HBO is one media company that continues to win my heart over and over again. I was always a fan of their film library and once my beloved show, Insecure, was brought on I knew that HBO would always have a special place in my life.
Last night, HBO did it again with the premiere of Random Acts of Flyness, created by Terence Nance. After extensive research on Wikipedia, Twitter and Instagram, I discovered that Nance is a filmmaker from Dallas, TX who studied Visual Art at NYU (It's almost as if everyone who makes it in this industry graduates from NYU *submits application for grad school*) and is basically a genius.
Random Acts of Flyness is not your average show.
It's beyond trippy.
& Worth 30 min. of your time.
The show follows a sort of modern day Vaudeville style form where it breaks the acts into different varieties. Each act is different, but there's a unifying theme - Blackness.
The editing is PHENOMENAL and its use of animation and special effects makes every second worth watching because you have no idea what's coming next.
I won't walk you through every detail because that would defeat the purpose of you seeing it for yourself, but I will share how it made me feel.
No lie, it was weird. The opening shot was either actual footage or a staged recording on a cell phone in its upright position of Nance being apprehended by a white police officer. My first thought was, "Is this how the entire show will be? He could've put this on IGTV".
Then, the show takes off in a way that I was not prepared for.
Nance had a way of making me wonder what his thought process was for majority of the scenes. Where did this idea come from? Why did you include all of these concepts in one episode? What is the underlying message? IS there an underlying message?
The show definitely lives up to its name. Random. And each act is indeed, fly.
I appreciate content like this though. Content that doesn't follow rules, shocks the audience to some degree, is visually appealing and carries a sort of a message. Seeing as though this is the premiere, I don't have any real critiques because I'm interested in seeing where each episode will take me (us, once you start watching) as a viewer.
My only concern with the influx of Black TV where creators such as Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay, Oprah, Lena Waithe, Kenya Barris, and pretty soon, myself, are breaking barriers and creating content For Us, By Us, is the reality of these amazing shows reaching a larger, non-Black audience.
While it is important for us to have shows that explores representation and the nuances of being Black, Black people are already familiar and aware of these messages. It's Becky from the suburbs who needs to understand that Black people... are people - with emotions, experiences and stories that deserve to be told.
While I don't feel as though these shows should be digestible for a white, or non-black, audience, I do wonder if non-black folks are watching, learning, and understanding what is being conveyed.
I encourage everyone to check out Random Acts of Flyness and let's get this discussion going every week!
For those of you who do not have HBO, they got you covered right here:
producer / writer / artist