Wednesday, October 2, 2019

REVIEW: 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' - Bobby and Shotgun Get the Chance to Impress Record Executives in 'Box in Hand'

Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga - Episode 1.07 "Box in Hand"

The Diggs family moves on in different directions.

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.

"Box in Hand" was written by Chelsey Lora and directed by Malcolm D. Lee

Family has always been such a prominent theme throughout this story. Bobby felt the pressure to step up to provide for his after Divine's arrest. And now, their family is being torn apart once more. It's all played as a celebration though. Linda, Shurrie and Randy are moving to Ohio in order to be with Jerome. It's a decision that Linda and Randy are eager and willing to make. Meanwhile, Shurrie is upset that the move takes her away from Dennis. Their romance continues to exist in secret. Notes and glances are all that are passed along during this transition. The world is changing for everyone. Linda leaves her sons with the message that they still have the potential to make something of their lives. Divine has gotten a regular job too. He is cleaning offices on Wall Street. It's not something he enjoys doing. But he views it as something he is required to do in order to continue supporting his family. They may not need his support as much as they used to though. Bobby certainly doesn't need the wisdom of his older brother like he did in the past. Bobby stepped up and is now chasing his own ambitions. Sure, he is essentially leaving Dennis out in the cold selling drugs. Bobby is no where to be found in the park. He isn't keeping up with his hustle to ensure that everything continues to run smoothly for the time being. Dennis is out there because he still has a family to support. His mother isn't going to step up for them. Taking care of his brothers is entirely on him. He can't miss out on a single day of profits. Meanwhile, Bobby can chase opportunities to actually make it in the music industry. All of this now plays as a story of having the right connections. Cousin Gary hasn't exactly been a prominent part of this story. It was just previously established that he already had a record deal and was hoping to expand his influence. He was seen as the success story of the neighborhood. If he could make it, then so many others had the potential of doing the exact same thing. Gary just has to pass along their demo tapes. That gives Bobby and Shotgun the chance to shine onstage. Sure, they may play to a completely different audience than they are used to. And yet, the executives that can make or break their careers are often white. Some of them don't even see hip hop as having a future in the industry. They lack the vision. They just see it as profitable for the moment. That may be enough to get Bobby through the door. He gets to release a record here. That may be enough to unify many left behind on Staten Island. Bobby has always had the ambition to lift up as many as he could because he knows just how talented his friends are. He knows that they can make it in this business as well. They no longer have to be out there selling drugs and risking their lives. Of course, that narrative has never defined Shotgun. He took pride in being far away from all of that. His friends may have been selling but he remained focus on his music. Here, it becomes clear that his standing in the world is all because of his family circumstances. He was a star lacrosse player whose opportunity to win the championship was ripped away from him by an outburst from his uncle. That shows just how quickly life can completely implode. Shotgun was sent to Staten Island just to ensure that he didn't follow a similar trajectory. But now, he messes up this huge opportunity given to him simply because he's still in mourning over Haze's death. His friend is gone. Haze saw him in a way that no one else did. Bobby may produce his music but Shotgun has always been striving for that deeper connection. That just means his record is not yet in stores. Bobby is going places. Right now though, he appears to be the only one despite his best efforts to help as many as he can. The inevitability of that changing quickly though does rob some of the dramatic tension throughout this episode and especially its conclusion.