The Winter Olympics may be underway in China, but here in America, the Woke Olympics are going strong on the -ish franchise of shows. In the category of race-baiting, the franchise has been steadily holding first place. But Freeform’s grown-ish helped them take the lead on gender fluidity as well on Thursday’s episode, “Mr. Right Now.”
The divisive race-baiting started right away in the first five minutes of the episode as they lectured on supposed systemic racism. Aaron (Trevor Jackson), perhaps the show’s wokest character who teaches a class at Cal U on black issues in which he allows the students to discuss anything except “whiteness,” is having a discussion with his friend Vivek (Jordan Buhat) at a diner.
Vivek explains he’s having anxiety over landing a new job because he lied on his resume about his criminal history. Specifically, his misdemeanor for selling drugs. Aaron acts nonchalantly, telling Vivek he needs to let the anxiety go because the system “is designed to work against people of color, especially those who have been in legal trouble."
Aaron: You know what? How about you talk to your new co-workers about this in the break room tomorrow?
Vivek: Too controversial a topic. I don't want to draw any attention to myself at this new gig, seeing as I lied on my résumé to get in there. Ah! God. I have so much anxiety. Maybe I made a mistake.
Aaron: You need to let that go, man. Anxiety for what? So you lied about a misdemeanor. It happens. You realize that the system is designed to work against people of color, especially those who have been in legal trouble. So you did what you had to do.
Vivek: Yeah. You're right. It's not about how I got the job but what I do when I get in there.
Aaron: Exactly, so you go in there and you show them who Vivek Shah is.
"Show them who Vivek Shah is?" A dishonest employee who thinks it’s okay to lie and cheat “the system” that’s wide open with opportunities for people of every color? Yeah, he’d better hope they actually don’t see “who Vivek Shah is.”
In another storyline, Jazz (Chloe Bailey) is dating Des (Warren Egypt Franklin), a bisexual, gender fluid track star. Jazz accepts that he’s “into all types of people,” but has natural misgivings when he announces he’s planning to wear a dress to his team’s formal banquet they’ll be attending:
Jazz: Okay. Now, this is giving me "Cover of GQ" vibes. This would be perfect for the banquet.
Des: MM, I don't know. I am thinking of something more along the lines of this.
Jazz: That look is so overdone. I feel like all the guys are gonna be wearing dresses that night, and I feel like wearing pants would make more of a statement.
Des: Y-you're kidding, right?
Jazz: I don't know. I think you should go a little more GQ and a little less Glamour magazine.
Des: Okay. This is an odd conversation. I'm sensing has a little more to it. So, what's the deal? Seriously.
Jazz: Uh, okay. I really was trying not to say anything, but the night when we hung out and you showed up in a dress, that was very surprising for me. And usually, surprises are a really good thing, but in that case... It was a very confusing thing.
Des: Got it. You had a problem with my dress.
Jazz: I did. I do. And I know that's really messed up. I just have really conflicted feelings about dating a guy who wears a dress. Look, this is my issue. This isn't your issue. I just need some more time to plow through it, and I'll be fine.
Des: All right. Cool. If it makes you more comfortable... I'll wear the suit.
Des: Yeah. It's not a big deal.
Jazz: Oh, thank you. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Girl, trust those instincts! This is not your issue, nor is it “really messed up” to want your man to be manly! When Jazz shows up to meet Des for their date, he comes out in what TV Line describes as “a really fly belted black dress.” Jazz tells him she needs more time to be comfortable with his attire. But Des breaks up with her over her natural misgivings, or as TV Line calls it, her “prejudices.”
Des: What's good?
Jazz: Hey. Uh, I... I didn't think –
Des: I know what you thought. And I really, really wanted to wear that tux you picked out for me and to show up to the formal with you on my arm and for us to have an amazing night. But putting on what you wanted me to wear instead of what I wanted to wear took the amazing out of everything. And as much as I'm feeling you, I don't think I could be with someone who doesn't accept me.
Jazz: It's just... I have one hang-up, and I said I'm going to be working on it. But I'm good with who you are.
Des: Look, I know you're good with me being into all types of people, but...it's the dress thing you seem to be so stuck on. And that's also a part of who I am and how I express myself. And...I'm happy with all of me, and I don't want to wait for someone who isn't.
Jazz: Des, I think you're taking all of this the wrong way.
Des: Fine. If I am...Come with me to the banquet like this, as I am.
Jazz: I'm sorry.
Des: That's, uh, that's what I thought. You really do look beautiful tonight.
So, Des shouldn’t be shamed for who he is or how he feels, but Jazz should be shamed for who she is and how she feels? Got it. They really should just name the whole -ish franchise woke-ish at this point.