P-Valley totally caught me off guard. I was looking for something for Sucky Sundays marathon and figured P-Valley couldn't be that good and would fit perfectly. I was totally wrong. P-Valley is so good, it made me stop everything I was doing today and binge watched the entire first season, eyes glued to the monitor.
The writing, the casting, the story, most of the editing and photography, the conclusion, all top notch. The only aspect I wasn't totally thrilled with was the music featured throughout the season but I did like Lil Murda's (J. Alphonse Nicholson) tracks at the Pynk. He killed it in that last episode and gave a great performance on stage except for the pushups. Seeing that, I was like "nah bruh, get up, get up, get up, get up." Bad look. But J. did an excellent job playing the part on the male side of the casting. It was great to see Isaiah Washington again. I've been a fan of his for years even through the troubles. Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) is PHENOMENAL. So many of his scenes had me laughing so hard because he'd regulate a situation but do it in a stern but funny way. Another example of the excellent writing and directing in the show. His more intimate moments when he was alone were also really well done. Gotta love the directors in this season.
I appreciated the male nudity. Now, before some of you people reading this start scrunching up your face, fair is fair. P- Valley is about strippers, which pretty much guarantees female nudity even if just for authenticity's sake. But considering men aren't going to be the only people watching this and the casting includes a lot of handsome men, why should women/gay men be deprived especially when the nudity would make sense in the context of the story and the characters involved? That is exactly what inclusion looks like especially when it makes sense in the story being told. It's annoying when Hollywood almost demands women to strip on camera like a bunch of entitled adolescent teenage boys that still haven't seen breasts outside of their Google search results for porn and their sticky keyboards, but find it unthinkable that men should be expected to strip on camera as well.
I also have to stress another key aspect as to why I love this series. Beauty Black women throughout. Yes. Black women, brown women, redbone women, skinny Black women, thick Black women, young Black women, older Black women. From Brandee Evans (who is absolutely phenomenal as Mercedes, it's not just her physical beauty, it's her strength, (Kings want Queens, not doormats), to Shannon Thorton (Miss Mississippi), Elarica Johnson (Hailey), Harriet D. Foy (Patrice), Loretta Devine and others. It was a joy to see so many gorgeous, capable Black women in this show. Skylar Joy (as the CWG (Cute White girl Gidget aka the BBWG/PAWG) is excellently cast as well. An attractive White woman with curves that can dance. Shocking, I know. No uncoordinated anorexic barbies this time out. Thank goodness.
I'll stop there before this review becomes a book. 5*. Fantastic series, loved every episode, loved the characters and writing, loved seeing so many gorgeous Black/Brown Men and women. The season had a lot of "WHOA" moments, dropped a lot of truth, showed a lot of tragedy and showed a lot of real grit. The highest endorsement I could give is I would buy the entire first season of P-Valley if Amazon/Starz had it for sale. Highly recommended.