In my opinion... this was the absolute best episode to date! The acting was off-the-chart! Carl Anthony Payne ("Cole" on "Martin") performed his best acting ever! I was very impressed with Darnell and the other men standing up to that bully. The producers could really expand on this episode. Such a dramatic, yet realistic message. Other shows have dealt with domestic abuse of course. I guess I didn't expect such intensity from the cast of "Girlfriends". While I do enjoy the humorous ones, we definitely need more well-rounded episodes such as "Time to Man Up" on the episode list!
This episode focused on the very serious issue of domestic abuse. Maya and Darnell meet another black couple (Alicia and Ray) who live in their neighborhood, and Maya believes she's spotted signs of an abusive relationship. She seeks to intervene in order to save Alicia from further beatings, but Alicia is still in denial about her situation. The episode urges us to be sensitive to the plight of women in trouble, and to be bold in our steps to help someone else. As in other recent episodes, I felt the story line was good, but rushed. This is the sort of situation that would have benefitted from multiple episodes.
The side story focused on Joan and Aaron, and served to balance the extreme seriousness of the main story. Holiday monster Joan plays down her obsession with Valentine's Day after Aaron publicly states his opinion that he considers the holiday pure emotional blackmail. The conflict is resolved beautifully for the couple, but poor Aaron doesn't know what he's getting himself into…
Maya immediately realized that something was amiss with her new neighbors begginning with how quickly her husband sout her down when she tryed to express her opinion about anything.
Maya has always been one given to conspiracy theory and at times with good reason. But her instinct proved to be right on target. After nosily spying on the couple she hears or sees something disturbing and calls the police. Darnell thinks that Maya is going overboard. But she sticks to her guns.
It is later during a gathering that Darnell hears a fight and he and the guys along with the girlsfriends and Monica go over. Darnell is hostilely confronted and the husband attempts to intimidate him, William and Aaron the way he has his wife. But the stand their ground at the risk of their own safety and eventually leave. The wife stands outside begging to be let back in.
Later she comes over and asks Maya for help. This would also be an excellent subject for Lynn to write a documentary on. It's an important and worthwhile subject.
The writers and producers did an excellent job.
This episode was funny and sad. I am not a big fan of Valentine's Day but evidently Joan Clayton is along with every other holiday in the year. I thought it was so funny when she told Aaron that Valentine's Day was just another day at least until they got back to her place and she started grilling him. I think this may be Joan's soul mate if he can look over her crazy ways. It was so sweet when he had Joan a bunch of gifts and then she was so suprised and said she could not wait to see what he did for Saint Patrick's Day. I was so happy when Maya and Darnell met some friends that lived in their neighborhood until I seen what the husband was doing to his wife. I was glad that Maya tried to stand up for her new friend but unfortunately this rings true so much. You try to help someone get out of an abusive relationship and they blame you for the problem.
I was glad to see Darnell stand up to the guy along with the rest of the gang and in the end the wife came to Maya saying she needed help. Great episode.
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