February marks the start of Black History Month, a time when we celebrate and elevate Black voices and culture.
In honor, we’re highlighting some TV shows that are the center of Black excellence.
These are the stories told by Black directors and producers, the ones that highlight the talents of Black actors and cast members, and aim to educate and entertain.
If you’re looking for a new show to watch, these are a good place to start!
The United States vs. Billie Holiday – Hulu
Though it premieres towards the end of the month, the upcoming American biographical drama stars Andra Day as the jazz singer and documents the Federal Bureau of Narcotic’s investigation against her.
Dear White People – Netflix
The comedy-drama follows several Black college students at an Ivy League college and tackles modern race relations.
Black-ish – ABC
The comedy tracks the Johnsons, a wealthy family, that learns the importance of incorporating race into their identity, which allows them to honor their background and history while tackling modern-day issues and dilemmas.
Lupin – Netflix
Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, a famous thief looking to avenge his father for the injustices committed against him.
On My Block – Netflix
The coming-of-age comedy focuses on a group of street-savvy Black and Latinx friends living in a Los Angeles neighborhood and navigating issues such as gang activity and gun violence daily.
Black Lightning – The CW
Jefferson Pierce suits up as the Black Lightning to protect his daughter, Jennifer, who gets recruited by a street gang in this DC Comics-inspired series.
Greenleaf – Netflix
On the outside, the Greenleafs, who manage the Memphis megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, are the poster family, but underneath it all, they’re consumed by scandal, secrets, and lies.
Lukas Cage – Netflix
Though there are only 2 seasons, Mike Colter brings to life Marvel’s crime-fighting hero with superhuman strength and abilities living in Harlem.
Power – Starz
A wealthy New York nightclub owner who has it all moonlights as a drug kingpin in this crime drama starring 50-Cent, who also serves as executive producer.
Atlanta – Hulu
The comedy-drama created by Donald Glover focuses on the music scene in Atlanta for up-and-coming rappers like Alfred Miles, who tries to take his career to the next level.
The Game – Peacock
With nine-seasons in the bag, the sitcom, a spinoff of Girlfriends, follows the wives and girlfriends of pro football players looking to launch their own careers.
For Life – ABC
Drawing inspiration from Isaac Wright Jr., the legal and family drama centers around Aaron Wallace, an imprisoned man who becomes a lawyer to fight for the freedom of other inmates, while also attempting to overturn his life sentence for a crime he was falsely accused of and get a fresh start.
Queen Sugar – OWN
The drama focuses on the estranged Bordelon siblings in Louisiana, who are brought together following a family tragedy and forced to work together to run the struggling sugar cane farm.
Raising Dion – Netflix
A kid-friendly show about a second-grader who discovers he has superhero powers and gets help navigating them from his single mom.
Underground – Hulu
The historical drama about the Underground Railroad is set in the 1850s and highlights the heroism of those who attempting a daring escape and looking for a better life and future.
When They See Us – Netflix
This Is Us – NBC
Despite being centered around a white family, Randall’s experiences trying to understand his Blackness, struggling to fit in, looking for his roots, and eventually getting to understand his background lends way to some insightful television. Sterling K. Brown does a phenomenal job telling these stories and addressing them in light of current events like the BLM movement.
Batwoman – The CW
Not season 1, per se, but season 2 redefines the tone of the series with the casting of Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder, the first Black Batwoman in the franchise.
Girlfriends – Netflix
Nothing is strong than your group of girlfriends. These exceptional women are there for each other through life’s highs and lows.
Insecure – Netflix
In this comedy-drama, created by co-star Issa Rae, Issa and Molly are two best friends whose lives are overrun by their insecurities.
All American – The CW
Spencer James, a star high school football player, is recruited to play on a team in Beverly Hills. The opportunity is too good to pass up, but finding his footing in a school in a predominantly white school where the coach’s son deems him to be a threat proves to be the real challenge.
The Chi – Hulu
The coming-of-age drama about Kevin, a preteen navigating life, paints a realistic picture of the dangers that plague the residents living in the South Side of Chicago.
TV Shows and Movies to Watch During Women’s History Month
March is not only Women’s History Month, but March 8 is also International Women’s Day.
To celebrate, Philo put together a curated collection titled “Celebrating Women ” to honor the fearless, passionate, and hardworking women in your life.
Per the release, the collection will include “movies and shows that magnify female experiences, explore narratives centered around women, and commemorate their vital role in today’s society.”
Here are some titles to check out:
Liza Miller is a forty-something-year-old who pretends to be half her age to rejoin the world of publishing. She never expects that lying about her age could open up a world of possibilities not only in her career but also in love!
Tyler Perry’s comedy-drama follows a group of single black women as they navigate the ins-and-outs of life like careers, friendship, and more.
You can find the full collection at philo.tv/celebratingwomen.
7 Most Anticipated Shows Coming in the Spring of 2021
As the days get longer, snow begins to melt, and flowers begin to bloom, you’ll likely find yourself emerging from a winter slump and ready to warm up your soul.
And what better way than with some exciting television blooming this spring?
While there’s plenty of shows returning from hiatus (you can find all the must-watch shows and movies premiering in March right here), there’s also a slate of new shows hoping to melt your cold exterior and warm their way into your heart.
Here’s everything that we’re looking forward to watching in the spring of 2021:
Debris – March 1 (NBC)
Network television loves its sci-fi! Debris finds two agents, one from the CIA and one for MI6, teaming up to travel the U.S. looking for remnants of an alien spacecraft to find out where it’s from, what it wants, and what it’s effects are on the human population. Think X-Files meets Fringe meets Extant.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – March 19 (Disney+)
Disney+ is expanding the world of Marvel with yet another addition to the small screen. Following Wandavision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a six-episode comedy about Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who is now Captain America, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), which picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
The Irregulars – March 26 (Netflix)
You know the story of Sherlock Holmes, but do you know the story of Dr. Watson and the Baker Street Irregulars? All you need to know is that it’s a gang of street teens manipulated into working for Watson to protect London from supernatural elements.
Law & Order: Organized Crime – April 1 (NBC)
The series marks Elliot Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni) overdue (due to COVID-19) return to television and the Law & Order franchise. Stabler stars up again with the NYPD and even reunites with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) in the spinoff drama! Thursday’s just got so much better!
Cruel Summer – April 20 (Freeform)
Hailing from producer Jessica Biel, this psychological thriller – that’s also a ’90s throwback – examines the lives of two young women, one of whom mysterious disappears. Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt, “Cloak & Dagger”) is a popular girl who goes missing, and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), is the girl deemed responsible.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers – March 26 (Disney+)
Polish those skates, because the Mighty Ducks spinoff is skating to the small-screen. When the powerhouse team turns away 12-year-old Evan, a potential new member, he and his mom Alex (Lauren Graham) decided to build their own team. The 10-episode series marks the return of Emilio Esteves as Coach Gordon Bombay.
Shadow and Bone – April 23 (Netflix)
Set in an alternate version of tsarist Russia called Ravka and based on the hit fantasy book series, sinister forces plot against a young soldier after she is found to have magical powers that may help unite the world.
Batwoman Review – Can Ryan Wilder’s Kryptonite Infection Be Cured? (2×06)
On Batwoman Season 2 Episode 6, Ryan Wilder could no longer hide the fact that her kryptonite wound was slowly killing her.
Talk about a painful death.
And despite all of it, she never let the people of Gotham, or her Bat team, down. As Luke pointed out, if that isn’t a hero, I don’t know what is.
Luke felt pretty terrible about the fact that he was the reason that Ryan kept her injury on the down-low and suffered in silence, but the moment also made him realize just how dedicated Ryan actually is to being Batwoman. She’s taking this seriously even if there’s a chance it’s only a temporary gig.
Of course, with no actual cure for kryptonite, this makes the hunt for the Dessert Rose that much more pressing.
Everyone wants a piece of Coryana’s miracle cure. And based on how they’re all behaving, I’m not surprised Safiyah has kept the location of the island under wraps.
Just imagine if it got into the wrong hands… say the rogue doctors at Hamilton Dynamics that stole the map from the Crows because they want to replicate it and get rid of the diseases. And while there’s nothing wrong with trying to find a cure for virtually every disease (although, I’m sure the pharmaceutical industry wouldn’t be pleased, unless the idea is to charge a high premium for the drug once it’s available), the approach was quite problematic.
He had no problem testing on patients as if they were lab rats and didn’t care how many of them died. He then sent Aaron, an unhinged patient with spontaneous rage issues, to kidnap Mary and Jacob Kane in order to get information, and then he and his men ambushed the Crows and stole the map from them!
Here’s my issue with that whole scene – after managing to get the map from two of Gotham’s most violent criminals, Ocean and Alice (without backup, might I add), Sophie somehow thought it was a good idea to bring it with her to a hostage situation.
Sure, she wanted to save Mary and Jacob, but how would anyone know if she swapped it with a fake?
What a fail on her part.
Despite Batwoman’s disdain for Sophie (whom she hilariously refers to as “Crow-phie”), she couldn’t gamble with her life and handed over the map.
That means Batwoman wants the Dessert Rose to heal herself, Hamilton doctors want it to create an all-encompassing cure and The Crows, Mary, and Luke want the map so that it can lead them to Kate, who is allegedly still alive.
A lot of people with a lot of motivation!
Ocean, who was confirmed to be the one growing the psychedelic mushrooms for Snake Bite, had the map to Coryana (hidden under the real Napier painting) this whole time, but never told Alice it was a map that could lead them to the one woman who not only wants him dead, but also erased all of his romantic memories with Alice.
There’s a chance he didn’t know about the map, but how would he know to burn it when Sophie caught them?
And if the Dessert Rose is all he’s after, why didn’t he just follow the map back to where it all started in the first place?
What are we missing about Ocean?
Though, admittedly, I’m really into this partnership. Ocean seems like Alice’s equal only slightly deranged, and seeing Alice in love has plenty of potential.
It’s unclear why Coryana wants Ocean dead, but Alice made the right choice by sparing him because that’s clearly leverage to get her sister back. Plus, pretending to “kill him” will help her back into Safiyah’s good graces, and hopefully, we’ll learn more about their previous relationship.
It looks like there was a time that Alice wasn’t a complete psycho, and while it’s delicious to watch her torment the innocent souls of Gotham, it would be fun to explore a different side to her that’s less vindictive.
I’m a little upset that the series brought Angelique and Ryan back together just to rip them apart again. The relationship was doomed from the start since they never confronted what went wrong the first time around, and instead, jumped right back into a relationship that was previously plagued by bad decisions and addiction.
Angelique may be clean now, but she’s still dealing and has no plans to stop. That’s problematic for Ryan, who went to prison for her and wanted her to make the best of this second chance.
The reality is that no matter how much they love each other, they don’t see eye-to-eye. Sophie may not always have Ryan’s best interests at heart, but she was right for calling out Ryan for returning to the same lifestyle that previously got her in trouble.
If she wants to be the hero, she can’t also be dating someone that’s on the opposing team.
Ryan got upset with Luke after finding out he was in cahoots with Alice to find Ocean, but if you think about it, Angelique is working with Ocean, who now has a very “complicated” connection with Alice. That’s a big red relationship flag!
Jacob Kane also needs to learn how to be a father. Mary finally told him about her underground clinic, and while it wasn’t by choice or the way she wanted to do it, it was a weight lifted off her shoulders that she could finally be honest with him.
And instead of embracing her or trying to understand it, he told her he was shutting it down.
His logic didn’t even track. After finding out that his wife and Mary’s mom, who was previously CEO of Hamilton Dynamics, gave the green light for human trials, Jacob figured he had to intervene in Mary’s life before she followed the same trajectory.
There’s no way to justify the logic, especially since Mary has helped so many people that couldn’t afford healthcare and was doing it for the right reasons and not for the money.
Jacob’s problem is that he continues to alienate all of his loved ones without realizing that he’s the biggest problem right along with his corrupt Crows. He could get so much more done if he just worked with Batwoman and Mary instead of riding his high horse and thinking he’s better.
And then he’s surprised that he’s blindsided by everyone’s secrets when he doesn’t even try to get to know his daughters, and when he does pay attention to them, he takes away the things that make them who they are.
What did you think of the episode? Will Ryan find the Dessert Rose in time?
What are your thoughts on Alice and Ocean?
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