What’s better than curling up with that special person during the holidays and binge-watching some of your favorite Black characters on TV?
It’s the holiday season and whether you celebrate or not, there’s a likely chance you’ll have some time off in the upcoming weeks (Shout out to my retail, fast food, and movie theater workers holding it down 365).
After the presents are unwrapped and your crazy family leaves, what better way to decompress than curling up with your beverage of choice and a quick, easy binge? Below you’ll find a list of some of the best and Blackest shows from the past year you may have missed. We must support Black characters on television, as representation always seems to be a hurdle in Black Hollywood.
For the Action Junkie: Twisted Metal
When they announced they were doing a show based on the Twisted Metal games from my childhood I can’t say I was particularly excited, as video game adaptations are notoriously hit or miss. Sometimes you get bangers like Sonic the Hedgehog and The Last of Us, though mostly you get hot messes like the Halo TV show. So consider me surprised to have found that Twisted Metal was actually a solid binge. Anthony Mackie and Stephanie Beatriz have solid chemistry as the series leads and the story fully commits to its gonzo, over-the-top tone. Not to mention the show has some surprisingly strong practical action sequences. In an age of terrible CGI car chases, Twisted Metal’s commitment to practical effects is a blast. If you like car chases, silly comedy, and 90s pop music, Twisted Metal is a ride worth taking. Although the story isn’t just centered around Black characters, it’s a super fun ride.
Twisted Metal is currently streaming on Peacock.
If You’re Looking for a Mystery: Black Cake
Black Cake, based on the novel of the same name by Charmaine Wilkerson, is both a moving family drama and a compelling mystery. After their mother dies, siblings Benny (The Woman King’s Adrienne Warren) and Byron (Ashley Thomas) receive a series of recordings where their mother reveals her dark, heartbreaking past. From the scripts to the performances to the visuals, Black Cake is the full package. It works as both a moving family drama as well as an engrossing mystery about the consequences of lies and the devastating power of the truth. At only eight episodes, Black Cake is a quick, yet satisfying binge.
Black Cake is currently streaming on Hulu.
A Familiar Favorite: The Best Man: The Final Chapters
Sometimes you just want to curl up on the couch and return to the comfort of a world you know. Last year’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters could scratch that itch. Featuring the return of all the original actors from The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday. While the transition from movie to series can often lead to stories feeling bloated, The Final Chapters uses the expanded real estate to give more depth to the characters we’ve been following for the last two decades. Equal parts messy, moving, and heartbreaking, The Best Man: The Final Chapters is a satisfying conclusion to the Best Man story and gives you some closure when it comes to some of your favorite Black characters on the big screen.
The Best Man: The Final Chapters is currently streaming on Peacock.
The Best Show You Haven’t Watched: Scavengers Reign
Y’all. Y’ALL. You need to watch Scavengers Reign. This is one of the coolest shows to drop this year and it has flown largely under the radar. The premise is simple. A spaceship crash lands on the exotic planet, Vesta, leaving three separate groups of survivors. Each episode bounces perspective between Ursla (Sunita Mani) and Sam (Bob Stephenson), Azi (Loki’s Wunmi Mosaku) and the robot Levi (Alia Shawkat), and Kamen (Ted Travelstead). None of the groups know of the other’s survival and each faces their own unique struggles trying to adapt and survive on Vesta. The animation is beautiful and the show does a phenomenal job striking the balance between wonder, danger, and horror at the various flora and fauna that populate Vesta. Scavengers Reign is truly a treat for folks who like sci-fi, unique animation, and fundamentally strong storytelling. At only 12, 25-minute episodes, it’s a quick binge, as well.
Scavengers Reign is currently streaming on Max.
Whether you’re looking for a new banger or an old fave, there’s plenty with Black characters worth binge-streaming this holiday season. Happy watching and stay safe out there, folks.
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