Starring: Cynthia Erivo, Courtney B. Vance, David Cross, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Shaian Jordan
Creator: Suzan-Lori Parks
With NatGeo dropping eight episodes over four consecutive nights, it feels like the network wasn't too proud of this miniseries about Aretha Franklin. I can see why. While Cynthia Erivo absolutely slays the singing parts, her performance during the non-singing parts is restrained to the point of being dull. The series also feels cheap, from the 80s-style opening credits to the fact that they couldn't get the rights to Aretha’s biggest hits (really? No “Respect”?). It's like a low budget, made-for-TV Bohemian Rhapsody - an incredibly flawed and formulaic biopic that is only as strong as your love for Aretha’s music.