Pop Culture Thoughts from a Lady Gay

I consume a lot of pop culture. I'm also a gay lady, so some of the things that might annoy me or make me happy might not be the same for you. I'll talk about that as well.

Good Girls: Ruby! Save Yourself! Get Out!

Ruby! Get out! Save yourself! Get away from these two crazy sisters! Your family is so sweet, and I think your husband will get better health insurance as a cop. Don't quote me on that but at least look into it. Also, your husband is going to be a cop so maybe a life of crime shouldn't be on your to do list. I know that things are stressful and that you got into this because your back was against a wall, but these sisters have terrible self-control issues. You don't need this Thelma and Louise crap in your life! Let them work out these family issues on their own time. You have real things to lose. Take some of the money to invest in your own dreams and put the rest in a high interest account to help your daughter. Then forget you EVER knew these sisters.

I am rooting so hard for this show but this is what I find myself yelling at the television each week. The three leads have great chemistry together and it is a joy to see Retta in this role after Parks and Rec. I also love the inclusion of Sadie's character, Annie's daughter. Sadie, played by Izzie Stannard, is exploring her gender identity and seemingly the one thing that Annie is doing right is being an open and loving parent as Sadie guides the process for how she needs that to happen. The addition of June Squibb in the mix as Boomer's sweet and overly frank grandmother, Marion, makes me hope even more that they will be able to pull off the plot of this show. Did you know that June Squibb is 88? She is basically who I want to be at that age. So, writers, get this crime plot together.

The motivation to get into crime in the first place is sound and believable and makes for insightful social commentary. Retta's character, Ruby, shows us that we should have socialized medicine and that the Pharmaceutical industry is evil. Mae Whitman's character, Annie, reminds us that we should raise the minimum wage and when a man and a woman accidentally get pregnant as teens it's a lot easier for the man to go on to have a successful career. Christina Hendricks' character Beth, teaches us that you should not let your husband take care of all of the financial stuff. Get into his accounts and see what's going on in there, ladies! The initial decision to rob the grocery store feels justified. The deck is stacked against them in such and unfair way that the only way to fight against it, is to take some extreme Robin Hood measures. 

Their backstories are so compelling that I begin fully wanting them to be successful criminals. If Beth wants to be a crime boss, then go for it! Take back the power, ladies! Also, you need something to make you feel alive in the suburbs, right? Unfortunately, I can't let myself get carried away with the fun of their hi-jinks and newfound boldness, because I keep getting caught up with whether the writers want the characters to be desperate women driven to crime, or stupid and impulsive women looking for a thrill. 

Then there are the criminals. Hot tip, criminals, if you want to use housewives as an innocent front to help you avoid notice from the police, stop showing up and drawing attention to yourselves! The suburbs aren't exactly chill with men with neck tattoos showing up to their birthday parties and roaming their supermarket parking lots so maybe keep a lower profile. One second the criminals are managing to mint some of the finest counterfeit money around and the next, they don't have a doctor on the take to stitch up their boys quietly while not ratting them out to the police? It's so frustrating and it makes me think that the women then are crazy to stick with this plan. It's one thing to come home and find a bleeding man in a makeshift hospital in your basement with a sketchy doctor (I would like to suggest the actress Suzanne Cryer from Silicon Valley, her deadpan comedy is severely underutilized). It's another thing to come home and find a bleeding man in your daughter's bed with no suggestion on how to make sure he doesn't die. I want to believe that Beth would call bullshit on that. 

Then they begin a money laundering scheme while the FBI is on their trail. Don't worry, it's one that involves so much suspicious behavior caught on camera that it feels insane that it has worked for even one episode. Start a fake business! Have you seen Breaking Bad or Weeds? Do something like that. Then I can focus on the sheer fun that these actors bring to the screen. I DO want to see them trip up and barely skirt danger constantly but I DON'T want to worry that Ruby's marriage will fall apart and her daughter might die all because Annie bones a TV salesman. 

It is a good sign that so far, the show does seem to do a good job of doling out punishment to jerks and these actors can carry a lot of insanity so I have hope but someone needs to decide exactly how absurdist this comedic world is. Right now it feels like the rules of the world have not been set and it would be a real shame to lose a chance at taking full advantage of this wonderfully assembled cast.


Jess Sutich