'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies' Episode 3 calls out oppressive parenting
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Despite being set in the 1950s and a prequel to 1978's classic and highly acclaimed film, 'Grease,' 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies' on Paramount+ has made an effort to concentrate on themes such as racial prejudice, sexism, harassment, the objectification of women, and so much more that were very important at the time but rarely spoken about in that era.
The show also takes things one step ahead to call out parents who were regarded as a literal deities in the '50s. The words of a parents was the law and they were deemed incapable of being wrong, especially when it came to their kids. In 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,' we get a modern take on 1950s bigotry. Show creator Annabel Oakes had mentioned in one of her interviews that the prequel will not shy away from tackling themes that were relevant back then and give them a touch of today’s world and that is what they have been doing.
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'Difference of opinion'
Jane's mother at one point shoots down Jane's plans to speak up. She is guilt-tripped when the mother ennumerates the significant sacrifices made for her and her sister. Jane is criticized as being 'ungrateful.' As Jane feels guilty, she messes up her campaign and fails at a task she's good at. That is when she decides to defy her mother and acknowledge what her mind says is right.
Have things really changed from the 1950s to 2023? The generation gap still exists — only now it is Gen Z kids against their millenial and Gen X parents. Parents will still shut down their children if they show signs of going in a direction that is new or experimental. However, the small smile from Jane's mother near the end reassures the audience that maybe parents just need to be sat down for 'chats' that help them adapt to changes.
'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies' explores parental authority
It's sad and distressing to see 'Tiger moms and dads' pushing their children down paths they want thanks to the authority they wield. From larger concerns about what their children should do when they grow up to mundane matters about how they spend their days — while guidelines and parental advice has its place, how much is too much?
When Jane asks Buddy to step down as her opponent in episode two, he tells her he's unable to do so because his father is running for Mayor, which is why they all have to be leaders in the family. Buddy asks his father if he should go out there and talk about some of the changes he wants to bring in during a live-debate preparation, but his father says it's not necessary because the goal is to win. No one wants to be in someone else's shadow, including children. But this pill is difficult to swallow for parents who want their kids to carry on their legacy or live their own dreams through their children.
The entire scenario is sad because this mindset continues, with parents refusing to give up power over their kids regardless of how suffocated and unhappy their child becomes. The coming episodes of the show might take upon the same themes in a magnified manner. But the show's message is clear. Parents should love their children enough to let them be themselves and if there is an error while parenting, own up and fix it.
'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies' is streaming on Paramount+