Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Brand New Cherry Flavor.
Art can be very, very subjective. Sometimes, art can be quite maddening and nonsensical, especially if it seems that the work is shocking just to be shocking or if it's gunning for a "can't be easily explained" ending and not much else. But does Brand New Cherry Flavor fall in this category?
Netflix surprised a ton of viewers with Brand New Cherry Flavor, which features a lot of shocking moments, extreme gore, and disgusting magical realism, like a character who throws up kittens.
At the core of the horror series, however, is a '90s noir tale of a promising up-and-coming Hollywood director by the name of Lisa Nova (Rosa Salazar).
'Brand New Cherry Flavor' ending explained.
A short horror film she creates gets the attention of Lou Burke (Eric Lange), whose career as a producer is on a downswing. Lou gives Lisa the opportunity of a lifetime. He offers to help transform her short film into a full-length feature, and of course, the young filmmaker agrees.
But this is Hollywood, and Lou has ulterior motives.
Early on, he makes a pass at her, but Lisa isn't interested. Instead of just saying, "Ahh, well. Let's make a great movie instead!" Lou decides to basically steal Lisa's intellectual property and go ahead and make the movie without her attached.
To enact revenge, Lisa enlists the assistance of a black magic practitioner by the name of Boro, who drinks cat blood, can jump in and out of bodies, and turns people into zombie slaves.
Lisa makes the deal, however, she finds herself in a jam. It turns out that Boro's vengeance is harming everyone in Lisa's life, including the protagonist herself. Boro also plans on stealing Lisa's body and using it as a vessel for her next reign of terror.
However, we learn over the course of the series that Lisa isn't really a victim.
And it's this duality of Lisa's character that has so many 'Brand New Cherry Flavor' viewers asking for its ending to be explained.
While Lou and Boro are definitely portrayed as people willing to do anything for fame and success, we learn that Lisa is also that kind of person. The one-eyed actress in Lisa's short film, Mary, is the key to this discovery about Lisa. We come to find out that the "eye" Mary plucks out of her head and eats on camera in the short was actually not achieved with special effects.
No, Lisa and Mary were totally high when it happened. Lisa's constant pressure on Mary to bring out a more authentic performance drove the woman to tear her own eyeball out. What's worse is that Lisa effectively abandoned Mary to show the footage to Lou, which shows a lack of concern for others.
Even worse is that those who honestly wanted to help her, Roy Hardaway and Code, just get a big sack of misery for their troubles.
All Lisa really cares about is herself. To her credit, she does have sympathy for Lou after he loses his sight and can no longer watch movies, and she does realize all she's ever wanted to do is make movies to elicit honest reactions from people.
However, she doesn't really do anything to rectify her situation. She doesn't come up with a way to get back at Boro or set things right with Lou. All she does is high-tail it to Brazil to escape Hollywood, but that just leaves Mary to be possessed by Boro.
If you haven't watched Brand New Cherry Flavor yet and this kind of insanity sounds right up your alley, you can check it out on Netflix here. What did you think?