The Other Girl has horror, comedy, and serious themes [RECENZJA]

The Polish title “The Other Girl” may be misleading. The original “The Other Black Girl” immediately suggests that issues of race are at the center of both the series and the novel, which the writer herself, Zakiya Delilah Harris, brought to the screen with the help of Rashida Jones (primarily known for her). A role in “Parks and Recreation” that brings more and more interesting accomplishments on the other side of the camera). The English title also suggests a satirical look at white America, where two black women working together in some industries is already a thing of the past. So there will be a “first” and a “second” – and we already have a complete set. They don’t even have to mention names and titles, removing dependency seems superior.

The Other Girl – What is the Disney+ series about?

In this case, it’s about the publishing industry. Nella (Sinclair Daniel, wonderful in her first major role) has been trying to break into Wagner’s books for two years and is relieved to see Hazel (Ashley Murray, “Riverdale”), with whom she can mock the company’s alleged openness and share an interest. In books about black heroines…it seems that after the first annoying situation, in which Hazel almost got Nella fired, everything went well, and the women supported each other, and this led to amazing results.

The main character, tormented by dreams and visions, comes to the conclusion that something is wrong with Wagner Books and its owner, Richard (Eric McCormack, “Will & Grace”), and the publishing house’s only black editor has disappeared over the course of three years. Decades ago, Kendra Rae Phillips (Cassie Maddox), whom we see in flashbacks from the late 1980s at the beginning of the series, is hiding a dark secret. At the same time, Nella’s old friend, the confident and utterly loyal Malika (Brittany Adebomola of the late “Big Army”), will begin to suspect that Hazel has no good intentions.

“The Other Girl” (Image: Hulu)

Secrets, possible conspiracies, masks and lies – “The Other Girl” multiplies such leads and clues, true or false. Some of them are presented in a satirical way, in the form of an office comedy that exposes the shortcomings of the employees of the publishing house, such as Vera (Bellamy Young, “Scandal”), Nella’s boss. Other plot twists are thrills or even pure horror. During the show, you have to keep up with the changing traditions, but it’s a lot of fun.

The most fun while watching the Hulu series (which is available in its entirety on Disney+) comes from the interactions of Nella, Malaika, and Owen (Hunter Parrish, “Weed”), Nella’s boyfriend, who deftly breaks down racial stereotypes in this story. Our other mental habits: He is white, works in an underfunded school, supports his partner in every situation, and cooks. What’s more, you’ll have to find out for yourself, because the show, which sometimes presents its theses directly, never raises the issue of Owen’s youth or his race, which makes this relationship incredibly charming.

The Other Girl is a better comedy than horror

The goofy team conducts an amateur investigation in a way that brings to mind an innocent youth soap opera or the adventures of the Scooby-Doo gang rather than a socially-minded adult horror film, but it works well. I would say better than the more serious storylines. While watching “The Other Girl” I had to shift my expectations a little in order to have a good time. Well, after the announcements, I was expecting a solid “Lovecraft Country” style story and formal experiences straight out of “Atlanta” or “I Am a Virgo.” At the same time, I’ve been treated to a series that theoretically blends lore and talk about racism, but in practice it’s much lighter than the aforementioned titles, making it more effective as five hours of fun entertainment with nice characters rather than a story about trying. To change the world for the better, and change bad people for the worse.

The other girl reviews her opinions
“The Other Girl” (Image: Hulu)

I’m not saying that some “high quality” ideas didn’t come to me. “The Other Girl” effectively highlights character motivations, showing how good goals can lead to disastrous results. There is also a compelling suggestion, underscored by the style of photography, that surprisingly little has changed in terms of opportunities for black women since the 1980s. However, the plot itself is so simple in places and so ridiculous in others, that if I didn’t like Nella so much, I wouldn’t necessarily want to follow the next “surprising” revelations about what actually happens in Wagner’s books.

At the same time, I have to admit that “The Other Girl” cleverly plays on audience expectations at times. If someone (like people who give 1/10 on websites without watching it) expects a story where all blacks are good and all whites are bad, they might be surprised – but I won’t reveal more, because the question is who? But trusting those you don’t trust is part of the fun of the session. In my opinion, this isn’t as big a part as Nyla’s witty dialogues with her friends or subtle pop culture references (if you associate the series with Jordan Peele’s films, it’s true – and the series itself openly acknowledges that). For people who work with texts, The Other Girl offers an exaggerated but often accurate portrait of working with copywriters and the struggle to survive in corporate hierarchies and everyday situations—some funny, some frightening.

The Other Girl – Is it worth watching the Disney+ series?

We have some serious questions here. Is success determined by willpower or excellence? Is it worth playing as a team or going through the professional jungle alone? Which sisterhood of black women is right and moral? Where is the limit on concessions that are supposed to make life easier? However, these questions are somewhat lost in the thriller plot, which is full of fairly surprising twists, and there is still room for satire and horror. However, when the series in its weaker moments reminded me of a bizarre plot from the final season of “The Perfect Case,” I came to the conclusion that, first, there was nuance here, and second, the creators were writing the series from the perspective of black women, not white women’ fantasies “Their struggles.

The other girl reviews her opinions
“The Other Girl” (Image: Hulu)

Ultimately, after the entire “Other Girl” season, I felt good that we got to such a conclusion. Plus, Daniel (all the time) and Murray (especially at the end of the season, when we get to know Hazel better) take this uneven scenario to the next level, the jokes are really funny, and the more serious topics stick in the mind at least a little.

Perhaps this is ultimately a sign of positive change, that not every production relating to racial issues today has to be so poignant, controversial, experimental and ‘groundbreaking’, because sometimes you can have a lot of fun? I’d definitely prefer to watch “Atlanta,” but Nella’s frequent references to “Bridgertons” fit the Hulu production perfectly, because although there are many differences between the adaptation of Harris’ book and the adaptation of Julia Quinn’s series, they share a certain lightness where one might expect heaviness.

The Other Girl series is available on Disney+

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