Earlier this year, Jussie Smollet and Issa Rae teamed up to give us a new web series on YouTube titled, Giants. Directed by James Bland, who also stars as Malachi, is joined by the talented Vanessa Baden and William Catlett in this authentic + thrilling drama. The series follows the three Black millennials in Los Angeles as they start out the first season face to face with their “giants,” which show up as the show’s main themes of mental health, sexuality, as well as systemic racism.
The show aims to discuss issues that affect the African-American community, while adding distinct voices + characters to challenge and face those issues head-on. Malachi and Journee are best friends of the opposite sex, dealing with real life economic struggles and mental health issues. Journee fights to “win the day” with her diagnosis of manic depression, while Malachi finds himself through trying different paths of work. Small talk of Ade’s sexuality, played by Catlett, leaves him feeling unempowered and trying to "prove" himself.
"Its' different! It's not the same thing as wanting to do something or not wanting to do something. Some days, I physically cannot get out - I'm a manic depressive! Candace, you know this. It's an illness."
"Its an excuse," she replies.
The entire first season, I watched while I was getting ready for work one morning. Each episode is about 5-20 minutes; powerfully created to spark conversation on how communities of color can express ourselves across the sexuality spectrum and support mental health diagnoses without stigmatization. I admire the way our new + seasoned Black writers, producers, directors - also including everyone behind the scenes, have made it their mission to put people on the screen who look like us. We're finally bringing new messages about people of color and culturally disregarded topics. Shout out to the thinkers behind the new messages we’re sending to viewers all over the world about Black culture and our people.
I fully support the cast and the series to its’ entirety. If you haven’t already watched it online, you can find it here. There is a also donation set up to fund season 2, as Season 1 was fully funded by the crew. If you have watched it, what are your thoughts? Comment them below!
Until next time,