FX’s new series “Kindred,” based on the novel of the same name by Octavia E. Butler, is a mixed bag of trauma, concepts and well, more trauma.
It centers on Dana, a New York native who sells her mother’s old brownstone house to move to Los Angeles to become a soap opera writer. Soon, she gets a rude awakening by her aunt and uncle admonishing her for being impulsive, and basically leaving her to fend for herself. Thankfully, Dana meets a nice man called Kevin who takes a liking to her and gives her a ride in both ways if you know what I mean! That pretty much sums up the pilot. Oh wait, something important I remembered! She can also time travel, I believe that is important.
Sadly, this time travel is exclusive to the year of 1815 on a plantation, not the best place for a Black woman. Here though, she finds an important person, and a new mission which involves her traversing the two timelines to correct the flow of history.
Look, I am tired of all these Black trauma slave media showing how far we have come when in reality it feels like we have only walked about two steps when it comes to representation and equity. While this show is all about the time travel aspect and science fiction, I felt more connected to the present day storyline where Dana is just living her life as she meets a good guy that cares for her. Also, shout out to Kevin, because he is a true ride or die for her even though he seemed like a one night stand.
This is a show where the mundane seems more interesting and less triggering than the supernatural, and I would rather see those stories than another slave tale. The performances are good, as it goes for shows on FX, and the cinematography is very well done. Overall, the show is good, but be warned that some scenes may be triggering and racially intense.
I give the show 7 Rufuses in danger out of 10.
Episodes can also be streamed on Hulu.