Underemployed Season 1 Review “The Tasting”

We’re about half-way through the first season of Underemployed and so, as expected, ‘The Tasting’ sees things getting more and more complicated for the five Chicago-based friends. Before we begin the unpicking process, there are a lot of impulsive kisses, over-stepping the line at work, and taking each other for granted in relationships.

Since the first episode, Lou and Raviva’s impossible situation has been at the center of the show, and their problems aren’t going anywhere. This week, both are caught out with their respective ‘friends’, and neither is happy about what the other has been getting up to on the sly. It’s clear that both people on the side of the relationship are interested in it becoming something more, and now both Lou and Raviva have had an illicit kiss that evens the score. It’s a mess, but at least the storyline hasn’t devolved into the screaming matches and one-upmanship that it could have done by now.

Daphne and Miles are having issues of a different kind, as the latter’s insistence on changing his script for their tequila launch party gets Daphne in trouble with her boss. With student loan repayments now being taken from her wages, she’s more desperate to do well than ever, and is determined not to let Miles put her job in any more jeopardy. Eventually, both come out on top, as she decides to support her friend’s ideas at just the right moment. With them making such a good team professionally, we’re supposed to wonder, like their friends, why they aren’t a fully-fledged couple yet. With her work-place romance still hanging around, it may take a couple more episodes.

Sofia’s love life isn’t going much better than those of her friends, as she becomes more and more dependent on her girlfriend for money and support. Everyone wondered what she would do once her parents had cut her off, and next week sees her lose her home to unpaid rent, but for now she’s just reluctantly leeching from her older, more professional, love interest. It’s an interesting storyline to bring into a show, and makes a lot of sense when Sofia is so infantilized by everyone around her. Once she has an exciting encounter with another woman, she starts to think twice about how much she’s taking, and decides she has to grow up sooner rather than later.

Even if I disagree with the focus Underemployed gives to the characters’ relationships over their work lives, I still admire its ability to pose problems often faced by 20-something graduates without easy answers immediately apparent. I genuinely don’t know what future episodes might have in store for Lou and Raviva, for example, and am constantly surprised by what the writers do with Sofia. There’s still too much relationship drama, but at least it’s a cut above watching the privileged lives of young adults in 90210 or Gossip Girl.

What did you think of the episode? Should Sofia come clean about the bathroom girl? Let us know in the comments.

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