Here's a tip: Watch 'Black Lightning'

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

I'm not a big TV watcher. But what I will do is watch movies that I stream over the internet. I was browsing Netflix (sorry, Mo'Nique, but I'm not boycotting) and saw a series called Black Lightning. I read the little blurb that explained what the series was about. It sounded interesting so I clicked on it to watch. And I fell in love!

The series premiered in January of this year. It came out about six weeks before the movie Black Panther premiered. I think the movie generated so much interest, that this television show got overlooked in the process. However, it shouldn't.

Black Lightning tells the story of Jefferson Pierce, a retired superhero who now spends his time working as the principal of a local high school. Circumstances cause him to come out of retirement and resume his role as Black Lightning. As his name implies, he has the ability to generate electrical energy.

Whereas Black Panther was set in Africa and did little to address the issues going on in urban America, Black Lightning is set in the inner city. In the fictitious city of Freeland, the 'hood is being overrun by a gang of young thugs. They're dealing drugs, and wreaking havoc. I have to admit I found it refreshing and truly enjoyable to see the superhero beat the crap out of the smartmouth young thugs. Many of us long for the villains to get their comeuppance and Black Lightning doesn't disappoint. I actually felt some stress being released as I watched the series and so thoroughly enjoyed the bad guys getting what they got!

Like all superheroes, Black Lightning has his alter ego. He's a father, husband, and thought of as Black Jesus by his community. Black Lightning's arch-enemy is an albino villain, Tobias Whale, who should be getting accolades for the actor playing that role. Even more so, the writing is so authentic that it helped make the characters seem more real.

I've only watched four episodes and still have nine to go. But if the remaining ones are anything like the first few, I know this is going to be a helluva ride. Best news of all, season 2 has already been confirmed.

So if you have access to Netflix, please support this show. It is timely, well written, and, most importantly, well-acted!

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