There’s a reason why Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs hashtag everything they create with #dreamswithfriends, Blindspotting is an embodiment of the greatness that can happen if you choose to lift up your community and fellow creatives.
Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs have expanded on their original love letter to the Bay Area. The TV show Blindspotting, is a continuation of their 2018 film of the same name and it airs every Sunday on Starz . Though the TV show deviates from the narrative of the film, the general essence that made the film so amazing is still there. The show kicks off with Miles (Casal) freshly incarcerated and as his longtime girlfriend Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones) along with their son (Atticus Woodward), move in with Miles’ mother (Helen Hunt) and half-sister (Jaylen Barron).
3 episodes in and we have so much to unpack here.
Let’s start with the many creative outlets that are utilized to tell the story. The dancing and the prose, though absolutely unique in terms of what else is on TV right now, help the show feel more like an experience. Never do the transitions into a dance break or the beginning of an emotional prose feel like a gimmick; it’s always placed in moments that feel authentic and the art form absolutely elevates the storytelling. Authenticity is something that this show should pride itself in. The love that Rafael and Daveed have for the Bay Area jumps off the screen. Whether it’s in the form of Bay Easter Eggs sprinkled throughout the series or centering scenes with iconic music that has come out of the Bay Area in the background; this show serves as a wonderful introduction to a city that has given us so much. Blindspotting is unapologetic in its love for the Bay Area, maybe the best example of this would be in Episode 2, where they show the neighborhood breaking into dance as soon as someone starts playing Mac Dre’s “Thizzle Dance”. The energy in this scene is infectious and though it comes at a time when Ashley is feeling a range of negative emotions, it provides the perfect amount of levity needed in that moment.
This show is powerful in so many ways and a lot of it has to do with the supporting cast. Rafael Casal plays Miles in such a nuanced and dedicated way that even though his scenes are limited, you’ll be thinking about his well-being the entire time. Helen Hunt plays Miles’ eccentric mother Rainey with the kind of passion that forces you to become invested in the story immediately. Jaylen Barron plays the sex-progressive and scene-stealing Trish in a way that will have you rooting for her success by the time we get to the third episode. Candace Nicholas-Lippman plays the hilarious and supportive Janelle in such a way that will have you looking forward to her scenes. Benjamin Earl Turner plays the mysterious Earl; his impeccable comedic timing and illusive nature will keep you wanting more. Atticus Woodward closes out the supporting cast as Ashley’s son Sean with his sweet-natured attitude. Though Jasmine Cephas Jones leads the cast, it still very much feels like an ensemble show.
Jasmine Cephas Jones though!!!!
It just feels like every time we say her name it should be through a megaphone and with excitement. There’s no wonder this show feels like an immediate hit, with Jasmine leading the way there’s very little that can go wrong. Her performance as Ashley will shatter you in every single way and even when you have tears streaming down your face, you will find yourself begging her for more. Watching Jasmine as Ashley is attending a masterclass in performing and the audience is so much better for having experienced it. There is no holding back when it comes to Ashley, every bit of anger, pain, doubt and joy is displayed on screen. There is no attempt to portray the perfect mom here and the unrelenting showcase of the human condition makes for phenomenal television.
If the original film felt like a celebration of friendship then this show is a celebration of the women who raised us. It’s a celebration of the chaotic, the free-spirits, the liberated, the entrepreneurs, the disciplinarians, the sensitive, the head-strong and everything else in between. The show celebrates their flaws and emphasizes their strengths. In a world where women constantly have to fight to be heard, it’s refreshing to see a show that is giving a loud and impactful voice to the women in this show.
The writer’s room must be mentioned here because it all starts there; what an incredible group of people must be behind the pen if out the gate the show’s made the kind of impact it has. We’re three episodes in and it somehow just keeps getting better with each new one. Never have I felt such strong need for a show to succeed. I want to believe that Hollywood is moving in the right direction when it comes to representation and this show is proof of that. I am in awe of everything that Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs are a part of but this show is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of gem and you’re going to want to be a part of the ride.
Watch Blindspotting on Starz on Sundays.