John Singleton is back with Rebel… Does it Bang Though?

When I heard John Singleton was directing and executive producing a drama called Rebel, I was excited. John Singleton has brought us a few seminal classics in our lifetime. Starting with Boyz n the Hood, baby Boy, Shaft, Four Brothers and one or two other movies I’m forgetting.  I wonder where BET got the money to start producing all these shows they seem to be coming up with. Shout out to them though.

I saw a few stills of the show and thought he was going to kill it. I saw the trailer last week and became a bit sceptical. Watching the trailer, I got the feeling that the show is supposed to be deep but all the deepness will be surfacy. I don’t think I am difficult to impress but when I saw that trailer, I was a bit underwhelmed and wasn’t even excited about the show anymore. That didn’t mean I wasn’t going to watch it though! :-p

The show centres around a do it all lady called Rebecca (Rebel) who is similar to Sanaa Lathan’s character on shots fired. Rebecca is a cop and by some twist of fate watches her brother killed by another cop. When that happened, my immediate thought was oh dear! Not another black lives matter show! I thought shots fired had that covered.

Anyway, one thing leads to another and I Rebel is off the police force and stumbles into a new career as a private investigator (she will eventually quit her job as a police officer). All I could think of as she was strutting her stuff as a private investigator was what kind of Nancy Drew stuff is this? If the aim was to present her as a serious investigator then it is not very believable.

The other problem I had with the show is that it was excessively long – 82 minutes without ad breaks. A few times, I had to check the timer to find out why the show had not ended. The result of that is that the show feels like it is doing too many things at the same time. It felt all over the place. Another issue I had with it was the quality to the acting. I hate it when I can tell someone is acting. I’m not sure how to put it but everything seems very textbook. Apart from Giancarlo Esposito, no other actor seems like a natural. I can also tell that the fight scenes are choreographed.

Usually when I am watching a show, I don’t think my eye for details is that strong but when I start noticing things like that, it isn’t a good sign. It premiered a week after shots fired so it is inevitable that there will be comparisons with both shows. Whilst Shots Fired hasn’t quite achieved the universal acclaim I thought it would, it is a much more believable show and I am looking forward to watching the next episode. This time next week, I will probably have forgotten about Rebel which isn’t a very good thing.

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