Civil rights leader John Lewis coined the phrase Good Trouble in reference to the difficult choices one makes when choosing to speak up against injustices. Instead of staying quiet, staying out of the way, or leaving difficult conversations to those with “more qualifications,” Lewis emphasized the importance of bringing change through making trouble. Well, good trouble.
Freeform’s show Good Trouble premiered in 2019, and the show does an impeccable job of highlighting Lewis’ well-known mantra. A spin-off of The Fosters, (another amazing show that follows the Adams-Foster family- the four adopted children and one biological child of lesbian parents Lena and Steph as they navigate the usual difficulties of teenagehood), Good Trouble follows Callie and Mariana, the two Adams-Foster daughters, in their move to Los Angeles post-graduate school. The sisters move into the Coterie, a communal living space with other young adults who bring a lot to the plate in terms of their unique interests, careers, sexualities, racial and gender identities, and life experiences.
At the start of the show, Callie has just graduated from law school and is challenged by the conservative judge she is assigned to do a fellowship with. Callie often must decide between speaking up for what is right, or sitting back and behaving in order to make it further in her legal career.
Mariana is beginning a new job at a male-dominated tech company. She is tempted to stir up good trouble when she is confronted by the unequal pay in the office, as well as her constant mistreatment such as being ignored, talked over, and pushed aside.
The other Coterie residents are all navigating their young adult lives through their own lenses. Malika is a Black Lives Matter activist whose career is often threatened by her activism. Davia is a young woman who struggles with body image issues but is also a social media fat-liberation activist. Gael works at a tech company but has dreams of being a professional artist; he is afraid to chase his dreams because of the money he is offered at his current job. Alice is a young Asian lesbian who wants to be a stand-up comedian.
Good Trouble’s emphasis on social justice issues and diversity is only one of the many reasons this has become one of my favorite television shows. It is also just as sexy as many other young adult television programs. If you, like me, love to watch shows where there’s a lot of dating, a lot of steamy make-out scenes, and a whole lot of heartbreak, you’ll definitely find that here. The actors are young, hot, and progressive- so it’s obvious that this show has the total package. More than that, it is rare to find a spin-off that is just as good, if not better than the original show. If you are an OG The Fosters fan, you’ll love the cameos from old characters and references to the original series. Yet, if you have never seen The Fosters, you do not need to go back and watch it in order to be totally captivated by Good Trouble and all it has to offer.
Good Trouble’s third season premiered on HULU earlier this year. Don’t wait any longer to start watching!