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Friday, October 18, 2019

This Week's Reviews

Black City Demon
Having barely escaped with his life after helping defeat an attempted coup in the land of Feirie, you’d be forgiven for thinking Nick Medea might seize the opportunity to take a well-earned break.
Oh, if only being the Guardian of the Gate between realms was ever that easy.
Not only is it necessary for Nick to increase his efforts – balancing the investigation of paranormal events during the upheaval caused by a gang warfare laced prohibition, against warding off repeated incursions from the Wyld – but, it seems, he also has to contend with a full-on attack from an incubuslike creature founded on the mortal plane that’s set its sights on subverting all life on both sides of the Gate.
Who could this illusive monster be? Why is it so determined to strike at supposedly undefeatable foes? And how do these events tie into a horrific spate of murders committed more than thirty years previously?
One thing’s for sure, life’s never dull for Nick and the gang who once again get caught in the middle of a titanic battle that threatens the very fabric of reality.
Hold onto your hats. This is urban fantasy at its best, where fact, fiction and dark humor are plausibly woven together in a way that’ll guarantee you’ll want to take a second look at those shadows lurking in the corner.
Superb stuff, and tremendously good fun!

When They See Us
This miniseries is based on the events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the repercussions in the lives of 5 young boys – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise – and their families when they are arrested, brutalized and subsequently imprisoned for a crime they did not commit.
The true assailant was eventually identified in 2002 after coming forward. DNA and corroborating evidenced proved that person to be the true offender. Alas for the five boys, they had already served lengthy prison sentences and were looked on as pariahs by many in their communities until the state withdrew all charges against them, removed them from the sex offender registry, and awarding them considerable damages
A happy ending, do you think?
Far from it.
What’s particularly powerful about this show is the way it captures the essence of the time. Those boys were innocent. The cops knew it, and yet, they went out of their way to secure a conviction at all costs. Systematic racism. Psychological and physical abuse amounting to torture. Bending – and in many cases, simply breaking – the rules and due process. And don’t forget, we’re talking about boys between 14 and 16 years old. Not only were they innocent, but one, Korey Wise, wasn’t even there in Central Park.
And once they were in the system, it got worse. Parents were unable to visit their sons because they were incarcerated hundreds of miles from home. And in Korey’s case – he couldn’t apply for parole as that would mean admitting to a crime he never committed and accepting he did wrong. A terrible injustice. I don’t mind admitting I was spitting bricks through many parts of the show.
Because that’s the thing.
This wasn’t just a show. “When They See Us” is merely a frank portrayal of the true life discrimination suffered by five boys who last a major part of their young adult lives because of a corrupt and unfair system. No amount of compensation can ever redress the balance.
But people can. The question is: will we?

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