REVIEW – SEND HELP IS A REFRESHING AND NEEDED REPRESENTATION OF CARIBBEAN LIFE IN NORTH AMERICA

SHIFTER’s Kevin Bourne calls the ALLBLK Original Series Send Help refreshing, different and needed.

Co-created, co-showran and executive produced by Insecure alumni Jean Elie and Mike Gauyo, the ALLBLK Original Series Send Help tells the story of Haitian-American actor Fritz Jean-Baptiste (played by Elie) and his journey of trying to make it in Hollywood, all while navigating the pitfalls of family tragedy and dating.

During the lead up to the premiere, we had the chance to sit down with co-creator, co-showrunner and executive producer, Mike Gauyo, to talk about the brand new series. From the interview, we gathered that this series could be groundbreaking and it is. While there have been many Black TV series over the past few decades, it’s rare to see the Caribbean experience depicted on television. Although this show is centered around the Haitian-American experience, it’s something all Caribbean people can relate to, and it’s a piece of work we can all be proud of. If you’re a first generation American or Canadian, this is your story.

It’s also a window into the real life of an actor and a source of inspiration for up and coming creators, and anyone with a dream, that after a major setback can come your biggest opportunity.

The underlying message is about trauma, self-care, and our resistance to talking and getting help as Black people, whether it’s seeing a therapist or confiding in the people around us, and the damage it causes as a result.

What first stands out during the seven-episode series is Elie’s acting as the charismatic and seemingly self-assured Fritz. Without needing to deliver a line, Elie uses his facial expressions to tell the story and convey emotions to the audience. The supporting cast is equally strong and the relationship dynamics between the characters, whether romantic or friendship, are highly believable and point to feel off-screen chemistry.

What also stands out is the realism of the storytelling, from the Caribbean inter-family relationship dynamics to small details like Fritz’s mothers pots, Tupperware, and love for soap operas. While the buildup may appear slow in the beginning, every episode does a good job of building on the previous one and building an emotional connection between the viewer and the lead character Fritz. This leaves you cheering for him in the end and dying to see what happens in season two.

Simply put, this series is refreshing, different and needed as it represents a segment of the Black community we’ve never seen on television before.

With our large Haitian and Caribbean populations, this is a show that Black Canadians absolutely must see. To check out Send Help in Canada, subscribe (or do a free trial) to ALLBLK on Amazon Prime.


Related content:

Interview with Send Help co-creator, co-showrunner and executive producer, Mike Gauyo