ETHERIA has taken us on an incredible journey in the first three episodes. Empowerment, fear, love, and heartache have all crossed our screens so far. Well, don’t you think now it’s time to have a little fun?
Sam (Emme Rylan), Taylor (Megan Lee Joy), and Charley (Jessica Sherif) are having a grown up girls’ night slumber party–which is a regular slumber party with wine and revenge fantasies. Lots and lots of revenge fantasies because what girls’ night would be complete without planning the demise of your boyfriend?
“Shevenge” takes the fun level of ETHERIA, which was hovering at about a two, and amps it up to a twelve. Gloriously silly, each fantasy sequence gets more ridiculous and wonderfully unlikely. Charley begins the night describing her fantasy of kicking the ever-living hell out of her dirtbag boyfriend, breaking his guitar, and dispatching him with it–simple, violent, to the point. Sam takes an entirely different approach, donning her Donna Reed best, she makes a perfect dinner for her beau, (in spite of insistence from the girls on poisoning him). She sets the table, lights candles, and waits…and waits…and waits. By the time he finally arrives home, her anger boils over into a force-feeding/suffocating extravaganza that ends not-too-well for Mr. Wrong. Then, it’s Taylor’s turn. Let’s just say things get a little freaky and spooky.
There’s not a ton of substance, intellect, or nuance to “Shevenge,” but it sure is fun. Centering females in narratives about men and creating an environment where women are only characterized by talking about the men in their lives could be problematic and sort of goes against a few tenets of feminism, but even so there’s a simple joy to seeing these women live out their wildest revenge fantasies. It is worth noting this is the first of the ETHERIA episodes so far not solely written by a woman, which I think shows in the end product (though it is directed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Amber Benson). A delightful cast, enjoyable production, and silly story spare us the real world for a little bit with old fashioned & femme driven fun in a frilly package.
6 out of 10