WEB SERIES REVIEW
BLACK ON BOTH SIDES: SANKOFA
Anansi Moor finds himself grappling with the responsibilities of leadership against the backdrop of a communal tragedy.
THE SECOND SEASON OF the web series Black on Both Sides continues the story of Anansi Moor and his tight-knit group of friends and partners. Season one did have its share of political and racial stances, but this season has completely embedded those stances into its very DNA. While S1 was more focused on Anansi and his setup for revenge and power, S2 doesn't lose those aspects, but puts racism right at the top of the plot. And why shouldn't it? Racism has been making headlines all over, and a quick Google search will instantly remind anyone of the sad state of the world. In fact, Black on Both Sides Sankofa is full of clips/montage segments demonstrating just that. Series creator Alonge Hawes dives straight into the fray right from the first episode, and S2 is a powerful season.
ANANSI GETS DEMOTED BUT KEEPS HIS JOB, ALLOWING HIS PLOTTING TO COMMENCE
Everything starts with a black man named John Redding, who is gunned down in his apartment by the police for no reason. Obviously, the police say they had a reason, but the audience knows better; the people in the show know better. This sets up the plot for the entire season giving Sankofa Industries its purpose. Episode one also continues with what happens to Anansi and Legacy after the activation scam. Anansi gets demoted but keeps his job, allowing his plotting to commence.
S2 also focuses on Cyrus, Anansi's boss and owner of Legacy Wireless. Unknown to Cyrus, his backstory and relation to Anansi are the second big plotline in this season. But we also get glimpses of Cyrus's wife Lilith and their deteriorating relationship. It's always been made clear that Lilith is no doop, in S2 however, she really shines bright, making this smaller plot point all the larger. Joseph also returns this season as a point of tension. His interactions with Henry Gil Scott Heron early on set the tone, and Anansi's solution to the Joseph problem ends it. Joseph is given somewhat of a graceful exit during the end of the season when he stands up to Cyrus. Finally.
SANKOFA INDUSTRIES BEGINS TO SHAPE UP AND MOOR'S PLAN STARTS TO REALLY PLAY OUT
The final three or so episodes really hone in on Anansi and Cyrus. Cyrus's life before Legacy and his connection to the death of Anansi's father. It's during these episodes that Sankofa Industries begins to shape up, and Moor's plan starts to really play out. A lot of the smaller plot points are wrapped up, and the final episode acts as the overall wrap-up, along with Anansi and Cyrus's final meeting. The ultimate fate of Cyrus is pretty clear and Anansi seems finished, but there are more places this series can go should it choose to; a lot more stories that could easily be expanded on. Black on Both Sides: Sankofa could finish its run at this point, or possibly tell another story that focuses on one of the numerous other characters.
THE FIRMER STANCE SANKOFA TAKES WITH THE STORY IT IS TELLING, REALLY UPPED THE ANTE
Series creator Alonge Hawes has come a long way since S1 of this show, as have the massive amount of characters in the series. The firmer stance Sankofa takes with the story it is telling really upped the ante, but it paid off. Black on Both Sides: Sankofa isn't perfect and does stumble from time to time, but the best of the series makes sure it stands tall as a tribute to what can be done with a great concept. This is do it yourself filmmaking at its best.
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