As we’re heading for 2017 Ebonee View decided to take a look at the best Black TV shows 2016 has brought us.
Man, it was kind of a good year for people who love to watch black excellence on screen. Besides all new seasons of great hit series like Power and Empire, that we all were anxiously waiting for, 2016 offered us some great brand new TV series. From drama to nostalgic and just straight funny stuff, we took a look back at this year’s TV offerings and made a unique list with Ebonee View’s Best Black TV Shows of 2016.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
Although we didn’t rank the TV series in our “The Best Black TV Shows list”, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson would be in the top 3 if we did! Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about the 1992 O.J. Simpson trail, FX came through with this amazing series that focuses on the lawyers on both sides of the case against O.J. Simpson. Based on true events and an outcome that’s inevitable, just like the trail, it’s hard to stop watching.
The cast really does a wonderful job and is so damn believable. Initially I couldn’t see Cuba Gooding playing O.J. Simpson but that doubt got destroyed quickly. Just like the true events it was based on, this series has everything: murder, betrail, racism, money and sex. The most intriguing release of 2016 when it comes to Tv series in general.
The only bad thing to say about American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is that you will feel sad knowing that after ten episodes the story doesn’t continue. Although the 30 for 30 docu-series about O.J.Simpson that followed shortly after will definitely ease the pain.
Watch all episodes of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson here:
In early March WGN America aired the first episode of the skillfully agonizing TV series: Underground. This impressive drama is about the underground railroad and the Civil War era slavery. A group of run away slaves called the Macon 7, plans a daring escape from a Georgia plantation.
The compelling stories of the characters will suck you in from the start, especially Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell ) and Noah (Aldis Hodge) are magical together. Maybe the music played in the series is too modern for it’s setting at times and might throw you off a little. But we can say Underground was the most refreshing and addictive new show of spring 2016.
It’s only logic this impressive drama series was renewed for a 10-episode second season for 2017!
Haven’t seen any episode of Underground yet (you’re missing out bruh) or wanna enjoy it again? We got you, watch Underground season 1 right here:
The Get Down
This powerful hip-hop music- driven drama is a straight up tribute to the 1970s-era New York hip-hop pioneers. And that’s what we love about it! It highlights the very start of DJ-ing, Mc’s and shows you how the disco scene was a big part of the foundation of Hip Hop. You haven’t seen anything like this.
It can feel like a soap opera at times, especially in the first episode you probably won’t be convinced of it’s potential. But keep watching and you’ll be rewarded with a hip-hop treasure like no other.
After watching the first six episodes you’re going to be hooked. Luckily in January of 2017 Netflix will release the next six episodes of season one.
Second season of The Get Down
There were some rumors of cancellation due to poor ratings. Right now it looks like those were just rumors cause they’re currently shooting for its second season!
In the second season “The Get Down” will be doing a time jump to the 1980s, the era that spawned Prince and Michael Jackson, as well as the fall of disco.
Watch Hip-Hop history by watching “The Get Down” season 1, right here:
Luke Cage, in all his blackness stands out and brings a fresh perspective to the ever-crowding superhero genre. Luke Cage is the superhero that America seems to need most right now.
Netflix and Marvel did a great job with this one. The TV series is a unique pitch between seeing the hero at its center as an icon for social good and understanding him as a human being. The cast, including Mike Colter as the bulletproof Luke Cage and Rosario Dawson playing a nurse that’s always by the superhero’s side, does a wonderful job keeping you in the flow.
Not only is this crime drama socially conscious, it has all the action you expect from a comic book tale. Also, you get to see great musical performances by artist like Raphael Saadiq, Faith Evans, Jidenna and even the classic group Delfonics.
This is by far Marvel’s greatest TV series yet!
Watch Luke Cage Season 1 here:
In 2016’s astounding freshman class of confessional comedies HBO’s Insecure stands tall! Creator Issa Rae, who is also the main character on the show, wrote some excellent, original funny stuff.
Issa and Molly are best friends who navigate the pitfalls of their personal and professional lives in south Los Angeles. We are in love with Issa and her best friend Molly, period.
What is refreshing is the friendships in this series are honest and empathetic. We also commend the series for embracing the differences between black women, black men, races and genders. This series is an exploration of black womanhood that pays tribute to past performances while elevating its possibilities to a level TV hasn’t seen before.
It’s not surprising at all that Insecure has been renewed with HBO for a second season of ten episodes
Watch season one of Insecure, here:
Let’s start by saying, Donald Glover is a genius. Atlanta, which he stars and also serves as writer, executive producer, creator and director, is unlike any TV series you’ve ever seen.
This is what television looks like when writers and creative teams dare to take risks. This dark and awkwardly funny series is about young black men in Atlanta with an insightful commentary about race in America.
Glover’s character Earn leaves a steady but go-nowhere job at the airport. He pitches himself as a manager to his cousin Paper Boi who’s recently broken out in the local rap scene. Along with his friend, Darius, the trio decides to follow their dream.
If you don’t get Atlanta right away..watch it again until you do get it!
Watch Donald Glover’s Unique TV series Atlanta here:
Watch OWN’s Queen Sugar and witness the magic that happens when you let black writers, directors and performers tell stories about black people.
After a family tragedy, the Bordelons must navigate the triumphs and struggles of their complicated lives in order to run a struggling sugarcane farm in the Deep South. All the main characters have had their own emotional collapses and it’s hard to not be moved by the heartache that circles the Bordelon family.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay probably made the most beautiful of 2016 show with Queen Sugar. You’ll be looking forward to watching the Bordelons hash out their issues every week.
Grab some tissues and watch this rare family drama. Queen Sugar, season 1: