Honestly I figure adult art and expression should also carry a layer of didacticism. This whole thing that adults have where they feel insulted when people try to suggest they don’t know everything? Yeah, it’s got to go. (Adults are dumber than kids! And this is part of why!)
Yeah, though. I love how deeply the show weaves its themes into its fabric, and its characters and their motivations and interactions, so that when it chooses to foreground the implications or consequences of certain actions or situations, it tends to feel grounded and meaningful. This is a perfect time, if an utterly bizarre scenario, to talk about consent. And objectification. And anxiety and self-doubt, and how all of these intersect.
The metaphors this show uses are so perfect. They’re blunt enough that it’s hard to miss what they’re saying (unless you’re male, apparently, and watching “Cry for Help”) yet broad enough that they can’t be pinned down either, and can be used in different ways to hold different discussions. (With enough plausible deniability to develop the show to the point where, several years in, they don’t have to hide what they mean anymore.)
Another thing about “Alone Together” is, I keep finding new things. It’s not like a Nine Inch Nails track, but – like, for instance, the doughnut check-in moment. It’s only recently I noticed how the screen grows dark as the doughnuts draw apart, then snaps back to normal as they right themselves. Until I heard an interview, I hadn’t clocked what AJ Michalka was doing with Stevonnie’s laugh, consciously blending Callison’s and Grace Rolek’s. Apparently they shopped that for a while, to make sure it came out right.