Guest post: Hiba Abdillahi
There’s a problem in our country. If you’ve been watching new news or checked in on social media, you have seen the murder of African American men at the hands of police (most recently, the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody), racially-motivated encounters, and, as a result, protests, riots, and lootings that have spanned nationwide.
The conversation about racial injustice, racial inequality, and systematic racism has never been louder or more charged up, and for those of you who may not know much about it or have never experienced it first hand, it’s a time to get educated.
The list of shows and documentaries that cover what it’s like to be black in America and capture institutionalized racism continues to multiply quickly as streaming services.
But we’ve narrowed it down to a list of 5 shows, movies, and documentaries that can be a starting point for you and your family to help you understand how root of violence against black Americans and how it affects everyone.
1. When They See Us (Netflix)
The jarring Netflix mini-series by Ava Duvernay is based on the story of the Central Park Five, a group of five black Latino boys failed by the justice system after they were wrongfully convinced of raping and assaulting a woman in Central Park in 1989.
2. 13th (Netflix)
How much do you know about the U.S prison boom? Once again filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States in the Academy Award-nominated documentary.
3. I Am Not Your Negro (Youtube or Amazon Prime)
Sometimes we need to look back, to see how we can move forward. This documentary is based on an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin and covers the history of racism in America, focusing on the stories of Civil Rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
4. Dear White People (Netflix)
We could all use some comic relief these days while educating ourselves, of course. This comedy-drama series on Netflix follows a group of black college students at an Ivy League (predominately white) college. The series covers plenty of racial topics young African-Americans face including cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism, and slippery politics.
5. If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
It’s the story we’ve seen play out in our society time and time again. Based on the novel by James Baldwin, the 2018 drama focuses on a young black man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and a young back couple fighting for justice and the American dream.
Bonus: Just Mercy
Michael B. Jordan’s film follows the real-life story of defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, who fought to clear Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), wrongfully convicted of murder and placed on death row.
Warner Bros. announced it will be free on all digital streaming platforms during the month of June to teach people about systemic racism.
‘Berlin’ Is the ‘Money Heist’ Spinoff We Never Knew We Needed
Berlin is the Money Heist spinoff we never knew we needed… but we’re so glad it’s almost here.
Since Berlin (Pedro González Alonso) was hands-down the most captivating (and problematic) character in the Spanish heist drama, fans always wanted to get to know more of him, especially after he sacrificed himself in the season 1 finale for his team, largely due to his terminal illness, redeeming himself in the process.
Quickly rising the ranks as a fan-favorite, the writers kept Berlin’s spirit alive in the following seasons via flashbacks, noting that he always had a hand in the planning of the heists, even if he wasn’t around to see them through. And it became more and more clear that there was an unsatiable thirst from audiences to explore additional parts of the character’s origin story; thus, a prequel to Money Heist focusing solely on Berlin’s prior escapades only made sense.
As seen in the later season of Money Heist, or La Casa de Papel, Berlin garnered even more intrigue when his son, Rafael (Patrick Criado) joined the heist. The former Electronics Engineer from MIT is Berlin’s prodigal son, whose only request was not to end up a thief like his father, also drew attention after entering a relationship with his father’s wife, Tatiana. It’s a lot to unpack, clearly, but it’s also proof that there was nothing boring or mediocre about Berlin’s life in the slightest, at any point.
So, again, it warrants a spinoff that digs even deeper into this complex, charismatic, and morally questionable character we’ve all come to love.
When he joined the Professor’s group in the series, he was already one of the most seasoned robbers of the bunch, having a plethora of experience mapping out and executing heists of ranging scales.
With Berlin: Money Heist, we’re not only going to get to see one of those previous heists in action, but we’re also going to get a sense of the man he was before attempting the biggest heist in history, which made him the beloved criminal we’ve come to know.
Capitalizing on the love already established for the series—one of Netflix’s most popular shows of all time—the prequel finds Berlin, in all his glory as Andrés de Fonollosa, the mastermind behind a heist targeting the biggest auction house in Paris to steal €44 million.
The series trails the planning of a new heist as he recruits his crew: “Michelle Jenner (Isabel) plays Keila, an eminence in electronic engineering; Tristán Ulloa (Fariña) goes into the skin of Damián, a philanthropic professor and Berlin’s confidant; Begoña Vargas (Welcome to Eden) plays Cameron, a kamikaze who always lives on the edge; Julio Peña Fernández (Through My Window) brings to life Roi, Berlin’s faithful squire; and Joel Sánchez plays Bruce, the relentless man of action in the gang.”
While it’s mostly an all-new cast, we’ll see a few familiar faces with Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) and Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituno) appearing at some point, though it’s unclear what their connection is to the storyline. Is it possible that their paths have always crossed and Berlin was always on their radar way prior to the action at the Royal Mint?
We may not be getting the version of Berlin from the original series, but don’t fret, as the teaser trailer evidenced, he’s still as ruthless, dapper, and flirtatious as ever, meaning that they really did this character–and prequel—justice. The fact that it hails from the original showrunner, Alex Pina, is also a sign that it won’t let the fandom down.
“It’s a trip through the golden age of the character, when he robbed around Europe crazy in love,” Pina previously told TUDUM, adding, “That’s the most surprising, the comedy. You’re going to make people laugh a lot.”
Berlin in his prime, in love, and flexing his comedic bone? As the beloved criminal says in the trailer, “it’s all the things worth living for.”
The full synopsis for the series reads:
“There are only two things that are sure to turn a bad day into a great one: love, and a payday worth millions. They’re what keep Berlin going through his golden years, a time when he still has no inkling of his illness and hasn’t gotten trapped like a rat in the Spanish Mint. This is where he starts preparing one of his most extraordinary heists: making jewels worth 44 million disappear like some sort of magic trick. To do it, he’ll enlist the help of one of the three gangs he’s ever stolen with.”
Watch the Berlin trailer below:
Berlin arrives a few days prior to New Year’s Eve on Dec. 29, 2023, which means you’ll have plenty of time to binge watch while counting down to 2024.
To prepare, you can stream Money Heist on Netflix and read our coverage here.
Hallmark Gets Into the Holiday Spirit With ‘Countdown to Christmas’ Lineup
Move over, spooky season—it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Hallmark.
The network is starting the Christmas season in October, unveiling its 40-movie holiday lineup on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Fans will be thrilled to know that 31 of the movies will air on Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” schedule and nine will be available on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Miracles of Christmas.”
The beloved TV movie event that fans look forward to each year will kickoff on Oct. 20—yep, while most networks are still airing all of their Halloween content.
The streaming service, Hallmark Movies Now, will also offer early access by a week to two upcoming premieres, along with other perks like two original films available only for streaming—An Ice Palace Romance and Rescuing Christmas—along with extended versions of two 2022 original fan-favorites, A Holiday Spectacular and Three Wise Men and a Baby.
There’s plenty of familiar faces returning to the network, including Tyler Hynes, Jonathan Bennett, Brennan Elliott, Dan Jeannotte and Bethany Joy Lenz, along with some new exciting faces making their debut like Virgin River’s Mark Ghanimé, Phylicia Rashad, and Bryan Greenberg.
The full lineup is below, so mark your calendars and let the Christmas vibes:
Huluween and Disney+’s Hallowstream Lineup Is Finally Here
Hulu and Disney are conjuring up quite a scare this spooky season with their respective Huluween and Hallowstream lineups.
The streaming networks unveiled their highly-anticipated fall schedules that will bring all the shrieks and screams for Halloween 2023.
Huluween is entering its sixth year and will include some spooky new titles like the Fright Krewe series and originals like The Other Black Girl and Appendage.
Hallowstream, now in its fourth year, will offer a variety of spine-tingling shows and movies, including the premiere of the brand-new Haunted Mansion and the 30th celebration of Hocus Pocus.
You’ll also be able to watch some of the most-talked-about shows of the fall—from Goosebumps’ live-action remake to the new season of American Horror Story with Emma Roberts and Kim Kardashian, and even Loki season 2.
So, witches, ghouls, and goblins—check out the full Huluween and Disney+’s Hallowstream schedule below:
The Other Black Girl (Hulu Original) – Streaming Now, Hulu
Marvel Studios’ Werewolf by Night (2022) – September 15, Hulu
FX’s American Horror Story: Delicate, Part One – September 21, Hulu
No One Will Save You (2023) – September 22, Hulu
Ash vs Evil Dead Complete Seasons 1-3 (Starz) – October 1, Hulu
Crazy Fun Park (Limited Series) – October 1, Hulu
Leprechaun 30th Anniversary Film Collection – October 1, Hulu
Stephen King‘s Rose Red Complete Miniseries (ABC) – October 1, Hulu
Fright Krewe Season 1 (Hulu Original) – October 2, Hulu
Appendage (2023) (Hulu Original) – October 2, Hulu
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