I had a lot of questions after wrapping up Netflix’s new legal drama, Partner Tracking. For example, why does Rachel (Alexandra Turshen) start writing in the middle of her new journal and not at the beginning of it? Do private jets usually have printers on board? How is it that the tax collector simply decides to participate in the skit after making Rachel and Justin (Roby Attal) wander around the lake behind him? And where did Ingrid (Arden Cho) get all her beautiful dresses?
But the most important question on my lips was: why is our protagonist chasing two wet blankets when the extremely handsome, intelligent and decent Is Z (Desmond Chiam) in sight? Sure, he’s the son of a big client, but seeing as she had sex with her co-worker in a boardroom, it doesn’t sound like she cares too much about workplace decorum and etiquette.
Instead of even considering, let’s face it, the only viable option in her life at the moment, Ingrid wastes her time debating whether she should be with Nick (Rob Heaps), aka “the creep,” personified, or if she should be depressed and Dirty with her old British flame, Jeff Murphy (Dominic Sherwood), who seems to be starved for vitamin D and spends most of his time riding on her success.
To give it to Murphy, at least he has something on him. But Nick? Well, not only does she make a list of children’s pet names before settling on “sugar plum” (please wait while I throw up my breakfast), she also moves very quickly, and when Ingrid explains she’s going to her own apartment for some space, abandons her on the street and takes his luxurious chauffeured car back to his elegant home. So it’s Z who does the right thing and gives up his Uber to make sure Ingrid gets home safely.
Perhaps I, as many viewers would seem, was surprised by Z’s incredibly sculpted torso. Perhaps the fact that he intends to save the planet with green energy solutions makes him all the more desirable. But I think it’s more than that. He is silent in the background, offering support, assistance, and manners. He doesn’t objectify Ingrid nor does he see her only as a means to an end. He doesn’t see her simply as “wife material” like Nick, overlooking what makes her unique and special in her own right. No, he’s just a really nice guy with no expectations, that he sees Ingrid for who she is.
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Now, I’m sure (well, I hope) that Netflix will correct this mistake in the second season. It would be very silly if they didn’t develop the history of the couple. But based on the assumption that she stays with Murphy, who she was with at the end of the first installment, the series feeds heavily on some disappointing and potentially damaging tropes.
Why should women settle for these two bad options: stiflers who hide under the “nice guy” guise, or gamer types who “get under women’s skin” and just want a few quickies before they’re done and keep going. Why are we only presented with these two options in Hollywood?
Z is clearly a healthy, developed and ambitious person. He really cares about Ingrid and wants her to succeed. Likewise, Ingrid is clearly attracted to her client (although not in a romantic way), and shines positively when she is around him. That is what love should be based on: not shameful names, not sheer lust, and certainly not control. Ingrid (and viewers) deserve better.