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Freeform’s ‘Good Trouble’: Spoiler free review of The Fosters’ spinoff

Turns out, adulting is not easy!

Freeform’s Good Trouble is the spin-off of The Fosters that follows Mariana and Callie Adams-Foster as they strike out on their own and move to Los Angeles. The two sisters are about to begin their careers and enter a new phase in their lives, Callie as a law clerk and Mariana as a software engineer.

Callie and Mariana have grown up, but they’re definitely still the girls we got to know and love in The Fosters. Except now, they’re struggling twenty-somethings figuring out that making adult decisions is not easy.

Good Trouble, like it’s protagonists is also a more grown up version of The Fosters. It’s edgier and sexier, which tonally fits with the direction Freeform has taken recently. That said, Good Trouble is still endearing and filled with the sense of hope that The Fosters championed so well.

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Tackles Controversial Topics 

The Fosters made a name for itself for its socially relevant story-lines and willingness to explore and openly talk about issues others might shy away from. Good Trouble  continues to pursue that same line of storytelling. In its first episode, Good Trouble sets up story-lines about Black Lives Matter, sexuality and misogyny. It’s ambitious in the issues it wants to explore, but the track record of its predecessor leads me to be more optimistic than cautious.

Mariana and Callie’s chosen careers provide ample opportunities to pursue these story-lines. The very liberal and progressive Callie is clerking for a conservative federal judge. While Mariana works at a tech startup. As one of the only female software engineers she has to face sexism and misogyny daily.

New Digs, New Problems   

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Mariana and Callie’s living situation is not exactly what they expected. They quickly learn that living in LA is expensive and that parking sucks. They end up renting a loft in The Coterie, an intentional community with a communal kitchen and bathroom.

The community at The Coterie fill out the rest of the cast: there’s Malika, a social justice activist and former foster kid. Alice, a Asian-American who manages the building. Gael, graphic designer and artist who is very nice to look at with and without his shirt on.

While the pilot only begins to set up these characters, there is there is lots of promise there. They do all come together for a dinner around a big table, reminiscent of the many family dinners viewers of The Fosters are familiar with.

Romance? Of course! 

As if you could have a Freeform show without love and romance. While romance is not the focus of the pilot, Mariana and Callie are both very much single when the show starts. The pilot sets up some interesting romantic complications for them.

Sisters Above All

Callie’s whole arc in the entire series was her search for family and she found it with the Adams-Fosters. So, it’s not a surprise that it’s the relationship between Mariana and Callie as sisters who love, trust and support each other that really works in the pilot and makes me very optimistic about the future of the series.

They’re still very different girls who fight and disagree, but at the end of the day, they will always be there for each other. Adulthood is scary, but having your sister alongside makes it a little bit less so.

The Fosters Cast
Disney ABC

Family Visits

As for the rest of the Adams-Fosters, they’re not a huge presence in the pilot. The girls do talk to their moms on the phone, but this is very much Mariana and Callie’s journey away from their loving moms.

The other Adams-Foster siblings don’t really get mentioned, but it’s been announced that they will be making guest appearances throughout the first season.  There’s no way Good Trouble would pass up having Noah Centineo return as Mariana’s twin brother, Jesus.

I’m looking forward to following the adventures of Callie and Mariana, but I want to stress that you don’t need to be a fan of The Fosters to enjoy Good Trouble. Callie and Mariana’s journey appeals to anyone looking for honest stories about navigating adulthood.

Good Trouble is a good time – don’t miss it!

Good Trouble premieres on Freeform on January 8.

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Gabriela Acevedo

Gaby is a TV-obsessed fangirl and writer. Television is her true love, but movies and books aren't far behind. Currently living in Los Angeles, she's originally from Puerto Rico, which is still her favorite place in the world. Find her on twitter @gabsteramy.

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