Freeform’s new show ‘The Come Up’ is all sparkle and no substance.
Freeform’s New Show ‘The Come Up’ has a cast almost too pretty to look at, but the interest ends there
Freeform’s “The Come Up” opens by showcasing six on-the-rise Gen Zers in various stages of their career, all of whom live in downtown NYC, or more colloquially, Dimes Square. The cast contains actors in varying stages of their careers, including a model who has walked in a Fendi fashion show to a novice stand-up comedian/actor from Texas, Ben Hard. Immediately, I was impressed by (and thrilled with) the representation of LGBTQIA and BIPOC community members, but past that, the examination of substantial issues ended there.
There were a few stand-out moments in the show, mainly the impressive resumes of some of the cast members. One of the break-out stars, Fernando Casablancas (who may or may not still be married to model Jordan Barrett, and whose wedding attendees included Kate and Lila Moss) speaks a lot in the show but doesn't say much, leaving the audience awe-struck by his beauty but wondering he is more than just a pretty face. His brief romp with castmate Ben from San Antonio (who is recently out as a Bisexual man) only culminates in one hookup session and nothing more– kind of a yawn…
Claude, a Trans model, and actress briefly talks about the difficulties of dating but doesn't bring up any particulars regarding dating and trust within the Trans community, which seemed like a missed opportunity. On the other hand, Ebon Gore, a party planner and native New Yorker tried to get real. She is a dedicated community advocate who focuses on Trans safety. Most impactfully, Gore proved to be a breath of fresh air through her depiction of a loving relationship with her boyfriend, showcasing what a healthy, loving, and prosperous relationship can look like professionally and personally.
But let's talk about some of the impressive cast members: Taofeek Abijako - the youngest designer to ever show at NYFW. The series follows him putting together a women’s line that took him two years to complete, closing with Pyer Moss congratulating him on a job well done – incredibly impressive! Unfortunately, the 28-minute nature of the show didn't allow for much coverage of his process outside two minutes of casting models (a huge miss, in my opinion).
Sophia Wilson, the 21-year-old NYU student on a gap year, has shot for almost every major publication, including Condé Nast and New York Magazine since she was 13. The show only scratches the surface of her arc as she notes her desire to capture Black joy in a way that compels her to only shoot on film, never digital– a practice she maintains. She even declined a job with the New York Times since it did not allow time that respected her film development process. Wilson, born to a doctor mom and self-admittedly raised with all white students, had an interesting POV on what it means to be Black and female in this city, which is another dimension the show failed to explore.
All in all, the show is cute, not great.
Its format of 28 feel-good minutes does not allow for the unpacking of any real dilemma or issue. It feels amiss to waste this diverse representation of young people and distill them down to another group of pretty faces in the city.
We’d love for you to watch and give us your opinion because we give it a T – for “you Tried it,” Freeform.