As we get ready too close out another year, I wanted to make sure I got you all ready for what is hitting your tv and film screens in 2022!! Mixed it up for you as always with a little television and some film! Check them out below:
Power of the Dog (Streaming on Netflix December 1st)
Mother/Android (Streaming on Hulu December 17th)
Women of the Movement-Limited Series (Premiering on ABC January 6th)
Ray Donovan: The Movie (Premiering on Showtime January 14th)
We are one month away from the end of the year, but the reading never stops!! This month I went heavy on the YA books and novels with a splash of the diaspora!! I had to make sure I included my young readers in this list!!
So remember to pre-order, add to your cart, visit your local bookstore, and grab a copy or two!! And without further ado check out the recommendations below:
The new season of Insecure has started and we are 2 episodes!! Let me tell you as someone who has been watching the show since DAY ONE, Issa rae and the show never ceases to amaze me!! So much so that I had to write down a few notes in the form of a ‘thank you’ note post expressing my appreciation!! I remember actually hearing about the show in 2016 while vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard and attending the annual MVAAFF. If nothing else I had planned to watched the series off the strength of Issa Rae’s previous web series “Awkward Black Girl” and the fact that it was a series about young Black professionals. With little to no expectations, like many others we just dived in. In the words of R&B singer Vivian Green, we were always riding an “emotional rollercoaster” 30 mins at a time when it came to this show.
It is not often that you find a show that tells so many stories and is so relatable that you have to step back and say “damn that’s really close to my life” or “I totally know that feeling!” Every season has created an on-going dialogue, surrounding everything from entrepreneurship to family planning (birth and death) to complex relationships/dating to self-preservation to job security to simply just believing in one’s self, all topics that will surely continue linger in the atmosphere even after the last and final episode. For me, Insecure is the Living Single of its time! As a professional, awkward, funny, driven Black woman seeing the various experiences of Black womanhood play out on-screen via the vision of a Black woman always gave me a sense of hope and promise.
And so I have to thank you for showing the many complex layers of relationships and friendship and that they are not perfect nor should we strive for them to be. To be honest in each of the four main Black female characters (Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany) I found a piece of myself in each character. That’s what makes being a Black woman so great!! Life truly is a learning process. You provided us another outlet that permits us to stumble, fail, get back up, find joy, be angry, and persevere!!
Thank you for normalizing therapy, particularly for Black women…The familiarity of each session was so very refreshing….this is so needed and necessary. The way therapy is showcased on this show is a great example of how it can be utilized in fiction but translate into reality.
The fashion and hair…So versatile..Daring…Forward-thinking…Inspiring…I definitely picked up a few things and added them to my closet.
How about all the cameos….Syd, Sterling K. Brown, Lil Rel Howery, Kyla Pratt, Luke James, Kofi Siriboe, Jidenna, Hayley Kiyoko, Dawn Richard, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and many more…
I will always look at couches, Best Buy shirts, and Coachella very differently and I’m good with that!
New and improved vocabulary…words/concepts/phrases like ‘zaddy’, ‘ho-tation’, ‘Go for it, go for it, go! Ho for it, ho for it, ho!’, ‘work in progress’, ‘thug yoda’, and ‘we got y’all’ will always have a special place in the Black community.
Thank you for the location…location…location!!
Oh and I cannot forget the amazing soundtracks, my music game continues to level up thanks to this show!!
Watching this show this show for me personally allowed me to have those moments of thinking about how to evaluate my life and actions. Lots of growth and self-reflection!! I definitely increased my intake of daily affirmations and learned to truly be honest with myself and others. About five years ago, Issa Rae made a statement to NPR that definitely resonated then and even more so now, “We don’t get to just have a show about regular Black people being basic.” Who would have thought basic, regular, and awkwardness were just the things we needed in life.
Once again my Sunday nights will never be the same after Insecure comes to a final close. Insecure will join such shows as Lovecraft Country, Power, and The Wire, as premium channels shows that were well worth the extra purchasing cost.
So when it is all said and done…Issa you switched up the tv landscape around how we CAN center Black people and culture in a variety of ways….And I thank you Issa Rae for making this contribution to the pop culture landscape!!
Check out this upcoming event that Dr. G will be moderating on this Thursday!!
See the details below:
The Day the Klan Came to Town: A Comic Book Retelling of Community Resistance
November 4, 2021 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
(This will be a hybrid event. You can attend in-person or online.)
Description: Author Bill Campbell and artist Bizhan Khodabandeh discuss their work on the acclaimed new graphic novel, The Day the Klan Came to Town, a fictionalized retelling of a community’s resistance to a violent 1923 march of thousands of Ku Klux Klan members in Carnegie, Pa. Thi Bui, author of The Best We Could Do, describes the book as “A piece of American history in all its ugliness told as an astonishing coming together of misfits to stand up against a common threat. Bill brings an international scope to the history and a concise understanding of politics to the story. Bizhan’s art is dazzling. This is a book for our times.”
About the book: The year is 1923. The Ku Klux Klan is at the height of its power in the U.S. as membership swells into the millions and they expand beyond their original southern borders. As they continue their campaigns of terror against African Americans, their targets now also include Catholics and Jews, southern and eastern Europeans, all in the name of “white supremacy.” Incorporating messages of moral decency, family values and temperance, the Klan has slapped on a thin veneer of respectability and become a “civic organization,” attracting new members, law enforcement and politicians to their particular brand of white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant “Americanism.”
Pennsylvania enthusiastically joined that wave. That was when the Grand Dragon of Pennsylvania decided to display the Klan’s newfound power in a show of force. He chose a small town outside of Pittsburgh named after Andrew Carnegie, a small, unassuming borough full of Catholics and Jews, the perfect place to teach immigrants a “lesson.” Some thirty thousand members of the Klan gathered from as far as Kentucky for “Karnegie Day.” After initiating new members, they armed themselves with torches and guns to descend upon the town to show them exactly what Americanism was all about.
The Day the Klan Came to Town is a fictionalized retelling of the riot, focusing on a Sicilian immigrant, Primo Salerno. He is not a leader; he’s a man with a troubled past. He was pulled from the sulfur mines of Sicily as a teen to fight in the First World War. Afterward, he became the focus of a local fascist and was forced to emigrate to the United States. He doesn’t want to fight but feels that he may have no choice. The entire town needs him—and indeed everybody—to make a stand.
You can also purchase the book through the publisher PM Press!
Today Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute takes us back to this summer with, “Why is The Suicide Squad (2021) Better Than Suicide Squad (2016)”. Check it out below:
The simple answer is that a change in directing, and writing can go a very long way. The first Suicide Squad (2016) movie directed by David Ayer, in my opinion, takes itself too seriously. So seriously, in fact that the movie falls flat, and the characters seem more of a shell than anything else, characters like Harley Quinn seemed tamed and felt like someone trying to imitate what they think her character is like, not to mention her relationship with the Joker throughout the movie. The movie, although about classic supervillains and mercenaries, falls short and does not feel like the usual comic book movies. The atmosphere of the whole movie is dark and gloomy and drags in most parts. The dialogue itself is questionable at best with weird deliveries from some of the actors, but you cannot really do anything when the writing is dull.
Whereas, TheSuicide Squad (2021) directed and written by James Gunn is what you think of when you think of a classic comic book movie, from the bright colors and in-character writing for each character. In the 2021 movie, Harley Quinn is seen as an actual character and is written with depth instead of just a cute girl in a group of guys. She has character growth in the movie but subtly so that the comic book movie aspect is not lost in translation. Rick Flag is a great example too of the difference directing and writing can do to a character, in the 2016 movie Rick is seen as a hard military man who does not really care for his team and is written one-dimensionally. While in the James Gunn movie he is a relatable character with a real personality, his core personality from the first movie is shown sometimes but it is shown in a digestible way where we still get the kind of funny quips and jokes from him.
So why is the second Suicide Squad movie better than the first one? Directing and writing as well as character design really makes this movie much better than the first one. Characters in the movie new and old are given real personalities and motivations that were lost in the first one. Enjoyable dialogue and scenes also add to why the 2021 movie is much more enjoyable.
*Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute (PCM) is all about giving people pop culture analysis and discussion in short posts. From Marvel comics, Anime, Movies, and Tv Shows, Jaya deliver’s her thoughts and ideas on what she would like to see more of, what writers can do to improve their outreach to different demographics and more! Jaya herself is a sophomore, (soon to be junior), in high school who loves talking about all things pop culture and she hopes you come back to read more.
Today is Election Day!! A day that is very important for many different reasons. For me especially, it is important considering there was a time when my ancestors at one point were not even allowed to register let alone vote. And all is still not in the clear, when my voting rights are still constantly in jeopardy. But until that time, God willing never, I will still make my way to the polls whether in person or via absentee ballot, cause I know my vote matters and counts!!
So regardless of who you vote for, make sure you exercise your right to do so!!
As the late Shirley Chisholm once said, “The one thing you’ve got going: your one vote!”