8.2
The Staff

As is only appropriate for a limited series about such a horrific period in human history, The Underground Railroad isn’t meant to be easy viewing. Thanks to uncompromising direction from Barry Jenkins (the director of the Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight) and unforgettable images from cinematographer James Laxton, this approaches a level of confrontational storytelling that almost seems inappropriate for the comforts of television. But it’s essential viewing nonetheless, and Jenkins makes sure to transform this into a much stranger, more thought-provoking tale beyond the brutality of its first episode.

The Underground Railroad is speculative fiction: instead of being a historical account of the real-life network of routes to help free African-American slaves, it imagines a literal train that swiftly transports Cora (a powerful Thuso Mbedu) from one dystopian vision of white America to another. With every new setting, Jenkins doesn’t just talk about slavery; he talks about how America talks about slavery, and how the stories of these Black slaves are constantly reappropriated by white supremacists.

1. You can watch
The Underground Railroad
on
Amazon Prime

Price:
 $12.99 per month
Free Trial:
 30 days
Device availability:
 Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Changhong, Chromecast, Haier, Hisense, iOS, LG, Nvidia SHIELD, Panasonic, Philips, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung, Sharp, Skyworth, Sony, TiVo, Vestel, Vizio, Wii, Xbox

Amazon’s premium membership program includes access to the streaming platform Prime Video, more commonly referred to in this publication as simply “Amazon Prime.”

If you live in the US, the UK or Germany, you have the option between paying a yearly or monthly subscription fee for an Amazon Prime account, which comes with a bulk of other retail and delivery services. People in other countries where Amazon is not operating may be able to access it from a browser only.

In addition to on-demand streaming, you can rent or purchase TV shows that are not on the service for an additional fee. As well as Amazon devices, the app is available on any mobile device, including iOS, Android, or Windows. The app also works on Apple and Windows computers, on a wide range of TVs, mobile devices, and games consoles.

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