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Billie in Sex/Life is the absolute worst kind of 'best friend' to Sasha Snow - and I can't stand it

Poor Sasha! She's stuck in a severely one-sided friendship.

Billie and Sasha in Sex/Life
Published: Friday, 2nd July 2021 at 2:27 pm

There is one person I feel immensely sorry for at the end of Netflix's Sex/Life, and I'm not talking about Cooper Connelly – though he probably deserves a little sympathy, too, especially after what he had to face in the gym shower. But no: give a thought to Billie's best friend Sasha Snow, who seems completely oblivious to the fact that Billie is a "best friend" from hell. Ditch her, Sasha! You deserve better!

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Now, Sasha (Margaret Odette) is a busy woman with things going on in her life. "I got slammed reading the galley of my new book. The editor needs it by six and I'm about to teach," she says, when Billie accosts her in the lecture hall. But whatever: Billie (Sarah Shahi) only wants to talk about her obsession with Brad (Adam Demos). Which is fine, I guess, but does Billie ever ask Sasha at any point about how things are going with the book? No, she does not.

At least Billie turns up to Sasha's book launch, I suppose, despite having previously expressed zero interest in the whole thing. "You came!" says Sasha, delightedly, while Billie can only manage a wobbly: "We wouldn't miss this for the world." Why is Billie suddenly distressed? Well, she just interpreted the whole of Sasha's speech through the prism of her own love life and desire for Brad, so she'd mentally exited the room some time ago. Because it's always about Billie. Me me me.

Sasha and Billie in Sex/Life

We've established that Billie doesn't have much interest in Sasha's professional life – but what about Sasha's love life? You might think that was a better bet, seeing as Billie is all about sex, love and desire. She talks about her own feelings all the time! Surely there's a bit of back and forth?

But no! Somehow, sex-fiend Sasha manages to end up in a serious relationship with a bloke, without ever discussing the matter with Billie. "You remember Alex?" she asks, as she introduces her new beau at the book launch. Seeing Billie's blank expression, she mimes: "Choking Guy." Oh right, Sasha did mention a guy she was seeing in episode one, who was talented at erotic asphyxiation. Billie must have forgotten to ask her so-called best friend any follow-up questions.

By the next scene, Choking Guy has popped the question and Sasha is leaning towards a "yes". This is yet another opportunity for Billie to opine on the state of her marriage, and whether long-term monogamy makes you happy. To be fair, Sasha asked for her opinion on the topic; but come on, Billie! Ask a few questions about this Adam guy! Display a little curiosity about your friend's relationship!

Frankly, the whole character of Sasha Snow is also a classic example of the "Black Best Friend" trope. The website TV Tropes explains what this means: "Your black best friend is sassy. She's never too busy to lend an ear, or come along on your wacky schemes. She is flawless to the point of being unreal... this is a Black character whose role either A) revolves almost entirely around a white character or B) serves as a conscious effort for a white character/writer to appear inclusive."

As far as Sex/Life goes, it's a little more of A than B – but the description fits, doesn't it? Sasha is always at the end of a phone line to make a wise remark or funny quip. Sasha will pretend to be dating your ex-lover to help you lie to your husband, even if she's not happy about it. Sasha will babysit your kids at a moment's notice, and they will love her. Sasha will forgive you if you sneak-watch her having sex, and she will even ask if her bum looked good.

Sasha in Sex/Life

You might point out that most of the characters in the drama are pretty one-dimensional. And you'd be right. Cooper is the Nice Guy and the white picket fence and stability; Brad is the Bad Boy with the flicky hair and the daddy issues. The neighbourhood mums have about two personalities between the three of them. Or are there four? I can't remember.

But the writers have given Sasha Snow just enough going on in her life, and made her just likeable enough, that I spent most of the series feeling very sorry for her. How did Sasha end up in a friendship that was so one-sided? Why does she put up with it? And can anyone release her from this torment?

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage.There is one person I feel immensely sorry for at the end of Netflix's Sex/Life, and I'm not talking about Cooper Connelly – though he probably deserves a little sympathy, too, especially after what he had to face in the gym shower. But no: give a thought to Billie's best friend Sasha Snow, who seems completely oblivious to the fact that Billie is a "best friend" from hell. Ditch her, Sasha! You deserve better!

Now, Sasha (Margaret Odette) is a busy woman with things going on in her life. "I got slammed reading the galley of my new book. The editor needs it by six and I'm about to teach," she says, when Billie accosts her in the lecture hall. But whatever: Billie (Sarah Shahi) only wants to talk about her obsession with Brad (Adam Demos). Which is fine, I guess, but does Billie ever ask Sasha at any point about how things are going with the book? No, she does not.

At least Billie turns up to Sasha's book launch, I suppose, despite having previously expressed zero interest in the whole thing. "You came!" says Sasha, delightedly, while Billie can only manage a wobbly: "We wouldn't miss this for the world." Why is Billie suddenly distressed? Well, she just interpreted the whole of Sasha's speech through the prism of her own love life and desire for Brad, so she'd mentally exited the room some time ago. Because it's always about Billie. Me me me.

Sasha and Billie in Sex/Life

We've established that Billie doesn't have much interest in Sasha's professional life – but what about Sasha's love life? You might think that was a better bet, seeing as Billie is all about sex, love and desire. She talks about her own feelings all the time! Surely there's a bit of back and forth?

But no! Somehow, sex-fiend Sasha manages to end up in a serious relationship with a bloke, without ever discussing the matter with Billie. "You remember Alex?" she asks, as she introduces her new beau at the book launch. Seeing Billie's blank expression, she mimes: "Choking Guy." Oh right, Sasha did mention a guy she was seeing in episode one, who was talented at erotic asphyxiation. Billie must have forgotten to ask her so-called best friend any follow-up questions.

By the next scene, Choking Guy has popped the question and Sasha is leaning towards a "yes". This is yet another opportunity for Billie to opine on the state of her marriage, and whether long-term monogamy makes you happy. To be fair, Sasha asked for her opinion on the topic; but come on, Billie! Ask a few questions about this Adam guy! Display a little curiosity about your friend's relationship!

Frankly, the whole character of Sasha Snow is also a classic example of the "Black Best Friend" trope. The website TV Tropes explains what this means: "Your black best friend is sassy. She's never too busy to lend an ear, or come along on your wacky schemes. She is flawless to the point of being unreal... this is a Black character whose role either A) revolves almost entirely around a white character or B) serves as a conscious effort for a white character/writer to appear inclusive."

As far as Sex/Life goes, it's a little more of A than B – but the description fits, doesn't it? Sasha is always at the end of a phone line to make a wise remark or funny quip. Sasha will pretend to be dating your ex-lover to help you lie to your husband, even if she's not happy about it. Sasha will babysit your kids at a moment's notice, and they will love her. Sasha will forgive you if you sneak-watch her having sex, and she will even ask if her bum looked good.

Sasha in Sex/Life

You might point out that most of the characters in the drama are pretty one-dimensional. And you'd be right. Cooper is the Nice Guy and the white picket fence and stability; Brad is the Bad Boy with the flicky hair and the daddy issues. The neighbourhood mums have about two personalities between the three of them. Or are there four? I can't remember.

But the writers have given Sasha Snow just enough going on in her life, and made her just likeable enough, that I spent most of the series feeling very sorry for her. How did Sasha end up in a friendship that was so one-sided? Why does she put up with it? And can anyone release her from this torment?

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Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage.

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