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Millennials Take Back Their Voice On BET’s 'Boomerang' Series: Premiere Recap

Simone Graham, daughter of Angela and Marcus Graham, and Bryson Boyer look to dominate the advertising world one trending campaign at a time.

What do you get when an Emmy-award winning actor and writer teams up with an Emmy-Award winning actress? A half-hour comedy we never knew we needed. Co-executive produced by Lena Waithe and Halle Berry, Boomerang is more of a spin-off than a reboot of the 1992 film of the same name. In that old cautionary tale of karma, the ever-so-promiscuous and narcissistic ad executive Marcus (Eddie Murphy) meets his match when his new boss Jaqueline (Robin Givens) is just as ruthless in playing those games. He eventually falls in love with Jaqueline’s assistant Angela (Ms. Berry), which brings us to the premise of this scripted-series.

Within the first few seconds of the series’ premiere, we are fake taken back in time to the ‘90s- coincidentally the era where Angela and Marcus — who happen to be the parents of our feisty, plays-no-games lead, Simone Graham (Tetona Jackson) — first met.

Off-rip, Simone is just what every company needs especially in 2019- that voice that points out problematic worldwide campaigns that would later lead to a Black Twitter drag session of one of your favorite ignorant corporate companies. Marcus may not have been as self-centered back in the day as some may recall, but poppa was a shark and it’s no secret that daddy’s dearest has inherited those razor-sharp teeth. When the male lead in their Kid-n-Playesque ‘commercial shoot leaves the dark-skinned model for a lighter one, our melanin queen, Simone, shuts down all of production like Chik-Fil-A on a Sunday, refusing to be “that” company that blatantly ignore social issues. (Oh hey, Gucci!) Simone may be a spirited chick but quickly learns that producer Victoria Johnson (Paula Newsome) is that “loyal bi**h” who has zero issue with humbling her in front of Bryson Boyer (Tequan Richmond).  The two clearly bump heads often and within seconds, Simone finds herself quitting and without a job.

Realizing that, “Damn, shorty effed up,” Bryson tries to convince his childhood friend to charm Victoria to get her job back, but with that touch-to-open whip and her bomb hairstyle, it’s obvious that it’s Simone’s way or the highway.

Like anyone who has had a rough day, indulging in reality TV is a must for young Simone and her poison is BET’s Hustle in Brooklyn. As Dani is arguing with Azia on the tube, Simone’s friend Crystal Garrett (Brittany Inge) walks in not too pleased to see that her bestie started the show without her — oh, and that she quit her job. No need to fret though because Simone has a plan to open an agency of her own. Crystal being the true friend that she is, reminds Simone that starting your own company isn’t possible overnight and that homelessness isn’t a good look. “Gimme a charge,” is the new “roll up,” and even through those kush clouds, Simone still sees her newest goal.

Meanwhile, at the Graham Agency, Bryson is the man in his little suit.  He even has a “this meeting is some BS” text buddy in our girl Crystal. As a room full of white/Asian execs clap at a greenlit ad filled with stereotypes, two of the three black people in the room stay behind to do what all employees in their situation would do under those circumstances — complain about how basic and lost their company is when it comes to understanding the culture. Many relatable questions pop up in this scene, one mainly being: Why are people who are not black millennials running content aimed at black millennials? “Buying momma a house,” is a common goal in the community and as Bryson pitches his version of execution in marketing the product to Crystal, he unknowingly gains some fans in the process. He gets his shot by the bosses to make his vision come into fruition. Victoria isn’t too pleased to have a youngin’ steal her shine but she still dishes out a measly $2K for Bryson to get his concept rolling.  It’s all about our young, gifted, and black brothers and sisters in 2019.

The moment Bryson, Ari, and David are in the gym on row machines, we are automatically hit with tons of nostalgia as that scene directly emulates the setting in which Marcus’ has an important conversation with Gerard (David Allen Grier) and Tyler (Martin Lawrence) in the original film. Back then, the topic was about Gerard's lack of play with the ladies but for young Bryson and friends, it’s about getting to that MONEY! (Cardi B voice).

Cut to the skrip (yes, skrip) club where “bosses” are counting singles; somewhere in the back Simone already has a plan brewing in her mind. All of the answers she’s looking for lie with Tia Read (LaLa Milan), a stripper who Simone wants to make major moves with. Simone explains to Tia that not everyone could be Bardi-rella but they damn sure could try and just like that, she has a new manager. Okurrrr.

A FaceTime call between Bryson and Simone makes it really apparent that Bry Bry has a thing for the kid. Knowing this, Simone uses her charm to convince Bryson to hire Tia for his commercial. You see, in her mind, it would be so dope if Victoria gets fired and Bryson becomes the new Marcus Graham.  And for a mere $1K booking fee, Simone is willing to help (so nice of her). All it takes is a smile and an “I’m proud of you” for Bryson to agree to pay for it. At this point, you have to feel some type of bad for Bryson who has no idea that, Simone’s ex Camden (Joey Bada$$) is still busting her yeeks. It’s not what any of us would think, though. Simone is just using him for the D. After all, if you can’t be used, you’re useless, right? All Pisces get blamed for Simone’s playa-playa ways and for a second, she actually looks sad to hurt poor Joey’s heart. Just for a second, though.

It’s now time for Tia’s close-up and right away it becomes Simone’s shoot- like, just Simone’s. Everyone is aggy. Presentation day arrives and as you “stay awake” for the next few moments to see it, the board is just as unimpressed in the new concept as Bryson seems to be in himself.  Now note, children: This is exactly why you don’t mix work with love. His little “I appreciate the opportunity” speech falls on Victoria’s deaf ears as she already knows why this love-struck puppy tanked. He needs to start focusing.

You’d think he would’ve been more tight at Simone after blowing an opportunity of a lifetime but two bottles of wine are all Bryson needs to forgive her.  (He swears he’s me.) We don’t know if it’s her smile or her Henny-straight complexion but Bryson not only compliments Simone’s eye in scouting the talent that essentially made his commercial fail, but he STILL pays her a grand. Must be nice. The lights are dim, music is low, and he shoots his shot with the leg rub, only to be curved by a question of preference to red or white wine.  That was hard to watch, brother. Hopefully, in the episodes to come, Bryson mans up so he can finally be the Marcus Graham (or Mr. Simone Graham) he aspires to be.

BET’s Boomerang airs Tuesdays at 10/9c!

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The all-star cast of the upcoming film Hustlers features plenty of heavy hitters, but it seems Keke Palmer shines the brightest.

Speaking with Billboard last week, Jennifer Lopez dished about what fans can expect in her upcoming film. The all-female led feature was inspired in by "The Hustlers at Scores", a New York magazine article about a real-life group of former exotic dancers who teamed up to overthrow their Wall Street clientele.

While Lopez got tips from visits to the strip club and chats with Cardi B, she enjoyed Palmer's gift of improvisation. "She was great at improv, and not everybody has that knack, you know what I mean?," she said. "But they were all great. I expected Cardi to be good, I expected Lizzo to be good, but I didn't know enough about Keke. I had seen her audition tape. I did a little bit of research on her when they were thinking [about her role]. We went through so many people for that part, so many people."

Palmer kicked off her acting career at the tender age of 9, with leads in films like Akeela & The Bee, Jump In! and starred in her own series True Jackson, VP on Nickelodeon from 2008 to 2011. She's also stolen scenes in Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens and the live rendition of Grease. But it was her bubbly personality that caught Lopez's (who executively produced the film) eye.

"When I saw her -- I had watched a couple of interviews of her and stuff like that -- I was like, 'This girl has something. She has personality,'" she said. "And she was awesome. We had fun from the first scene. I was like, 'OK. We're gon' have fun!'"

Lopez recently shared with Entertainment Tonight some of her biggest challenges in the film like pole dancing.

"Learning pole dancing was probably one of the most challenging things I've ever done for a film," Lopez said. "But it was worth it. I love this character. I love this story. It's a really gritty New York story with women at the forefront -- the thing actresses dream of -- and to be able to produce it and star in it was very special."

Hustlers opens in theaters Sept. 13. Check out the trailer below.

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Marvel Announces Mahershala Ali Will Take The Screen As The Next 'Blade'

Over the weekend, as the East Coast was beating the heat, comic enthusiasts gathered in San Diego for Comic-Con 2019. On Saturday (July 20), Marvel Studios got movie-goers amped in standard form by announcing their slate of movie releases for the next few years, but threw an added surprise in the mix. Not only is the studio delivering a new version of Blade, but it will be fronted by none other than Mahershala Ali. The accomplished actor, who took home Oscars for both Moonlight and Greenbook, was on-hand to celebrate the moment.

There’s just one more thing... #SDCC pic.twitter.com/0Q3F4AZJLg

— Dustin Sandoval @ #SDCC (@DustinMSandoval) July 21, 2019

 

 

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Just announced in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios’ BLADE with Mahershala Ali. #SDCC

A post shared by Marvel Studios (@marvelstudios) on Jul 20, 2019 at 6:43pm PDT

After the triumph of Black Panther and a host of other inclusive super hero movies in the last couple years, Ali carrying the torch after Wesley Snipes immortalized the role is a win.

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No release date for Blade has been announced.

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Netflix Releases 'Dear White People' Season 3 Trailer

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Shadow And Act report a few scenes that season three will deliver includes Sam (Logan Browning) parting ways with her radio show, Troy (Brandon Bell) experiencing a parody or pastiche, and Lionel (DeRon Horton) continuing to live in his identity.

The campus' secret society, The Order of X, also reappears after being discovered in season 2 by Sam and Lionel. Depicting a lighter and easing going tone is a shift from the gloom and murk from previous seasons while still giving a satirical sense of style. As the series moves through its characters dealing with microaggressions and evident racism at Winchester University, the script addresses a range of controversial issues.

Yvette Nicole Brown (Avengers: Endgame), Blair Underwood (When They See Us), Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), and the show's creator Simien are set to make guest appearances throughout the season, according to IndieWire. 

Season 3 will premiere on Aug. 2.

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