Braceface: S1, E5 “The Meat of the Matter”

Happy Friday the 13th to everyone! I hope you didn’t experience any bad luck, but if you did here’s a review that hopefully will make your day better. I had some good luck today, I finally learned how to add screenshots on here so this is the first review containing visual aids! I didn’t use as many as I would like to considering I’m new to it so hopefully I’ll be adding more as I continue to do more reviews. So without further ado, let’s get this review started.

Sharon and Maria are having a sleepover at Sharon’s house. *sighs* I never went to or had any sleepovers growing up. I’m jelly. When Sharon is done painting Maria’s toenails, she starts talking about Alden. She just can’t go one episode without mentioning him. Maria says it’s too bad Sharon isn’t into climbing trees. And that is when Sharon gets a crazy idea to go spy on Alden to see what he’s doing right now.  Okay, that’s just creepy. Don’t get me wrong I’ve stalked some crushes in the past (and now thanks to social media, don’t judge me), but I never went as far as spying on him through his bedroom window. Sharon’s gotta find the perfect “spy outfit” and here it is:

Braceface

Looks more she’s going to rob a bank minus the shades.

They watch Alden and his friend play their guitars and they’re wishing they had money to record music in the studio. Sharon starts gushing about Alden is a “sensitive artist”. First, I don’t understand the meaning of a “sensitive artist”. Second, how are Sharon and Maria able to hear Alden and his friend’s conversation? So many questions, yet no answers. At school, Sharon walks up to Alden and tries to strike up a conversation. Thank God this conversation isn’t awkward like the one from Episode 3. Jesus, that was cringeworthy. I see Sharon’s stalking Alden worked in her favor because she’s using his band and his complaint about needing money for studio time to converse with him. Atta, girl! Sharon’s finally doing something right. Nina overhears their conversation and is pissed when she hears Alden inviting Sharon to go with him to apply for a job at his uncle’s factory. Nina butts in and tells Alden that she’s going to organize a barbeque to help raise money for his band. Alden thanks Nina, but Sharon pulls Alden away from Nina and Nina is pissed. Ha. It’s nice to see Sharon pulling Alden away from Nina for a change.

As Sharon and Alden walk to his uncle’s factory, Sharon smells an awful smell and Alden tells her that it’s a meatpacking plant. You know it would have been nice if Alden had told her that right from the jump. Alden’s uncle interviews Sharon and asks her what type of meat she would take with her if she were on a camping trip. Ummm…what type of question is that? Considering that this is supposed to be for an office position, you would expect him to ask her if she can file paperwork, type a certain amount of words per minute, etc. Don’t you just hate it when you’re in an interview and the interviewer asks you an irrelevant question? Sharon answers brisket and she gets the job. If it’s that easy to get a job, I guess I should have sent my resume over to Alden’s uncle’s meatpacking factory. I also wouldn’t still be unemployed almost a year after getting my college degree. At dinner, Josh and Adam tease Sharon about working at a meatpacking factory. Sharon’s mom isn’t too keen on Sharon working fearing that it’ll affect their schoolwork, but Sharon reassures her mom that it’s only part-time on Saturdays. Josh starts teasing Sharon again and EVEN Sharon’s mom joins in on the laughter.
No one takes me seriously

“How come no one in this family ever takes me seriously?” Oh, Sharon I feel you on that one.

It’s Sharon’s first day on the job and she’s on the phone with Maria complaining to her about work, but on the bright side she gets to go gaga over Alden and they’ll be having lunch together in a couple of hours. Sharon’s braces start to act up while she stamps papers. She can hear cow’s mooing and asks Doug (Alden’s uncle) where the noise is coming from.  You know what’s weird? Doug is in the same room as Sharon and he didn’t hear the cows mooing when she opened her mouth.  He tells her the noise is coming from the slaughterhouse, which isn’t too far from the factory. During lunch with Alden, Sharon’s braces start acting up again and animal noises start coming out of her mouth. (cues the second-hand embarrassment) Every time she opens her mouth, noises start coming out of her mouth. Sharon excuses herself and goes to the slaughterhouse in an attempt to make the noises stop. God, that whole scene was hard to watch. She gets there and guy working there can’t get the pigs to cooperate and he knows how to take care of them (insert evil laugh).

Kill animals

I’m shocked the writers of the show even showed that.

 

A cow gives her sad eyes and Sharon gets upset and runs away. Some guy with a camera starts heckling Sharon about working at the meatpacking plant and comes to find out that he is a member of COMA (Citizens Opposed to the Mistreatment of Animals) (PETA, is that you?) and he invites Sharon to a meeting.  The family is having meat at dinner and Sharon refuses to eat it and declares that she is now a vegetarian and no one is taking her seriously. Josh makes fun of her, Adam wonders how she’s going to get protein, and her mom thinks she’s just going through a phase. I really hate it when parents think their kids are going through a phase. Sharon tells Alden that she’s quitting her job at the meatpacking factory and that she’s now a vegetarian. Since there’s an opening, I can go ahead and sent in my resume.  Alden thinks it’s great that Sharon is taking a stand and he would do the same if he felt the same way. Sharon is in disbelief that Alden doesn’t share her values.

Sharon throws her away a picture of Alden confirming that she’s no longer into Alden because he won’t quit his job. Kinda silly, don’t you think? Maria and Connor think she’s being ridiculous and tells her that just because they don’t share the same beliefs that doesn’t mean she can’t like him anymore.  Connor argues that he likes old movies and Sharon doesn’t and he still likes her. She says it’s not the same and she can’t explain why it isn’t the same. Hmmm….maybe because it IS the same. Maria argues that she’s not a vegetarian and Sharon says “Yet”. WTF? Sharon, you cannot force everyone and their mother to be a vegetarian. At school, Sharon holds up the lunch line by asking the lunch lady if all of the food has some type of meat in it. Sharon is just being selfish right now. People have to eat. If you’re so concerned that there’s going to be some type of animal in the food, you should have just brought your own damn food so you (and everybody else) can avoid this headache. Nina gushes over finding out that Sharon is a vegetarian, calls her weird, and Allyson chimes in saying that she won’t be going to the barbeque. What’s up with the stigma of being a vegetarian? There’s nothing wrong with being one. Later, Alden walks up to Sharon at her locker and tells her that Nina organized a fundraiser for his band and Alden’s friend adds that they’ll be performing and Doug is going to donating hot dogs and burgers. Alden invites Sharon to go and decides to go….until Nina stops Sharon and manipulates her into believing she’d be a hypocrite to go to the barbeque. Sharon realizes that Nina is “right” and turns down the invitation. Sharon, stop allowing Nina to run your life. Alden and his friend are okay with Sharon not wanting to go and Nina mocks Sharon again. Sharon asks Maria if she’s going and is saddened to hear that she’s going.

During a PETA….err, I mean COMA meeting, Sharon is invited to help handout meatless hot dogs and burgers (I didn’t know that was a thing) on Saturday from a booth that is set up near a grocery store. That’s good marketing right there. People will try them, like them, and will be willing to buy them in the store. She agrees to go. Fast forward to Saturday, Sharon gets a call from Maria at the party telling her that Alden’s band sounds great and that she should come. Sharon declines saying that she’s having fun too. One of the members asks Sharon about the phone call and Sharon tells her that her friend is at the barbeque. Dylan suggests that Sharon should go and take the meatless “meat” to the party to promote meat alternatives. Damn, they’re definitely want the word out about those things. I can’t knock their hustle.  Sharon realizes that she can go and still stick to her principles. Too bad Sharon didn’t realize that from the start instead of listening to Nina. Sharon, why must you be so gullible? Sharon shows up and Nina thinks she’s trying to crash the party by her bringing meat alternatives to the barbeque. Nina starts making a scene (Remember last review where I said she was an attention whore?) by twisting Sharon’s words around. “You just can’t stand me doing something nice, can you?” Here’s the thing, Nina you may be doing something nice but it’s not from the goodness of your “heart”. You’re doing this because you have ulterior motives. Sharon and Nina get into a tug-o-war over the food and Nina falls into the pool and Sharon falls on Alden’s guitar. Yikes.  Alden is upset over his guitar and Sharon, feeling bad starts crying and leaves the party .

Sharon Crying

 

Sharon refuses to go anywhere out of fear she’ll run into Alden and stills feels embarrassed over what happened at the barbeque. Maria convinces her to walk her dogs by using Sharon’s animal rights beliefs. When they get to the park, Sharon is scared that she’ll run into Alden and believes that he hates her. Maria denies this and thought he wasn’t on her list anymore. Sharon realizes that she’s going to have to lighten up her qualifications on her list because everyone that she cares about won’t be on it. Sharon thinks maybe she should go back to her pre-vegetarian days. Maria tells Sharon that people just do things because it’s important to them. Damn, Maria is always preaching the good word. Can I be best friends with her? Sharon doesn’t deserve to have her as a friend. They run into Alden playing Frisbee with his friend and Sharon wants to hide, but he’s already spotted them. They awkwardly say “Hi” to each other, but Alden’s friend interrupts them. Alden tells them he has to go and Sharon tells Alden that she’ll pay to get his guitar fixed. Alden tells Sharon that there’s no need because Doug gave him a raise and the whole incident wasn’t really Sharon’s fault.  Sharon is relived that Alden isn’t mad at her and she’s back to gushing over him like she does every episode. Apparently, Sharon learned nothing from this episode as she still believes she can convince Alden to become a vegetarian.

This was a great episode to introduce vegetarianism to young people. It’s a great idea to expose kids to issues like this and think about the world around them. It kind of reminds me of what’s going on today with the discussion of racism, sexism, feminism, politics, etc. Those topics are always discussed on social media so it’s also great that kids (Yes, there are kids on social media) and teens are exposed to important topics like this. I also like that Alicia Silverstone (who voices Sharon) is a vegetarian and animal rights activist so it was nice that the writers added that so Silverstone could relate to her character. Another thing I love is that Sharon being a vegetarian/animal rights activist is going to be a consistent thing throughout the show instead of it being mentioned in one episode and never mentioned again. What bothered me in this episode was the stigma of being a vegetarian. People act like you’re some type of freak because you don’t eat meat. You know how society is: Something is wrong with you if you’re not like everyone else. The biggest thing that annoyed me the most was Sharon trying to turn everyone around her into a vegetarian like her. Look, I get wanting people to see things from your perspective but you can’t force everyone in the world to share your beliefs. You can still be friends or date someone whose beliefs differ from yours. If everyone in the world shared the same beliefs, ideas, likes, dislikes, etc. it would be a boring world to live in. Variety is needed in this world. The final thing that bugged me in this episode was Sharon believing that she couldn’t go the barbeque because she would be a hypocrite to go. I know Nina put that idea in her head, but it’s just a stupid idea. It’s not like she’ll be eating the meat there. She could go and still stick to her beliefs. For example, a Christian invites their Atheist friend to watch them sing their first solo in the choir at church. That Atheist friend can go to support their friend, but going to church wouldn’t mean they’re no longer an Atheist. They can support their friend and still be an Atheist.

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About rosecoloredglassesreviewer

Just a 20-something year old who loves writing and critiquing 90s/early-2000s TV shows. NOTE: I don't hate the shows I review. I enjoyed them as a child and I still enjoy them as an adult. My issue is with people who are blinded by nostalgia and believe that the shows they grew up are the best of all time and who believe today's shows suck.
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