The season premiere of Underground aired this pasted Wednesday, March 9, 2016. The TV series stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge and is about a group of slaves planning to escape a large plantation and will be helped by an abolitionist couple along the way. Underground is short for the Underground railroad, a system of secret routes and safe houses used to help slaves to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. Below is a synopsis of the show:
“Early in the premiere of WGN America’s slave-revolt drama Underground, a captured runaway named Noah (Aldis Hodge) is shoved into a decrepit shed on a plantation in rural Georgia. The year is 1857; the Civil War is still four long years away. The camera whips around 360 degrees from Noah’s point of view, catching glimpses of sick, malnourished black men and women, all of them shivering in makeshift bunks and slumped against unforgiving walls. And though he does not say a word, the sequence immediately establishes Noah as the show’s determined protagonist. At the risk of sounding crass given the historical atrocity the show unflinchingly deals with, it feels like the moment when this slave resolves to be something of a superhero.”
I started looking into this show about a month before its premiere, watching interviews of the actors and the making of the show itself. I also follow Smollett on Twitter and she’s been very excited about it. My opinion of the show? So far so good. The premiere has a nice set up or rather introduction into how the show will play itself out. We can already see who the people are who will help the slaves to escape, those who will possibly create safe houses for them for instance, and those, both black and white, who will be their stumbling block. I love the determination of Noah to recruit others in their attempt to escape the plantation, that he has a plan and that, as he says it, escaping is not just about running but will require the slaves to work together in a strategic way. In short, I am so far enjoying the coming together of the crew and I look forward to the rest of the series.