Friday Binging - Four Shows You Need to Watch

Top Boy

 

According to IMDB this mini series came out in 2011 with its series 2 (aka season 2-ish) coming out in 2013. This actioned packed show is set in the fictional Summerhouse Estate Housing Project in Hackney, East London. Drugs, violence, love and lost fills every line written in this screenplay and give you the feels with each and every kiss, punch, and gasp taken. 

This show sort of follows the experiences of the protagonist Ra’nell (Malcolm Kamuete), a teen boy who finds himself in some deep shit after attempts to financially assist his mother subsequent her much needed stay away after dealing with depression. Together with his friend Michael (Xavien Russell), Ra’nell come across the Estate’s resident drug dealers and wannabe cool guys, Dushane (Ashley Walters) and his friends and life becomes chaotic. Because there are so many intertwining storylines and characters in this show, I would say it follows the main character, Ra’nell, but it also pays a good deal of attention to the back stories of many other characters, which is really great as it helps contextualize the moments and actions throughout the series. 

This is handsdown my favorite UK TV show at the moment! From depression, to violence, and results stemming from systematic capitalist oppression Top Boy literally has everything! There are Blacks, whites, and Asians all given powerful roles within this show - ah! What a wonderful utopian, on-screen representation of people for all the media cultural/representational lover nerds, like me!

Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 2 series, 4 episodes each
Can I Finish in a Day?: Yep!

American Crime

 

This week I am bringing ABC’s underrated hit, American Crime! Now, this is not to be confused with American Crime Story, the FX series recounting the OJ Simpson trial. This show has just finished its second season and is everything you would would want and more! 

While the first season focused on the politics of race, religion, and the hyper-policing of Black and Brown bodies, the second season abandoned  the characters and plot of season one by focusing on the lives of high school students and their families surrounding conversations around sexual orientation, bullying, and socio-economic disparities. 

American Crime makes a point to simulate real dialogues occurring in the world on the little screen - what a great way to create a dialogue in such an accessible medium! This is a show you’d want to watch with your family and friends just witness the richness in conversations you all will have! Not to mention the ever so handsome Andre 3000 and Trevor Jackson are in season two, playing the father son duo Michael and Kevin LaCroix ;)

Where to watch: ABC.go or Hulu
Seasons: 2
Can I finish in a Day?: Uh, maybe? Highly unlikely, give yourself 2 days!

 

A Different World

 

OK! Back again, this time with my longtime favorite show - A Different World! I’ve been out of college for about a month now, and the summer college blues are slowly creeping up. I miss my friends, the freedom to just get up and go, the weird feeling of “adulting,” and MY FRIENDS!! Lately though, I’ve been keeping myself sane by watching insane amounts of A Different World - insane. I have finished all 6 seasons at least three times...I told y’all it was my favorite show!

Now if you aren’t familiar with this show, no worries! A Different World began as a spinoff of The Cosby Show, following Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) in her college experiences. In its earlier days, A Different World followed very closely with The Cosby Show and was quite conservative until BFF, Debbie Allen (yes, Phylicia Rashad’s sister and an overall badass) took over and totally revamped it! Set at the fictional Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Hillman College, A Different World chronicles the lives of Black collegiate students. Unfortunately this series is no longer on television (aside from a few airings on TVOne?), but you can definitely catch it on Netflix! Given the online presence of movements like Black Lives Matter, the ability we collectively have to watch a show depicting young Black people in higher education is extremely important and on you should watch!

Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 6
Can I Finish in a Day?: No, maybe a week - week and a half!


Orange is the New Black (OITNB)

 

So I’m actually cheating with this review because I have only ever watched 3 full episodes of OITNB in total, BUT so many of my friends have been raving over the most recent season I figured I had to include it. I would definitely say the overall weeklong postseason release craze on my Twitter subsided compared to season 3, but nevertheless the craze was still present. There was a lot of interesting talk about the relationship between Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, which does simulate a true level of tension (though it is more nuanced than that), as well as interesting “All Lives Matter” commentary. Take that how you want, but I suppose it is something you have to better understand in the context of the entire season. 

OITNB never seems to disappoint my friends, so it 9 times out of 10 will not disappoint you either! Watch it and see how you feel about it, I’m going to commit a few hours to do the same!

Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 4, total. Newest season is 4.
Can I Finish in a Day?: Actually, yes!