Welcome to the first edition of our Terrace House: Aloha State power rankings. This is an episode per episode look of Aloha State Part 2 based on how much I root for each member in the house. I’ve already written about my thoughts on the entirety of Aloha State Part 1 here and Part 2 here. These are good quick reads if you’re still on the fence about watching Aloha State. But if you just love Aloha State so much and in need of further reading of the show, then these episode write-ups should do the trick.
Ranking of each house member is based on two things:
- PERSONALITY: the characteristics of the house member. Is he/she a good or a shithead person to live with?
- STORYLINE: a member’s narrative arc in the series. Does the member have an interesting story to tell and does he/she contribute to the show’s appeal? Is the member working hard to reach his/her career goals? Is the member actively doing something about his/her love life?
With those out of the way, let’s get to the rankings:
THE BIGGEST MOVERS
- NAOMI: Ah the ballad of Naomi Lorraine Frank. She was the low-key MVP of Part 1 as she was almost always at the center of every big storyline. She searched and got a job as a waitress, actively pursued Yuya to no avail, was treated badly by Eric in the surfing incident and instigated Avian to have a “talk” with Lauren about cleanliness. She definitely did not lack any effort to make the show entertaining. That’s why I thought her announcement to leave came at a fitting time. Her being confident of her English again is definitely a bullshit answer to hide the fact that there’s nothing interesting left for her to do. Without any career opportunities and no more romantic prospects available, there’s not much reason for her to still stay in the house. And with her housemates just floundering about, she made her biggest and most important move by leaving to revitalize the house.
The producers acknowledged Naomi’s efforts in driving the show forward by dedicating the first episode around her goodbye tour. The episode references a few key moments from Part 01 that pretty much connects both parts. The confrontation between the girls at the dining table about Lauren’s scheduling was similar to their previous confrontation in the girl’s bedroom about cleanliness. Avian sternly protecting and doing Naomi’s bidding, Naomi keeping silent and Lauren feeling singled out by the two.
Another Part 01 callback was the beach trip at the end. Naomi wished for everybody to free up their Sunday so they could go to Electric Beach as suggested by Eric. The first scene at the beach was Eric teaching Naomi how to prep her snorkeling mask, a clear reference to their last trip where Eric left out Naomi. “Shithead” Eric, after six episodes, finally decided to make it up to Naomi by helping her out on her snorkeling gear.
It was great that for the last time, the members got together and had one last hurrah. Naomi asking the other members about their goals at end of the episode was a good way for them to reexamine their reasons for being in Terrace House. For us viewers, it was the first time for us to know that Lauren aims to have an exhibit, and Avian to have her own bikini brand. Things are clearer now for viewers all thanks to Naomi.
- LAUREN: Full disclosure: I am a Lauren apologist. I rationalize her awful social choices to her being still eighteen and an introvert. And I think people expect just too much from her. With that said, I acknowledge that Lauren’s stock has started to freefall since the latter part of Part 01, and episode 01 is her lowest in the series.
If this episode was generous to Naomi, it was totally harsh towards Lauren. The big confrontation with Avian was a given stock stinker. But I do think the producers took a few more jabs at Lauren to drive home the contrasting comparison. They included the deep sigh she took after her weird talk with Yusuke, which we can take as a sign of disinterest to Yusuke. They also included the scene at Eric’s workshop where they quickly discussed about the date. I personally didn’t find anything wrong with it, they were just laughing off at an objectively awkward date. (It was a date between two introverts, what would you expect?) But I do understand how that conversation can leave a bad taste to some people.
But what I do find interesting is how Lauren, has somehow overcame her issue with hugs and has suddenly hugged multiple people this episode. The show built an episode around her supposed dislike of hugs and then suddenly drops everything in this one. I’m not sure if she became more conscious of this habit after seeing that episode or the editors started including more scenes of her hugging now that her storyline with Yusuke is finished.
And speaking of moving to other storylines, one nice bit to root for her now is that she’s hoping to open her first solo exhibit. Hopefully she’ll make more of an effort on this than her date with Yusuke.
UP THIS WEEK
- AVIAN: Finally, more Avian screen time! She felt like an ancillary house member just coming in short segments in each episode in part 01. But now that she and Yuya are getting more serious and with the original A Plot romance of Lauren and Yusuke down in flames, it’s just the perfect time for her to have more screen time. And we actually learned a lot about Avian: from her new store shift at 88 Tees, her big goal of launching a bikini brand, her mom’s birthday party to even how she has a nice butt and how her feet easily get cold. Part 01 showed that she’s generally a warm and decent house member, but this episode just gave us more reasons on why we should root for her.
- YUSUKE: I do agree with Naomi on how Yusuke felt totally different in this episode. It seemed that he ended up using the date as a learning experience more than Lauren. He carried the experience with pride and finesse opposed to Lauren who carried it with shame. He wasn’t pushy and he knew the best course to take was to use this experience to fuel his music (*ehem* like Taylor Swift *ehem*). And frankly, I think he already got what he needed from the Terrace House experience that his bombshell at the end of the episode wasn’t a surprise for me anymore.
With that said, he still needs to improve on his social skills. “You mean, Turkey, the bird” is just a LOL WTF LMAO thing to say when you know it’s Thanksgiving season.
- Yuya and Eric stayed near the Valley of Terashima in my power rankings. Not much really happened with these two. Yuya wore a cool yet glaring jacket but that’s it. Eric helping Naomi at the beach is reparation so that doesn’t change things for him.
A possible storyline to watch out for is Yuya and his acting career. Now that he’s developing a deeper relationship with Avian, she’s been more vocal about his business. Slightly commenting on how he’s spending more time hanging out with Eric than working on his goal to be a Hollywood actor. Depending on how he reacts in the next episodes, this could already spell trouble to their budding relationship
Eric, just let me know when your pop-up store’s done.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE THIS WEEK
- Based on the beach scene, it seemed that Yusuke and Lauren stayed at the shore just like in their previous trip. It was surprising for me that the editors didn’t include a bit of them talking in the episode. I mean we already got too many shots of Avian’s butt already, they could have cut the montage a bit to focus on their conversation at the shore.
- The barbecue scene at the end where the remaining members shared their goals was a good way for the show to present to the audience the storylines to watch out for. Tap from B&GITC got a lack of flak from being pushy about this but it did add a lot more reason for audiences to root for the persons in the house
- YOU and Tokui got best panel awards for this episode for their joint roleplay about accidental kissing.
How was episode 01 for you? Drop your comments below. I'm just really looking for more people to talk about Terrace House! LOL
Stay tuned for other episode breakdowns in the coming weeks!