‘Black Cake’ Offers a Twisting Tale Filled With Captivating Drama [REVIEW]


“Black Cake” debuted on Hulu on November 1, 2023, emerging from the imaginative efforts of Marissa Jo Cerar, drawing on the original prose of the brilliant Charmaine Wilkerson. Cerar, celebrated for contributions to other acclaimed projects like “13 Reasons Why,” “The Fosters,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Shots Fired,” now channels her narrative prowess into this captivating series. In a landscape eager for originality and deeper narratives that spotlight characters from the diaspora, “Black Cake” successfully delivers.

At first glance, the title “Black Cake” appears deceptively straightforward and innocuous, tempting one to speculate about the depths hidden beneath such a simple moniker. Beneath that unassuming title lies a complex and thought-provoking story, tinged with a sharpness accentuating its richly layered quality. This isn’t just a surface-level tale; it’s a deep and nuanced journey. The plot and characters are much more than they appear, delivering an experience that is both fascinating and deeply meaningful, as well as fiercely engaging.

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The narrative of “Black Cake” weaves around a family, but this is no typical family unit—it’s fragmented and deeply fissured in numerous ways. At its core is the matriarch known as Eleanor, a name recognized by the outside world and her two children, Benny (Adrienne Warren) and Byron (Ashley Thomas). Yet, the personas we adopt can sometimes overshadow our true selves. Only upon Eleanor’s death did startling and formidable truths come to light. Her passing forces her children to set aside their conflicts and confront a harsh and astonishing reality left in their mother’s wake. Thus begins the journey through this complex drama, which is Black Cake.

In “Black Cake,” viewers are treated to a mosaic of characters, each with unique and intriguingly detailed backstories. The cast embodies their roles with a rawness and depth that pulls the audience into the drama. There is the beloved Covey (Mia Isaac), who adeptly portrays a young woman from the Caribbean with a tumultuous past that has led to the cryptic present. Johnny “Lin” Lyncook (Simon Wan) is the flawed patriarch to Covey, while Pearl (Faith Alabi) stands as the steadfast supporter, taking under her wing Covey and her struggling father. Bunny (Lashay Anderson) is more than a friend to Covey, offering loyalty beyond the usual confines of friendship. And Eleanor Douglas (Chipo Chung), the ostensibly gentle and unsuspecting friend of Covey, is a pivotal force in shaping Covey’s destiny.

The show is a captivating treat, weaving

its tale against the mesmerizing backdrop of the Caribbean Islands, with their stunning shores and bewitching seas. It’s a suspenseful mix of tragedy, enigma, romance, and richly woven narratives that engage the audience. “Black Cake” spans eight episodes, with the initial three available for viewing. For those searching for a distinctive and vibrant story brimming with vivacity, “Black Cake” awaits on Hulu, with a new episode set to premiere on November 8th.

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