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Brand New Cherry Flavor Ep. 1: I Exist

Brand New Cherry Flavor opens in the dead of night (not too dissimilar to Lost Highway) and introduces us to Lisa Nova (Rosa Salazar) who is driving back to L.A. She stops at a payphone to call her friend code Code (Manny Jacinto) and asks to crash at his place. Code seems shocked that she is calling but sounds happy to hear from her. Lisa informs him she needs a place to crash as she is meeting prolific filmmaker Lou Burke (Eric Lange) the following day. Following the phone call, it appears a man on a motorcycle is following Lisa.

The next day Lisa is woken up by Christine (Hannah Levien), Code’s girlfriend and soon is off to her meeting. The meeting goes well, and Lou offers Lisa a contract for her movie. The man on the motorcycle appears again. Later Christine and Code help Lisa find her own place to live.

Lisa discusses her filmmaking with Lou and reveals that she is making it for her Mum. It turns out she never met her Mum as she abandoned Lisa just after she was born. Lisa views the film as a way of trying to reach her.

Lou and Lisa go to a party to meet Alvin a film producer. At the party a strange lady with a cat introduces herself as Boro (Catherine Keener). At this point all the background noise of the party phases out! Boro offers her services to Lisa that include gaining revenge of different people. Boro tells Lisa to imagine she is in a metaphorical mental house and challenges her to break something in the house, Boro writes her address on Lisa’s arm and encourages Lisa to meet her soon. She says she will know it is her place by the “white jaguar” out front.

Later Lou tells Lisa the meeting with Alvin has already taken place in the bathroom and he’s agreed to her film project. On the way home Lou hots on Lisa and when she refuses her advances her leaves her by the roadside.

In the morning she learns that Jules Brandenberg (Jayson Blair) is directing her movie so heads over to Lou’s. She states that she feels Lou is punishing her, when she mention’s his wife Lou puts his hand on her neck and says, “think of this as a learning experience.” He then wants her to apologise, when she says he took her movie he is washed up he grabs her by the throat and pushes her on her car.

An upset and distressed Lisa goes searching for Boro where she seeks to make a deal for revenge on Lou…

Verdict: 7/10. A glimpse into the darkness of Hollywood (like Mulholland Drive) and the impact it has on those involved in its circles. Is it a metaphor is it symbolism? Who knows but I feel that so many clues and references (the license plates mean something) have already been shown we just don’t understand them yet; and so many questions still to be answered! A great start to a show that hopefully will pull you in deeper as it progresses.

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