became excited for a TV series that she described as a ‘raw and honest portrait of addiction, anxiety and the difficulty of navigating life today’.
I was apprehensive at first, unfortunately mental health isn’t always portrayed very well in TV and film, and as one of the shows main focuses there was a lot riding on this. However, without giving it a chance how was I able to make my decision on this?
After watching the show it’s clear that there is a strong love for two of the main characters; Rue and Jules. Having watched the series, I can confirm that I am an avid Rue fan… but here’s a wee overview of both of them.
As the show starts you get a feel for Rue pretty quickly. She’s a quirky loveable character, and battling with her own demons, you get a sense of protectiveness over her. Fresh out of rehab Rue is a recovering drug addict that has no intention of staying clean. You are taken on a journey of her struggles with her addiction and the impact this has on the social, mental health, family and educational aspects of her life. Her character, although making many decisions which are at her own demise, is loveable and un-apologetically fun.
However, being my celebrity girlfriend, I may be slightly biased so let me redeem myself.
Jules, a transgender female character enters the scene fairly quickly as the new girl, and you can recognise that she has some hidden demons in which she is still battling. Coming from an LGBT community I absolutely adore that the actor who plays Jules is a huge advocate for the LGBT+ community and is herself transgender. I believe the producers made a very smart and welcoming move with casting Hunter Schafer to play this role. Jules’ backstory is heart-breaking and the more you learn about her the more you come to love the character. Jules had a rough childhood filled with trickery, self-harm, gender dysphoria, and divorcing parents – to name a few. For me, her story was played well, and you are able to relate and connect with this character.
I don’t want to discuss the ins and outs of the show as I don’t want to risk spoiling it for anyone who may be inclined to watch it. What I can say is I thoroughly enjoyed it and found myself looking forward to getting home and watching another episode. I don’t recall at any point thinking that the episodes were dragging, nor do I remember there being an ‘unnecessary’ storyline… up until the ending anyway.
The ending disappointed me, and not just because the show had finished.
When I sit and think about it, I realise that some of it does make more sense than I first realised. And maybe some of the disappointment I feel stems from the fact that it didn’t end how I wanted/envisaged it to end. But the last episode was a fair bit longer than the others had been, yet I felt that so much of that precious finale time was wasted on stories that weren’t really going anywhere… or at-least on stories that could have been cleared up a whole lot quicker. There was a very odd but well-done scene with Rue and an hallucination she experienced, however it wasn’t until I did some further reading on this that I understood it was from a memory rather than the present time – the structure was a bit off for me and I did feel very disappointed. I’m kind of rooting that we will get to understand that final episode more when the first episode of season two is released (this has been confirmed, eeek!).
So, although I was taken on a journey of excitement and sadness with thrills and shocks along the way, I did end up feeling disappointed. However, I think the key thing to take away from that is, even though I felt disappointed I’m still raving about the show and encouraging my friends to watch it! Surely that speaks volumes.
What would I rate it?
3.5/5 stars. This was difficult, I wanted to give it 4 but the ending doesn’t quite match up to a 4 star rating for me!