I’ve been a fan of William Jackson Harper since The Good Place. His ability to handle a nerdy persona and go head-to-head with Kristen Bell and Ted Danson was more than impressive and deservedly put him on the national radar as a potential leading man. And while I can’t identify with his good looks or sex appeal (spoiler alert: that hasn’t been my ministry… go figure) on Season 2 of Love Life, which is currently streaming on HBO Max, I can identify with his character Marcus Watkins: a Black man repeatedly attempting and failing at love in the greatest city in the world.
The season follows Marcus on his quest to find his soulmate after realizing that his current wife, who happens to be his college sweetheart… isn’t the one. Harper’s charm is on full display as he goes through the ups and downs of being newly single, finding himself in crazy yet relatable predicaments. He plays well off of every other character, including his best friend Yogi (a hilarious star turn by Comedian CP), his sister Ida (SNL player Punkie Johnson, whose New Orleans accent canNOT be disguised as much as she tries), his parents Donna and Kirby (Janet Hubert and John Earl Elks), and most impressively, the object of his affection, Mia (Jessica Williams).
Marcus is a simple man, but definitely brings baggage to the table. He travels with a loose moral compass, ready to do the right thing when it comes to potential parenthood while also willing to try almost anything while out on dates. He’s one of those affable souls that fail up–into a promotion at work, a one-night stand with a college student, and an orchestrated menage-a-trois. He’s like many Black men, having daddy issues due to not feeling as if he lives up to the set expectations. And then there’s his expectations, or lack thereof: Marcus doesn’t necessarily choose wrong when it comes to women. It’s more that he gets bored with them and feels the need to move on when things get complicated. Like in his marriage.
We’re more than halfway through the season and after a series of missteps, we’re finally seeing what will happen when Marcus and Mia get on the same page. Williams is fine in this role, and shows the potential to be great as a leading lady. This final stretch of the season will feature more of her, and hopefully she’ll show the range she’s been teasing during the first six episodes. Will they or won’t they? That’s the age old question that works here, with two attractive New Yorkers looking for their soulmates. If you haven’t checked out Love Life, please take the time to binge Season 2 to catch up. It’s my hope that the season ends in, well… a good place.
I was already all-in on ABC’s Queens, partly because I have a crush on Naturi Naughton and love the premise of the show, but the freestyle battle between Brandy and Eve? Listen. Right now I want to marry this show. So good.
I really enjoyed Netflix’s The Harder They Fall. Yes, for all the obvious reasons which include the direction, the homages to previous westerns, the incredible soundtrack, the sprawling cinematography, the acting (everyone was excellent but let’s discuss LaKeith Stanfield, who can be called a lot of things, including weird, but you better add good actor to that description), and the easter eggs that are all over the Western. However, what I also enjoyed was the fact that Michael Beach made a cameo. That man deserves his flowers. He’s everywhere, which is a great thing. What a career. Keep getting those checks, good sir.
I don’t know if it says more about me or my mistrust of Lee Daniels that I haven’t even considered watching an episode of FOX’s Our Kind of People. Not sure that feeling will change, either.
It feels like the writers of CW’s All American have the same distaste for Coop’s character as the writers of OWN’s Queen Sugar have for Ralph Angel’s character. It’s like they don’t know what to do with them, so they write the worst storylines in the history of television for them. I don’t like it, and neither character deserves it.
Still revisiting Girlfriends on Netflix and I feel like there needs to be research done to see how many times the phrase “Oh hell no!” was said on the show. It might be a world record. Or something.
Speaking of Girlfriends, the character William, played by Reggie Hayes, needs to receive his flowers ASAP. There are so many episodes where he was the funniest person in the room, stealing the scene and filling the screen. Much props to Hayes for his memorable work.
If you’ve been keeping up with the current season of OWN’s Ready to Love, which is based in DC this cycle, then you should know that there’s one male contestant that never even tried to get it right. He was finally put out of his misery (and our entertainment) this week, and all I’ll say it is you know you’re a special kind of terrible when the show changes its rules to have you gone.
What are you watching? Please leave a comment and let me know.