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CuriousParker

Season 1: All Episodes Talk

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I watched the pilot and don't quite know what to make of the show.

Some aspects of it are really good: the show's lighting and the way it's filmed are beautiful, and many of the performances, including Akili McDowell (David) and Alana Arenas (Gloria) are amazing. I like the character of Gloria a lot--she's a struggling single mom who's a former drug addict, but so far she avoids the trope of the "Angry Black Woman who can't show love to her children."

I suppose my confusion stems from not knowing what the show wants to be. On one hand, it's a grounded story about a black boy trying to make it in a world where he is too poor, too dark-skinned, too sensitive, and too surrounded by drug dealers to have a smooth, easy life. But then there will be a scene with David in a trance and visualizing himself running through a field, or floating through space, or made up like an African warrior. I can't tell if he's supposed to be on the autism spectrum or if he has early-set schizophrenia and is having hallucinations. Or is he just supposed to be really imaginative? 

And then the show veers into almost supernatural territory. David sees and has conversations with the dead man named Sky. Is Sky his dad or just a man who used to live in their apartment complex? Is he a ghost or a hallucination? And then David and his physically and possibly sexually abused friend Seren can communicate without speaking. Are they psychic, or is their friendship simply so close that they can interpret each other's facial expressions? Even though they'd just gotten into a physical fight. 

And as I said above, most of the performances are great, but sometimes the writing hinders those performances. The dialogue will go from being natural and powerful into some elevated poetic language where people speak to each other the way people talk to each other in Broadway plays but not in real life or on most television shows.

I'm definitely going to watch more episodes, but I need the show to find its footing in order to keep me engaged. The creator and head writer is Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Oscar for 'Moonlight.' -- he's billed as Moonlight's story writer, but not the screenwriter. 

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42 minutes ago, topanga said:

I watched the pilot and don't quite know what make of the show. 

My sentiments exactly; I tuned in because LOVED Moonlight, but either this show was doing too much or I'm just not into the magical realism. I'll tune for two or three more episodes, before I decide if this must see TV.

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21 minutes ago, sereion said:

magical realism.

I have a hard time with this genre. I like my stories to be either real-world or supernatural. Magical realism is hard to do well.

The short-lived show "The Passage" did a pretty good job of it. Mostly realistic, but some people in the world are infected with a virus that turns them into vampire-like creatures. 

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1 hour ago, topanga said:
2 hours ago, sereion said:

magical realism.

I have a hard time with this genre. I like my stories to be either real-world or supernatural. Magical realism is hard to do well.

Same here, if they wanted to go this route, it would've been better as a film. This doesn't seem to translate well as a TV series. I do respect that the innovation, though. 

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I really loved the pilot--I thought it was absolutely breathtaking. I loved the tone shifts and dreaminess; they brought me into the narrative in a visceral and unsettling way. And I appreciate the tiny little moments, like when he approaches school and puts his school face on, or when he imagines his mother embracing him. So good! 

The one thing I'm unclear on--David was insinuating, I'm pretty sure, that Seren's stepdad was abusing him. How did he know that? The show made it seem like he intuited it, but it wasn't clear to me how he did. Maybe they'll reveal more in later episodes that will clarify. 

Whoops, they revealed more in THIS episode. That's what I get for posting before watching the end of the episode. 

Edited by Pachengala
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watched the pilot and i was undone.  so moving and beautiful and i was tearing up before it was halfway over.

the lead actor is seriously amazing, and i hope he gets all the accolades he deserves for this performance.

and i did not at all mind—in fact enjoyed—the combination of realism with more poetic, "magical realist" elements (but i'm a big fan of all things afrofuturist and the broader category of black speculative arts).

looking forward to seeing how the series evolves, and especially to seeing how the relationship between david and teacher played by phylicia rashad develops.

so grateful this series was greenlit.

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This show is slowly growing on me; I'm going to stick around and tune in for the rest on the season

Edited by sereion
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S01.E02 MJB

Quote

David and his little brother, JG, visit JG's grandfather in Overtown, and they are joined by Raynan; later, Raynan and David visit Raynan's uncle, who wants David to participate in a drug operation.

Original air date 2019.08.28

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The actor who plays Seren sure did grow quite a few inches since the premiere.  Both of the boys are pretty impressive actors for their age. The scenes with David at the counselors office are amazing.

Poor Seren.  That kid has a rough life.  I'm glad that he and David made up, because they seem like they have a good relationship and they need each other.  Also loving Marissa.  She's adorable.

It definitely got a little dusty in my living room during David's project presentation.

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This show is so good. As we get to know the characters with each new episode, it just keeps getting better and better.

David and Seren’s Friendship. David’s presentation. Mrs. Rashad. The inclusion of so many aspects of life. Pure excellence across the board.

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On 8/30/2019 at 9:33 PM, luckyroll3 said:

The actor who plays Seren sure did grow quite a few inches since the premiere.  Both of the boys are pretty impressive actors for their age. The scenes with David at the counselors office are amazing.

Poor Seren.  That kid has a rough life.  I'm glad that he and David made up, because they seem like they have a good relationship and they need each other.  Also loving Marissa.  She's adorable.

It definitely got a little dusty in my living room during David's project presentation.

That episode was amazing—my favorite so far. But I’m enjoying the entire season. 

The performances are great, and I love the writing. 

I liked the episode focusing on Gloria. She had an absolutely horrible day. Please don’t start using drugs again. 

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I finally caught up on all the episodes.  What an amazing show.  I really enjoyed it.  

I'm kinda sad there was no update on Seren; hopefully (if there's a season 2), we'll find out more.  So glad that David called Seren's mother out on her bullshit.  That woman makes me so mad.  Her and Gloria's mom; ugh! 

I was really impressed with the actress who plays Gloria throughout the entire season.  Her performance made me break down in tears several times.  

Teo is scary as hell.  I will however miss that fine ass, crazy Jamaican.  Why are the cute ones always the bad boys.  

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On 11/8/2019 at 10:47 PM, luckyroll3 said:

Teo is scary as hell.  I will however miss that fine ass, crazy Jamaican.  Why are the cute ones always the bad boys.  

Was Teo Jamaican? I thought he was Latino. 
 

Unless you mean Desmond, the light skinned green-eyed guy who was mean as a snake. Funny, I used to date a guy who looked just like Desmond, and that isn’t my usual type. But the guy I dated was a sweetheart. 
 

I hope this show gets a second season. It’s a wonderful show, and there’s nothing like it on TV right now. 

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