RINGSIDE (2020) Official Trailer / Showtime Sports (YouTube)

First Impressions: Within the first few seconds of the trailer I hear the narrator say, “Your best fighters come from hard backgrounds.” Following the lives of Kenneth Sims Jr. and Destyne Butler Jr. (and their fathers who train them), this immediately gives me the gritty yet heartwarming feel of Claressa Shields’ T-Rex documentary, which I loved. I’m looking forward to watching this.


Through The Night (PBS; Release Date: May 10, 2021)

Through The Night Official festival trailer / YouTube

First Impressions: A selection at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, Through the Night is a gripping peek into the economic and emotional challenges of Americans through the eyes of a 24-hour daycare center in Westchester, NY. Along with highlighting this very important and currently relevant story, director Loira Limbal also launched the Essential Care Fundraiser on GoFundMe. The trailer is extremely effective as it already has me tearing up. I’m in.


P-Valley (Starz; Release Date: July 12, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET/PT)

P-Valley Official Teaser #2 / STARZ (YouTube)

First Impressions: Described as “trap music meets film noir,” P-Valley is created by Katori Hall (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) and based on her play, Pussy Valley. This drama will take us deep into the Mississippi Delta and with all the scandals and conflict, it looks like it’ll keep us there. And I spy the walking eye candy known as Tyler Lepley (The Have and The Have Nots).


Dark Girls 2 (OWN; Release Date: June 30, 2020, at 10 p.m. ET/PT)

Trailer: “Dark Girls 2" / OWN (YouTube)

First Impressions: It seems so long ago since the first iteration of this documentary premiered (2011) and unfortunately, I’m not sure we’re any closer to reconciliation when it comes to colorism in our community. Especially given the recent conversations that have happened around Kenya Barris and #BlackAF, it may be time we step into that highly uncomfortable spot once again. Filmmaker D. Channsin Berry returns for this sequel and I’m hoping that it tackles what has been a pretty circular argument in a new and challenging way. We shall see how it goes.


Queer Eye 5 (Netflix; Release Date: June 5, 2020)

Queer Eye: Season 5 Official Trailer / Netflix (YouTube)

First Impressions: Oh, I see we’re already popping off with an eye-catching story—a priest who identifies as gay. Fans of the Queer Eye guys will be happy to know that the fifth season will showcase more of their well-known tear-inducing stories (this time, in Philly), such as a young black woman who feels insecure about her tall height. Get out your Kleenex.


The Old Guard (Netflix; Release Date: July 10, 2020)

The Old Guard Official Trailer / Netflix (YouTube)

First Impressions: After just recently celebrating the 20th anniversary of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball, we get to look forward to something new and exciting from her, as well. In The Old Guard, we’re following a bunch of mercenaries who with Wolverine-like regenerative abilities. Plus, we get to see KiKi Layne in a badass role.


Dear... (Apple TV+; Release Date: June 5, 2020)

Dear... — Official Trailer / Apple TV (YouTube)

First Impressions: When I first heard of this series, the concept alone inspired me—we’re showcasing a myriad of talented people as they read the letters from the people they’ve inspired. As someone who definitely wrote letters to the writers and filmmakers who inspired me, the mere thought of them responding always thrilled me. Featuring the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Yara Shahidi, Stevie Wonder, Misty Copeland and more, this looks like quite the endearing series.


Miss Juneteenth (Digital and On-Demand; Release Date: June 19, 2020)

Miss Juneteenth Official Trailer (HD) / Vertical Entertainment US (YouTube)

First Impressions: Let me get this out of the way—this is a Nicole Beharie stan Kinja account. Her most recent portrayal in Black Mirror’s “Striking Vipers” episode had people remembering just who the fuck she was in this acting game and I’m excited to see more of her. Miss Juneteenth was, unfortunately, one of the films I missed at Sundance so I’m glad that we’ll get to stream it...and yes, the release date is perfect, for obvious reasons.


TENET (IMAX Theaters; Release Date: July 17, 2020)

TENET - NEW TRAILER / Warner Bros. Pictures (YouTube)

First Impressions: Despite pretty much every other movie pushing back their release date during the pandemic, director Christopher Nolan is holding firm on keeping the original July release date and it looks like Warner Bros. is letting him do it...at least at the time of this post. Anything could change. I know one thing: this movie was certainly filmed to be displayed on an IMAX screen (in 75mm), so I know Nolan would never resort to premiering it on a streaming platform, but I thought he’d at least compromise on the release date. Nope! Anyway, aside from my excitement about John David Washington leading a Nolan film, wtf is this movie about? Washington’s character rejects the notion that it’s simply about time travel, but “inversion.” Yeahhhh, I’m predicting some Inception-level head-scratching awaits us, here. And yet, I still want to see it, badly. Don’t ask me if I’m going to rush to an IMAX theater during this time, though...


That’s all, folks! I know your Memorial Day BBQing function will be a tad lonelier during social distancing and cookouts over Zoom aren’t the same, but I hope you have a joyful long weekend. Wash those hands.