Skip to content

Black On Both Sides

Written by: Alonge Hawes  |   Directed by: Alonge Hawes |  Genre: Drama


Chapter 7 & 8 review. Black Boy, The Fire Next Time. Plenty gets wrapped up in the final 2 episodes of Black On Both Sides amounting to almost an hour of entertainment. It’s been a ride witnessing Alonge Hawes go from there to here with his main character and all the others introduced between chapter 1 and this final episode. For specific episode details, continue scrolling after this review but right now, let’s get into it. Anansi and Nefertiti attend a social gathering for the big executives after receiving the exclusive invite from Cyrus. As could be expected, Nefertiti required a little convincing to attend and play her part but Anansi is diligent and wins her over. As much as you possibly could win someone over who really doesn’t want to go. Mixing with these social snobs would give anyone the case of the cringes and I personally loved the included scene stealing joke about Nefertiti’s hair being touched. With the party a success, and Anansi finally in position to execute his game plan, he pulls the trigger and begins the process of milking Legacy Wireless for everything he can. His goal is a startup of his own, and through the series can anyone really say this wouldn’t be accomplished? We learn a lot about Anansi during these final 2 runs and it’s mainly done through flashbacks. We learn his motivations and even learn that a man from his distant past, one who has changed his life, is a main character now in the series. This transforms the dynamic of Black On Both Sides somewhat into a revenge story. It’s a mixed feeling to see this show reach its conclusion as I have grown to know many of the characters but also hope there may be a little more to come because a lot is left open. All the secondary characters through the chapters still have so much to tell us and even Moor’s character himself could stand some more drama in his life. From a spectator’s view that is. A lot of the interesting side stories have kind of been glossed over, some getting some offscreen mentions such as Gil, and some not really anything at all. It would have been cool to see Anansi’s thug life elements opened up more, and finding out what exactly happens in his personal life after. What will become of Cyrus and Legacy? Legal actions or actions of a more personal nature? Cyrus really did like Anansi, even if he was using him as a showpiece of sorts. What would happen if their history became completely transparent? There really is still a lot of meat on the bone; including the actual realization Anansi’s startup.

 I was kind of playing around with a mid three, or four star rating. Black On Both Sides requires a bit of time invested and it’s not always a smooth trip. I decided on a 4 because it was a trip I was happy to continue taking. Black On Both Sides is politically charged but also personal. Something I liked about the series. A four star general rating was my way to go. A big thanks to Alonge Hawes and all who made this series possible. Keep playing the game and changing the rules.

Chapter 6 review. The Audacity Of Hope. Chapter 6 is all about the podcast from Henry Gil Scott Heron (Julian Robinson) and his two quasi-celebrity guests. Lilith (Schelle Purcell) sits on one side of the table and Nigel (Anthony Earl Jr) on the other. Both are authors with published books and both are on the podcast to talk about their books, and views. From the first few sentences it’s clear that an argument will take place. It’s also obvious that the 2 don’t seem to like each other very much. With Henry as the mediator, and not afraid to remind his guests to use his full name, the 2 guests say their piece between looks of disapproval and the occasional grunt of objection. Eventually the podcast becomes a ring for shouting and anger, all while I watched and took it all in. The conflicting messages were ones such as, black women should worry about themselves and not rely on black men, and that black men are responsible for the Hollywood and media portrayal of black families. Because it’s them that deal drugs and listen to explicit music and get women pregnant all the time. Multiple. Nigel’s views are that it’s the media that’s responsible for how black families are viewed, with help from black women. Because black women make fun of a black guy who studies and wants a career above dealing drugs. He states that black women put down black men who want more, so many black men fall into the life because that’s what’s expected of them. It’s all pretty complex an argument. When the podcast is over it’s surprising how close Lilith and Nigel’s opposing views actually come together, but are so far apart still in terms of the “why’s” and “how’s.” The 2 exit with their partners and thus concludes chapter 6. I was hoping for more of a Black On Both Sides chapter. The reason I say that is because there’s really nothing in this chapter that has anything to do with the actual series, except a few of the characters. But this was still a good episode in terms of interest. A good debate never hinders any drama. Certainly it doesn’t here either. Maybe not as strong as some of the previous episodes but The Audacity Of Hope doesn’t disappoint. It’s a little shorter than usual but the acting more than makes up for it. I’m thinking that when world issues are actually real and happening, it makes it easier for the cast to come across as sincere. Thank you for reading and I look forward to chapter 7.

Chapter 5 review. Their Eyes Were Watching God.Episode 5 begins with training. Training to sell the products of Legacy Wireless and keep their store numbers up. This isn’t just blanket training; it’s more how to sell to a white customer. How to make them feel like they have the power. How to make it seem like they’ve learned something new while still being white and in control. Maya doesn’t like this one bit. She hates the fact she has to be fake and degrade herself to sell to a white client. I can’t say I blame her, do you? But she has to get her numbers up because she is the lowest selling member of the team and Anansi Moor may not be able to keep helping and covering for her. A new ‘white’ guy is coming to the store for a short time. His goal is to make Anansi look bad and take care of business. That probably also includes firing Maya is she won’t conform. At first she doesn’t and the new character, Joseph Ross doesn’t take well to her. Maya has to learn to be fake and how to sell to white people. If she can’t, plans will go awry and she won’t have a job to take care of her daughter. As the chapter progresses Maya finds zero help from her ex and she is forced to make a decision. Either really try and swallow her pride, or drown and probably lose her daughter in the process. The real revelation for her comes when she tells her daughter a story about Charlie Brown and how he never gives up. And the wise beyond her years advice from her daughter. Maya’s going to have to slip on a mask and pretend she is someone she is not. She’ll have to swallow her pride and put on a show for these crazy white folks. The ends justify the means and she goes to work. Other developments include Anansi continuing to get back to regular family life and the shake down involving Joseph Ross and Anansi. The main focus of chapter 5 though is developing the Maya character. And actress Kiara Woods has no problem filling the order. This is the best episode so far in my opinion and demonstrates Alonge Hawes ability to really write in some excellent drama. Including the prevalent racism within society these days. Nothing overt but always there just waiting to come out. At the same time it’s not a complete slap in the face. Nobody is painted as a Nazi or anything like that, but it’s clear what Hawes is trying to say. As if the title of the show wasn’t enough right? It feels like we’re at or near mid-season and I look forward to seeing what’s in store. If I were to rate this episode by itself I would say it was a 3.75 or flat out 4. But the rating above is for the entire series. If this episode becomes the norm standards-wise, Black On Both Sides could easily climb up overall in the ratings before it’s all said and done. Thank you for reading and below is my original review of chapters 1 through 4.–Anansi Moor is prepping for his big interview with Legacy Wireless. Management. A huge career step for anyone but even more impressive because Anansi is a black man within a company managed by whites. After rehearsing his pitch Mr. Moor nails the interview and gets promoted. His silver tongue and quick wit are impressive but as we find out very quickly, his promotion has less to do with his ability and skill, and more to do with the appearance of diversity in the growing company. That’s not saying the white guys on top are not impressed with Anansi, but that their motivations are less than pure. As proven with a quick small talk segment between the boss’s and later, when Anansi is asked to cut his hair. But not everything is as it seems. Anansi has a secret and has a past and this secret presents a dramatic curve that keeps Black On Both Sides interesting. And promises to continue to give.

 We’ve also got numerous sub-plots happening that all relate but boil down to one thing. What the black man has to do to make it in the world. From the upbringing, dreams and business ambitions of one of Anansi’s people Gill, to the personal lives and situations of almost everyone featured in this series. Black On Both Sides promises to keep upping the drama and asking it’s viewers the questions. Currently, I’ve watched the initial 4 episodes and aside from some technical difficulties because this isn’t a 10 million dollar series, Hawes has put together a winning show.

 This isn’t your PC version of a web series. Hawes is touching on some really serious subject matter. Let me be crystal clear on 1 thing. Black On Both Sides will make you either uncomfortable or outright angry sometimes. This will depend on your racial outlook on the world. But isn’t that the point? What good is a cliche whitewashed dramatic series? Pardon the pun. The racial issues and stereotypes add a good chunk of the drama to this show. Without them, Hawes production would just be another show about moving up in the world, doing your own thing and hiding/changing a dark chapter in a characters life. Now, there would be nothing wrong with all of that except for it’s been done over and over. It’s the basic plot of every drama ever. As is presenting a production that deals in only issues of racism. Putting all this together has not only created a show that is dramatic, but also one that could potentially ignite actual emotions. For better or worse, this production aims for the heart and pulls the trigger. If you don’t like it, hit the stop button.
 The potential of this series is through the roof. A lot of planted seeds and emerging story lines promise that Black On Both sides is going to age very well. The production is sound. The acting is excellent and the writing seems to promise that this production will keep getting better and better. When you consider these first few episodes are really good you know the future looks incredibly bright. A show to look for when it’s released some time soon. Thank you for reading.

Find this title online

Back To Top