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Pen15: “Grammy” Review

Image Source: Vulture

Synopsis:

A new family member comes to live with Anna, but their arrival brings unexpected endings. Maya gets a diagnosis.


This episode was all about endings and beginnings but done subtly. We see that Anna’s grandma is coming to stay with her and her mom, and it’s somewhat dysfunctional. At the same time, Maya and Anna are going through some personal struggles in their life. Anna is in a support group to help cope with her parent’s divorce, and Maya gets diagnosed with ADD and Irlen’s syndrome.

Diving deeper into Maya’s diagnosis, you hear about a lot of people having ADD or ADHD, and while some people truly have the illness, others, I believe, use it as an excuse to get the medication. You hear about it in schools, students sharing Adderall to get high off of it and become more awake, but doing it for the wrong reasons. What unnerved me about Maya getting diagnosed with ADD was that she didn’t want to take the medication in the first place, but once she heard that she would be able to take extra time to take tests, she changed her mind. She wanted to take the meds for the wrong reason, and she even lied about her sensitivity to light. We see later on that she shares her meds with Derrick, which only further proves my case.

Anna’s grandma added an extra layer to Anna’s family dynamic, and it made things even more awkward. Grammy wasn’t particularly nice, and it kicked off when she picked up Anna and Maya from school. She wouldn’t take them to Blockbuster, and when they got home, instead of Grammy being the one to help the family out, Anna had to take care of her. Red flag number one was that Grammy liked to take her pills with sherry, which is always a bad idea. Next, she got mad at Anna for wasting time at school because then she could have gotten her hair done. This is when we get a sweet moment between the three. Anna and Maya decide to do Grammy’s hair and nails, and she truly appreciates it in the end. She even compliments Anna on her good work. Sadly, that night, Grammy dies.

Being that it was Anna and Maya’s first time dealing with death in the show, they didn’t know how to react at the funeral. I think Anna, in particular, maybe didn’t process her grandma’s sudden death, or since she wasn’t close with her in the first place, she didn’t feel any emotions. It wasn’t until the eulogy that Anna and Maya started laughing. I think that was their only way of getting through the service. Later on, Maya’s meds suddenly kick in, which didn’t seem realistic, but it was for, of course, the comical aspect. She runs into Derrick, and they share a moment.

We end full circle with Anna at her support group, but she brings Maya with her. Anna sounded mature during her confession and told the group that she decided to live with her mom full time because of the death of her grandma. I thought that was the right decision, but Anna also mentions that she’s worried about her dad because he’s not exactly doing that great. I feel like Anna’s going to have to grow up super fast and end up helping out her parents a lot. At this moment, she’s the only one that seems to be on the right track. After the support group, Maya and Anna meet Steve and Derrick outside, and Steve asks Anna to be his girlfriend, and she agrees, which I think is sweet. I think they complement each other, and it seems like it’s somewhat of a mature relationship for being teens. Also, Maya asks Derrick to be her boyfriend, and that relationship is not going to last. It was done on a whim, and the only thing they have in common right now is taking meds. I’m excited to see how their relationships progress and what milestones they face going forward.

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