Underground set a record as WGN’s highest performing original series ever in its launch last night. The 10 PM airing drew 1.4M total viewers to rank No. 5 among all scripted series premieres on cable this broadcast TV season. The premiere’s 585K adults 25-54 ranks No. 7 in the TV season that started last September. READ MORE
So last night I had a little mini-debate on Twitter with my pal GEOFFREY THORNE, about this series. Now, anyone who knows good ol’ Geoff knows that he can be rather…adamant in his viewpoints, to say the least. He was rabidly defending this film, calling it’s detractors “morons” and say that anyone who calls for this sort of thing has no reason to not watch this show. And by “this sort of thing” he means “good tv, good action stories, & depictions of black people that aren’t stereotypical or demeaning,” of which he claims Underground is an example of.
He is not the only one. I’ve seen a few other rave reviews for it, like on THE ROOT. And while I do want stories like that, I’m still not watching this, and it’s very simple: I’m just not interested in this story.
I’ve said this before: Why Are They Making a Remake of “ROOTS”?!?
I’m tired of the slavery/segregation/racism movies. This is just the latest in a long string of these films. Look, history is important, I get it. But, well, I paid attention in my Black history lessons in school, and read more on my own when I was younger, so I know this story. I don’t need a movie to learn. And I definitely don’t need it to “make me proud to be Black” as The Root’s article says, because I’m already proud to be Black.
This isn’t a knock on the cast, many of whom I am passingly familiar with. I wish them all the best. But for years now, Chiwetel Ejiofor has been one of my favorite actors (I still think HE should be playing Black Panther), but I have still not seen 12 Years A Slave, and have no plans to. I just wish this cast were in a sci-fi film, playing starship captains, or space pirates, instead.
So my challenge to Black filmmakers or all stripes remains. Think outside the box. Enough with the “past” and move to the future. Or, as I also mentioned last time, if you are going to mine the past, then do something new and unique. Like if some Black filmmaker made GODS OF EGYPT, but with a predominantly Black cast, I guarantee that would have been much more successful than it turned out to be (I Know I would have been in the theater opening weekend, along with the rest of my family). So let’s get to work!