Review of Black Lightning

Mondays, 9:00 PM ET on The CW

60 minutes

Based on the DC character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden, Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce. He made his choice: He hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter, Jennifer hellbent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning. Cress Williams, Nefessa Williams, China Anne McClain and Christine Adams star.
Oct 21, 2018 6:31AM EDT

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Season 1: I have to admit, this started off rough. I didn't like the show at all at first. Too preachy, too heavy-handed with its themes. I agree that there's not enough good black-focused TV in the mainstream, but that doesn't mean that viewers are too stupid to understand it and need everything spoon-fed to them.

The dialogue was hammy, the acting was wooden, the action was corny. I'm really not sure why I stuck with it other than it's availability. But I'm glad I did. So what changed? When the show begins to focus more on the daughters and less on the parents, it also stopped treating its black characters like objects to push a message and started treating them like subjects with depth and emotion. A necessary change, and one that hooked me.

Season 2: A solid start. Dialogue and focus continue from the better half of Season 1: They're still spending a lot of time with the daughters, and it's great for them to be looking at the mental and emotional toll of being superheroes. The biggest boost so far in season 2 comes from better, more detailed action scenes. The daughters are riveting, and tensions and struggles are hard-hitting. This is quickly becoming a show I have to watch the moment it releases.


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