As human sciences teacher Camille (Meagan Good) puts it, the start of winter flags the start of a season brimming with monster sweaters, occasional lattes, and the enthusiastic inclination to tunnel at home in as comfortable a style as could really be expected. While Camille brings this all up to clarify “handcuffing season” (for example the colder months motivating single individuals to look for an accomplice to tunnel with), I bring it up to clarify why investing energy with “Harlem” feels about right during this season, when fun and comfortable programming rules. From maker Tracy Oliver (“Girls Trip”), the new Amazon Prime Video series runs 10 scenes in length, however flies by quickly by any stretch of the imagination.
The season follows Camille and her gathering of companions, an “strong sisterhood” that incorporates stalwart heartfelt Quinn (Grace Byers), exceptional tech expert Tye (Jerrie Johnson), and exuberant vocalist Angie (Shoniqua Shandai). As one more show around four thirtysomething companions living, snickering, adoring in one of New York City’s most quickly improving areas, “Harlem” unavoidably has a few equals to Starz’s “Run the World.” Still, “Harlem” has all the more a bubblegum snap to it, and an alternate sufficient record of entertainers and storylines to keep the two series particular enough from one another. All things considered, a lot of shows have included a white gathering of companions attempting to make it in the huge city; there’s no motivation behind why there shouldn’t be space for two simultaneous shows about Black ladies doing likewise.
“Harlem,” as far as one might be concerned, separates itself by highlighting a charming primary lesbian person in Tye, who rapidly becomes one of the show’s most convincing on account of Johnson’s alluring presentation. Tye’s brilliant and certain about her capacities, yet has a large enough load of emotional baggage to keep her from totally claiming all her senses. And keeping in mind that everybody in “Harlem” is at a junction of sorts, as the maker of a dating application only for eccentric minorities, Tye’s on the edge of the sort of achievement that could set her up forever. That Tye’s clearly failed to mesh eccentric minorities into her own life outside of sex and sentiment is a bizarre and glaring part of her life that in some way never comes up — but on the other hand she’s a long way from the main gay person on TV to have a completely straight gathering of companions, so it’s not totally a shock, by the same token.
Great, in the mean time, does the most she can with Camille, a person that is apparently the paste of the gathering however is by a long shot the most un-particular. Indeed, even as her voiceovers bookend each scene, Camille turning her anthropological focal point on the romantic comedy takes advantage of around her doesn’t exactly work. (The pilot’s theme of having Camille seek to resemble an individual from the matriarchal Mosuo tribe, including a quiet Asian lady sticking into outline at whatever point she mulls over everything, is an especially odd and burdensome gadget that wraps up of the scene no genuine blessings.) Though Camille’s storylines are most intriguing when Good will act inverse Whoop Goldberg as Camille’s insightful new chief, “Harlem” in any case works best when following her companions, every one of whom feels all the more strongly drawn.
As Quinn and Angie, Byers and Shandai draw out the most nuanced parts of their characters effortlessly. Byers, most popular for playing smooth scoundrel Anika on “Realm,” draws on that rich person to play this new one, yet in addition exhibits a sharp feeling of timing that keeps Quinn convincing. Shandai orders the screen each time she’s on it, particularly as Angie gets off Quinn’s lounge chair and into a cleverly reviled melodic transformation of “Get Out.” (The “Depressed Place” and “Liberal Family” dance numbers and set plan feel sufficiently genuine to be considerably more awkward; it’s extremely simple to envision this creation hitting Broadway any moment now… )