Humans, Orcs, Elves… everybody is just trying to get along. Get ready for the world of Bright, a new Netflix Original Film, starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. Coming to Netflix December 22th.
I won’t go over the plot points of Jordan Peele’s breakout smash-hit Get Out because everyone has seen it and it’s old news at this point. But for me— and for this piece— the film’s only plot point of concern is Chris’ inevitability to escape a world of mostly white people who want to use him for sinister gain. The similarities between Shadow Moon and Chris are clear as day. They are two powerless black men surrounded by much more powerful white people with far greater agency and resources.
In Shadow Moon’s case, he likes not having agency and not being in control of his own life. Chris, on the other hand, wants love and companionship after his mother dies in a car accident early in his life. He seeks out some companionship in the form of Rose Armitage that ultimately leads to his peculiar situation in the film.
American Gods don’t reveal why Shadow Moon sticks around after things get weird and unusual. In 5 episodes, Shadow Moon has been sent jail/prison twice, lynched by Technical Boy, used by multiple people, threaten to be murdered by the god Chernobog and he stills stick around.
The latest episode entitled “Lemon Scented You,” Shadow reconnects with his white dead wife who has come back from the afterlife. Laura Moon is the reason Shadow gets sent to prison and she died while giving her neighbor a blowjob while driving to a surprise party for Shadow. To be clear Laura did the following:
- Convinced Shadow to rob a casino.
- Gets him arrested.
- Admits to not really loving him. Calls him a puppy.
- Dies giving a bj.
- Comes back in Shadow’s life because he is the only person that makes her feel alive.
Additionally, this episode introduces Mr. World one of many white gods in the show. Mr. World, Technical Boy, and Media are the new gods and are responsible for breaking Mr. Wednesday also know as Odin and Shadow out of prison. (I believe Mr. Nancy also known as Anansi helped free Odin. Technical Boy apologized for the failed lynching.) This after the new gods gave the tip that led to Shadow’s arrest.
At this point, every white character in the show has turned his life into a nightmare. His zombified wife is a stalker now. He is in the middle of a war between new and old gods. And he can’t escape. Odin recruited a leprechaun named Mad Sweeney to coerce Shadow to work for him. The gods continue to commune with Shadow and bring in deeper into their strange world. This is done without his consent primarily because they want him for some purpose.
Honestly, I don’t believe Shadow wants to get out. He likes this strangeness.
Before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise there was Discovery. Now, one of the most iconic and influential global franchises returns to television with Star Trek: Discovery. The CBS All Access Original Series arrives this Fall.
In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
In Theaters – July 14, 2017.
Directed By Matt Reeves
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer and Terry Notary.
Action-adventure family drama THE GIFTED, from Marvel, tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive. Written by Matt Nix (APB, “Burn Notice”), directed by Bryan Singer (the “X-Men” franchise”) and executive-produced by Nix, Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Wolverine”), Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”), the series stars Stephen Moyer (SHOTS FIRED, “True Blood”) and Amy Acker (“Person of Interest”).
There are still pages left in this story. Watch the NEW trailer for #BladeRunner2049, in theaters October 6.
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
From executive producer Ridley Scott and director Denis Villeneuve, #BladeRunner2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, MacKenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, Carla Juri, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto.
In the “Golden Age of TV,” shows dominated by primarily white casts, showrunners and creators have risen to the top of the cultural zeitgeist among an increasingly large number of shows on various platforms. It is not my place to argue the merits of these shows here but it is surprising that many shows ran by black and POC creators are rarely included in the “prestige TV” conversation. 2016 has proven to be a breakout year for well-made black shows receiving critical acclaim. HBO’s Insecure, FX’s Atlanta, and now Netflix’s Dear White People are legitimate prestige TV shows created by black people under the age of 40.
After binging the first season of DWP Friday and letting it marinate over the weekend, I realized how brilliant this show really is. Because, the show and the movie, is about how black people deal with oppression and how it affects black people’s identity. The show based on the 2014 independent film of the same named starred Tessa Thompson as Sam White who is a firebrand leading a revolution against benign liberal racism at a fictional Ivy League university.
Now in the first season, actress Logan Browning as taken the reins and has surprising filled Thompson’s large shoes. The fictitious Winchester University has been rocked by a blackface party where rich white students mocked black culture in the name of harmless fun. However, the party invitations thought to be sent out by the white staff of a campus magazine was actually sent out by Sam.
The act ignited a chain of events that resulted in protests on campus, a near shooting by a campus police officer of beloved character Reggie Green ( Marque Richardson), and the arrest of the son of the black president, Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell). While there will be countless reviews of the show and think pieces on race, feminism, and LGBTQIA representation, I think that the idea that this show being compared to Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad or Mad Men will never cross a reviewer’s mind.
The question is why is that? Is it simply racism? No, it can’t be. The Wire is considered by critics as a prestige show and it has a majority black cast. (That fact alone doesn’t dismiss the idea of racism though.) Is it simply that prestige TV follows an undeniable blueprint? Yes, I think that is the case.
What Is Prestige TV?
A prestige TV show is defined as having critical acclaim, pop culture relevance and a strong technical and narrative mechanics. Not all of the shows I will list below fit all of those categories but most will. Here are some prestige TV shows I believe fit this criterion:
Game of Thrones,
True Detective Season One,
House of Cards
How To Get Away With Murder (maybe),
Rick and Morty
Master of None (maybe),
Jane the Virgin (maybe)
Big Little Lies and American Gods
These shows have a few things in common. Generally speaking, most of these shows have white male protagonists, they are serious shows excluding the few comedies listed, and HBO tends to be the network they air on. Prestige shows are usually well shot, have brooding protagonists with some sort of existential crisis and have large casts with large plots. I think that Dear White People have all of that. Reggie, Lionel, Sam, Coco, and Troy are our main characters and each deals with their personal identity crisis as a black person in America. The show juggles these multiple plots and elaborate backstories just like Mad Men or Game of Thrones.
Continue in Part Two.