By Madalyn McKnight
Last week, Netflix announced the return of several nostalgic millennial black shows to its streaming lineup. For a lot of people, it is bittersweet. Some of the stars of these shows are no longer with us, but being able to see their work shines a bright light on the importance of legacy and art. For me personally, shows like Girlfriends, One on One, and ‘Sister Sister‘ were very influential to me. Seeing Black men and women who love alternative music, have their own sense of style, and be educated professionals was refreshing. Black characters are more than just deliverers of punchlines!
The first show made available to fans was Moesha. The coming of age story of a Black girl in a two-parent household who experiences all the changes and woes that teenagers face is a classic, but now the original audience is older. And with age comes wisdom and understanding. A lot of mixed reviews on the show have taken social media by storm and it has been interesting to see how the same material registers differently than it did 20+ years ago. These were perfectly flawed characters that people love to hate and relate to now, more than ever.
Some are choosing to remain in bliss about being able to essentially relive the 90’s and others are giving major side-eye. I am giving grace to the fact that times have changed and the landscape has changed tremendously. We all should take that approach and keep the celebratory mood. Seeing our classics return and start a dialogue is not to be dismissed, but I also will not fault people for enjoying the imperfections of the show and uplifting the characters. It’s important to remember that we have come so far in writing and interpretations of subject matters in the last thirty years of black television. I personally do not like to watch Good Times but my mom loves it. It was important and revolutionary for the time period the show aired and I respect how important that is to her and to the culture.
Let people enjoy their shows and simultaneously appreciate how far we’ve come. We are constantly improving and that is cause enough to celebrate. Not to mention that Netflix cut the CHECK! Let’s uplift black art and stream! Keep the dialogue going! What are you most looking forward to watching?
Madalyn McKnight is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. A rare blackbird who has the range and a young black professional with impactful words! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @singsongblackbird and twitter @singsongblckbrd