HOLLYWOOD—I had been hearing buzz about the new Apple TV series “Black Bird” so I thought it would be fitting to give it a shot and it was a mixed bag people. I did not love it, but at the same person I did NOT hate it either. The series stars “Rocketman” Taron Egerton as James Keene, who is also known as Jimmy, a drug pusher who finds himself entangled in a complicated situation while behind bars people.
Jimmy took a deal that he suspected would work in his favor based on advice from his father. That deal ended getting Jimmy a sentence of 10 years behind bars which boiled his blood. Egerton brings a charisma and charm to this character, who knows how to survive in some of the worst situations. He is a hustler people and it’s quite fascinating to watch as he navigates a potential deal that could work in his favor or get him killed people. He was a football star, but those glory days are far behind him people.
You might be asking what deal I’m referring to: getting a confession out of a serial killer, who has eluded authorities for quite some time and could be on the verge of getting out of prison and resuming his killing spree. That was the thing that hooked me about “Black Bird,” the mystery element. That killer, Larry Hall is portrayed with perfection by Paul Walter Hauser. Hauser brings a calculated presence of aloofness to a character who is way more dangerous than he looks.
I mean authority figures in his home town refuse to see Larry as a killer because he was coined ‘weird.’ Ok, when most people deem someone weird that is sometimes cause to look closer and that is a direct result of Brian Miller who works as an FBI agent who is connecting the dots of a ton of women who went missing later turned up dead. I do like the element of jumping between the past and the present that the series does at the helm of creator Dennis Lehane.
The series does it in a way that doesn’t take the audience out of the story, if anything it brings you deeper into the mystery as you attempt to figure out how all will play out. This brings us to FBI agent Lauren McCauley portrayed by Sepideh Moafi. This character is frustrating to me because she delivers a tough as arms approach in her quest to ensure she gets a confession from Hall, but has a flirtatious approach while dealing with Jimmy.
Jimmy was sought out by McCauley hoping to utilize his charm and charisma to befriend Larry in hopes of getting a confession as to where he buried his other victims who have yet to be found and it’s a time crunch. That element of an expiration date to get this confession brings an intensity to the series where Jimmy is tasked with another 9 years behind bars at the current prison facility where he is housed or being transferred to a treacherous prison where the worst of the worst are housed, including Hall. If he gets that confession his sentence is erased and he gets out. No confession, he might be killed and linger behind bars. Talk about a difficult decision people.
If that opportunity is NOT enough stress, Jimmy is worried about his father, James ‘Big Jim’ Keene (Ray Liotta), a cop, who has suffered some serious health concerns as a result of being stressed by his son being locked away. This is the last role held by Liotta, who recently passed away this year. It is a gritty role, where the audience hasn’t learned a ton about Jimmy’s father in the first two episodes, but one thing that is clear is that his father is a womanizer. The dynamic is interesting, but at the same time not hard to understand why Jimmy acts the way that he acts; he saw his father do it.
That brings us to the contentious relationship between Jimmy and Lauren. She flirts with him quite often and he buys into it all the time, yet she shuts it down, but it raises the question, why are you doing it if you have no interest. The vibe the writers push is the fact that Lauren may be very interested in this bad boy and is using him to get something important done, but at the same time if the mission succeeds a romantic spark could be ignited.
Do I see something happening considering with Jimmy and Lauren as the season progresses. Maybe, but I am not 100 percent so we shall see. “Black Bird” is airing new episodes each week on Apple TV.