'Good Trouble' is the Only Show That Accurately Portrays Post-Grad Life on TV

good trouble review
Photo: Freeform/Eric McCandless

It’s rare that a spinoff can live up to, or even exceed, the original, but Good Trouble has managed to do just that.

The show is a spinoff of Freeform’s The Fosters and follows sisters Callie and Mariana as they navigate life after graduation.

On the surface, Good Trouble seems like yet another teen drama but in just a few episodes, it’s already proven to be so much more than that.

What truly makes the show so unique is the depiction of Mariana and Callie’s first jobs out of college.

good trouble cierra ramirez
Photo: Freeform/Eric McCandless

Unlike so many other teen shows which depict post-grad life as ultra glamorous, Good Trouble *actually* shows what it’s like. And it totally sucks.

Mariana’s story is particularly poignant. After graduating from MIT, she gets a job at a Silicon Valley-esque tech startup. HR pitches the company as a fun, welcoming environment. Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Pretty much immediately, Mariana is hit with a hefty dose of sexism and racism from her team, which is led by a white fuckboy.

She’s relegated to the most boring tasks and her ideas are stolen by her white male colleagues.

the fosters spinoff
Photo: Freeform/Eric McCandless

Even her personal life isn’t going as she planned. Her new apartment with Callie is crappy and she compensates by buying a bunch of new furniture, landing herself in a ton of debt.

Pretty much every part of Mariana’s story resonates with me. My first jobs out of college were filled with menial, even insulting tasks. Coffee with 1/3 cup almond milk, anyone?

And I once subleased a fake bedroom (it was originally part of the living room) that could literally only fit a single bed, a side table, and a mini rack of clothing.

Even if you think you have everything set up by the time you graduate — a job, an apartment — nothing ever turns out right.

the fosters spinoff good trouble
Photo: Freeform/Beth Dubber

The truth is that college does nothing to prepare you for “the real world.” It actually does the opposite: it provides you with a nice little bubble to live in for four years that quickly pops the moment you graduate.

Your post-grad years are confusing and complicated. Which one of us hasn’t called home crying during that time?

Of course, none of this is ever portrayed on television. Just look at The Bold Type. I can guarantee you that there is no 25-year-old who is getting prime writing assignments at Cosmo or tons of face time with the Editor-in-Chief (unless they’re the assistant which, at 25, is highly likely).

But life is real and painful for our Good Trouble protagonists. Both Callie and Mariana are forced to make tough decisions that test their morals. At various points, they each have to decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice for their careers. Isn’t that a problem we’ve all faced at one time or another?

good trouble review freeform
Photo: Freeform/Beth Dubber

What Good Trouble is doing for television is far from trivial. So many of us are incredibly unprepared for the hardships of post-grad life. And when it hits us, it comes at us like a tornado.

It’s incredibly important for us to see our experiences on TV. It makes us feel less alone, less crazy.

Most of us feel compelled to hide our struggles from our friends and family because we think we’re the only ones going through this. Their lives seem to be going so well. How can ours be so off-track?

Good Trouble is a great opportunity to open up a dialogue. To remind us all that life after graduation isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. And most importantly, to remind us that we’re not the only ones going through it.


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Photo: Freeform/Eric McCandless

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.