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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

CBS Has “Flashdance” Reboot TV Series in The Works!

The age of reboots continues, and this time we are talking Flashdance! As you may recall, Flashdance was the 1983 film that launched the career of Jennifer Beale, centering on a young girl with dreams of becoming a professional dancer.

CBS’s streaming network, CBS All-Access now has a series based on Flashdance film in the works! 

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flashdance reboot tv series

The age of reboots continues, and this time we are talking Flashdance! As you may recall, Flashdance was the 1983 film that launched the career of Jennifer Beale, centering on a young girl with dreams of becoming a professional dancer.

CBS’s streaming network, CBS All-Access now has a series based on Flashdance film in the works!

via Deadline

flashdance reboot tv series

Jennifer Beal in “Flashdance”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the reboot will follow a young Black woman “with ballet dreams and a strip club reality” who is trying to find her place in the world “while navigating romance, money, art, friendship and how to love herself.” (In the original film, Beals’ character was a welder at a steel mill who dreamed of becoming a professional dancer.)

Lynda Obst, who served as an associate producer on the original Flashdance, is attached to exec-produce the potential series. Angela Robinson (The L Word, True Blood) is also on board as an EP and will direct the pilot, while Tracy McMillan (Good Girls Revolt) will write the script.

As previously reported, CBS All Access will rebrand as Paramount+ in early 2021, as part of a relaunch of the streaming service that will combine original content with shows from CBS and cable outlets MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network and Nickelodeon. (Paramount Pictures was also Flashdance‘s original distributor.)

flashdance reboot tv series

We are excited to see a Flashdance reboot in the works! Basing it on a Black girl this time around definitely shows the streaming service’s commitment to more diverse and Black content. We are not sure who they will be casting in the lead role but we hope somehow Jennifer Beal is involved. Maybe she can be the character’s mother or even teacher.

What do you think of this reboot? Sound off in the comments’ section below! We hope CBS Access does it justice! Happy viewing!

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Television & Radio

A Lost Toy Searches For Home In New Netflix Family Series, “Lost Ollie!”

“Lost Ollie” is the story of a lost toy, searching across the countryside for the boy who lost him, and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend.  An epic adventure to reunite in the face of all the dangers that childhood can throw at them.

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lost ollie series Netflix

“Lost Ollie” is the story of a lost toy, searching across the countryside for the boy who lost him, and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend.  An epic adventure to reunite in the face of all the dangers that childhood can throw at them.

via Press Release

lost ollie series Netflix

I’ve been a toy collector my entire life. My personal collection consists of thousands of toys, some modern and sleek, and others vintage and worn from all the adventures I took them on as a kid. And though time has taken its toll, I have held onto them because of the special place they hold in my heart. We’ve all had a toy like that – a confidant, a protector, a sidekick, a best friend. And when we’ve lost a toy…it’s like we’ve lost a part of ourselves.

That’s the premise of Lost Ollie, the tale of a lost toy searching across the countryside for the boy who lost him, and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend. This new live-action family series has been in the works for four years. It was one of the first projects I bought when I came to Netflix because I saw in it the universal story of loss that all of us, no matter how old, could relate to.  

The show is inspired by a story developed by Academy Award winners Brandon Oldenburg and William Joyce, which later became the book Ollie’s Odyssey – and has been artfully adapted by creator Shannon Tindle, whose Kubo and the Two Strings was one of my favorite animated films in recent years. Shannon found a deeply personal connection to the material and has brought Ollie to life with the same artistry and emotion that he did on Kubo, Coraline, and his Emmy-winning work on Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends.  

We are thrilled that Academy Award-winner Peter Ramsey is going to helm this epic adventure as director and executive producer. Peter previously adapted another of William Joyce’s works (The Guardians of Childhood) into the animated feature film Rise of The Guardians. Then of course he gave us all a stunning, new and vital vision of everything animation can be as the director of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which earned the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2019.

Joining Shannon and Peter are Shawn Levy, Josh Barry and Emily Morris from 21 Laps Entertainment, some of the brilliant minds who brought us Stranger Things, and Academy Award winners Brandon Oldenburg and Lampton Enochs. And we’re so lucky to have the Emmy Award-winning artists at Industrial Light & Magic bringing Ollie and his friends to life.

Lost Ollie is truly an odyssey about two friends trying to reunite in the face of all the dangers that childhood can throw at them. I love this show because it taps into that well of emotion we all feel when we lose something or someone important to us, and the courage we have to find in ourselves to get it back, or to move on. 

I can’t wait for you to meet Ollie and to fall in love with him like we have. And until then, give your favorite toy an extra squeeze for me.

We have to say this is a project we are looking forward to. We are also familiar with the books centered around Ollie. It kind of feels like an even more heartwarming Toy Story. We will keep you posted as more information about Lost Ollie besomes available.

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Television & Radio

TRAILER DEBUT | BLACKPINK: LIGHT UP THE SKY / Follow their Journey on Netflix (10/14

Since their debut in August 2016, BLACKPINK has become the highest-charting female K-pop group of all time with their innovative music, eye-popping music videos and internet-breaking fashion concepts.
BLACKPINK: LIGHT UP THE SKY serves up the never-before-seen moments that BLACKPINK’s global fandom — known as “BLINKs” — have been craving for years.

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blackpink light up the sky Netflix k-pop
Since their debut in August 2016, BLACKPINK has become the highest-charting female K-pop group of all time with their innovative music, eye-popping music videos and internet-breaking fashion concepts.

BLACKPINK: LIGHT UP THE SKY serves up the never-before-seen moments that BLACKPINK’s global fandom — known as “BLINKs” — have been craving for years.

blackpink light up the sky Netflix k-pop

BlackPink- LIGHT UP THE SKY (L to R) JISOO, ROSÉ, JENNIE and LISA from BlackPink- LIGHT UP THE SKY. Courtesy YG / Netflix © 2020

 

Directed by Caroline Suh (Netflix’s “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat”), the documentary goes deep with each of BLACKPINK’s four members: Jisoo, the whip-smart unnie (“big sister”) of the group with a quirky sense of humor; Jennie, the rapper whose fierce onstage persona contrasts with her soft-spoken nature; Rosé, the dulcet-voiced Australian coming into her own as a singer-songwriter; and Lisa, the dancing queen whose spark plug personality never fails to make her bandmates laugh.
As BLACKPINK continues reaching new heights in their career — from headlining sold-out world tours to becoming the first female Korean group to perform at Coachella — each member reflects on the ups and downs of fame and the long, often challenging journey that brought them to worldwide success. BLACKPINK: LIGHT UP THE SKY reveals the relatable, unfiltered sides of the foursome, who continue to be a leading force in expanding K-pop’s popularity, proving that music knows no borders or language barriers.
Check out a few behind the scenes photos from the documentary below! Happy viewing!

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