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Kenya Barris is easily one of the best writers in Hollywood, bringing black stories and experiences to the forefront of mainstream culture from a Black and “Black adjacent” point of view, hence the “-ish” on most of his programs. from black-ish, grown-ish, and mixed-ish to now Netflix’s #blackAF we get a real sense of who Kenya is. #blackAF centers on mockumentary (fictional documentary) of Kenya’s family as told through his second oldest daughter, Drea Barris (Iman Benson), an aspiring filmmaker looking to apply to New York University’s film school.

Grade: A-

netflix blackaf

Throughout the series Kenya and his non-practicing, but lovable wife, Joya (Rashida Jones), try to raise their six kids with all the benefits of being upper class while instilling (here and there) what it still means to be Black in America. The comedy takes on issues like the adultification of black girls, the history of Juneteenth, bisexuality, being the first person in your family to make it, judging Black content, and having to prove your blackness when you are biracial. The series also features some really amazing guest appearances from Tyler Perry, Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, Will Packer, Tae Heckard, Nia Long, Ava DuVernay and others.

netflix blackaf

However, the series is essentially a richer, more shallow version of black-ish, which may very well be Kenya poking fun at himself for being a “one trick pony” as his television daughter discusses in the series. The Barrises are very similar to black-ish’s Johnsons led by Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) however they are far busier living the life and hype of having made it as opposed to a middle class family maintaining it. Essentially, imagine Andre and Rainbow “bad and boojie!” Kenya and Joya, however, are definitely way more fun and a bit more carefree than their middle class counterparts, and Drea is a true gem. She is actually the heart of the show as she hilariously shows the highs and lows of her family, while dropping some much needed Black history and facts. She is far more woke than any of the Johnson children, with the exception of Junior (Marcus Scribner), ever were.

Still this is a series worth watching because it is actually good and entertaining, and without saying it #BingeWatchWorthy! You can stream #blackAF now only on Netflix!

What We Like:

netflix blackaf

-Drea is LIFE! Showing the family through her gaze was sheer genius. It is refreshing, funny, and informative in a fun, cool, and trendy way.

-The comedic timing from the characters is hilarious

-The Barrises approach to parenting is very modern and hilarious. They clearly say what so many parents think on a daily basis, but would not dare talk to their kids about.

What We Loved:

netflix blackaf

-The backdrop of a mockumentary for the series

-The Black facts and information. The explanation of adultification when it comes to Black girls was especially informative and timely.

-The return of Bumper Robinson and Tae Heckard to the small screen. We have not seen them since BET’s The Game.

-The guest appearances from the elite of Black writers in Hollywood. The solidarity and support of their appearances says a lot.

What We Hated:

netflix blackaf

-Six children is a bit much. Besides Drea and Izzy the other children pretty much get lost in the mix. They have their moments here and there, but we could have done without them.

-Some aspects of the show are too similar to black-ish. Perhaps both shows are truly based of Kenya’s actual life but did we really need to see another pro-Black, luxury jumpsuit wearing, successful Black man with a biracial wife overcompensating for her former ambition by trying to be a “cool mom?”  We actually would have preferred a character a little closer to The Fresh Prince’s original “Aunt Viv”–truly “black AF!”

 

 

Television & Radio

WINNING! Viral BLM Activist & Author, Kimberly Latrice Jones, Strikes Overall Deal w/ Warner Bros. Television Group!

Congratulations are in order for viral Black Lives Matter activist and the author of the critically acclaimed novel, “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight,” Kimberly Latrice Jones! It is being reported she has struck an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television!

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kimberly latrice jones

Congratulations are in order for viral Black Lives Matter activist and the author of the critically acclaimed novel, “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight,” Kimberly Latrice Jones! It is being reported she has struck an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television!

via Deadline

Jones is the co-author of I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, alongside attorney Gilly Segal, a YA novel that focuses on prejudice and the racial tension in America. The film rights to the book were optioned earlier this summer by producer Autumn Bailey-Ford of Prominent Productions.

She has subsequently signed an exclusive multi-year deal with the studio to develop and produce original programming. This will include shows for broadcast, cable and streaming in scripted drama, comedy, unscripted and digital series.

The latter is particularly relevant given that Jones went viral over the summer following the killing of George Floyd, when she posted a nearly seven minute video – How Can We Win – that spoke to the anguish, fear, and outrage felt by Black people in America, and used a Monopoly analogy to address the history of systemic racism and economic inequity that persists in this country. The video, which has over 2M views on YouTube, was featured on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

She also has a publishing deal with Henry Holt and Co. to write two new books. The first, to be published in 2021, is How We Can Win: Race, History and Changing the Money Game That’s Rigged, which will continue the conversation from that video.

A former bookseller, Jones now hosts the Atlanta chapter of the popular Well-Read Black Girl book club and has also worked in film and television with the likes of Tyler Perry, Whitney Houston, and 8Ball & MJG.

Kimberly Latrice Jones said, “Storytelling is an essential component in my journey. It’s a rich educational tool and I’m thrilled to have such an exciting new platform.”

kimberly latrice jones

We have known Kimberly for years and she is a personal friend. This is nothing short of amazing and she has worked her entire life for it. We are sure she is going to create amazing programming for the culture, her community, and just great work in general. It is only up from here queen! Keep shining!

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Television & Radio

WHY!? The CW Cancels “Black Lightning” After Upcoming Season!

In shocking news, The CW has opted to cancel its seemingly hit series, “Black Lightning” after its upcoming fourth season; despite green lighting a spin-off series, “Painkiller!”

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black lightning canceled

In shocking news, The CW has opted to cancel its seemingly hit series, “Black Lightning” after its upcoming fourth season; despite green lighting a spin-off series, “Painkiller!”

The series’ cancellation was announced by its showrunner, Salim Akil:

black lightning title logo

“When we first started the Black Lighting journey, I knew that Jefferson Pierce and his family of powerful Black Women would be a unique addition to the superhero genre,” series developer and executive producer Salim Akil said in a statement. “The love that Blerds and all comic book fans around the globe have shown this series over the past three seasons proved what we imagined, Black People Want To See Themselves in all their complexities.”

“Thank you to the phenomenal cast, writers, and crew without whom none of this would’ve been possible,” he continued. “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to do and the moments we’ve been able to create in bringing DC’s first African-American family of superheroes to life for the culture. I’m very grateful to Peter Roth, Warner Bros. TV, Mark Pedowitz, The CW Network and Greg Berlanti for their partnership and support of my vision at every step of this journey. While Season Four may be the end of one journey, I’m extremely excited to usher in a new chapter and continued collaboration with The CW as we tell the story of Painkiller.”

jordan calloway painkiller black lightning spinoff

Jordan Calloway as “Painkiller”

We have to tell you we are NOT here for this cancellation. Black Lightning was one of the first Black led series on The CW in years since it was formed from the merger of The WB and UPN networks. Black Lightning and Painkiller can easily coexist on the network. Also, with Batwoman not starring Javicia Leslie and the All American being a hit series; we wonder if this is an attempt to keep The CW from being perceived as being “too Black?”

This marks the second series to be canceled on The CW after its upcoming 2021 season, the other being Supergirl. We sure are going to miss The Pierces…

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Television & Radio

Marvel Reportedly to Confirm Loki is Bisexual in Disney+ Series

The god of mischief and Thor’s adoptive brother, Loki, is set to come back to us early 2021 in his own self-titled series on Disney+! In it we find out what happened to Loki as he disappeared into the time stream, escaping from Captain America’s custody in Avengers: Endgame. 

In a plot twist, however, it is being reported that Loki will be portrayed as being bisexual in his series.

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loki bisexual disney plus

The god of mischief and Thor’s adoptive brother, Loki, is set to come back to us early 2021 in his own self-titled series on Disney+! In it we find out what happened to Loki as he disappeared into the time stream, escaping from Captain America’s custody in Avengers: Endgame. 

loki bisexual disney plus

In a plot twist, however, it is being reported that Loki will be portrayed as being bisexual in his series.

via WeGotThisCovered.com

loki disney plus

how Richard Grant might look as an older Loki

Right now, it sounds like Richard E. Grant will be playing an older version of the character, with Sophia Di Martino spotted on set as Lady Loki. If the antihero really is freely switching genders, then it makes sense for him/her to be bisexual, though we don’t have any indication on who his/her partners might be.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Oh no, Disney is making yet another character LGBTQ. Aren’t they just pandering in the hopes of scoring some woke points? Well, that may be a fair criticism in certain instances (*cough* The Rise of Skywalker), but it doesn’t apply to Loki, as his bisexuality is canon to Norse mythology and to Marvel Comics.

 

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