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I Honestly Don’t Know How to Feel About the New ‘Kindred’ Series on FX

Did anyone else know that Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred (a favorite of mine, for sure) was getting made into a series for FX? Because with all the talk surrounding shows like Manifest, The Watcher and even From Scratch, it totally flew under my radar.

I was scrolling through Twitter (like any other day) when I saw the trailer for the new series pop up on my feed. Before I even pressed play, I was experiencing a range of emotions: surprise, shock, confusion—and I couldn’t stop asking myself why.

At the start of the teaser for the new FX series, we see our main leading lady, Dana James (played by Mallori Johnson) plunged right into antebellum Maryland. Still in a daze, she sees a young white boy floating in a lake, unconscious. Luckily, she saves him and instead of a “thank you,” she is staring into the barrel of a gun and is asked, “What the devil is going on here?”

Her petrified scream transports her to the present and she is standing in her California apartment, where her husband Kevin (Micah Stock) is frightened and just as confused as she is. And that’s only the beginning of the horrifying journey we’re about to embark on.

Now, I will say: The Kindred adaptation looks absolutely terrifying. Just going off the trailer alone, every scene is even more jarring than the next. But, do we really need a filmed adaptation of this? Butler’s original novel is such a beloved classic and turning it into a television series just seems so…unnecessary? With the OG story being as powerful as it is, I can appreciate it receiving more attention, but I fear the filmed version may only detract from that power. I have such a love for the novel that I’d hate if the series were unable to do it justice (something that would be quite an impressive feat).

Based on the novel of the same name, Kindred follows a young Black woman named Dara, who has the ability to travel back in time from her home in California to a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation. Alongside Johnson and Stock, the ensemble cast includes Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Gayle Rankin (Glow), Sophina Brown (Shark), Sheria Irving (Twenties) Austin Smith and David Alexander Kaplan.

All eight episodes of Kindred will be streaming on Hulu on December 13. I’ll be trying to keep an open mind...and my fingers crossed.

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