(Photo: Michael Lavine/FOX)
'Shots Fired' Is A New TV Show That Explores Race And Police Brutality
You know those TV shows that have themes so delicate and relevant that one slight misstep could bring the whole thing crumbling down, but you watch desperately hoping that the writers/producers/directors get it right? Shots Fired is one of such shows.
The show starts off in a very familiar way - if you have been following American news. A police officer has shot and killed an unarmed man. But that's where the similarities to the usual police brutality news end. This time, a young black police officer (Tristan Wilds) shoots and kills an unarmed white college student during a traffic stop in a small town in North Carolina.
What happens next, as you can guess, is a dismantling of a town and its secrets. There is also the possibility of corruption within the town's law enforcement due to the unanswered questions about the neglected murder of another young (black) man. Since it is a TV show, the trope is that the investigation team, both black, will have to follow dangerous leads to uncover the truth. But that knowledge does not detract at all from the complete and utter engagement the show will elicit from viewers.
Shots Fired is a socially relevant TV show, and you should be watching it, regardless of whether you're an American or an African. Here in Nigeria, we may all have the same skin colour and our police brutality cases may not be racially motivated or be as a result of racial profiling, but police brutality still exists here and the police forces everywhere need to be held accountable.
The all-star cast of Shots Fired bring raw emotion to their characters, led by two amazing black actors, Sanaa Lathan as Ashe Akino, a seasoned investigator with a casual, but no-nonsense attitude toward questioning those involved in the case; and Stephan James as Preston Terry, an almost fresh out of law school special prosecutor who's a professional when it comes to following the rules, but struggles to look at the case with any sort of empathy; are giving such layered and nuanced performances that it is impossible not to be drawn and totally immersed into the show.
As long as there's oppression of any minority group, the show will have a story to tell; and we hope the producers will take advantage of that to deliver a classic show. Shots Fired is a politically charged, polarizing TV show; it is a biting examination of uncomfortable issues, and we get the feeling that it may not be for everyone, but for those that watch it, each episode is sure to have you wondering if the side you support is the right one.
By Olanrewaju Eweniyi, published on 31/03/2017