Black Lightning (2018– )
7.5/10
483
3 user 5 critic

Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion 

As suspicions grow that Jefferson Pierce is Black Lightning, the ASA arranges to have him arrested. Lynn seeks help from Detective Henderson. Meanwhile, with Jefferson in custody, Gambi and... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Schultz

Writers:

Tony Isabella (based on characters created for DC by), Trevor Von Eeden (based on characters created for DC by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Cress Williams ... Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning
China Anne McClain ... Jennifer Pierce
Nafessa Williams ... Anissa Pierce / Thunder
Christine Adams ... Lynn Pierce
Marvin 'Krondon' Jones III ... Tobias Whale (credit only)
Damon Gupton ... Bill Henderson
James Remar ... Peter Gambi
Skye P. Marshall ... Kara Fowdy
Crystal Lee Brown ... Desk Sergeant
Regina Ting Chen ... Chandler Tong (as Regina Chen)
Anthony Reynolds ... Deputy Chief Cayman
Kyanna Simone Simpson ... Kiesha
Vanessa Aranegui ... Ms. Gordon
Jay Harmon III Jay Harmon III ... Jonate
Josh Henry ... Man in Lab Coat
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Storyline

As suspicions grow that Jefferson Pierce is Black Lightning, the ASA arranges to have him arrested. Lynn seeks help from Detective Henderson. Meanwhile, with Jefferson in custody, Gambi and Anissa work together to show Black Lightning is still running around the streets of Freeland.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
So Close, but...
7 April 2018 | by jjdigitalgraphicsSee all my reviews

This last episode, #11, would have been a 10 out of 10 for me but, as always -- MUSIC. I just hate the music choices. It drags every episode down to a 7.

I'll get this out of the way. Black Lightning is as good a show as The Flash and better than Arrow -- but what brings it down for me is the music -- I'm about to rant about the music.

It ALWAYS takes away from the story. They should use the cinematic formula and play HERO music like on the Flash when HERO stuff is being done. Whether it's Flash or Supergirl or Arrow, there is a CLEAR formula for the music that they are consciously violating for Black Lightning. They need to stop going old school black.

Seeing Black Lightning being beaten down a few episodes back while JAMES BROWN played, was just stupid. Here is Jefferson helpless on the ground, while one of the men who killed his father is kicking him, and JAMES BROWN is playing? Imagine The Rolling Stones playing while The Flash's back was being broken by Zoom.

I especially DETEST when they have people rapping in the background while Jefferson and Lynn are having a SOFT conversation. It's like they don't even watch the episode and see that it makes it difficult to hear the dialogue.

I've always loved black lightning. I own Black Lightning #1. Bought it as a kid in the 1970s. I like the show quite a bit. The continuing flaw for me is the music. Same for Luke Cage. Too much old school black music. It was even worse there because people were standing around LISTENING to black music for no reason. And don't get me wrong. My Spotify playlists are full of old-school black music, but I wouldn't want to hear that music Every time Finn fought in Star Wars or the Falcon kicked someone. That's how exploitative it seems to me. I also happen to love composers like Jerry Goldsmith, Gene Page, and John Williams.

I couldn't finish House of 10,000 Corpses because of the rock and roll soundtrack. I couldn't take it seriously. I really hope this improves in the next season.

There is something WRONG HERE! In the age of equal treatment, Black Lightning is treated differently. Black Lightning should be just another superhero brought to life on the CW. All the other superheroes get to have adventurous music swirling in the background while the star gives a short monologue introducing themselves. This is apparently the CW formula. Black Lightning gets a short rapper who draws attention to the character's race -- despite Black being in his name.

Go to youtube and watch the reactions to Black Lightning 1x11. When you hear the commentators talking about such serious topics and how it moves them so much, and hear the music in the background, it's even more silly-sounding. People were TORN UP about this episode.! I watched a number of reactions to it, and the music that bled through in the background actually MOCKED what they were saying about Black Lightning.

If popular music just HAS TO BE part of the story, Why not have Jefferson end each episode by winding down and playing a record. That way you can actually SHOW the artist's name and song title. Let him brood as it plays for a while, and then resume dialog.

But ACTION scenes should have SUPERHERO ACTION music. SAD scenes should have SAD music. I understand that the WORDS and even titles in some of the music choices make a lot of sense, but the lyrics aren't complete because soundtracks are by definition, in the BACKGROUND. Scenes are usually shorter than songs, and if you happen to have a scene that's four minutes long, you usually still can't silence the actors for the song itself to be the dialogue.

And when the lyrics drone on and CAN be heard, they usually battle dialog. I've never seen this as chronically bad as I've seen it in Black Lightning, where sometimes I have to squint to pay attention to what the CHARACTERS are softly saying because some fool is rapping in the background. The lyrics might be incredibly on point, but I simply CAN'T listen to them at the SAME TIME. So pick appropriate music. Not someone hollering or rapping in the background while people are talking.

I've noticed that in soundtracks I have to blockbuster movies, the songs are there on the soundtrack, but I don't remember them in the movie. If they played them, they didn't get in the way and frankly, I didn't notice them. Guardians of the Galaxy was different -- and did it well. There was a finite set of music on the show that a character loved, and it was played for a reason. Black Lightning just turned into Black Dynamite -- or worse -- The Last Dragon. And don't get me wrong. I LOVED Black Dynamite, but it was a comedy, and Black Lightning is a Drama edging on sublime.

And what's the deal with 70s music being "on point?" This is set in 2018. Should Superman be playing 1930s music? Wonder Woman? Should they be playing Glen Miller when Cap is fighting The Winter Soldier? Hulk came out in 1962. Should they only play Bee Bop and Beatles when the Hulk is fighting? Avengers, 1966 I believe. The X-men, also 1960s. Are their soundtracks stuck in the past?

Also, the type of rap played on Black Lightning is NOT 70s rap. The only rap song really available at the time were Rappers Delight and The Breaks. Gangsta didn't exist when I purchased Black Lightning #1. And the other music played on Black Lightning seems to predate what I listened to -- and I'm 54. I don't get the reason why so many black productions are caught in the past when it comes to music -- and even those that arent -- will play inappropriate hip hop music. Black Lightning does both. Not all. Black Panther was perfect as far as this goes.

So why the dichotomy in Black Lightning? Why the 60s and 70s music that alienates the younger viewers, and 2000s gangsta rap and alienate people my age? Why not TIMELESS cinematic music, tried and tested in the industry? No one is going to have to explain the music being played on The Flash in 2070.

Black lightning, especially this episode, could be taken so much more seriously and be more poignant if not mocked by its own soundtrack. Black Lightning is not just a CW Show that I like. He was my real hero in the 70s. I was proud when he got his ass kicked by Superman because Superman didn't know who he was, but Black Lightning didn't hesitate at all to immediately save Superman, who stood no chance against the Cyclotronic Man. As much as I loved that comic, if it were brought to life, and James Brown was playing while Superman was beating Black Lightning -- and Gangsta Rap was played while Black Lightning saved Superman -- I would shoot myself in the head.

I remember once, in the break room on lunch, I watched a movie that happened to be playing on BET. I don't know what it was about, but two black characters hopped into a golf cart and rode across a parking lot. While they did, a little hip-hop beat played. When they stopped, they got out, the music stopped, and they resumed talking. I remember thinking, if the KKK had made this scene, people would call it racist.


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