Wednesday, September 11, 2019

REVIEW: 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' - Bobby and Dennis Craft a New Way to Provide for Their Families in 'All That I Got Is You'

Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga - Episode 1.04 "All That I Got Is You"

Bobby and Dennis find a new hustle to make some cream.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

"All That I Got Is You" was written by Rodney Barnes and directed by Tara Nicole Weyr

For too many young black man, drugs and crime seem like the only opportunity to make something of their lives. It's the only way to earn money that helps them provide for the people they care about. Linda talks with her sister about her fears that her boys are embracing a stereotype because that's the only thing they are allowed to be in this city. They are expected to be selling drugs. The chances of any of them making music and being successful at it are slim to none. It's something that Bobby clearly wants for his life. But it also may not be realistic. It's a dream that can only be achieved when everyone is willing to put their entire effort into it. That is very difficult because any moment in time seems like a complex portrait of a complicated life for these individuals. For Bobby and Dennis, selling weed in the park seems like the only reasonable opportunity for them to get money quickly. It's a scheme that does work out for them without creating any new enemies. Bobby sees it as the best possible version of this setup because no one is monitoring this area and their customers all that closely. It may even open Bobby's eyes to the true state of the world. He has been listening for a long time. But only now is he starting to hear the messages that have been sent out. The preacher in the park has always just been background noise to him. But now, he actively listens and gives himself the opportunity to think about what is being said. He feels inspired. He continues to lay down tracks that his friends are all immediately captivated by. And yet, that continues to feel like a side project of his. A pipe dream that may never become a reality. This hour does a significant better job in explaining how the creation of the Wu-Tang Clan shouldn't be seen as a foregone conclusion. It was never inevitable. It had to be an active choice amongst all of its members. Not all of them are willing to just freestyle when Bobby starts playing his latest creation. Instead, Dennis goes home because he feels the pressure of his responsibilities there. It doesn't matter that he has sent his brothers away for the day to give him some relaxation. That just leads to more trauma because he returns home to his unconscious mother still in the bathtub. That's an agonizing sight. One where it seems as if she may not survive. That is the painful reality of this world. Now, she has only been defined as the alcoholic mother who leaves all of the parenting to Dennis. It's up to him to care for his brothers. He does so in such a rewarding and moving way too. He has the compassion for Shurrie in a way that her brothers simply don't. This hour helps the audience notice that as well. She isn't like her peers. She is always exploring the world to ensure that she doesn't fall into the same societal patterns that the world may have destined for her as well. She wants something larger. But it still ends with Dennis pushing her away because he feels that she deserves better and that he doesn't deserve to escape this life. The pressure of it all is too much for anyone new to be added to the equation. He appreciates all that Shurrie has done for him. But he continues to spiral because the weight of it all is starting to get to him. The series started with a failed attempt at killing him. He was quick to want to retaliate. That has always been his natural impulse. But the world is so much more complicated than that. When he reaches out in an attempt to understand, that's when he realizes the true scope of the pain he has caused. He may never be able to fix that. That is just as destructive as when he held up the menswear store in the first place. That appears to be his fate for the moment. He is in such a dark headspace. That may cripple him when it comes to music. But even happy news can have the same outcome. Sha doesn't feel like recording with Bobby simply because he is being rewarded for his criminal loyalty with a new car. That presents as a whole new kind of pressure. One that is equally destined to pull these friends apart and cement their current roles in this world.