‘The Baker & The Beauty’ 1×04 Review: “I Thinks She’s Coming Out”

Celebrities are complicated. There are different types – A List to Z List- and there are different levels of if and when you will be followed, and your entire life become the “property” of the public.

We, as the general public, think that we have a right to a celebrities’ life. We give them the attention, the fame, the money. We head to the box office, we watch their television shows, we buy their merchandise – so why wouldn’t we think that pictures and articles are something that they should sign off on, and that we have the right to.

I’ll tell you why we don’t.

These are still human beings. They are just human beings with extraordinary jobs, jobs that make a part of history. But like all of us, there is a time that we are working and a time that their lives should be just their own.

Like all of us.

(ABC/Francisco Roman) BELISSA ESCOBEDO, MADELYN SHER, LISA VIDAL, DAVID DEL RIO, CARLOS GîMEZ

But the culture that we live in doesn’t allow for a celebrity to have a life, and that’s a pretty fucked up view on reality. Private should remain private. And that’s what Noa had to face this week on The Baker and The Beauty.

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANNA DO THIS?

Daniel’s been sneaking out every morning to go and meet Noa. They have their schedule, and their lives.

Until one morning the family stops him before he leaves and asks him why he keeps sneaking out to her. Doesn’t she want to meet them? Is he ashamed of them?

Daniel isn’t ashamed of his family – but I can’t blame him for wanting to be in his bubble. I can’t blame him for wanting to hide from the world and be happy.

(ABC/Francisco Roman) NATHALIE KELLEY

But when he brings it up to Noa, she wants to meet them. She’s excited. She wants to be around the family that she’s heard so much about.

But I think she, more than that, wants to feel normal. To be around a family that actually can be in the same room. Her life is always so complicated.

Going to dinner at the Garcia’s may not be the best idea, but it’s what she wants to do. Lewis warns her not to become a tabloid fodder. She knows what she’s doing.

But then again – does she?

Noa plans to woo the family, but doesn’t want to be the celebrity of the night. She just wants to be Noa. She has the same worries about her relationship with Daniel as Rafael does.

She cares about him, and she knows that means winning over his Dad. The thing about Mr. Garcia – he’s blunt AF.

But he’s blunt because he’s a Dad.

Life in the limelight isn’t easy. People will always judge you. People will always think that they know you. But the intoxication of the celebrity world isn’t always reality.

And so as I watch this show, I wonder – if and when the pain will come. Because I don’t doubt that it will, and Noa’s life will become too much.

DINNER WITH A REAL FAMILY

(ABC/Francisco Roman) LISA VIDAL, NATHALIE KELLEY, VICTOR RASUK

I feel bad for Noa, and in the same breath I feel bad for the Garcia family.

If we’re being real, for me – the person I understand the most at the beginning of this dinner is Papa Garcia. He’s a man that has worked so hard, and has had his kids lives planned out.

He wants a life for his kids that is filled with them achieving greatness, and not being hurt. He wants a life for them that has nothing but hope. For Daniel – the plan has always been for him to take over the bakery. And of course, he doesn’t want his son hurt.

He doesn’t want Noa’s world to change Daniel’s. He’s afraid of his son being hurt, he’s afraid of Noa hurting him, he’s afraid of so many things. But he’s just being a father that wants to protect his son.

But he also wants to be there for his son. So Noa coming over – even though he doesn’t agree with the relationship – she’s going to have the best.

And the family rolls out the red carpet. Noa wants them all to be comfortable, and to make a good impression.

Natalie is enamored – not only with Noa, but with Amy being there. Mateo sees this as a big break. Mama Garcia wants her son to be happy. Daniel – well, Daniel is just happy.

And dinner is going well. The family is happy and talking. Noa is trying to figure them all out, to learn about them, to be the good girlfriend. And that’s what she is – even though she wants to protect Daniel from her world.

Because fame is a complicated thing. Anything you say and do can be twisted, torn, and made into something that it is not. I mean that’s everyone’s life – but on a celebrity level, it’s different.

(ABC/Francisco Roman) CARLOS GîMEZ, LISA VIDAL, DAVID DEL RIO

But what happens next, I don’t think was intentional. Noa sees the Garcias as this perfect family, and so as she’s at the table and observing Natalie and Amy and seeing the way that they are obviously attracted to each other. I think she made the assumption that that the whole family knew.

So when she asked how long they’d been together, and Mr & Mrs Garcia looked as though everyone had lost their mind, I wasn’t shocked by everyone’s reactions. Amy trying to protect her, Natalie stunned into silence. She wasn’t going to get to come out on her own terms. She didn’t know if she was even ready for that yet.

And when she ran, I couldn’t blame her. I actually shed tears for her. How does a night where you get to meet your idol turn into a night you want to run from?

And as if the night couldn’t get any worse, Vanessa walks in. She was trying to be kind, to bring Mateo soup because he had dropped out of a gig that she had got him because he was sick. But she was shocked that Noa was there.

Vanessa had waited months to be invited to a family dinner. She had waited months for them to smile or to acknowledge her. She wanted to know why she wasn’t good enough.

And at this point, I need to take back what I said about Vanessa. I thought she was a villain, but for the first time I saw her for what she is – hurt and broken.

She’s destroyed, because she spent years loving the same person, ready to give her life to someone, and that person didn’t want her the same way that she wanted him. And honestly, hurt is the most vulnerable of pain. It’s the pain that can lift you up or it’s the pain that can tear you apart. It’s the part of you that when you allow yourself to feel it can change everything about you.

I get Vanessa. I get that she is in pain. I get that when she talks to Daniel and he says that he isn’t in love with her, and you see that worth fade from her eyes, I wonder if she realizes that no man should ever define her.

She defines herself. And in time – she will heal.

THE WALLS HAVE EARS

Lewis, oh Lewis. I worry about you. Do I like Lewis? I didn’t until this week.

They say when you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. And Lewis, he loves his job. I respect that. It’s a job that became his life. Noa is like a daughter to him from what I can see. I sometimes think that he loves her so much and so unconditionally that he wants to make up for her parents mistakes.

All while not realizing that what would make her the happiest in this world is to see him happy.

Because all we want for the people that we love is for them to experience love, and to know that they are taken care of.

So when Noa sets him up on a blind date and tells him that he can’t cancel – I am not surprised that he goes in ready to self sabotage. It could be a great date – but he tells his date that it will never work out, that work will always come first. But his date isn’t willing to stand for that.

And it turns out to be an amazing date.

Now, here’s what I love about seeing this. Lewis looked at ease. Lewis looked as though nothing could phase him.

And then the reason that I hated it – because he let down his walls for a second and didn’t pay attention to the cardinal rule in being involved with the whereabouts of any celebrity – DON’T EVER SPEAK ON IT.

There are eyes and ears everywhere. People want to get the info out there. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, and they don’t care who they hurt.

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I’ve been around enough celebrities to know that TMZ and sites like that are the devil. They don’t think twice about messing with peoples lives.

And the swarm of paps that descend upon the bakery, causing Noa to be trapped is not right. But how do you get her out? How do you help someones life remain private?

For Noa, she is ready to leave. But she’s trapped. Vanessa is ready to leave. And Natalie comes out of her room and announces to the room that she is gay.

There is a room filled with four strong as fuck women – all tied together by one man. But each of them is fighting a different battle. It’s a battle that we may not understand – that they may be not able to understand. But they are all fighting a battle.

Natalie’s parents may not think she’s old enough to make the choices that she’s making. But she reminds them that this is not a choice. This is who she is. Her sexuality wasn’t something she chose.

And though it causes a huge fight with her Mom, we quickly learn that it’s not about her sexuality – but how did they spend 15 years not seeing who their daughter really is. How did they not know her?

For Natalie, Amy is ready to protect her. It’s whatever she wants, on her terms. If she’s not ready to come out, that’s okay. And it’s endearing. It’s sweet. Amy knows what Natalie is going through.

Her whole life just changed. And she has every reason to be scared. She has every reason to wonder what is going to change.

The real winner of the show tonight is Natalie. She stands up for who she is. She doesn’t cower. She lets the world see her and that is this unbelievable courage that I can’t help but admire.

But she has every reason to be afraid, too. Belissa gives an amazing performance tonight, and should be applauded. However, if there is one thing that I think about this family, it’s that they love each other unconditionally.

Like her Dad tells her the next day: they’ve only had 12 hours to deal with the knowledge that she’s had 15 years to deal with, but there is nothing that she can do to ever make them stop loving her.

I believe in this family – because this family believes in each other.

(ABC/Francisco Roman) CARLOS GîMEZ

BREAK THE BUBBLE

How to get Noa out? Vanessa confronts her at the table – and says that if she was Noa she’d be proud to tell the world she was with Daniel.

Vanessa is naive and doesn’t see that the world is different for the two of them. For Noa it’s not a matter of being ashamed of Daniel – it’s a matter of then this dinner becomes part of the story and the family gets harrassed. She wants to be there for them and I can admire her wanting to protect them.

But Vanessa says she’s going outside and going to tell them all that Noa is there. Mateo tries to stop her.

But when Vanessa goes outside she can’t bring herself to do it. And that solidified my change in perception when it comes to her.

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Rafael knows how to get Noa out. He hears her wanting to protect his family, and he tells her that there is a third way out. There is a tunnel.

God, what I would have given to have a tunnel to escape my house in my teenage years.

But I digress.

Noa and Daniel think that they’re making a get away. Lewis even pulls up in front of the bakery, Rafael brings him out pastries, and Lewis tries to play it off like Noa is at home and had a craving.

The lengths that everyone is willing to go to protect Noa and Daniel is admirable.

But as these two make their way out of the tunnel – there is always that pap that gets the pic. And he’s right there as they break out the door.

The bubble is broken.

And I feel bad for her.

Celebrities should be allowed privacy. Celebrities should be allowed to have moments to themselves. Their lives are are not ours.

Their bubble is broken.

They can’t hide from it.

And we can only hope that The Baker and The Beauty can survive it.

OTHER THOUGHTS

Overall, The Baker and The Beauty, what it is that draws me in is that we don’t only see the celebrity side of the world – it’s more a family story with a celebrity thrown in the mix. The world is complex, even when you think it’s simple.

But what this show does well, really well, is that it shows that you never really know what is going on and that it doesn’t matter who you are – known or unknown – that you can have problems. Lots of them. And who are we to judge.

And last thought: I need to know more about Lewis and what the hell is going on.

Until next week…

The Baker and The Beauty airs Mondays on ABC.

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