Entertainment

The Black And Latino Boys Documented In ‘Whey They See Us’ Weren’t The Only Ones Who Had Their Lives Ruined

By now, Netflix has found a way to produce TV shows that deal with often uncomfortable topics. From the “Ted Bundy Tapes,” which examines the sex appeal of a horrible serial killer, to “1994,” which discusses thorny issues in recent Mexican political history, the streaming giant has revisited historical events that have been mired in controversy.

The latest show to set the Internet of fire is “When They See Us,” a dramatizes retelling of the story of five POC young men who were wrongly incarcerated after the rape of Trisha Meili, a white woman who was attacked in the North Woods of Manhattan’s Central Park on April 19, 1989. Following the crimes, the city was put on alert and the police department was pressured into finding a culprit. And, of course, as was sort of expected, they found the face of evil in five teenagers of color (four Blacks and one Latino): Raymond Santana, 14; Kevin Richardson, 15; Antron McCray, 15; Yusef Salaam, 15; and 16-year-old Korey Wise. These five teenagers were deprived of their innocence and sent to a juvenile correctional facility on charges of rape, assault and related crimes in 1990. Korey, who was then just 16, was sent to adult prison. Needless to say, their lives were forever changed.

But surprise, surprise, they were not guilty, just as they had stated all along. In 2002 the real assailant confessed and DNA testing verified his guilt. The convictions were vacated. However, these men and their families had to rebuild their lives. Netflix has now financed and distributed a four-episode series that explores the social and psychological impact that the events had in the country (the case garnered a lot of media attention, and white supremacists saw the Central Park murder as a validation of sus ideas pendejas). The cast is testament of the talent of independent cinema and of people of color working in Hollywood:  Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Michael K. Williams, Logan Marshall-Green, Joshua Jackson, Blair Underwood, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, and Kylie Bunbury give life to this story.

The series, which was launched on May 31, has gotten a lot of attention and has caused all the feelings with viewers. 

People have headed to Twitter to express their anger and disgust.

Credit: @muz_nash / Twitter

The story of the Central Park Five often seems like an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” One day you are a normal teenager minding your own business and the next you are being profiled at a police station and public figures want you dead.

The show is an indictment of a broken system.

Credit: @MrShahhh / Twitter

Rather than an isolated event, “When They See Us”is indicative of a judicial and prison system in which ethnic and racial minorities are disadvantaged. Just think about this, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in 2013 black males accounted for 37 percent of the total male prison population, white males 32 percent, and Hispanic males 22 percent. The figures of Black and Brown inmates just seem to be increasing.

What if the real assailant hadn’t come forward?

Credit: @Isiah_Barnes / Twitter

This Twitter user served us with a harsh truth: the only reason why the Central Park Five have been exonerated is the guilt that the real rapist and murderer felt. Can you imagine how many innocent men and women are wrongly imprisoned today?

“When They See Us”will make you cry and feel angry, and that is okay.

Credit: @ltz_Dasilva1 / Twitter

One of the great things about art is that by making us feel something, political action is often instigated. Many viewers have questioned the invulnerability of the system by watching this show. Let’s remember that this is a topic that Netflix has tackled before, particularly in the show “Orange is the New Black,” were Black, Brown and white identities are confronted in the prison industrial complex. 

Before we forget. Yes, Donald Trump, then a real estate magnate, did call for their execution.

Credit: 161007162257-trump-central-park-5-ad-super-tease.jpg. Digital image. CNN

The current POTUS paid an ad on New York’s most popular newspapers calling for the execution of the Central Park Five. This dramatically changed public perception of the young men, and their culpability was presumed. Trump spent $85,000 on these ads. Trump wrote: “At what point did we cross the line from the fine and noble pursuit of genuine civil liberties to the reckless an dangerously permissive atmosphere which allows criminals of every age to beat and rape a helpless woman and then laugh at her family’s anguish? I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them.” Damn.

The show is spearheaded by Ava DuVernay, a powerful female voice in Hollywood.

Credit: ava / Instagram

The show is the brainchild of Ava DuVernay, who has made a name for herself as a talented filmmaker who can at the same time deal with thorny issues regarding African-American history and create compelling, commercially viable movies. She directed the Golden Globe-nominated “Selma”and the Oscar-nominated documentary “13th.”

DuVernay is a power player in the industry, so “When They See Us”could get traction.

Credit: ava / Instagram

Ava has done what many consider still kind of impossible in Hollywood: she has established a name for herself even if she is a Black woman. Besides Shonda Rhimes, there are not many Black women who have made their voice heard in a white and male-dominated industry. We need more people like Ava and more shows like “When They See Us.”

The original title was “Central Park Five.”

Credit: whentheyseeus / Instagram

We like the final title much better: it gives the show a bigger sense of universality. Also, Central Park Five centers on the trauma and not necessarily on the post-incarceration story of redemption. 

It is one of the highest ranked TV shows on Rotten Tomatoes.

Credit: whentheyseeus / Instagram

The acclaim has been universal: it has a 94 percent Fresh score on the aggregated review site Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have highlighted the impact that the prosecution and journalists had in how the teens were seen by the public. Hannah Giorgis from The Atlantic wrote: In rendering their journeys, DuVernay pays careful attention to the terrifying power of language, especially the animalistic rhetoric with which prosecutors and journalists referred to the teens.” Ouch: this is still true for much of American media. 

There is an Oprah special, “Oprah Winfrey Presents When They See Us Now,” with the original five protagonists.

Credit: whentheyseeus / Instagram

You can see a bit here, but the full interview was released on Netflix and the Oprah Winfrey Network on June 12. In this interview, Oprah looks at their lives and raises questions about the system that allowed this to happen. How many more Black and Brown youth are suffering from similar injustices today? 

They are still good friends, brothers forever.

Credit: santanaraymond / Instagram

We can’t stop shedding a tear when we see this photo. Five men who keep positive even if innocence was taken away from them unexpectedly. How to be optimistic afterlife has dealt you the worst possible hand? Todo un ejemplo de actitud, caballeros.

READ: Ava DuVernay’s ‘When They See Us’ Explores The True Story Of The Injustices Against Black And Brown Boys

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Netflix Has Confirmed That ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Is Coming Back For Season 3 Without Diego Luna

Entertainment

Netflix Has Confirmed That ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Is Coming Back For Season 3 Without Diego Luna

Azhar Khan / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

“Narcos” is one of Netflix’s most wildly popular original series. Over the years, fans have learned about Narcos culture and history through the show and we are officially getting another season. Here’s what we know.

“Narcos: Mexico” Season 3 is coming to Netflix and, like, omg.

“Narcos” first started with following the drug trade in Colombia with Pablo Escobar. The fourth season was instead “Narcos: Mexico” and the beginnings of the Mexican drug trade became the focus of the series. Fans went wild for the show and it has continued to enjoy success with the Netflix audience.

Showrunner Eric Newman is stepping down in the coming season.

Instead, co-creator Carlos Bernard is stepping up and taking on the role of showrunner. Newman was the showrunner for five seasons since “Narcos” first started and is excited to see the show develop under Bernard.

“I am grateful for my five years at the helm of ‘Narcos’ and ‘Narcos: Mexico’ and am immensely proud of what this spectacular team has achieved with these shows,” Newman told Variety. “Carlos Bernard is the first person I ever spoke to about this project, over ten years ago, and I am extremely pleased to leave the steering of Season 3 of ‘Narcos: Mexico’ in his very capable hands.”

Brace yourself because Diego Luna is not joining the cast this season.

Tbh, Luna was one of the best parts of the show. He isn’t everything but he was a major part of the iconic and beloved show. The news is bumming out large parts of the “Narcos” fanbase who have come to love and look forward to him.

People are ready for this to happen yesterday.

Like, thank you for letting us know it is happening Netflix. Now we need to know when the show will actually be released. We appreciate the little update but we just need to know when we can watch the show.

We look forward to the release date, Netflix.

We are ready to sit on the couch and binge the season the moment it drops. Let’s get this together and get the show streaming. Thank you so very much!

READ: Diego Luna Talks The Importance Of The Storytelling In ‘Narcos: Mexico’ And Why Mexico City Will Always Be His Home

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The Teaser Is Out For Season 3 Of Cobra Kai And OMG I Want To Take Karate Lessons

Entertainment

The Teaser Is Out For Season 3 Of Cobra Kai And OMG I Want To Take Karate Lessons

Netflix / YouTube

Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” is continuing the epic story of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. The story now follows the two men as they train the fighters in their own dojos. The Netflix original series is coming back to for season 3 and, honestly, thank you, Netflix.

“Cobra Kai” season 3 is coming soon to Netflix soon and it’s about time.

Season 2 left us with a serious cliff hanger. A melee fight broke out at the high school between Cobra Kai and Miyagi Do. The fight, which was started by Samantha LaRusso and Tory Schwarber, took a shocking turn when Miguel Diaz gets knocked over a railing and falls to onto a staircase. Miguel fell onto the staircase below after being kicked by Robby Keene. Everyone was stunned when they saw Miguel fall and Robby immediately regretted his involvement.

Season 3 of “Cobra Kai” is coming to Netflix Jan. 8, 2021 and they are already renewed for a fourth season.

There is so much excitement around a new season of “Cobra Kai.” The show is bridging a generational gap between people who grew up with “Karate Kid” and those just discovering it through the Netflix show. “Karate Kid” spawned multiple sequels and made karate super cool, obvi. The latest iteration of the franchise puts a Latino, Miguel, in the main spotlight.

Young Latinos are loving the representation they get from Miguel as a main character.

There are issues with Miguel throughout the show that makes for frustrating moments. However, he is a teenager and we all know what it is like to be a teenager and just not get things. He is led by his emotions and, in classic movie teenage angst, finds himself becoming deeply committed to something to release his emotional frustrations.

Also, it continues to push the narrative that representation matters because it does.

It cannot be stressed enough how much people are loving this show.

“Cobra Kai” was a major show when it was first streaming. The Nielsen rating showed that “Cobra Kai” was second in the numbers of streams after its Netflix debut. The show began on YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium) but moved to Netflix because YouTube changed their strategy. The video-sharing platform is focusing more on content producers and less on creating scripted shows.

The move to Netflix brought the show to the forefront of entertainment as it hit number 1 for the streaming giant.

Binge watching television is what most people are doing as we sit in isolation in our apartments and homes. That kind of prolonged isolation has given people a chance to reconnect with their streaming options and dive into the content that is out there.

This show might be creating a new generation of karate enthusiasts.

If you’ve seen “Cobra Kai” then you know how exciting the idea of karate can be. Maybe the show being on Netflix will bring renewed interest to the sport. Who doesn’t want to be part of a dojo with other fighters who are ready to have you back?

READ: Netflix Finally Gave Us The Release Date For “Selena: The Series” And Fans Can’t Wait

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