12 February 2018 | cheryltaragin
What A Pretentious Pile of Pathos
Berkeley activists meet, marry, and settle in Portland. Holly Hunter is the middle-aged overbearing, controlling, former therapist wife. Tim Robbins is the middle-aged philosophy professor/author undergoing a mid-life crisis husband. They've raised a Brangelina family of black, light brown, and yellow children, including one lily-white child of their own. For good measure, their black daughter is married to a white "Republican before Trump" and their light brown son is gay and suffering from hallucinations about the number 11.
This show is the anti-"This Is Us." It's the "Look At Us, Ain't We Messed Up" show. At one point, I had to ask myself if I even care what happens to these people. In one way or another, the Gen Z children annoyingly comment about their rainbow family throughout the show. Predictably, married couples will cheat on each other, the children will do drugs, and everyone will wonder about the meaning of life and whether any of it is worthwhile. The show tries so hard at being relevant that it's already a cliche.
Three mysteries may have me tuning back in for a second flagellation. Why is the Vietnamese son celibate? Why is the Hispanic son hallucinating about the number 11? How is the Hispanic son related to his shrink? I don't know how long the showrunner can keep this shell game going, but he'd better come up with a better sideshow or I'll be heading for the exits before the reveal.