*This mid-season review includes details from episode 6.
BET’s Boomerang is meant for black millennial’s and there’s no mistaking it.
We meet the show’s main characters on set of a shoot for an advertising agency in Atlanta. Over time it’s clear that Simone Graham’s (Tetona Jackson) father owns the agency she and her friends Bryson (Tequan Richmond) and Crystal (Brittany Inge) work at. Simone doesn’t last long though, needing to step out of her father’s shadow and make a name of her own. We see her boldly step away from the security of her father’s finances and begin representing her friend, and entertainer, Tia (Lila Milan) as a hustle.
Meanwhile Bryson and Crystal find their ideas fading into the background at the Graham Agency where commercials seem to be stuck in the 90s with top executives. Crystal isn’t too happy with Simone’s decision to leave the agency—they have apartment bills to pay—yet she still supports her best friend in her attempt to come into her own. Crystal, too, is finding herself after a divorce from another friend in “the crew” David (RJ Walker). Most of the main characters appear to be in their mid to late 20’s, working to figure themselves—and the world around them—out. Ari (Leland B. Martin) is the only friend in the group who isn’t as uptight about a fancy career and knowing what’s next.
An emergency two-hour drive to pick up Simone’s god-sister proved how tight the group is, even when they can’t stand each other. Even after Simone quit the Graham Agency, she offered to partner with her friends at the agency to have Tia rap in a commercial. Simone and Bryson have a friendship that dips in and out of situationship status, but it hasn’t disrupted their friend group, yet.
The show is lit beautifully, shot beautifully and the cast, too, is gorgeous. At times the dialogue feels forced, like when Bryson emphasized how black the HBCU they attended in college was, but overall the way they talk and bond feels authentic to black millennials today. What I love most is how Tia’s queerness lives unquestioned on the show. Instead of a detailed, somber storyline about why she’s queer, all we hear is she “tried the D” once and never wanted to try it again. Seeing her love on and obsess over her new, yet long time (in queer years), bae Rocky (Kim Alex Hall) made my soul sing. For one, black masculine women don’t get nearly enough screen time, and two, just seeing the couple flirt made me feel seen (AF!).
Executive producer Lena Waithe’s presence in Boomerang is clear. In ” Homecoming” (episode 6), Simone and Bryson talk about an episode of A Different World (Waithe’s favorite show, CC: Hillman Productions) and in “The Let Out” (episode 5) a frustrated Tia asked Simone and Rocky why they were acting like Bobby and Robyn. Waithe loves Whitney Houston.
Those looking for Boomerang to be a direct reflection or continuation of the 1992 film will likely be disappointed. BET’s Boomerang is a telling of its own. The show’s pristine visuals explore young adults making young adult mistakes in an Instagram-perfect world. It’s a necessary viewing for young folks out of college who thought they’d have their future on lock, but are still figuring shit out.