When actor Stephan James' muscular unclothed brown body flooded the camera lens in If Beale Street Could Talk, becoming larger than life on the theater screen, my heart skipped a palpitation in my chest. All at once, I was filled with a sense of keen wonder, quiet admiration and historical dread. "How beautiful," I thought, and then, "don’t hurt my son." I exhaled. I knew what would happen anyway, having read James Baldwin’s book many years earlier. This young man would be framed and imprisoned for a rape he did not commit by a racist white cop. It was a familiar and tragic story, but one that my heart expected, always prepared to be broken by racism. Yet it was a story I needed to see, a kind of validation for things of the past.Maybe I am the only one who thinks like this, as a writer, professor of English and mother of a daughter. I don't have sons, but in my 20 years of teaching black literature and the Western canon, exploring blackness in films, hip-hop and black … [Read more...] about Why Black People Need Today’s Award-Winning Black Movies
Shonda rhimes year of yes book
The flat screen on your living room wall, the cable box below it and the digital program guide that help you find your way through an increasingly congested universe of shopping networks, reality show repeats and the eight channels you actually watch might as well have been inhabitants of a dying star in 2018. Television, already bursting at the seams with peak programming and lots of filler, finally blew apart this year, fragmenting into a dizzying constellation of nearly 500 new original series and destinations we’ve yet to explore (the forthcoming launch of subscription streaming services from Apple, Warner Media, Disney and, yes, Costco and Walmart), plus a whole lot of space debris that includes “Terrence Howard’s Fright Club,” a Fox Nation cooking show and 98 percent of the offerings on YouTube TV. A record 495 original scripted series dropped this year, and for the first time, streaming platforms such as Hulu and Amazon Prime delivered more original … [Read more...] about Was this the year that TV broke TV?
Breaking through in a Peak TV world of more than 500 scripted originals is a challenging task. That's why top showrunners and stars continue to be in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming platforms look to cut through the cluttered landscape with familiar faces. Spinoffs and reboots are also in high demand, as most come with a preexisting viewership that reduces costs associated with marketing and promotion. Here, in a bid to navigate the Peak TV waters, THR picks the 19 most-anticipated new shows coming in 2019. Note that the below shows are confirmed to air in 2019. While many more high-profile shows from top creators with big-name stars have been picked up across multiple outlets, few have been locked in to air in 2019. (Bookmark THR's handy guide for key premiere — and series finale — dates as most of the below are still awaiting scheduling.) Modern Love (Amazon, awaiting premiere date) The individual episodic anthology is based on The New … [Read more...] about The 19 Most-Anticipated New Scripted TV Shows of 2019