Episode 1 of Brand New Cherry Flavor begins in the dead of night with a girl called Lisa driving home. She’s just outside LA and she rings her friend Code on a payphone. She needs a place to crash, especially with meeting prolific filmmaker Lou Burke the following day.
After crashing the night, Lisa’s meeting goes ahead and in a grimy diner, she heads in to see Lou at a booth deep in the recesses of this Japanese restaurant. Eventually he cuts around the sushi and coffee chat to reveal his real thoughts – he loved her paranoid thriller film.
Speaking of paranoid, after their meeting a strange guy on a motorbike continues to stalk Lisa from afar. Enough of that though, it’s all looking up for Lisa, as she signs a lucrative contact with Lou and looks set to make it in the bigtime. It all seems legit, with Christine even helping to get Lisa a new pad too.
Lou continues to mentor Lisa in the coming days, encouraging her to find an audience and not get stuck in cliched promotional lines either. Lisa’s audience happens to be her Mum, whom she’s actually never met. She abandoned Lisa just after she was born. Making this film seems to be Lisa’s way of trying to reach her.
Well, the pair head out to another party where a strange woman happens to be watching Lisa from afar. Holding a cat in her hands, she introduces herself as Boro. She’s there to offer her services, which include helping to gain revenge of different individuals. After being tested with breaking something in a metaphorical mental house, Boro encourages Lisa to meet in the near future.
When Lisa snaps out this entranced state, she learns that Lou’s meeting with Alvin has already taken place in the bathroom and he’s agreed to her film project.
Crashing back at Code’s place, Lisa snaps back down to Earth when she learns that Jules will be directing her film. A meeting with Lou doesn’t help, in the end resulting in Lisa telling the man he’ll regret his deception. In fact, given the outburst she’s even forced to apologize too. Only, when she refuses, he grabs her by the throat and slams her on the hood of thee car.
It’s a pretty difficult scene to watch in truth, and one that sees her shakily leave the place. Fueled by anger, Lisa shows up and asks Boro for help getting revenge. With her film gone and prospects slim, Boro asks for her first payment upfront. And just like that, Lisa grabs her stomach and begins convulsing.
Out of her mouth comes a kitten. It seems vomiting cats is her payment. Spitting on the floor, Lisa decides to strike a deal; she wants her movie back and for Lou to suffer.
The Episode Review
Well, that was certainly something! Brand New Cherry Flavor is a hedonistic, gnarly trip and with tight editing, slick cinematography and a simple but gripping story, this looks like it could be one of the more unique revenge thrillers of the year.
Quite what Boro’s deal is with the cats and who the person on the motorcycle is remains a mystery but this is certainly one interesting thriller that looks like it could be a unique entry on the TV roster this year.
It’s still early days of course, but the hints of Hitchcockian weirdness and the general aesthetic and ideas here lean into a really compelling and interesting series too come. Roll on the next episode!