For the People is so excruciatingly self-conscious that, at times, especially during the pilot, it seems as if every actor is frantically waving their hands about and shouting for you to notice that they are in a TV show, finally!
Transparent Emotional Manoeuvring
When friends and roommates Sandra, played by Britt Robertson, and Ali, undertaken by Jasmin Savoy Brown, interact with one another in the stilted first episode. The subtext is very obviously that the best-friend-dynamic needs to be established as quickly as is possible. With the kind of emotional manipulation that it so obvious it is almost cynical, For the People tries to present the Shondaland ideal standard of six-odd youthful overachievers who all talk too fast and are simply smouldering with unresolved sexual tension, but falls very short.
Yawn. Personally, I would rather be spending some time at the kind of online casino New Zealand has to offer!
Subtle as a Battleship
Right from the first frame of For the People, the characters are scrambled up together in a variety of heterosexual romantic pairings, like they’ve been shaken up like dice in a cup and thrown down to see what will happen next.
But, unlike Rhimes’ greatest shows, For the People lacks even the pretence of subtlety, which is very often provided by the lead actor, a Kerry Washington, a Viola Davis, or an Ellen Pompeo. It’s spirited, and follows all the correct patterns, but I found For the People very difficult to invest in.
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