black girl blogs · reviews · tv reviews

Boomerang: David’s Path, A Fitting Ending

To end out their season Boomerang aired double episodes back to back, starting out with David taking the spiritual journey he’s been waiting for and the answers he’s needed most; and ending with Ari facing his toxic masculinity while Simone and Bryson attempt to rekindle the friendship they lost in the breakup. When it comes to sophomore seasons Boomerang has proven it’s self consecutively that its aim is to only move forward and step its game up.

In the first half of our special one-hour finale, we find David on the second to last day of his fast. He’s trying to hear from God and believes the best way to do that is by fasting, Naomi is doing it with him as well but when he’s with his friends they make it all the harder to stay on the path he’s chosen for himself. Especially when he’s with Bryson and Ari, who only have jokes and jabs at the choices David has made. They don’t understand why he’s starving himself and refusing to participate in their chicken tasting contest, they don’t care to try to understand it either. When he tries to leave David finds himself suddenly inside the very vision from God he’s been waiting for, he only has to get through each level of his own personal demons and the prize of clarity will be his. It’s much easier said than done. For those of us who aren’t religious, David’s journey has been an interesting one to watch. His frustration over his friends has grown and festered inside of him to the point where it makes him question not only himself but his faith as well. It hurts David that he’s being forced to choose between his day one friends and the life he imagined for himself. In making this decision, David quite possible has grown the most in the group of friends. RJ Walker, who plays David, led the episode with such confidence and assuredness that I think the audience is actively rooting for him to kick his Day Ones to the side, which doesn’t happen often. It’s been refreshing to go from not really caring about David at all to him becoming one of my favorite characters; a lot of it comes from Mr. Walker’s portrayal of him. Also, shout out to Boomerang for making God a Black women and having her take the form of Crystal, since she and David are divorced, I think he needed to hear from her specifically that the choice he would make would be okay.

For the second part of the finale, Tia and Dream take their fight for stripper rights to the next level as well as their relationship. After spending forty hours doing community service for taking the strip club hostage, Tia realizes that her efforts were all for nothing when she returns to find that everything in the club is the same. Disheartened but still determined, Tia attempts to tackle the problem from a different angle. Meanwhile, Ari finally has to acknowledge and deal with his toxic masculinity. After an incident at the barbershop, Ari decides that it’s time for him to work on making himself better. Some of it he has to work on by himself but there’s a lot he can work on with the last guy he hooked up with who called him out for his narrow mindset. Finally, we end our season with one last look at Simone and Bryson who are interviewing for the same job. It’s still awkward between them but after a little knowledge drop from the very funny Juanita, the two realize that their friendship is more important than any mistakes either could have made while they were in a relationship. Bryson apologizes for the way he’s treated Simone, which is a big step I wasn’t sure he’d get to. And they’re able to come together in an amazing way, becoming business partners and starting their own company together.

When it comes to Boomerang, it’s only competition is itself. To watch the show grow at its own pace, set its own goals, and meet them has been amazing to watch. We started the season in an extra messy situation, with the characters spiraling out of control both collectively and individually. Each of them has a journey they have to take and an ultimatum they’re faced with. A few make choices I wholly expected, while others went in directions I didn’t see coming at all. In particular, I’m most proud of the growth each of the male characters made. Ari started the season in a weird place of denial, thinking he was the most progressive of the friend group. Only to be shocked to find out he’s been complicit in so many forms of toxic masculinity, he can’t keep count. It takes a while, and he has to be challenged more than once but in the end, Ari is able to keep his masculinity but also put aside the toxic mindset that came with it. I’m also really proud of Bryson, his character is my least favorite and has pretty much done nothing but annoy me the entire season. However to see him step up, apologize to Simone and be able to acknowledge that the way he’s been treating her wasn’t right was a huge step in both character development and positive male representation. Any other show Bryson and Simone would have never recovered from their breakup, never. But it’s amazing to see Boomerang decide that they aren’t going to let Bryson stay toxic and hurt, and they aren’t going to let his fuck boy ways slide either. It’s truly appreciated.

In addition to amazing character development, Boomerang grew visually as well. That’s not to say that the cinematography wasn’t already gorgeous at the start of the season, because it definitely was. However, Crystal’s trip to Paris along with David’s spiritual dream took the shows visuals to the next level. It’s also very much worth mention that every episode of the second season was directed by a Black woman, much praise to Lena Waithe and Dime Davis for stepping up and bringing the representation not only on screen but behind it as well. I’m really hopeful that BET renews Boomerang for a third season, it’s their first show to push the barriers of what’s normal for Black people to see on tv in a long time. In the long run, giving this show more seasons to grow and be even more progressive could open up a whole new world of possibilities for Black television.

-Danyi

Please help out and donate to my cashapp: $danyi13

black girl blogs · reviews · tv reviews

Boomerang: How Crystal Got Her Groove Back

During last night’s episode of Boomerang, Crystal stepped out on her own and took a trip outside her comfort zone. While on a work trip to Paris she learns more about herself and the things she’s been missing in her life. Paired with some encouragement from Bryson, she gets up off her hotel bed and heads out into live the life of a tourist. This proves more difficult than she’d like it to be seeing as how she’s by herself and doesn’t speak the language. Still, the universe is on Crystal’s side and sends her a saving grace in the form of a very cute Black french man.

“Hot Sex” is the first episode of Boomerang we’ve seen where it’s been completely about one character alone. We were creatively given updates on what the other characters are doing during Crystal’s trip, like Tia leading the protest for stripper rights and Ari pledging to work on getting in touch with his feminine side. But the center of the episode was Crystal and her alone. Personally, I don’t think there’s a character more deserving of this honor. While Boomerang is an ensemble show, Crystal has been up until now truly a side character. She’s spent the last two seasons supporting Simone, backing her up and being there for her when Simone needed her most. Only to have the favor not returned. At home, it’s always about everyone else. In Paris, it was all about Crystal.

Everything about this episode is beautiful. The direction, the cinematography, the acting, the storyline and the message behind it; it’s all been mixed together perfectly to create a ten out of ten half-hour of television. From the hilariously funny front desk girl that has zero time for Crystal’s American chipper, to the cute man named Kofi who only wants Crystal to enjoy her time in Paris; the entire episode revolves around her. Brittany Inge gives an amazing performance as she guides us through Crystal’s reawakening. From the small moments of uncertainty to a full-blown panic attack, or two, Inge never loses sight of what makes Crystal so great: her ability to be relatable.

At the start, Crystal ends up missing a few real-life moments that could have been good for her because she’s got her nose buried deep in her phone. It’s a habit many millennials have come to adopt, the comfort that can be found in a phone screen is addicting. We spend so much time on our phones because we feel safer these days on social media than we do out in the real world. However, when mother nature intervenes, Crystal is forced to pull her head up from the screen and see what’s going on around her. It’s then she meets Kofi who wants to help her but because of the language barrier, they struggle to communicate the most basic of things. After a few misunderstandings, Crystal and Kofi bond over dinner with his family. In a beautiful dinner scene, possibly my favorite scene of the episode, Crytal shares an authentic meal with people like her. Which is something we should see more of; the universal comfort of being around others like yourself isn’t always extended to Black people. It was nice to see the idea out in full force last night.

I wouldn’t mind if Boomerang gave more of the characters their own episodes in a capacity like this every once in a while. It’s refreshing to be able to focus on just one in-depth development for the night. Crystal was given center stage and it turned out to a spectacular ride. She found confidence in herself that we all knew she had but it was exhilarating to watch it happen to her anyway. Now though, it remains to be seen if Crystal’s dynamic with her friends will change. Her perspective has been altered and that could mean a shift in the way she interacts with the others.

With just two episodes left Boomerang promises to end its season with several beautiful messages being given to us in high quality. There is no greater feeling than knowing ones’ self and with each episode of this second season, our group of friends have all made choices that bring everything they know into question. Most of all, it’s still unclear if they can remain friends with each other or will they have to go their separate ways as amicable as possible. With the way David feels like the outcast, Crystal thinking none of them really care about her and Simone struggling to deal with inner personal demons, the groups’ friendship hangs by a thread. And there’s still plenty of time for it to fall to the ground and shatter into a million pieces.

Boomerang airs on Wednesday nights on BET

-Danyi

Please donate to Danyi’s Cashapp or Venmo, they are a struggling writer looking to publish books soon. Plus, the coronavirus has its foot on their neck. Please help. Cashapp: $danyi13 || Venmo: @itsjustdanyi

black girl blogs · reviews · tv reviews

Boomerang: Friends? Or Just Acquaintances?

As Boomerang winds down with only three episodes left after this one, our favorite group of friends gathered for a weekend of fun. Or what Simone hoped and silently prayed would be fun. She even went as far as agreeing to David, Tia and Ari bringing a plus one along with them because all that matters is the whole group being together. At least that’s all that should matter. But as the evening progresses, the elephant in the room grows and it becomes clear the perhaps after all these years the friends might be growing apart. And that’s a scary thought.

With each episode, Boomerang attempts to dig deep into several hearts of the group. It’s been obvious for a while that the threads of friendship were growing thin, and were only stretched farther by Simone and Bryson’s explosive breakup. As if their relationship woes were the straw to break the camels back, now the other cracks are starting to show. When David comes down for dinner in a brand new outfit he really loves, his friends laugh at him. Crytal tries to share exciting news and is drowned out by everyone else’s commotion, like always. Ari continues to be a little too self-absorbed, and Tia has eyes for her new boo Dream and her only. All the while Bryson and Simone pretend to be okay with each other despite the fact their both drowning inside. It’s a mess that can only grow for so long before it becomes too much.

As the chaos builds, the episode drops small nuggets of information that emphasize the reason each character is starting to pull away from the group. Most of all, Crystal is finally able to give herself a bit of a voice. In a not usually done turn of events, she finds herself getting along and actually liking David’s new girlfriend, Naomi. Choosing to tell her the good news instead of keeping it to herself since her friends don’t want to listen. It was a nice touch to go against the standard trope and not have the two women hate each other. The more women we have that get along on screen, the better.

Another big stand out of the episode is Simone’s spiral deeper into her depression. In previous episodes we’ve only seen glimpses of her what she’s really feeling, she’s been so focused on trying to return things to normal. However, her mask comes crashing down when the group makes a misstep by going through Marcus Grahams’ photo album and reminding themselves what kind of person he was. Unable to handle anything for another second longer, Simone has an impulsive moment that scares everyone else but sets her free.

In every episode, the talent of this cast shines week after week and gets sharper and sharper. Tetona Jackson, who plays Simone, gives a stellar performance as she adds a new layer to the character. Simone may be a lot of things, but her feelings are valid and the acknowledgment that her friends think it’s best to not be straight up with her has been a long time coming. I also really enjoyed Elle Lorraine as Naomi. We haven’t seen much of her but after last night’s episode, I hope that we get to see a lot more of her. The genuine sweetness of Naomi brings a breath of fresh air to a group that is used to outsiders not being able to fit into their vibe. And she does it while not backing down on her faith, something David hasn’t managed to accomplish.

Visually, this episode is one of the most pleasing to me. For the simple fact that the shades and personalities of Black people on the show has grown even more. The way Boomerang strives to give not only a quality plotline line and character development but also to be visually stunning is a big reason it resonates with me. This show is pretty in the best and most meaningful way possible. And that makes a difference.

Boomerang airs Wednesday nights on BET

-Danyi

Please donate to Danyi’s Cashapp or Venmo, they are a struggling writer looking to publish books soon. Plus, the coronavirus has its foot on their neck. Please help. Cashapp: $danyi13 || Venmo: @itsjustdanyi

black girl blogs · reviews · tv reviews

Boomerang: Tops, Bottoms, Vers, Oh My

Masculinity, femininity, individualism, and Blackness are just a few of the personal inner ideals that many in the Black community deal with on a daily basis. What does it mean for a black man to be masculine? How is toxic masculinity the one venom that seems to strike even the most open-minded people? Is there any way we as a community can change the hive mind that plagues us? Last night, episode four of Boomerang attempted to tackle a few of these questions and even dipped its toes into a pool of Barbershop Talk along the way.

Bryson’s been working his way through every eligible woman in the town like he’s Prince Charming trying Cinderella’s shoe on every girl. It makes him feel better about his breakup with Simone. But soon enough, after a rebound hookup with Simone, the other women start to lose their appeal. No one compares to Simone and his third head can definitely tell the difference. So he decides to take his mind off the entire situation by going to the barbershop. Where he gets the kind of advice he’s been needing but not wanting to ask for. On the other side of things, Ari gets a wake-up call after spending time with one of the guys he’s currently sleeping with. While he claims that he’s open to any and all things sexual wise, Ari’s quick to dismiss anything that he deems non-masculine. He won’t bottom, he barely gives head and he only wants to kiss when he needs some kind of comfort. He’s two steps away from being on the same side of nonsense that many heterosexual males live in. Whether he likes it or not.

It’s no secret that Ari is my favorite character in Boomerang. I appreciate the kind of representation he gives for black LGBT people. It’s not often we get to see a bisexual black man be himself so freely. And I’m not sure we’ve ever gotten to see one that is allowed to grapple with the fact he can be problematic too. There’s a disconnect when it comes to LGBT people and the controversial views they can hold. In a sense, LGBT people can find themselves placed on a pedestal for simply not being straight. When this happens the less than stellar things they say or do are swept under the rug and hidden with boosts of their sexuality being visible. It’s almost blasphemous to criticize someone who identifies as LGBT, but on the flip side of that when someone who is LGBT is being criticized the first insult usually thrown at them has something to do with their sexuality. It’s a double-edged sword that must be walked on and it must be acknowledged.

In thirty minutes Boomerang managed to touch on the subject of toxic masculinity and sexuality in a way that Black television doesn’t broach regularly. It’s well known that Ari is a fan fave, and even though the episode tonight shone a different light on him, he still ends the episode on a good note. Perhaps the new friend he made at the end is going to help him deal with some of the things he finds uncomfortable and unable to be curious about. I’m excited to find out. I’m even slightly hopeful that Bryson will get his act together after hearing from older men (which is what he needed) that he should fix things with Simone. The possibilities are endless.

Boomerang airs Wednesday on BET

-Danyi

Please donate to Danyi’s Cashapp or Venmo, they are a struggling writer looking to publish books soon. Plus, the coronavirus has its foot on their neck. Please help. Cashapp: $danyi13 || Venmo: @itsjustdanyi

black girl blogs · reviews · tv reviews

Boomerang: Don’t Forget Where You Came From

In the world of Boomerang, our divided friends spend some time apart and focus on themselves. Uninterested in her friends’ romantic drama, Tia returns to the strip club for a one-time performance. She comes in with bells and whistles galore but her reception on stage doesn’t match the atmosphere behind the scenes. Meanwhile, David struggles to fit into his new church. His old, barely standing church can’t compare to the flashy tech-savvy house of worship he’s found himself in. But David fears that his faith is distorted by his friends and he isn’t sure how to deal with it.

It’s still early in the season but after two episodes straight of Simone and Bryson drama, it’s particularly refreshing to have the spotlight shone on the other characters. Especially Tia who was a fan favorite of season one. Internet fame has quickly gone to Tia’s head and as her followers grow, so does her ego. But everyone has to be humbled every once in a while, so it’s no surprise that Tia is taken down a few notches when the local strippers read her for filth after her performance. She’s forgotten where she’s come from, even though physically she hasn’t really gone anywhere. It’s something she must address sooner or later if she wants to do any growing. Lala Milan makes Tia’s journey this episode all the more entertaining as she brings new complexity to the role and gives the audience a side of Tia we’ve been waiting to see.

On the other side of things, David is given the mother of all pep talks by his new friend Pastor JonJon. David, having given off the vibe of a lost puppy, finds himself taken under the pastor’s wing when he attends a Sunday service. The house is packed and the crowd engaged with every word that’s being said, they even have empath for the reluctant testimony David tells them. It’s what’s he’s been looking for, a congregation that truly believes and wants to follow the word of God. He’s given an even bigger push when Bryson and Ari call him because they’re too drunk to drive themselves home after getting tacos. They want a ride from David but didn’t even invite him in the first place, which makes David feel expendable. He needs friends that support his religion, and Pastor Jonjon can help him find just the kind of people he’s looking for.

Episode three of Boomerang reminds us that while Bryson and Simone may have had the spotlight for a little bit, this is still very much an ensemble show. Each character has a backstory waiting to be told, a dilemma waiting to be solved, and a life they’re trying to live. Tia might finally have found something to fight for in her recently exited stripper life and David might have found the group of people he truly needs. Both of them have a journey they’re about to embark on that will change them. It’s exciting to think about all the possible directions these two alone could go.

Boomerang airs on Wednesday on BET

-Danyi

Please donate to Danyi’s Cashapp or Venmo, they are a struggling writer looking to publish books soon. Plus, the coronavirus has it’s foot on their neck. Please help. Cashapp: $danyi13 || Venmo: @itsjustdanyi