Category Archives: Television

TV Spotlight: Black Lightning

Black Lightning is a CW Arrowverse show. The show has three seasons. The show is run by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil. Mara is known for Girlfriends, The Game, and Being Mary Jane, among other shows. Black Lightning tells the story of DC Comic hero Black Lightning.

I adore this show. It’s different from the rest of the Arrowverse shows in that it’s more of a family drama that just happens to include superheroes. If you are familiar with Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s work then you know they do very will in the drama genre. This show features a Black cast and touches on issues affecting the Black community that doesn’t come off as preachy.

Black Lightning/ Jefferson Pierce is played by Cress Williams, who is known for Living Single, Heart of Dixie, and other shows. Jeff’s wife is Lynn Stewart who is played by Christine Adams. Jeff has two daughters, Anissa and Jennifer. Anissa is played by Nafessa Williams and Jennifer is played by China Anne McClain.

Over three seasons we have seen Jeff and his family deal with a wide array of problems in their town of Freeland, Georgia. Freeland is an offshoot of Atlanta. The show itself is the only Arrowverse show that is shot in Atlanta, as all the other shows are shot in Vancouver, Canada.

The guest stars on this show are amazing too. Jill Scott, Robert Townsend, Erica Alexander, Hosea Sanchez, and Wayne Brady are just a few of the fantastic guest stars these past three seasons. Mara and Salim do a great job of including stars many of us are familiar with.

This show also has the benefit of having short seasons. Season 1 had 13 episodes and Season 2 and 3 have 16 episodes each. The other Arrowverse shows have 20 to 25 episodes per season. I like that Black Lightning has short seasons because it cuts down on what’s known as filler episodes. With longer seasons, shows fall into this pattern where they have episodes that don’t really move the plot along. Shorter seasons allow for the plot to move along nicely and make it easy to follow.

If you haven’t seen Black Lightning, all 3 seasons are currently on Netflix. Due to Coronavirus, season 4 will not come out until January 2021 on the CW network, Mondays at 9 pm EST.

Bojack Horseman and Adult Animation

Bojack Horseman will end it’s series run on January 31 with the final 8 episodes. I have watched this series from when I first got Netflix back in 2017. I binge watched the first 3 seasons and eagerly awaited the new season which came out the following year. Season 4 did not disappoint. Season 5 was great as well. Part 1 of Season 6 came out October of 2019 and you could see some foreshadowing for what’s going to take place in part 2.

I’m trying not to spoil anything, so my overview is purposely vague. If you have not seen the show, please watch it. It’s really good.

Bojack Horseman is one of the first adult animated shows that I can actually learn something from. There is comedy, but there is also that relatable-ness of the characters that isn’t found in shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons. Bojack as a show is a character study in various human interactions and behaviors. It’s a case study on mental health, addiction, self-destruction, and growth.

Adult animation has been around for some time. I remember how when I was a kid my mom vehemently detested The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park. Of course, at that time I was indeed too young to be viewing those shows, but somehow, I still found a way to watch them alongside the actual kids cartoons of my age demographic.

As I got older, I kept watching the adult cartoons, which by this time included: Futurama, The Boondocks, American Dad, King of the Hill, The Cleveland Show. These shows were more comedy than drama. The main motives being to get us to laugh. I liked those shows and I still watch them from time to time.

More recently, shows like Big Mouth, Bob’s Burgers, and Bojack Horseman have been my favorites. It took me a while to get around to liking Bob’s Burgers, but it’s an ok show. Big Mouth is a comedy about puberty, but it’s certainly not a show for anyone under 13. Lol. It actually does a good job of explaining puberty.

Bojack Horseman is a show that really subverts the adult animation trope in my opinion. It makes you laugh, cry, and think. Something other adult cartoons have yet to do or at least, don’t do often.

I’m excited for the final episodes of Bojack and I am hopeful for how it ends. It’s ending on a good note too.

 

My Top 10 TV Shows of the Decade (2009-2019)

TV has come a long way in the last 10 years. So many shows. So many characters. So many great stories. It was so hard to narrow it down to just 10. Join me as I count down my favorite shows of the decade.

10: Orange Is The New Black (2013-2019, Netflix)

The show that put Netflix on the map. Even though House of Cards premiered before Orange, this is the show that led me to keep my Netflix subscription. Based off the memoir of the same name, OITNB follows Piper Chapman and her trials as an inmate at Litchfield Penn. Through 7 seasons we were introduced to a wide array of characters and stories. This show gave us Samira Wiley, Laverne Cox, and Natasha Lyonne.

9: Bojack Horseman (2014-Present, Netflix)

A cartoon for adults. I’ve talked about Bojack before, so it was imperative that I put it on my list. Bojack is a talking horse who is struggling with addiction and his story as well as the stories of the other characters in the show are very relatable. This is a really well done show.

8: Steven Universe (2013-Present, Cartoon Network)

I love this show. Steven Universe is the best show on Cartoon Network right now. We follow Steven, his father Greg, and the Crystal Gems as they save the world time and time again.

7: Dear White People (2017- Present, Netflix)

Based off the 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People follows a group of African American students studying at a predominantly white university. I like the show for their ability to discuss tough topics without sounding like an after school special.

6: Euphoria (2019-Present, HBO)

Zendaya is in her bag with this show. Give her all the awards next year. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

5: How to Get Away with Murder (2014-Present, ABC)

Viola got her Emmy for this one. Annalise Keating is a powerhouse attorney who is tasked with teaching a class of law students dubbed the Keating Five. As the title suggests, someone dies, and they have to figure out what to do. In it’s 6 seasons, this show has had many twists and turns and I love it.

4: This Is Us (2016-Present, NBC)

I adore this show. Jack, Rebecca, and the Big 3. If you haven’t seen this show yet, please go watch it. It takes place between the past and present with as many twists and turns as HTGAWM, but it’s a family show.

3: Pose (2018-Present, FX)

Live. Work. Pose. This show hit the airwaves in 2018 and has been a hit right out the gate. I love this show. Billy Porter won an Emmy this year for his portrayal of Pray Tell. I love that the show has the largest LGBTQ cast in TV history as well. The storylines are great, the acting is great. I’m just in love.

2: Scandal (2012-2017, ABC)

Kerry Washington. That’s it. That’s the description. All 7 seasons.

Honorable Mentions
  • American Crime Story (2016-Present, FX)
  • One Day at A Time (2017-2019, Netflix)
  • Star (2016-2019, Fox)
  • Black Lightning (2018-Present, CW)
  • On My Block (2018-Present, Netflix)

1: Glee (2009-2015, FOX)

My favorite show. I have all six seasons on DVD as well as the Concert tour. The music covers were great as well, I even had some of the songs on my iPod. I love this show so much as it has gotten me through some tough times. I was devastated when Cory died. The tribute episode to him still brings tears to my eyes.

Summer TV, Cutting Cable, & Settling In

So I’ve been in my new place for a month. I still love it. I am buying things little by little, setting up my place the way I wish. I’m sort of a minimalist so I don’t have alot of big ticket items just yet. Furniture such as a dining set and couch set will be bought later on. I don’t have a whole bunch of decorations, but I have a flag up and I’ll be putting up a picture canvas sometime. Since I’m not allowed to put nails in the walls, I have utilized Command hooks and strips which have worked fairly well.

I have a low cost HD TV and I just bought a Chromecast Ultra. I also have an over the air antenna. I choose not to have cable because the cable company here is very expensive.  My over the air antenna is ok, I’ll update it once I get a tv stand. I just ordered internet as well since that is way cheaper than cable. I have a Netflix and Sling TV subscription. I also used HBO Now’s free trial option to watch shows too. I’ll get a subscription for that next year when the show I was watching returns with new episodes.

Over the summer I watched the final season of Orange Is the New Black, season two of Pose, and season one of Euphoria. The good thing about it being off season time for major tv networks such as NBC, CBS, FOX, & ABC, is that there is a vast selection of things to watch on other networks or streaming services. I want to do a recap of the shows I just mentioned. Don’t worry, I’ll try not to include spoilers.

Orange Is The New Black

Season 7 is the final season of Orange Is The New Black. For those that still watch the show, this season was fairly good. We got a wrap up of many characters and there was some unexpected twists and turns throughout. I’m glad the show ended on this note. They had a good run and the stars have all gone on to achieve great things in their careers. All seasons of Orange can be seen on Netflix.

Pose

I love this show so much. Season 2 was phenomenal. Season 2 was more somber, but there were still plenty of light hearted moments. The overall message is still one that resonates with everyone no matter what time period they are in. When life knocks you down, just keep pushing forward. There will always be bad days, but remember there will be good days too. The show was also just nominated for 6 Emmys including Best Drama and Best Actor in a Drama. Billy Porter received his first nomination for Best Actor which also made him the first openly gay Black actor to be nominated for an Emmy award. Pose can be seen on the FX Now app or Sling TV.

Euphoria

Oh my God. Zendaya hit the jackpot with this one. The acting, the background music, the cinematography. All of it top notch. Zendaya plays the main character, but her costars are just as important to the storyline as well. It’s a really well done show and I’m excited to see what Season 2 will bring. Euphoria can be seen on HBO, HBO Go, and HBO NOW.

The Services

The streaming services I used this summer can all be downloaded on your phone, computer, or streamed to your TV. Sling TV has three plans available with prices starting at $25 per month. FX is on the Sling Blue plan. HBO Now is the streaming component to HBO and does not require a cable subscription. HBO Now costs $14.99 a month. Netflix is the oldest of the bunch and has three plans to my knowledge. Each plan varies in price. I have the Standard HD on two screens plan for $12.99 per month. All three services offer a free trial period as well. Netflix free trial is 30 days. Sling and HBO Now free trials are 7 days.

For those who have ditched cable, you may be aware of streaming services and streaming devices, but if not, I’ll go ahead and give you a quick run down.

Chromecast

I ordered the Chromecast Ultra this past weekend because it was on sale in the Google Store. The Chromecast is a screen mirroring device that is compatible with Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, Sling TV, HBO Now, Spotify, and other services. You plug the Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port and set up the device through the Google home app. Once I get the Chromecast, I’ll probably write a review about it and talk about setting it up.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire stick is streaming device. Unlike the Chromecast, the Fire stick does not just screen mirror content. It is compatible with all the apps listed above and Amazon Music and Prime Video. The Fire stick is good for those who already have an Amazon Prime subscription. The Fire stick includes a remote.

Roku

Roku is another streaming device. It offers all the channels mentioned above and has its own set of channels. There are different types of the Roku, including: the Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premier, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku Streaming Stick+, and Roku Ultra.

 

I had a good summer of TV watching and I have a couple weeks before my regular TV shows come back on. I can’t wait to get the Chromecast and get that going so I can review it. Have a great evening 😘.

5 Shows I Love and You Should Too.

It’s summer so you know my normal primetime tv shows are off and my summer favorites have returned along with some new favorites. As we get into mid July, I’d like to spotlight some shows I have been hooked on that I think you all should check out.

1. On My Block

Season 1 of On My Block premiered earlier this year on Netflix and I watched all 10 episodes in 2 days. Set in California, 4 teens embark on their first year of high school. The teens who had been friends since elementary school deal with hook ups, parental expectations, gangs, and crushes in this 10 episode masterpiece. The show has already been renewed for a second season to premiere sometime next year. I love the Black and Latino representation in this show too.

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2. Pose

This TV series by Ryan Murphy is set in 1980s New York and centers on the ballroom culture. It features an African-American and Latino LGBTQ+ cast and is executive produced by trans activist Janet Mock. Oh my goodness do I love this show! Every week it tugs at my heartstrings as I see characters live the best they can in the midst of the AIDS epidemic. The 1980s was a scary time for LGBTQ+ individuals, especially Black and Brown individuals. Ryan and Janet present the characters in a way that is not cliché or misrepresented. This is the first season of the show and I hope it gets renewed. Fans of the documentary Paris is Burning will also enjoy this show. New episodes can be seen on FX on Sundays at 9pm EST and previous episodes can be seen on the FX Now app. Oh also, I’m team Evangelista.

3. Steven Universe

This past week we had 5 new episodes of Steven Universe. I’m not going to spoil it, but lets just say some big events happened and a shocking revelation almost caused the complete collapse of the Crystal Gems. If you are not familiar with the show, catch up on Cartoon Network.

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4. Five Points

This show is executive produced by Scandal’s Kerry Washington and stars Madison Pettis and pop star Hayley Kiyoko. Set at a Chicago high school, 5 teens grapple with the effects of a major event and the story unfolds in each of their points of view. All ten episodes can be viewed on Facebook now. I hope this show gets renewed.

5. Queen Sugar

I love this show!! We are in Season 3 and things are as twisty as ever. The show details the trials and tribulations of the Bordelon family: Charlie, Ralph Angel, and Nova. After the death of their father in season 1, the Bordelon siblings rally together to save his farm as they are fighting a myriad of their own issues. New episodes air Wednesdays at 10 pm EST on OWN.

Honorable Mentions

Orange is the New Black. Season 6 premieres on Netflix on July 27. They released the trailer this past Monday, which can be seen on the official OITNB Facebook and Twitter page. Despite its flaws, I still watch the show and I am eager to see how my girls deal with their new surroundings. Also, even though I am not that much of a fan of hers, I’d like to know where Alex is too (Laura Prepon was pregnant in real life at the end of season 5 so that is why she may not be in the first couple episodes of season 6). I also did not see Laverne Cox (Sophia) or Maritza(Dianna Guerrero) in the trailer either.

Dear White People. Season 2 premiered in May on Netflix and it was just as good as the first season. Sam and her classmates are reeling from the events of the town hall and now face a whole new set of challenges. This season tackles PTSD, abortion, colorism, sexual identity, and racism. The show has already been renewed for a season 3, which is set to be released next year. Catch up on seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.