Why Netflix’s ‘Disjointed’ Is The Absolute Worst
Warning: There are loads of spoilers that were actually in pretty bad shape before I got to them
Disjointed is bad. It’s so bad that I never got high enough to escape the agony of knowing that I wasn’t high enough to not notice that there were virtually no Black women featured on a show about a renowned weed dispensary in Los Angeles.
WTF?! Black women aren’t cute enough to explore the options of getting high in a city that could make that easy as fuck — to the point that you don’t even have to venture into a whack ass dispensary known as RAC or (Ruth’s Alternative Caring)?
Nobody in their right mind would walk through those doors — especially if you can have that shit delivered.
Kathy Bates who plays the revered cannabis activists — Ruth Whitefeather Feldman — did the best she could with what she was given — but at the end of the day — the woman she was trying to introduce us to — never appeared.
All we get is Bates and her rubbery lines that leave the weed in her midst — rotting with fury — while the factory-assembled characters she cohorts with — showcase their obvious inexperience at making shit less shittier.
RAC — is comprised of fashionably alert Millennials who have been placed in positions of power. It’s not the freedom of getting high enough to perform the duties of planting and puffing for the benefit of laugh tracks and the brands that supply the pricey cardigans and hair mousse.
It’s seamlessly tackling why America is Great — due to how much diversity matters when dollars and cents collide.
When Chuck Lorre who also manifested Two and a Half Men and The Bang Theory — decided to create a series about an iconic activist who spent the best years of her life — championing the benefits of “getting high” — without the buzz of legislations or stipulations — he also did his homework and perfected the art form of “inclusion.”
Ruth’s lair of “high and higher” boasts two Black men, a White guy, White woman and an Asian. The customers don’t have much screen time — but none of them appeared to be Black women. This bothered me initially — until I reminded myself that White men who write teleplays — typically leave out women like me from the narrative — because they really don’t know where to begin.
After recently garnering my rec card — I can attest to the benefits of alleviating the torrents of emotions that stem from hormonal infrequencies.
I used to indulge for the purity of escape and what that affords when the essay you tried to write last night — suddenly stares back at you from a screen you supposedly alighted. But, now I do it to get my nerves back in order — as I calmly exhale the demons that multiply whenever I take a breath.
I was high when I settled for Disjointed.
That might explain the visceral reaction I had to all the shit that splattered my screen with unyielding frequency. I could picture Lorre and his creative team menacingly plotting how to make the whole “diversity” streak — relevantly humorous.
The idea of Ruth — getting knocked up by some Black dude who used to be a Black Panther before selling out to the trappings of corporate America might’ve worked if we got to know the guy better.
Instead — we’re saddled by the son they made — Travis — who decides to put his recently earned MBA to good use — by attempting to help his mother manage her weed dispensary business. Travis isn’t just conveniently biracial, but he’s also a over-zealous Millennial — bursting with the instinctual brilliance and ambition that afflicts his kind.
His mother is an old birdie — stuck in the era where standing up for something didn’t result in trademarked merchandise or partnership branding — which means that Travis arrived just in the knick of time. His mission is to spearhead a shift in a direction that makes his silver-haired mother stubbornly evasive.
All the characters heighten initiatives that appear recklessly unappealing.
The Black security guard, Carter, who refuses to indulge until the effects from the PTSD he inherited after combat in Afghanistan overwhelms him. Jenny, the young woman who works with the other two “gardeners” also fulfills the quota of diversity as she demonstrates the skill of being high enough to convince her Asian parents that she’s still the high-achieving daughter — enrolled in Medical School.
Then there’s the White girl, aptly named Olivia, who is bequeathed the “savior role” that sees her being the object of affection of the “man-in-charge” while she struggles with the fact that even though she gets to smoke tons of weed for free — she isn’t quite comfortable with this privilege.
Finally we have Pete, who is the classic weed dweeb — dressed in the mandatory coverings — tresses long enough to recall the days when “being original” was actually a natural way of life. He sounds high all the time and only takes breaks to hang with the Tae Kwon Do expert — next door — who is apparently tough enough to reject weed — and yet keeps dropping by the dispensary to threateningly harass his tormentors — while utilizing a scary as fuck Christian Bale impression.
I light up after the delivery guy makes his exit and I selfishly indulge before finishing the other blunt that I promptly discarded.
The smoke is so dense that you can clearly see what the motivation was when every possible salute to what being non-White in America really entails — blasts each episode with familiarized fury.
Aside from the insulting homage to the messiness of highness when all you have is time — courtesy of the duo — Dank & Dabby — who host a YouTube channel that showcases all the reasons why Marijuana still has a bad name — the dented references to issues that are timely and societally urgent — is an absolute buzzkill.
Disjointed is appalling because it selects the jargon that gave Trump the White House — and remixes it into the fodder that could keep him there longer than we deserve.
Everything you can imagine or don’t want to fathom is included and celebrated with recorded laughs for kicks.
The only two Black guys that matter are paired off with non-Black women in ways that are unappetizingly staged. Travis and Olivia are supposed to fuck because for some bizarre reason, Ruth thinks she’s ready for what her son describes as “Butterscotch grand-babies.”
They end up not fucking, which at this point means nothing because there’s more lameness ahead. The Black security guard keeps hallucinating even though he’s not smoking shit. He eventually loses it and this forces him to start smoking the shit. Once he does — he becomes a different person and this makes the Asian girl, Jenny — notice him more.
The worst parts come in the form of lazy writing, which is to be expected since diversity has to be exacted — even without the assistance of Black women. Or maybe, there were a couple of us featured during the funeral scene. I’m not sure — and I was sober at this point — so that says it all.
We endure the mockery of Amber alerts, the re-assertion that “Black don’t crack” from a White person who knows, the fact that public school teachers are willing to “leave the planet” to escape the hell of their own making, the reassurance that bored White White women in middle-age crisis mode — still have the privilege of stalking others with their time — while their Guatemalan housekeeper holds down the fort — and the reminder that the war on drugs was really an obvious ploy to send Black men to prison for actions that White people commit in broad daylight with no consequences.
I sobered up when I realized that I would’ve made Disjointed the series that Netflix would’ve passed on — due to the absence of anything that is devised to make Black men look like infected pussies and all the other players boringly dominant.
I’m sure Kathy Bates took the bait for the sake of God and country. At her age and at this phase in her career — it’s almost impossible to reject the opportunity to play a heroine who champions the right to bug out without restrictions. The other young minds — were probably too giddy and inexperienced to examine the words falling from their lips.
And Chuck Lorre is simply unoriginal and too desperate to care about how he utilizes the power he commands. Being ‘Woke” has become an infectious maze of infrequencies that don’t ever mesh in an organic way — because the creator doesn’t possess the primal pull towards the subject he manipulates.
The only way to captivate is to produce caricatures of circumstances that minimize the value of what so many fought to uphold. The fight wages on but the interference of entertainment overrides the sacrifice of astute awareness and demonstration.
Disjointed is the fundamental example of what happens when Hollywood scribes choose to write from non-experience — and then amplify it with the currents of a climate — that dictates why it’s permissible to use comedic timing as a tool of choice — against the gravity of deeply rooted activism that can’t ever be finessed by the stroke of a false ally.
Getting high doesn’t mean that you give your steering wheel a hand job.
Casting Black men doesn’t automatically require the need to fulfill the belief that they will lust after non-Black women, while noticing that the foosball has all-White competitors. The token Asian woman doesn’t need to agonize over why being Asian usually means what we assume.
And the exclusion of desirably potent Black women doesn’t have to be a bad thing — because in this case — it’s not.
There are so many more reasons why Disjointed is the worst — but like the final episode— I choose to end abruptly with unapologetic authority over why you can do so little and expect so much.
That’s what happens when you get high and binge-watch a show about getting high that ends up killing the last buzz of the night.
Trust me, it’s the worst.