Black Lightning is ready for a triumphant return to the small screen with its season two premiere and if you’re not watching….fix your life!
The remarkable series based on the DC Comics of the same name is so much more than a superhero show and we already know what’s ahead. In lieu of spoilers, we’ve assembled a list of reasons why Black Lightning is must-see TV for the whole family.
Family first. It’s hard to recall the last time a Black family was depicted as authentically and beautifully as the Pierce’s are on Black Lightning. While they’re not perfect, they’re real AF and the bond they share jumps off the screen each time they’re together. Aside from the sisterly love we see from Jennifer (China Anne McClain) and Anissa (Nafessa Williams), the dynamics displayed between parents and kids and husband (Cress Williams) and ex-wife (Christine Adams) makes it hard to believe these people aren’t related in real life.
“When we do scenes, it reminds me of my real sisters. Whenever we have those scenes where we don’t see eye to eye, I totally get sister vibes with her,” China Anne McClain explained to TheGrio. “This cast feels like a true family and I think that translates on the screen. We are all incredibly close.”
Black love. No one does Black love better than the AKils and with Salim Akil at the helm of this power-packed series, we get a sense of what marriage (and divorce) really looks like when love is at the core of every interaction. Although Lynn and Jefferson Pierce are divorced, their chemistry continues to steam up the TV and this couple keeps us praying that they will get back together. The way they co-parent is inspiring and important at a time when families don’t always look like they used to.
“Chemistry is this thing people talk about and I think with me and Christine, she’s a great actress and we are on the same page. Even though the script says they’re divorced, they didn’t split up because they didn’t love each other. All the reasons they fell in love all still exist,” Cress Williams told TheGrio. “We bring in our experience of being in happy families and happy marriages. Our goal is to tell the truth and I think we both want these characters to e married and be a full, whole family.”
Social issues. The very first scene of the very first episode of this ground-breaking series highlighted the terror of racial profiling and fans should not expect Salim Akil to let up on the social issues that are on his mind. Aside from ongoing depictions of racial tensions, expect to see more parallels ripped straight from today’s headlines show up somewhere in the plot this season.
“The idea was basically what the American government is telling the so-called aliens or people crossing the border is that ‘at this point we own your children and we decide what we want to do with them.’ And then they say, ‘It’s the law, it’s the law,’ and I remind people, ‘Well it was the law not too long ago that I couldn’t drink from a fountain,’” Salim Akil told reporters during an exclusive set visit in Atlanta. “The laws aren’t infallible, so the idea that the government says that they own these people, to me, was directly related to that idea… I can’t watch TV and not talk about that. I’m too sensitive of a person.”
Black beauty. Like the women of Wakanda in Black Panther, the women in Black Lightning are the heart of the show. When they’re not kicking ass in the streets as crime-fighting superheroes, they’re holding it down as real-world women who have the same struggles we all do. Not only is Anissa television’s first Black, female super hero, she’s also the first one who is a proud lesbian navigating the world without being bogged down with the ramifications of her sexuality. She’s empowered and confident in her own skin and that’s refreshing to say the least. Seeing Lynn with her short, natural hairstyle looking like a Goddess in every frame is exactly the kind of representation we need to see more of.
“I love that Salim wanted to showcase our natural beauty. You rarely see any of our faces covered in make up and we’re constantly rocking natural hair styles,” says Nafessa Williams. “It’s so important for people to see three beautiful women who aren’t subjected to the standards of beauty that have been imposed on us by society for so long. I love that little Black girls will watch this show and see themselves as they are.”
It’s entertaining AF. There are tons of reasons why this show is so important to our community and the entire world. LGBTQ representation ,a strong Black father, a family invested in their community…blah blah blah. Aside from all that, this show is flat out FUN. Allow yourself to stretch your imagination for the fantastical world of meta humans and super villains while realizing that the stuff our wildest dreams (and scariest nightmares) are made of isn’t that far off from our current reality. Also, watching a Black family kick ass never gets old.
“This little kid comes up to me and recognizes me as a super hero, a principal, a family man…I was just overwhelmed with the goodness and that I get to represent that,” says Cress Williams. “I’m extremely proud.”