Freeform’s Good Trouble “has been so far ahead of the curve in telling the stories that it’s been telling for years,” series’ new recurring guest star/director Constance Zimmer said during the show’s TCA panel Friday, summing up a recurring theme throughout the conversation.
Black Lives Matter co-founder, actor, writer and producer Patrisse Cullors was brought on as a story consultant in Season 1 to help with the Malika (Zuri Adele) activism and social justice storyline. She joined the writers room of The Fosters spinoff for Season 2 in her first time writing on a TV series. Melina Abdullah, the director of Black Lives Matter L.A., also consulted for the series, and the had recurring roles on the series playing themselves.
“We were doing stories about Black Lives Matter, and I thought, well, I really want to go to the source and make sure we are doing it right. And so I reached out to Patrisse and asked, “Will you play yourself at a protest, and will you consult on the show?,” Good Trouble executive producer Joanna Johnson said. “And then, ultimately, Patrisse also became a writer on the show, and only had to leave the writers’ room because of what happened last summer and the fact that now she’s international director of Black Lives Matter.”
Series co-star Sherry Cola also addressed the Season 1 storyline in light of the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
“Good Trouble has been telling these stories; it has been ahead of the game,” Cola said. “The things that we talked about in season one reflect what happened in this past year, and the world is barely catching up. And we’ve been having these tough conversations, these necessary conversations. In terms of ‘good trouble,’ all I can think about is the fact that Melina and Patrisse are part of our show. I’ll be at a protest, and I’ll see Melina, and she just came from set. These are queens. These are true superhumans, and the fact that they are part of our show really means a lot, especially because, of course, the title of our show is inspired by the late great John Lewis. So it’s really important for us to just align with what’s going on in the world and just keep showing the world that there’s still more work to do. Nothing is solved here after one summer. We are not the same people we were in March 2020.”
Adele, who received praise from her co-stars about her performance, spoke of the frank off-screen discussions that lead to the authentic on-screen storylines.
“A way we also have gotten into ‘good trouble’ is that we are willing to have really courageous conversations with one another and to make sure and ensure behind the scenes that we are telling the stories in the most authentic ways and that we are so willing to learn from each other’s perspectives and to continue to do so as so many things are happening outside,” she said. “We call on each other. I’ve called on my cast when I’ve gotten pulled over just in a moment of needing advocacy. So the work that we do as characters has really trickled into the family that we have and the way in which we are just willing to get into ‘good trouble,’ show up at protests, continue to learn how to speak up for what is needed in the world, and to represent our characters and our story line.”
Cola also spoke about embracing diversity.
“I think diversity is always a good thing. It’s always an advantage. It’s always something that will set you apart in many ways,” she said. “I just am always all about telling diverse stories, and I’m happy that we are showing this kind of lens, where we see Alice breaking stereotypes. To what extent will she push diversity and at what cost? I think that’s going to shine a lot in season three. And I’m just excited to tell these stories and keep representing the Asian community and all of our communities as a whole on the show. I think, at Good Trouble, we practice what we preach, and we are just telling these real life stories of these real raw people who are messy and just doing the best at fighting for change.”
Here are two more tidbits about what’s in store for Season 3:
- Beau Mirchoff, newly promoted to series regular, on Jamie’s Season 3 storyline: “Jamie is going to trickle back into the fray a little bit, but to what extent, I can’t real say that, but there’s some really exciting things on the agenda.”
Added Johnson, “Maia and Beau have wonderful chemistry together, and the characters, and there’s just no way we weren’t going to continue to work with Beau because we just all adore him and love him and love the relationship. So you got to give these people complications and obstacles and triangles. I think that Callie is wondering, gosh, did I make the right choice when I chose one over the other. So, we’re going to play with all of that and see what’s her endgame.”
- Cierra Ramirez on Mariana’s future post-Speckulate and her relationship with Evan: “I think it’s really interesting seeing Mariana juggle everything that’s happened at Speckulate, and this new blooming relationship with Evan, while trying to keep everything that she believes in to happen. You’ve just seen ‑‑ she walked out with the Fight Club girls. They’re going to try to start their own app tech startup, if you will, while trying to navigate her new relationship and new world with Evan. And I think that that’s going to be really interesting to see kind of unravel throughout the season. It’s interesting because it’s, like, how do you stay true to yourself while also having these feelings that you can’t deny?”