Season 2, Episode 2
Air Date: Thursday, October 5, 2017, 8/7c on NBC
“What do you want and what’s stopping you?” – Diana St. Tropez
Taking to heart Diana St. Tropez’s (Tina Fey) advice to go after the job you want, Katie (Briga Heelan) sets out to prove she can do just as well as Greg (Adam Campbell) at producing The Breakdown. Needless to say, Greg welcomes the opportunity to show his job isn’t as easy as Katie thinks – or is it?
As Katie and Greg spar over who can be the better boss, Carol (Andrea Martin) sees their workplace rivalry as her chance to push the two closer together. She stages some hilarious romantic moments in an effort to get them in the mood but unfortunately, things don’t go as planned.
Carol’s antics towards her daughter are my favorite part of any Great News episode. It’s hard to resist laughing whenever Carol suddenly appears in an attempt to get Greg and Katie together. The highlight of “Squad Feud” is when Carol sets the mood in the office while singing “Kiss the Girl” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I relish the chemistry between Heelan and Campbell and adore how it translates to their characters. While I’m convinced the two will eventually become romantically involved, I’m enjoying the ride as I eagerly wait for the inevitable moment when it becomes official.
Meanwhile, during a conference celebrating women in business, Portia (Nicole Richie) feels humiliated by Diana’s comments about her during a panel on female CEOs. Determined to get even, Portia retaliates by turning Diana’s personal staff against her. Things get even more heated after Portia posts a music video online that attacks Diana, featuring The Breakdown staff spoofing Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood music video.
As funny as a war between Portia and Diana sounds, the entire storyline falls flat. Other than the initial snub, I never felt there was any motivation driving their feud nor was there any real end goal in sight. It almost seems like the writers were given a music video and had to create a storyline around it rather than the video being the natural result of the story. What should have been a personal battle instead comes across as distant and gimmicky.
It seems like the writers have thrown restraint out the window this season. Several jokes in “Squad Feud” hit their mark only to be followed by another joke that unnecessarily puts it over the top. For example, Diana’s comment about the turtle who has sex with a shoe. The end result is a negative one as Diana’s witty banter goes from funny to ridiculous and obscene. Which brings me to my biggest complaint about this season – the language.
Last season, in my review of the Great News pilot, I commented that the series “revolves around an entertaining mother/daughter relationship set inside a workplace comedy that the whole family can enjoy.” While much of my statement remains true, this season’s two episodes indicate Great News can no longer be considered a family friendly show. Sure, season one had its fair share of innuendos but at its core, Great News focused on humor rather than relying on shocking language.
I have to be honest, as someone who was initially full of praise for the show, I’ve been turned off by the foul language used in Great News this season. It would be one thing had the writers used similar language during the first season but it wasn’t necessary for the show to be funny. Between Diana’s fictional book “Boss Bitch,” the title of the season two premiere, “Boardroom Bitch,” and a music video during “Squad Feud” with “Bish” in the title, which is slang for bitch, not to mention the B word tossed around throughout the episode, the vulgar language has become all too common.
With former 30 Rock executive producers Fey and David Miner, and Robert Carlock also producing the show, some fans felt a shift to better resemble its predecessor was inevitable. While some celebrate this move, I was very disappointed in “Squad Feud.” I miss the creative writing and entertaining storylines from last season that didn’t rely on salty language just to spice things up.
Tweet me @Staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “Squad Feud.”
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Photos © 2017 NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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