Among the many race-related social thrillers being released lately, The Other Black Girl is one of the better ones.
A lot of things are at play in The Other Black Girl, a 10-part series adapted from the novel of the same name. The first half is a workplace horror that cleverly sets Nella’s career ambitions against the racial microaggressions she endures daily, while the second half is more of a mystery, with Nella digging deeper into Hazel’s sketchy past. At the same time, The Other Black Girl is also a comedy, a social thriller, and a revealing satire about the state of the publishing industry and companies at large. It doesn’t always succeed in balancing all the things it tries to be, but when it does, it soars; it becomes an exciting and meaningful piece of work you can’t stop watching. And even when it falters (it’s not as good at mystery as it is at commentary), The Other Black Girl remains largely enjoyable—addicting, even, since each episode runs for a breezy 30 minutes. Anchored by an extremely likable performance by Daniel and a chilling one from Murray, The Other Black Girl is easily one of the best multi-genre shows to come out in a while.
At the heart of the show’s mystery is Hazel, who switches from cheery colleague to creepy cult leader in a heartbeat. Her characterization is a little wanting, but what Murray spins out of what she has is impressive. I wouldn’t call her the strongest presence, since that title is shared by Brittany Adebumola, who plays Nella’s best friend, and Bellamy Young, Nella’s boss. And I wouldn’t call her the stand-out either, since that tile belongs to Hunter Parrish, Nella’s white boyfriend who sticks out like a sore thumb in Nella’s immediate circle. But Hazel is the most intriguing character; she holds a mystique that is both terrifying and attractive, perfectly delivered by Murray.
What did you think? Who should watch it?