by Ariana Romero | via Refinery29
At the close of last week’s grown-ish, I worried my girl Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) was about to go all-in on Cash Mooney (Da’Vinchi), an athlete with a genuinely sad history who also admitted to using Zoey for her “good on paper” credentials as a well-off, successful, beautiful young woman of color. Because I too was once an 18-year-old woman, I know the draw of a boy with a sob story and free-wheeling compliments is a powerful, powerful draw. This week, my nightmare came true as “Cashin’ Out” opens with Zoey announcing she is in serious, head-over-heels love was Cash. Oh no. Since no one has given Da’Vinchi a series regular gig yet, we all know this love can’t last, if only because of contract negotiations.
Still, Zoey is blissfully unaware romantic doom is ahead of her, and is instead twirling around Cal U’s campus like she’s an extra in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and losing her marbles over extra pickled cabbage tacos. Someone is, as T-Pain would say, sprung. Eventually, Zoey reveals just how sprung on Cash she is, telling best friend and roommate Ana Torres (Francia Raisa), “We did it.” It’s a nice moment for a laundry list of reasons, my favorites including devout Catholic Ana’s lack of judgement over premarital sex, Zoey’s lack of self-judgement for having sex, and, everyone’s general sex-positivity. Also, there’s the use of the word “pinga,” which a hilarious euphemism for the leading man of the male anatomy.
Despite Zoey’s proclamations that her first pinga won’t change her, the resulting episode proves just how wrong the college freshman is. The next time we see Zoey, she’s backstage at a faux SportsCenter-type show, as Cash is being interviewed by real-life SportsCenter host Cari Champion. While it’s a subtle choice, we should all applaud grown-ish for choosing a young, Black, and female reporter over Freeform sister network ESPN’s many white and-or male anchors because representation matters.
During Cash’s interview, the topic of his inevitable drafting into the NBA comes up, and the athlete announces he’s “not going anywhere” without Miss Zoey Johnson. Well, that’s intense for a couple who’s been together for less time than it takes to binge Game Of Thrones. Zoey recognizes as much, but then begins to soften to the fact Cash essentially proposed to her on live television while the image-obsessed teen wasn’t even wearing makeup. Zoey’s quickly changing emotions are likely due to Cash setting himself and Zoey up as the next Steph and Ayesha Curry, a comparison we all likely clocked when the teen athlete started talking about family-friendly basketball super couple branding last week.
Of course Zoey would want to be the Ayesha to the of the man she just decided she loves’ Steph.
Click HERE to read the rest of the recap, “Cashin Out.”