Twenties 1×05 Review: “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”

Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing Twenties review
Marie in ‘Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing’ (Image via Twitter @BET)

This week’s episode of Twenties, titled ‘Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing’, focused on bisexual representation in a well-written manner.

I’m very glad that when TV has Roswell, New Mexico airing on The CW and giving viewers a weekly dose of poorly written queer representation, TV also has weekly episodes of Lena Waithe’s Boomerang and Twenties to showcase how queer representation should be handled in media.

Now, I’m not saying queer representation should never be messy and all queer characters need to be perfect. I love messy queer characters. But there’s a difference between being messy and creating content that only exists to support already problematic queer stereotypes under the guise of queer representation. And again, we all know where that The CW show lands.

Anyway, coming to ‘Ain’t Noting Like The Real Thing,’ I enjoyed what Hattie and Marie had to go through this week. While I like Nia as well, I think her storyline isn’t as gripping as the arcs the other two leads have.

Due to Ida B wanting her old scripts scanned and saved on her laptop, Hattie’s sent to Ida B’s house to complete the task. Going through the old content led to Hattie finding a script she couldn’t put down. I’m not sure if said script will play a bigger role in the upcoming episodes, but considering Hattie decided to put it in her backpack, I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

Also, ‘Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing,’ showed Ida B and Hattie’s bond becoming closer. There’s definitely some kind of weird sexual chemistry there. While Hattie did talk to her friends about Ida B possibly being bi-curious, here’s to hoping Hattie treads carefully. I don’t fully trust Ida B.

The episode mentioned Hattie having issues with fully opening up to her romantic partners because of her fear of getting her heartbroken. And you know what? That’s completely relatable.

Twenties episode 5 review Nothing Like the Real Thing
Chuck and Marie in ‘Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing’ (Image via Twitter @lenawaithe_fans)

Bisexual representation was also talked about through Marie and her husband Chuck. The show has been dropping hints that Chuck might not be completely straight. And this week’s episode really developed on those hints to have Marie be excited about watching adult content (the threesome-kind) with her husband only to end up being very surprised when the video featured a woman and two queer men.

I have no idea what Waithe and her team have planned for Chuck and Marie, but I’m looking forward to finding out. The two characters really need to have a conversation about Chuck’s sexual identity. He clearly loves Marie. But she needs to sit her husband down and share her concerns.

Also, Marie telling Nia and Hattie she didn’t believe in bisexuality made sense because we, as the viewers, understood her feelings about her husband. The truth about his sexuality is scary for her. Will this lead to her separating from Chuck? Or is Marie thinking too much about it all and Chuck isn’t queer? I don’t know. 

As for Nia, she told Hattie and Marie she believed that sexuality’s a spectrum, but she wouldn’t date a bisexual man due to personal preference. I smiled when Hattie responded by saying Nia had probably hooked up with a bisexual man without even realizing it.

The friends also had a quick conversation about how society accepted women exploring their sexuality but held a different standard when it came to men.

Again, I’m all for messy queer narratives as long as they are handled well and for now, Twenties is doing that.

Before I end my review, I have to give a shoutout to Marie for making a boss move and having her co-worker, Ben, realize she isn’t a pushover. Seeing her take control during the meeting with a prolific client (producer?) was nice.

Also, the scene where Marie’s boss asked her to go and get one of the POC men from the office to attend the meeting with them so she wouldn’t look like the token black employee was hilarious.  

If you are someone who is looking for a comedy/drama series with WoC leads as well as well-written queer representation, you should consider watching this show. From what I can tell, it is doing good in the viewership department.

With only three more episodes left, I hope Twenties comes back for a second outing.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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