The year known as 2022 gave us a lot of good (and bad) viewing moments; and by viewing moments, I mean TV shows, movies, news reports, etc. Here’s my list of those top moments.
#20: The Baby – I’m a dark comedy kind of brother, so this show was right up my alley—a baby that has a decades-old history of killing its adoptive parents. Did I mention, this is a comedy?
#19: The Bear – If you know, you know. My favorite character out of an insane ensemble of well-developed characters is soul sister Sydney Adamu (played by actress Ayo Edebiri). She’s the glue that holds the whole thing together.
#18: Peacemaker – I had very low expectations for this DC superhero series. You may recall, Peacemaker, played by actor/wrestler John Cena, was a member of the latest “Suicide Squad” movie when he shared his mantra: “I cherish peace with all of my heart. I don’t care how many men, women and children I kill to get it.” Even with that very “History of America” way of living his life, I still couldn’t see how DC could make an entire series about this psychotic madman (pseudo-superhero), who is just a kinder, gentler version of Homelander from the series “The Boys.” But I’ll be damned. They did it. And they did so with the brilliance of the show’s real star, Danielle Brooks (from “Orange is the New Black”) who plays Leota Adebayo. And if you don’t think DC took this show seriously, check this. Academy Award-winning giant Viola Davis appears in multiple episodes.
#17: 3000 Years of Longing – This movie, starring the sisters’ heartthrob Idris Elba, didn’t get the Black Twitter buzz I thought it deserved. The movie’s trailer had me thinking I was gonna see one type of movie, but actually watching it revealed something else entirely. It’s worth your time to check out this flick.
#16: Jeen-Yuhs – I’ve never been a huge Kanye fan, but I decided to give this documentary a chance. I’m glad I did. It’s amazing.
#15: Under the Banner of Heaven – Based on a true story, this murder mystery grounded in a journey of faith will keep you hooked (and guessing) from episode one to the finale.
#14: The Batman – I could not for the life of me see dude from the “Twilight” franchise (Robert Patterson) playing The Batman (aka “Vengeance”). But yo! Yo! “Twilight” pulled it off, for real. And the way the director, cinematographer and crew made Gotham City darker, dirtier and grittier than ever before (which is saying something) was amazing. But again, the show-stopper was/is a sister. Zoe Kravitz was born to play Catwoman/Selina Kyle. And shout-out to the grossly under-appreciated Jeffrey Wright for doing his thing in the flick, as well. But this movie would be on this list for the Batmobile reveal alone. It was just that cool.
#13: Descendant – If you are Black and/or have any love for Black people anywhere in your body, this is a must-see documentary. Period.
#12: Everything Everywhere All at Once – There’s absolutely no way to truly describe this movie… which is one of the main reasons it makes this list.
#11: We Own This City – Based on the true story of mega-police corruption in Baltimore, this limited series is as powerful as it is aggravating.
#10: The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross – Watching MSNBC’s “Black” line-up (their shows led by Tiffany Cross, Joy Reid, Symone Sanders-Townsend, Rev. Al Sharpton, Jonathan Capehart and “honoraries” Ari Melber and Ali Velshi), it always amazes me how MSNBC’s other shows (shows led by non-“Blacks”) seemed to lack the ability (or desire) to feature Black and Brown guests and experts that regularly appear on “Cross Connection” and “The Reid Out” and Melissa Harris-Perry’s show back in the day. And of all the network’s Black shows, “The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross” was the one that best reflected America’s demographics via the guests it featured. Additionally, Cross was the most unapologetically Black host in the building… which is probably why she’s no longer in the building. I’m still pissed at MSNBC for doing that sister wrong.
#9: Sheryl Lee Ralph singing during her Emmy award acceptance speech – I’ve been a Sheryl Lee Ralph fan for a good minute. I fully remember her doing her thing as Denzel Washington’s estranged wife in the movie “The Mighty Quinn.” Lord, Lord, Sheryl Lee. And yes, she was an original “Dream Girl.” So, when she won the Emmy for her role as Barbara Howard on my show “Abbott Elementary,” I was hyped. But not as hyped as I was when she gave the acceptance “speech” of the decade. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out.
#8: Abbott Elementary – C’mon now. As an educator who spent a minute teaching in public schools (shout out YES Prep North Forest), and knowing a gazillion public school teachers, this show is one of my favorites, for its mix of comedy and harsh public school realities/challenges.
#7: Nope – Yup.
#6: Blackworld’s Response to the death of Queen Elizabeth – After Queen Elizabeth’s passing, I was almost speechless as talking head after talking head went on-and-on about how wonderful and gracious and saintly Queen Elizabeth was. I seriously thought I was in the Twilight Zone. Then, the sisters and the bruhs grabbed the mic, posted on Twitter, took to YouTube and broke it down on various news shows the historic legacy of violence and cruelty and oppression of people of color all over the planet, led by the late queen and her nation. Taken as a whole, seeing how we represented to make sure the whole truth was told was one of the year’s best moments.
#5: Dave Chappelle’s SNL monologue – With the entire planet castigating Kanye West and Kyrie Irving about reported anti-Semitic rhetoric, SNL made the bold move of calling upon comedic icon Dave Chappelle to host the post-2022 Midterm Elections episode (Nov 12, 2022). And Chappelle wasted no time getting into it, confronting the Black/Jewish relations elephant in the room immediately with a monologue for the ages. Unlike so many Blackfolk who jumped immediately to condemning West and Irving, Chappelle took another route. See it for yourself.
#4: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – After the passing of Chadwick Boseman, who was literally King T’Challa/the Black Panther in the flesh, I was initially against Marvel ever recasting the role. But as a longtime comic book nerd who actually taught my YES Prep North Forest students (Go Legends!) between 2013 – 2016 about the Black Panther being the best of all superheroes, I’m now of the mind that the character is too important to the MCU not to recast at some point. But the sequel to the 2018 blockbuster “Black Panther,” “Wakanda Forever,” was not the time. Director Ryan Coogler did a masterful job of weaving into a superhero drama the highlighting of one of this land’s indigenous cultures with the debut of Namor the Sub-Mariner and his nation, while also giving movie-goers and movie characters the time, space and opportunity to grieve the loss of Boseman/The Black Panther, and more.
#3: The Woman King – I’ve already said my piece about why boycotting this movie was madness. Those who actually saw it know that the criticisms the film received before being viewed were unfounded. “The Woman King” took on all issues (including Dahomey’s role in the enslavement of other African people) head-on, while serving as an unapologetic celebration of the power of Black women and the critical need for sisters and brothers to move in power and purpose together.
#2: Yordan Alvarez’s World Series Game 6 game-winning 450-foot home run – I called this homer before it happened. If you think I’m lying, ask my wife. We were on the couch watching the game. The count on Alvarez was 2-1. I looked at my wife and said, “He’s about to hit a three-run home run.” And just seconds later we were both screaming as bruh-man crushed Jose Alvarado’s pitch 450-feet to straight away centerfield. I had no rational reason to think Yordan was about to go yard. He wasn’t having a great series at the plate. But I’ve had a weird, long history of predicting home runs. I’ve done it umpteen times in the past while watching my hometown Cincinnati Reds play various games over the years. And that same feeling I had in the past when I just knew a homer was coming, hit me just before that 2-1 pitch left the Phillies’ pitcher’s hand. My screams and barks as that ball left the yard were not noises of surprise, but rather joy, realizing that Dusty Baker was moving that much closer to finally winning that long-alluded World Series championship.
#1: January 6 Committee Insurrection Hearings – Committee members put the crimes of former president Donald Trump and all his enablers on front street for the world to see. Whether Trump or any of his insurrectionist cronies will ever be held accountable for their crimes of sedition, etc. is debatable at best knowing the history of this country and its unwillingness to hold wealthy white men to the same legal standards as all the rest of us. But if they go scot free, it won’t be because those hearings didn’t do their job. They did. And they were compelling and shocking in that such lawlessness was going down, perpetrated by the same folk who claimed to be leaders of the “party of law and order.” This insidious lawlessness proved as a surprise to millions. But not to Blackfolk. We’ve been seeing it and calling it out since 1619, at the very least.
- From Scratch
- Ketanji Brown Jackson swearing-in
- Bullet Train
- The Boys
- The Bear
- Archive 81
- Is That Black Enough For You
- Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon
- Ms. Marvel
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Disney’s 30th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast featuring H.E.R.