'Betty' Episode 2 Review: Skatepark hostility, awkward hangouts don't give the #MeToo crisis enough screentime
Thirty minutes isn't enough, in our opinion, to cement a character's views on intense storylines such as gender biases, queer intimacies and the #MeToo era
Spoilers for 'Betty' Episode 2
We would love to say that Episode 2 titled 'Zen and the Art of Skateboarding' gave the narrative some substance, but sadly, while the show tries to provoke feelings of relatability, it lacks a lot of character in its delivery. In this episode, we see Donald (Caleb Eberhardt), Janay's (Dede Lovelace) first boyfriend, gets tangled up in a #MeToo storyline, Kirt (Nina Moran), Indigo (Ajani Russell) and Honeybear (Moonbear) deal with gender hostility at a skatepark and Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) and Bambi (Edmund Donovan) hang out with some overly awkward moments.
After last week's episode of Camille ditching her girl gang, this (May 8) episode has her hanging out with the boys as the girls stay away from her. Although the storyline wasn't continuous in a sense, it did showcase the aftereffects of the last episode. Camille kind of had this coming. The episode opened with Honeybear at home in an outfit of dark colors and no bandana, far from her assertive look outside of a home. A quiet girl, with a love for filming, we see her shy side as Kirt tries to get her close to Ash, a skater girl Honeybear is interested in. We have to say that Honeybear's nipple stickies outfit was one for the books, a raw intimate look of rebelling with fashion. And she has a crush on Ash (Katerina Tannenbaum) who according to Kirt's very loud personality "is gay!"
As Kirt continues to teach Indigo how to skate, Indigo is approached by a scout on her first day and while she excused her allowance of letting the scout take her pictures to vanity, we sensed a bit of jealousy from Janay and Kirt. Could Indigo's skating skills be the reason she was approached to be cast or was it her bold look and face presence? The show had already taken an audacious stand on gender discrimination when it comes to skating, a predominantly male sport. In this episode, while the hints of jealousy exist, Kirt convinces Indigo to not give up on honing her new skills after a fight breaks out between boys at the skate park.
Now, to the Janay-Donald show. Close friends to say in the least, Janay is faced with Donald's shady business when she finds out the reason behind Donald turning off comments under their videos. Apparently, there was a girl who "caught feelings" and he didn't "catch feelings back" and now she is seeking revenge. This brought in the #MeToo narrative. While we're shown nothing more of it in this episode, we think the next one would see Jany meeting up with this girl that Donald is speaking of. Even though there is trust between the two, Janay still questions Donald asking him if he did anything, having him only spit the truth that your fate is decided when your name is linked to situations as such. This, we can say, is sadly related to the reality of the world right now, but we don't know the whole truth in this narrative as of yet.
Thirty minutes isn't enough, in our opinion, to cement a character's views on intense storylines such as gender biases, queer intimacies and the #MeToo era. We'd hope that the simultaneous stories would take a bit of time to help settle the viewers into what's happening and what's coming next. Also, we aren't a fan of Bambi and Camille's storyline, all we got is that he's a fellow skater that likes 'Camp Rock,' she's interested in him and she's way too attached to her yellow backpack.
The inclusion of sepia lights and the icecream reading 'Betty' brings us back to our original sentiment. The cinematography still remains the most pleasant part of the show.
'Betty' airs on HBO on Fridays at 11 pm EST.