If you haven’t heard yet, this weekend was all about the second season of Amazon Prime’s Harlem, and it was a good time. The series jumped in and answered many of the questions left in the wind from the first season, and it's a fun set-up for what’s to come. What I enjoyed most about it is that it touches on personal struggles that many of us deal with in a way that feels funny and lighthearted.
What happens when your best friend is dating someone new and it could affect your friendship? Or what’s it like when you have an image of yourself but realize your actions don't align with it? That can be a lot to take in. But the Harlem crew does it with flair – okay, maybe not flair. But the girl gang definitely makes us feel like we're not the only ones going through life's crazy moments, and that I can appreciate.
Wanna know more? Here are 5 things we enjoy about the start of the new season of Harlem. Spoilers ahead.
The Eye Candy
While walking down the street, Angie (Shoniqua Shandai) meets a faux psychic who promises she will “make love to the most handsome man in New York and wonderful things would follow.” It doesn’t take long for her to put this theory to the test, and it’s fun to be a fly on the wall as she tries it out. It starts when she ditches the crew and leaves with a handsome pedicurist. Later, when she’s in his room, it's clear they had great sex and even decide to go for an encore. But it still doesn’t deter her from flirting with his roommate and suggesting he meet her “identical twin.”
Spoiler alert: she doesn’t have a twin, but they don’t know that.
I love romance, and there’s nothing like a genuine connection. When we see Quinn (Grace Byers) and Isabela together, their passion is unmistakable. Quinn is her normal quirky self and understandably feels nervous about her first “lady date” (her words, not mine), but Isabela seems to like her all the more for it, and it leads to more than eight orgasms and a beautiful chemistry worth rooting for. Unfortunately, it gets complicated as things progress.
Camille (Meagan Good) is on a mission to right her wrongs. She attempts to get her job back only to re-quit. Also, she officially breaks it off with Jamison after he admits to staying in NYC for their relationship. Camille even accidentally faces Mira, who rightfully calls her out on her selfish decision to kiss Ian the night before their wedding. Still, through all of their mess, you can’t help but smile when Ian (Tyler Lepley) and Camille are together. “You are the man I want to be the best for and the one who's seen me at my worst.” When she said that to him, I think I actually said “aww” out loud. You just can’t help but root for them and their messiness.
Honesty is the best policy, and while the girls may struggle with it in their actions, they count on each other to hold them accountable. When Tye (Jerrie Johnson) reveals her surprise husband alluded to the fact that she has issues with commitment, the women don't deny it. In fact, later, when Quinn and Tye are in the sex store, she even bluntly asks her, “What are you so scared of?" It noticeably affects Tye, and she quickly avoids the question. Real friends care enough to hold you accountable. Harlem was a friendly reminder of that.
In the words of Issa Rae, I’m rooting for everybody Black, and I appreciate that this show continues to show varied dynamics of multilayered Black women. From the fashion and beauty looks to the conversations and careers, you can tell Black women are not only in front of the camera but behind it, and I'll always support that.
Lastly is the characters' connection, which might be my favorite element of the series. As unique as the women are, their bond is beautifully the same. We all deserve a tribe that encourages, empathizes, and supports us. Harlem shows this in such a genuine and relatable way that reminds me of how blessed I am for my own tribe.
Harlem is streaming now on Amazon Prime.
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Feature image by Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Prime Video