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Black Mafia Family review: A usual long story of money, power and greed that will leave you at your wits' end

The series is a drag and offers a usual story of a life of brothers who take up drug trafficking to earn money and what starts as a means to end poverty becomes an addiction, which puts the lives of their families and friends at risk. It would have better be told as a film if the story had to be told at all. The series seems to also glorify them and just their crimes. 

2.5
  • Akhila Damodaran

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 06.30 PM, Jan 06, 2022

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Black Mafia Family

Story:

The series is about money, power and greed. Inspired by the true events from the lives of Detroit brothers Demetrius and Terry Flenory, the drama revolves around the two as they grew to become one of the most influential crime families in the country. Created by Randy Huggins, the series stars Russell Hornsby, Demetrius Flenory Jr., Da'Vinchi, Michole Briana White, Eric Kofi-Abrefa, Ajiona Alexus, Myles Truitt and Steve Harris, among others. 

Review:

The story of the Black Mafia Family, the infamous African American drug trafficking and money laundering group is told from the perspective of Demetrius aka Big Meech, one of the Detroit Brothers. The series is narrated in a non-linear manner in eight episodes, showing the journey of Big Meech and his brother Terry. Born in a righteous family, they grow up to lead the largest cocaine empires in the US.

The drama opens with Big Meech returning to the southwest part of Detroit and being recognised by one of his men and Big Meech claiming that nothing has changed. The series then progresses with their journey with some flashbacks showing the bond shared by the two brothers Big Meech and Terry. Big Meech earns money through the drug trade and pays for their house mortgage. His mother initially refuses to accept the money but later gives in as she is left with no other option either. Big Meech convinces Terry too to join the drug trade. The series then follows all the pains and issues that the family had to endure due to the illegal activities of the boys. Despite the parents trying to speak them out of it, they seem adamant and unapologetic.  

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Black Mafia Family

The series is a drag and offers a usual story of a life of brothers who take up drug trafficking to earn money and what starts as a means to end poverty becomes an addiction, which puts the lives of their families and friends at risk. It would have better be told as a film if the story had to be told at all. The series seems to also glorify them and just their crimes. The story has several loose ends too as it does not show or explain how exactly did Big Meech get into the trade and how his family found out first. 

The series has unfortunately been renewed for another season. The drama is already too lengthy and seems like a drag with about 50 minutes of each episode. One's time can be better invested than watching the series which is not at all relatable and only glorifies the crime lords. Each episode opens with a quote from Demetrius where he says how it all began to earn some money and get rid of poverty and later, it became about addiction. In further episodes, he is also quoted saying that it all became about power as he wanted to prove himself to his friends and community.

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The highlights of the series are the way it cleverly shares the disclaimer, trying to speak the language of the black people, and portraying them in the majority. This is one of the few series that has fewer white people. If the makers intended to make a series on black people, they could have found better stories than portraying a stereotype on how they are all into hip-hop, drugs, crimes and using foul language. The performances of the actors too are commendable and the chemistry between the two brothers is amazing and effortless.

Verdict:

An eight-hour-long story, which seems to try and justify the crimes committed by the Detroit brothers Demetrius and Terry Flenory, could have better fitted in a film format. Their life story offers nothing new that one could not have guessed and hence, it is not really a recommended watch. The time that you may think of investing in the series can be better utilised. 

The series is streaming on Lionsgate Play.


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