The television landscape has experienced a remarkable shift towards diversity in recent years, with a growing number of Black-led shows captivating audiences worldwide. However, there’s still a long way to go regarding equal representation, and many viewers struggle to find the best Black TV shows that tell stories of the Black community unapologetically and authentically.
As 2023 continues, it’s a perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate the vibrant array of television shows that focus on telling Black stories. This article covers the best Black TV shows 2023 has provided, from thought-provoking dramas to laugh-out-loud comedies. These shows showcase Black artists’ immense talent, creativity, and storytelling prowess for a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. Let’s get started!
1. Swarm (2023)
“Swarm” debuted in March and has intrigued many fans for its incredible ability to blend comedy, drama, and thriller into a single story. Following Dre, a young woman obsessed with her favorite pop star, “Swarm” not only boasts an incredibly talented Black cast but comes from the minds of Donald Glover– better known by his stage name Childish Gambino– and Adamma Ebo.
While it might sound like a simple plot, there’s no shortage of surprises in “Swarm.” From its talented cast to its intelligent writing, “Swarm” will surely have you on the edge of your seat.
“Swarm” is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
2. The 1619 Project (2023)
Airing in January 2023, “The 1619 Project” has drawn in docu-series fans for its honest discussion of slavery in American history. Hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, “The 1619 Project” depicts how racism endures in the United States while showing the long-term consequences of slavery, placing the contributions of the Black community in America at the heart of its narrative.
Though the subject matter is undoubtedly heavy, “The 1619 Project” is well worth watching, especially for any history buffs. If you’re looking for an honest and unflinching look into Black history, this show is right up your alley.
“The 1619 Project” is available to stream on Hulu.
3. Bel-Air (2022-)
Initially debuting in 2022 and still going strong over a year later, “Bel-Air” is a reimagined version of the classic 90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Despite its comedic source material, “Bel-Air” takes a new, dramatic approach to the story, providing a fresh perspective on a familiar tale.
Following a street-smart teen as he moves from West Philadelphia to a wealthy Los Angeles suburb, “Bel-Air” is packed with emotion and led by an incredibly talented Black cast, whose dedication to this charming story is palpable. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s time to hop on the train, as “Bel-Air” is certainly something you won’t want to miss.
The first two seasons of “Bel-Air” are available to stream on Peacock.
4. Snowfall (2017-2023)
“Snowfall” recently ended, concluding the series in April after six successful seasons. The show’s Black-led cast has provided some of the best talents from the small screen in years, with every actor giving their all in this thrilling crime-drama. Set in Los Angeles in 1983 amidst the early days of the crack cocaine epidemic, “Snowfall” depicts the brutal reality of drugs and addiction through the eyes of several characters.
Packed with interesting characters and concluded in an epic series finale, “Snowfall” will intrigue even the most casual TV viewer, ensuring a thrilling experience from start to finish.
“Snowfall” originally aired on FX and is available to stream on Hulu.
5. The Chi (2018-)
Entering its sixth season in August 2023, “The Chi” is created by the incredibly talented Lena Waithe and led by an all-Black cast including some of the best talents the industry has seen in recent years. Following a group of residents on Chicago’s South Side, “The Chi” is an exciting drama that doesn’t shy away from harsh realities.
Depicting common experiences among young Black individuals in Chicago, “The Chi” is one of the best coming-of-age stories found in modern television. From its dynamic characters to its thought-provoking writing, “The Chi” can’t be missed.
“The Chi” airs on Showtime and is available to stream on Showtime’s website.
6. Unprisoned (2023-)
Helmed by the endlessly talented Kerry Washington, “Unprisoned” is one of the funniest shows to come out of 2023 so far. Following the life of a single mom and therapist whose life takes a turn when her father is released from prison and moves in with her and her son, “Unprisoned” is all about family, the ties that bond, and how people react when life throws them through a loop.
While “Unprisoned” is undoubtedly a comedy, this unique and memorable story has no shortage of heartfelt moments. The first season was released in March, and we’re anxiously awaiting news of a second season to come.
“Unprisoned” is available to stream on Hulu.
7. Full Circle (2023-)
While it hasn’t come out yet, “Full Circle” is packed with a talented cast and an exciting premise, making it one of the year’s most anticipated shows. This show blends crime, drama, and mystery into an exciting package that viewers are eagerly awaiting to open. Led by Emmy nominee Zazie Beetz and Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome, “Full Circle” tells the story of a kidnapping investigation gone wrong in present-day New York City.
While information about “Full Circle” is mostly kept under wraps, audiences eagerly await its July 13th premiere date. With its exciting premise and stellar cast, there’s no doubt that “Full Circle” will be worth the watch.
“Full Circle” airs HBO’s streaming service Max on July 13.
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