The Chi (Showtime) – Season 1 Airing Sundays at 10pm
From Emmy winner Lena Waithe (Master of None, Dear White People) comes one of the most captivating and compelling series of the 2017-2018 TV season! If you have yet to start a Showtime streaming free trial, now would be the time. Just so you can watch this show. I’m not kidding. I’ll leave the synopsis below to better give you the details on what the show is about. From me, just know that I love it and I wouldn’t steer you wrong! This show will make you feel every emotion possible and do it so seamlessly. It’s really beautiful watching all of the creative elements come together to make this amazing show. And round of applause for the child actors on the show. They are KILLING IT.
On Chicago’s south side, an average day finds kids prepping for school as their parents head off to work, young adults trying to make a living, and the elders keeping an eye on things from their front porches. But in this tough neighborhood, real dangers threaten daily to squelch dreams, and the simplest decisions can have life or death consequences. From Emmy® winner Lena Waithe, The Chi is a timely coming-of-age drama series centered on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption.
Black Lightning (The CW) – Season 1 Airing Tuesdays at 9/8c
Black Lightning is AMAZING. It has been right out of the gate. The Pilot episode exceeded my expectations in every way and the show just keeps getting better and better every single week. I love everything about this show and love the decisions the writers are making. I especially love the sibling relationship between Black Lightning’s daughters, Jennifer and Anissa. It’s so authentic and easily one of my favorite sibling dynamics on TV period. And best of all, this show is SO Black! Omg. I don’t think The CW realized what they ordered but I am LIVING for every moment of this show on this network. Good job, writers. Y’all are KILLING it. Instead of me telling you what the show is about, in case you’re still not in the loop, here’s the synopsis:
As BLACK LIGHTNING begins, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.
Based on the characters from DC, BLACK LIGHTNING is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”) and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.
Grown-ish (Freeform) – Season 1 Airing Wednesdays at 8/7c
In case you’ve been living under a rock, I am LOVING Freeform’s new series, Grown-ish. The series is only eight episodes in, so you can easily catch up over on Hulu right now before the final episodes of the season (there will be 13 episodes total for season one)! Don’t say I didn’t tell you!
Atlanta (FX) – Season 2 Premiere Thursday, March 1st at 10 p.m.
Season one of Atlanta, which consists of ten episodes, all of which are currently streaming on Hulu, made for some of the best TV of 2016. The show follows Earn who, in a transitional period of his life, decides to manage his cousin’s budding rap career in Atlanta. As I’ve said before, Atlanta is a love letter to Atlanta and the hip hop culture, the hustle within it. Atlanta is so incredibly nuanced and is easily one of the most honest, well written shows on TV.
Now, finally, after a very long wait, we’ve got season two coming at us real soon. I still remember my favorite episodes from the first season (“Juneteenth” and “B.A.N.”) and I cannot wait to see what the show does next. With Donald Glover at the helm, season two is bound to be another masterpiece. If you can’t wait for March 1st, check out the trailer for what’s ahead! And be sure to let me know what your favorite episodes of season one were, I’m dying to know!
2 Dope Queens (HBO) – Fridays at 11:30 p.m.
I heard of the 2 Dope Queens Podcast a long time ago and it was on my very long list of podcasts to start and catch up on but that moved way up the list with this HBO special. Check it out:
The hit comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens, featuring Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, comes to HBO as a series of four themed hour-long specials. Directed by Tig Notaro (Boyish Girl Interrupted, One Mississippi), guests include Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce, Sex and the City) and Jon Stewart (The Daily Show). The four themed episodes include: “New York,” with Jon Stewart; “Hair,” with Sarah Jessica Parker; “Hot Peen,” with Tituss Burgess; and “Black Nerds” (aka “Blerds”) with Uzo Aduba.
Taped before a live audience at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, the show features the fun, fearless queens dishing on “Cocoa Khaleesis,” dating white baes, sex, New York-living, the best borough for pizza and more.
2 Dope Queens also features Robinson’s and Williams’ favorite comedians, including: Kevin Barnett, Rhea Butcher, Michelle Buteau, John Early, Naomi Ekperigin, Gary Gulman, Al Jackson, Jackie Kashian, Aparna Nancherla, Mark Normand, Baron Vaughn and Sheng Wang.
Jessica Williams’ credits include the critically acclaimed films The Incredible Jessica James and People Places Things, the TV series The Daily Show and Girls, and the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe. Phoebe Robinson has appeared on such TV shows as I Love Dick, Broad City and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book You Can’t Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain).
2 Dope Queens is executive produced by Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams, Amy Aniobi, Carrie Byalick, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen Turner, David Martin and Chenoa Estrada; executive producers for A24 include Ravi Nandan and John Hodges.
What Black TV shows are you watching and loving this winter?
Happy Black History Month!