If you have not been watching the web series Giants on Issa Rae’s (Insecure) YouTube channel, you are missing out!
According to Colorlines.com, Giants is a web series created, written, and starring James Bland. The series follows three Black friends that are riding a big, yellow struggle bus into their 30s.
Malachi – a struggling model that recently abandoned his religious roots of Christianity. The most complex of the three.
Journee – portrayed by Vanessa Baden, who played Kyra Rockmore in Kenan Kel (so much nostalgia), is Malachi’s best friend and now roommate. Malachi moved Journee in to help with the rent, but because of her mental health, she is struggling to keep a job.
Ade – aka ASnack is a good friend of Malachi. He is a Nigerian immigrant who was recently cut off by his father for pursuing his passion of dance full-time instead of his engineering career.
According to the creator of Giants, Jame Bland, via Colorlines, he states,
“the series in part to address mental illness, personal identity crises and masculinity—themes that he feels Black characters don’t get to explore much on screen. The latter theme is especially relevant to the relationship between Ade and Malachi.”
Being a 20-something, Black millennials that identifies with this drama’s core themes, it is extremely relatable. I find myself saying, “same, girl” or “I remember when I went through this” or “me and best friend just had this conversation” a lot while watching Giants.
I truly appreciate the honest storytelling for and by a Black creative.
After reading this article in Colorlines, and seeing that Jussie Smollett executive produces the show, I knew I needed this in my life. I love what I’ve seen so far, so let’s talk it.
(Watch before reading further – spoilers!)
Episode one opens with Malachi running, well he’s being chased actually. He finds himself on top of a roof, at the edge, with his only option to jump in a pool of water or face whatever or whoever is chasing him. He decides to jump and as he’s falling he wakes up in a slight panic.
Am I the only one that has dreams like this!? I’ve had that very same dream countless times.
Unable to sleep to, Malachi fixes himself some tea, submits a mirror selfie to a want ad on Craiglist, and reads Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist until the sun rises.
The next scene we find an extremely depressed Journee as Malachi attempts to get her out of bed and into work. After trying to reason with her, Malachi leaves to a get a spray bottle and a towel and sprays Journee with cold water until she gets up. This seems like this isn’t the first time he’s had to do this. He picks out her clothes for her and heads to his modeling gig he got from Craiglist.
He shows up at his gig where he exchanges pleasantries with this white woman as she admires his body.
As Malachi gets undressed, he asks what she plans to do with the painting. She states it’s for a project called “Black Bodies Matter” in response to police brutality.
Am I the only one tired of white folks exploiting Black pain for the sack of their “art?”
It’s funny how she is doing a piece about Black bodies mattering when she just completely fetishized this Black man’s body. But that’s another issue for another day.
Anyway, as she proceeds to give her white woman “I thought racism was over with Obama” speech, Malachi goes into a very passionate rant of systematic racism and navigating it as a Black man. A reaction that most of tend to have when discussing these issues, especially with people who probably mean well but really have no idea what they’re talking about. This white woman was not ready for all of that and quickly changes the topic and starts the painting.
The next scene cuts to Malachi dropping shoes off to ASnack… I mean Ade. They speak briefly about Ade’s situation with his father, and Malachi’s changing religious beliefs. As Ade leaves, he denies Malachi’s invitation to watch Love and Hip Hop later that night because he has a date. Apparently, this date is top secret because he refuses to share details.
Now we’re back at Malachi and Journee’s apartment where she is trying to explain her depression and why she didn’t go to work that day.
Some time passes, and as they’re chillen on the couch Journee shares that she’s just been fired. Malachi makes them both Hennessy floats, vanilla ice cream and Hennessy to cope. Which actually sounds super lit.
ASnack ends up showing up at the apartment that night. After asking why he’s not on his date, he says he doesn’t want to talk about.
After some time they all fall asleep, cuddled on the couch together.
Malachi’s dream picks up where it left off, except now has jumped off the roof into the pool water and is now drowning.
This dream is a clearly a metaphor for his current reality.
Running from and drowning in life’s problems.
As he’s drowning in his dream, Malachi has stopped breathing. The episode ends with Ade and Journee trying to wake him up.
I told y’all this show was good!
Episode 1 laid a solid foundation to build on for the rest of the season.
(Watch before reading further – spoilers!)
Episode dos opens with Journee hysterically crying and vomiting.
Malachi goes to check on her and joins her in bed as a talk about their respective struggles.
I really appreciate Malachi and Journee’s friendship. Although he doesn’t fully understand Journee’s depression, he does what he can as her friend to make sure she’s straight. Whether that be making her a Hennessy float or inviting her to tag along for the day. It’s the little things.
As Drew Anthuny plays in the background, we see Ade trying to reach out to his father. Ade’s father clearly doesn’t want any parts of Ade right now and the call goes to voicemail. Ade then calls someone named “Mel.” We later let find out that Mel was Ade’s date the night before. Mel doesn’t answer either.
I’d never do you like that, Ade.
Malachi has a gig delivering cupcakes that morning. Journee derives from her initial plan to stay in bed all day and decides to join Malachi. As they walk to the car, Malachi notices a dreadhead man that’s been parked in a Prius all morning. Malachi is suspicious, but Journee doesn’t seem to care too much. As they drive off to start the day, dreadhead Prius guy follows them.
As they are driving, Journee announces that she’s about to start using Tinder.
Join the club, girl.
She quickly finds out, “ain’t that many Black people on Tinder.” Which gave me a good chuckle.
The next scene we see Ade catching up with Mel, Ade’s top secret date that he never wants to talk about.
Ade runs into Mel in a stairwell of the school they both teach at where they have the weirdest exchange. Ade is trying to see what’s up, while Mel is slowing trying to pump the brakes on this situation without hurting Ade’s feelings. They discuss what happened that night without really discussing it at all. As the conversation comes to a close Mel goes, “Some of my friends in class thought you were…” Then hit em with the, “Let’s just concentrate on being good friends.” Ouch.
Again, I’d never do you like that Ade. Just saying.
Right about now Malachi is probably regretting the fact he invited Journee on this gig, because the next delivery is to an Alicia Baker. Alicia Baker is Journee’s ex’s new girlfriend. Mess.
Journee pulls a savage move and eats Alicia’s cupcake. “I wasn’t finna deliver these cupcakes to that hoe.”
I beginning to really like Journee.
In the midst of all of this Malachi spots the Prius again. Before he can react Journee is acting a fool because of her Tinder crush wrote her and asked her out on a date.
Red flag numero uno.
Stage five clinger. Who proposes a date in the very first message? That’s a raised eyebrow moment in my book.
But apparently not to Malachi or Journee because Malachi talks her in to going and she goes.
Journee leaves to go to her date and Malachi makes his next delivery to some white women who bought the cupcakes for her dog. Her dog, bruh.
White people and their pets.
Girl, I guess.
Malachi finishes his delivery and walks back to his car and the car is gone!
Gone. Absent. No longer present.
Ade goes to pick up Malachi and they are discussing the situation. Malachi explains that parking enforcement has his car because of the amount of unpaid tickets he has.
My thoughts, dreadhead Prius man stole your shit. That would have to be the quickest tower on Earth to tow your car in the amount of time it took you deliver cupcakes to a white woman’s dog.
Dreadhead Prius man hit a lick on you, bruh. Unless dreadhead Prius man is parking enforcement and was waiting to catch you slippin. Either way, it’s bad news bears for Malachi at this point.
As Malachi is explaining that he doesn’t know how he will come up with the money to get his car back, Ade looks over to Malachi. The look was a cross between, “Damn, bro. I feel for you” and “Just give me 3 1/2 minutes, maybe even four.”
In this next scene, we finally find out about Ade’s top secret date and why he doesn’t want to talk about it. It quite a doozy.
Ade and Malachi are smoking on the roof when Malachi asks what happened on his date the night before. The story goes as follows: Ade gets a text from a student about a party he’s having that night, which he decides to take Mel to on their first date. Ade and Mel get to the party and it appears to be a “gay party,” and Mel takes off. She probably would have had a good time, but the way homophobia is set up…
But then to Ade’s (and mine) surprise, Malachi says very casually, “Why didn’t you stay?” Ade follows with, “That’s not really my scene.” Malachi gave that look a lot of my friends gave me before I came out which read, “Yeah, okay. If you say so.” With the side eye of, “You ain’t foolin’ nobody, Negro.”
Ade asks Malachi if he’s ever been to a “gay party.” To Ade’s (and my) surprise, Malachi has been a few. Ade and I both said:
Malachi goes on to say he loosened in up and had a good time. No big deal.
YES, SEXUAL FLUIDITY!
Something cishet (Black) men never discuss and most of them are too afraid to explore. I’m here for it.
By this time Journee is back from her date with Stranger Danger Tinder man. He walks her to the door, they say goodbye and he beings to leave. Then Journee thinks about it, and probably against her better judgment, invites Stranger Danger into her and Malachi’s apartment.
Not judging you, girl. Been there. But whyyyyyy? (Kenan & Kel reference)
The last scene of this episode we cut back to Malachi who is still on the roof smoking. Ade is gone and the sun is down, so I’m guessing this is blunt number 2 or 3. Malachi is staring off aimlessly, clearly deep in thought, when someone creeps up from behind and snatches him up by his neck.
It’s getting real out here, y’all.
My predictions – It’s either Ade playing around, the dreadhead Prius man, or another bad dream. We’ll see next week.
Y’all, Giants is GOODT!