Cherish the Day: Analysis
March 4, 2020 8:00 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Differing expectations and backgrounds clash, resolve and clash again as Gently, Evan and their families plan a big day. The two dads meet for the first time and find they have much in common, and Evan's mother tries her best. Bonus: extended interview with Ava DuVernay in which she discusses the love story's origins in her documentary 13th, the actors choosing not to use an intimacy coordinator for the sex scenes, and why she "really wanted to embrace a darker-skinned sister" for the romantic female lead role.
posted by mediareport (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My favorite episode so far, and one of the sweetest, smartest mainstream TV episodes I've seen in a long time, with so many rich, understated interactions between the characters, and a ton of small, beautiful grace notes adding to the emotional depth. Reminds me a lot of the first great season of This Is Us.

The clash of backgrounds was handled perfectly in small moments - Evan's mom's slowly building discomfort with Gently's choices, the tension as the conflicts become more obvious, Ben gamely learning to waltz morphing into that moment when he makes sure Gently knows that he'd be dead if he hadn't become her father after her real dad died...and then Ben's skepticism at meeting Evan's father turning into a fun bonding session that goes on and on. It's all done so smoothly, with great writing and acting.

I especially loved the little touches, like Evan's genderqueer niece turning down a dress offer, then getting fitted for a tux by her supportive mom, who also gets her own brief moment to shine, the t-shirt toss at the end as Evan and Gently drive off together, that wonderful scene at the fitting shop as the group picture is taken, everyone prepping in their own small, revealing ways as the camera pans over them...such a sweet moment, beautifully captured. Oh, and Gently's dress!

Such a thoughtful, well-made show. The conflicts feel real, the resolutions are earned, the characters just get more and more relatable as time goes on, the direction sharp...I'll stop now but I really look forward to every new episode and this week was a definite winner.
posted by mediareport at 8:24 AM on March 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

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