Web series review
Written by: Alonge Hawes | Directed by: Alonge Hawes | Genre: Drama
Chapter 5 review. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Episode 5 begins with training. Training to sell the products of Legacy Wireless and keep their store numbers up. This isn't just blanket training; it's more how to sell to a white customer. How to make them feel like they have the power. How to make it seem like they've learned something new while still being white and in control. Maya doesn't like this one bit. She hates the fact she has to be fake and degrade herself to sell to a white client. I can't say I blame her, do you? But she has to get her numbers up because she is the lowest selling member of the team and Anansi Moor may not be able to keep helping and covering for her. A new 'white' guy is coming to the store for a short time. His goal is to make Anansi look bad and take care of business. That probably also includes firing Maya is she won't conform.
At first she doesn't and the new character, Joseph Ross doesn't take well to her. Maya has to learn to be fake and how to sell to white people. If she can't, plans will go awry and she won't have a job to take care of her daughter. As the chapter progresses Maya finds zero help from her ex and she is forced to make a decision. Either really try and swallow her pride, or drown and probably lose her daughter in the process. The real revelation for her comes when she tells her daughter a story about Charlie Brown and how he never gives up. And the wise beyond her years advice from her daughter. Maya's going to have to slip on a mask and pretend she is someone she is not. She'll have to swallow her pride and put on a show for these crazy white folks. The ends justify the means and she goes to work.
Other developments include Anansi continuing to get back to regular family life and the shake down involving Joseph Ross and Anansi. The main focus of chapter 5 though is developing the Maya character. And actress Kiara Woods has no problem filling the order. This is the best episode so far in my opinion and demonstrates Alonge Hawes ability to really write in some excellent drama. Including the prevalent racism within society these days. Nothing overt but always there just waiting to come out. At the same time it's not a complete slap in the face. Nobody is painted as a Nazi or anything like that, but it's clear what Hawes is trying to say. As if the title of the show wasn't enough right? It feels like we're at or near mid-season and I look forward to seeing what's in store. If I were to rate this episode by itself I would say it was a 3.75 or flat out 4. But the rating above is for the entire series. If this episode becomes the norm standards-wise, Black On Both Sides could easily climb up overall in the ratings before it's all said and done. Thank you for reading and below is my original review of chapters 1 through 4.
Anansi Moor is prepping for his big interview with Legacy Wireless. Management. A huge career step for anyone but even more impressive because Anansi is a black man within a company managed by whites. After rehearsing his pitch Mr. Moor nails the interview and gets promoted. His silver tongue and quick wit are impressive but as we find out very quickly, his promotion has less to do with his ability and skill, and more to do with the appearance of diversity in the growing company. That's not saying the white guys on top are not impressed with Anansi, but that their motivations are less than pure. As proven with a quick small talk segment between the boss's and later, when Anansi is asked to cut his hair. But not everything is as it seems. Anansi has a secret and has a past and this secret presents a dramatic curve that keeps Black On Both Sides interesting. And promises to continue to give.
We've also got numerous sub-plots happening that all relate but boil down to one thing. What the black man has to do to make it in the world. From the upbringing, dreams and business ambitions of one of Anansi's people Gill, to the personal lives and situations of almost everyone featured in this series. Black On Both Sides promises to keep upping the drama and asking it's viewers the questions. Currently, I've watched the initial 4 episodes and aside from some technical difficulties because this isn't a 10 million dollar series, Hawes has put together a winning show.
This isn't your PC version of a web series. Hawes is touching on some really serious subject matter. Let me be crystal clear on 1 thing. Black On Both Sides will make you either uncomfortable or outright angry sometimes. This will depend on your racial outlook on the world. But isn't that the point? What good is a cliche whitewashed dramatic series? Pardon the pun. The racial issues and stereotypes add a good chunk of the drama to this show. Without them, Hawes production would just be another show about moving up in the world, doing your own thing and hiding/changing a dark chapter in a characters life. Now, there would be nothing wrong with all of that except for it's been done over and over. It's the basic plot of every drama ever. As is presenting a production that deals in only issues of racism. Putting all this together has not only created a show that is dramatic, but also one that could potentially ignite actual emotions. For better or worse, this production aims for the heart and pulls the trigger. If you don't like it, hit the stop button.
The potential of this series is through the roof. A lot of planted seeds and emerging story lines promise that Black On Both sides is going to age very well. The production is sound. The acting is excellent and the writing seems to promise that this production will keep getting better and better. When you consider these first few episodes are really good you know the future looks incredibly bright. A show to look for when it's released some time soon. Thank you for reading.
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