Random Acts of Flyness (HBO)
Random Acts of Flyness is the kind of television series that breaks the mold of what we think television is and can be, especially televisual blackness. The stories, forms of storytelling, and characters may seem familiar, yet television has seldom shown us the interiority of these black lives, or their emotional, psychological, and intellectual worlds. The show’s critiques are biting, its insights playful, and its dreams uncanny. Random Acts of Flyness ponders what it means to be young and black in America and produces a layered, complex experience of wonder, joy, and insight. The series brilliantly assembles black sonic, visual, and literary worlds into a 21st century cut ‘n’ mix black aesthetic of absurdity, critique, affirmation, and fun—perfectly suited to explore black vulnerability, violence, death, racism, body politics, transsexual and gender nonconformity, women’s health and safety, and masculinity, routed through black love and black face. Most importantly, it does so without a preoccupation with white gaze or desire. Random Acts of Flyness centers blackness as a complex, productive historical fact and contemporary lived experience rather than a phobic-obsessed reaction to whiteness. Part throw up, part throw down, Random Acts of Flyness builds television worlds that are unapologetically black and intensely televisual. It ingeniously utilizes animation, gaming, sci-fi, game show, documentary, and news, along with drama and sketch comedy, and critical academic and literary discourses to stretch representations of black worlds. For setting a new high standard for the next generation of content makers, Random Acts of Flyness wins a Peabody Award.
Creators: Terence Nance. Showrunners: Terence Nance, Tamir Muhammad. Executive Producers: Kelley Robins Hicks, Kishori Rajan, Terence Nance, Jamund Washington, Ravi Nandan, John Hodges, Tamir Muhammad, Chanelle Aponte Pearson. Directors: Terence Nance, Frances Bodomo, Shaka King, Darius Clark Monroe, Naima Ramos-Chapman, Jamund Washington, Mariama Diallo. Writers: Terence Nance, Jamund Washington, Frances Bodomo, Naima Ramos-Chapman, Nelson Nance, Shaka King, Mariama Diallo, Darius Clark Monroe. Editors: Terence Nance, Kristan Sprague, Jonathan L. Proctor, Naima Ramos-Chapman. Cinematography: Shawn Peters. Sound Music: Terence Etc, Emile Mosseri, Nelson Bandela Nance, Jon Bap, Nick Hakim.