Why Gen Z is getting into 'Good Trouble'


Cape Town - Season 2 of the Generation Z drama Good Trouble is now streaming first on Showmax in South Africa. 

After starting life as a spinoff of the ground-breaking family drama series and Teen Choice Breakout Show winner The Fosters, Good Trouble quickly found its own audience among teens and young adults, and got the thumbs-up from critics, who gave it a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Good Trouble was nominated for three Teen Choice awards last year – one for Choice Drama Show, and two for Choice Drama Actress, for both Maia Mitchell (who was nominated a further five times for the role on The Fosters) and actress and singer Cierra Ramirez (a four-time Teen Choice nominee, and winner of both an ALMA and an Imagen Award for her supporting role in Girl in Progress). 

On its debut early last year, Good Trouble was hailed as "TV’s first good Gen Z drama" by Vox and "the first great TV show of 2019" by Paste, who wrote that the series "deftly captures what it’s like when you’re in your early 20s and just starting out, navigating a new career, new living situation, and new relationships."

GOOD TROUBLE - Percussions - The outcome of the Ja

(GOOD TROUBLE: A scene from the episode titled Percussions. Photo: Freeform/Mitch Haaseth)

Season 1 kicked off with newly-graduated adoptive Fosters sisters Callie (Mitchell) and Mariana (Ramirez) moving from San Diego to Los Angeles to navigate life as young adults. With great jobs lined up and an apartment already sorted, it was going to be a blast... 

Then reality hit. Their "apartment" turned out to be a bare room in the "intentional community" (aka commune) of The Coterie in downtown LA, with a shared (co-ed) bathroom and kitchen, and a mouse problem. 

Callie’s job clerking for a conservative judge (Roger Bart from Desperate Housewives) quickly disabused her of any notions of changing the system from within, and MIT graduate Mariana’s launch into software engineering at a hip tech start-up ran headlong into a boys’ club of bro-grammers and unequal pay scales. 

But almost anything is survivable with good friends by your side, and their digs turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the housemates welcomed the sisters in and gave them somewhere to belong. As Vulture.com says, "Good Trouble... is still very much about choosing your own family."

Commune manager Alice (Sherry Cola) is gay, but not out to her family; social activist Malika (Zuri Adele) bears the twin burdens of racial injustice and an upbringing in the system; teacher Davia (Emma Hunton) is a body-positive social media influencer; "old guy" Dennis (Josh Pence) hides devastating pain beneath a cool exterior; and the ridiculously good-looking Gael (Tommy Martinez) juggles girlfriends – and boyfriends – with his day job and his art. 

While each character embodies topical issues, the show never loses sight of them as people, or the fun, romance, camaraderie and friendships that glue them together. 

They experiment, they make mistakes, they do all the crazy, reckless things young humans do, but they also work hard, stand up for their values, look after one another and stick together. 


"The entire vibe is to tell these extremely crucial stories but with a certain degree of positivity and hope; through a hard but rose-tinted glass," says Mashable. "Good Trouble thrives because it achieves the perfect balance between these emotional, strenuous arcs and the lighter, amusing ones. As it dives deeper into the characters' personal lives, it sets a sexy, charismatic tone to parallel its more serious takes."

It’s all right there in the title of the show. "Good Trouble", Mitchell explains, "is a term coined by John Lewis, who is a US congressman and civil rights activist, and basically it means being disruptive and making noise, disturbing the peace, challenging the status quo… so you see Mariana and Callie plunging into the adult world head first, with all the challenges that come with that, and finding their feet."

Good Trouble blends ensemble comedy, fun soapie-ness, workplace drama and legal intrigue, and though the second round has an even stronger reality kick, it’s first and foremost a feel-good show, with a lot of heart. "This is the perfect escape from reality without ever really leaving it," says Mashable. "By reflecting the world we live in, Good Trouble has proven to be exactly the type of show we need right now."

Stream the show online now!

Compiled by Vianne Venter. (Sources: Vox, Paste, Mashable, Rotten Tomatoes, Vulture, Showmax)

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