Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021

by Oudraa S

The pandemic has had most of us home 24/7 and we’ve been catching up on our list of shows to watch. If you’re like us and have gone through all of your must-watch shows, check out this list for some more suggestions! Here are the best Black TV shows to binge watch in 2021!   

Queen Sugar

Queen Sugar Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Produced by Oprah Winfrey and award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay, Queen Sugar follows the lives and relationships of three estranged siblings in Saint Josephine, Louisiana. A tragedy brings these three siblings together and forces them to address their issues and work with one another to save a failing sugarcane farm. The siblings, Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), Nova (Rutina Wesley), and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) soon realize that their separate searches for redemption may actually bring their family back together. If you’re looking for a show that is relatable, thoughtful, sad, happy and a few emotions in between, this is a great watch! You’ll quickly come to know the characters and become invested in their development. This show is definitely slow-burning and may not be for you if you want action-packed scenes in every episode. There are currently 5 seasons of Queen Sugar and season 6 is scheduled to return in Fall 2021.

Show Genre: Drama  

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%

 

The Chi

The Chi Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

This show follows the average days of young black men and their connections throughout the city of Chicago. Real dangers and harsh realities are displayed throughout the episodes to showcase a common experience among young black Chicago residents. This show is considered a coming-of-age story and it's captivating to watch how each person’s story unfolds. The show is written and produced by Emmy winner, Lena Waithe, who is also responsible for TV hits like Dear White People, Queen & Slim, and Them. Season 4 of The Chi is currently airing and comes on every Sunday at 10:00pm EST on Showtime. The show includes a star-studded, promising case of Jacob Latimore (as Emmett Washington), Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (as Ronnie Davis), Alex Hibbert (as Kevin Williams) and others.

Show Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%

Insecure

Insecure Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Insecure follows main character, Issa Dee, and her three girlfriends as they navigate their personal and professional lives in Los Angeles. The show was created by Issa Rae who stars in the show as the lead character. Issa is also known for creating, writing, producing and starring in the popular YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl. Insecure does a great job of capturing the realities of many black women in their late 20s and early 30s trying to establish themselves and determine the life they want. The show is mixed with reality, work, friends, fun, sex and many other themes that commonly run through a black woman’s life. The cast of Insecure is well-established and they do not disappoint. The cast includes, Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Natasha Rothwell, Amanda Seales and Alexander Hodge. There are 4 seasons of Insecure out right now and it was recently announced that season 5 would be the series finale. Okay, we may have cried watching Issa’s “last episode” Instagram posts! There is no official release date for the last season but Issa Rae did recently say that it should be expected before the end of the year. Catch up before season 5 drops by watching the first 4 seasons on Netflix! You’ll be Lowkey Entertained!

Show Genre: Comedy/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%

Atlanta

Atlanta Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

If you’re a fan of Donald Glover’s acting work (Community anyone?) or his music as Childish Gambino, you may be in for a treat. The show centers around Donald Glover’s character, Earl, who is managing his cousin that suddenly finds fame with rapping. Each episode follows Earl and his crew as they attempt to maintain the success of his cousin while dealing with real life in the city of Atlanta. The show features actors Donald Glover as Earn Marks, Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles, Lakeith Stanfield as Darius and Zazie Beetz as Van. There are currently 2 seasons of Atlanta with the third season slated to debut in early 2022.

Show Genre: Comedy/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97% 

 

Power

Power Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

They say this is a big rich town…

James St. Patrick, played by Omari Hardwick, is a successful club owner who appears to have it all. James (commonly known as Ghost) has a beautiful family, wealth, loyal friends and a well-hidden double life. Power follows Ghost and his partner, Tommy (played by Joseph Sikora), as they run an elite drug empire in New York. Power is co-executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Courtney Kemp. It premiered on Starz network on June 7, 2014 and has a total of 6 seasons. Power gained popularity over the years due to its gritty and alluring writing. The characters are also brought to life by the talented cast which includes Naturi Naughton, Lela Loren, Michael Rainey Jr., Rotimi, Lala Anthony and more. The show was so successful that two spin-offs have been produced from them. Power Book II: Ghost follows Ghost’s son, Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.) mainly and premiered on September 6, 2020 on Starz. Power Book III: Kanan, which follows the life of 50 Cent’s character, Kanan, is set to premiere on July 18, 2021.

Show Genre: Crime/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%

All American

All American Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Created by April Blair, All American follows aspiring football star, Spencer James, through his high school experience. Spencer relocates to an affluent Beverly Hills high school to invest more in his football career. The show follows Spencer (played by Daniel Ezra) as he finds his footing with new family and friends. The plot is loosely based on the true story of football player, Spencer Paysinger. All American premiered on the CW on October 10, 2018 and has remained popular among viewers since then. Season 3 of the show is currently airing and season 4 is set to be released on October 25, 2021. The cast includes Samantha Logan, Michael Evans Behling, Taye Diggs and Greta Onieogou.

Show Genre: Sports Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%

Girlfriends

Girlfriends Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

My girlfriendsss…

Created by Mara Brock Akil, the show follows four best friends in their late twenties figuring out life together. Joan, Maya, Lynn and Toni are the black women we likely come across in our everyday lives. They exhibit traits that we see in ourselves, our friends, mothers, sisters and daughters. Girlfriends was the longest running live-action sitcom beginning in 2000 and ending in 2008 with a total of 8 seasons. Each character is brought to life by their unique personality and wit. Tracee Ellis Ross plays Joan Clayton, the “responsible” one that seemingly has her life together on paper. Jill Marie Jones plays Antoinette ‘Toni’ Childs, the “high maintenance” one that knows what she wants in a partner and is unapologetic about it. Persia White plays Lynn Searcy, the perpetual “house-hopper” that is unsure about the life path she wants to take. Golden Brooks plays Maya Wilkes, the “hustler” that is grinding each day to get to where she wants. Lastly, Reggie Hayes plays William Dent, the loveable friend of the girls. With a stellar main and supporting cast, Girlfriends delivers in every possible way. You’ll find yourself laughing, crying, and rooting for each girlfriend during the episodes. Girlfriends originally aired on the UPN network but can now be found on common streaming sites including Netflix.

Show Genre: Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86%

Girlfriends trailer not available. 

P-Valley

P-Valley Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

This show dropped in 2020 and came in hot! P-Valley follows a young woman into deep Mississippi where she tries to start anew. The main character Autumn, played by Elarica Johnson, appears to be running from her past and reveals snippets of it in each episode. In need of a job, Autumn ventures into Mississippi’s hottest strip club, The Pynk. Here, she meets a variety of characters that add to the allure of show. Cast members include Brandee Evans as Mercedes Woodbine, Nicco Annan as Uncle Clifford, Tyler Lepley as Diamond and Shannon Thorton as Keyshawn (“Mississippi”). P-Valley has had one season so far with season 2 reportedly having started filming in June 2021. The show was created and written by Katori Hall and can be watched on Starz network.

Show Genre: Crime/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% 

Greenleaf

Greenleaf Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Based in Memphis, this show follows the Greenleaf family through their daily lives as they run a megachurch, the Calvary Fellowship World Ministries. On the surface, the church and family appear to be spiritually aligned and fruitful. However, beneath the surface lies scandals, secrets and lies that the family goes to great lengths to protect. After being gone for 20 years, the lead character Grace Greenleaf, played by Merle Dandridge, returns home to rekindle relationships. Grace is met with skepticism and resentment as her original departure was not well received. The series follows the family through multiple tests of faith and reconciliation. Greenleaf provides a relatable tale to many individuals that grew up in black Christian households. Greenleaf premiered in 2016 on OWN network and continued until 2020 with a total of 5 seasons. The star-studded cast includes Lynn Whitfield as Lady Mae Greenleaf, Keith David as Bishop James Greenleaf, Deborah Joy Winans as Charity Greenleaf, Lamman Rucker as Jacob Greenleaf, and Oprah Winfrey as Mavis McCready. Other cast members also include Letoya Luckett, Rick Fox, Kim Hawthorne, Lovie Simone and Desiree Ross. 

Show Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

Snowfall

Snowfall Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Snowfall is set in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. The show follows the first crack epidemic in LA and centers around a crime family that makes their money by selling cocaine. The series was created by legendary John Singleton, Eric Amadio and Dave Andron, and premiered on FX network on July 5, 2017. There are multiple players in the street game and when their worlds collide, drama and violence ensue. The cast includes Damson Idris as Franklin Saint, Carter Hudson as Teddy McDonald, Isaiah John as Leon Simmons and Angela Lewis as Aunt Louie. There are currently 4 seasons and the show was recently renewed for a fifth. Season 5 is slated to be released in 2022 but there is no specific release date yet. It was also recently revealed that Damson Idris would serve as producer for the fifth season.

Show Genre: Crime/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%

Scandal

Scandal Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Scandal originally aired on ABC on April 5, 2012 and ran for 7 seasons, ending on April 19, 2018. Created by Shonda Rhimes, the show follows Olivia Pope and her crisis management team through their daily task of handling political crises that arise. When Olivia is not assisting the president and his PR team, she’s kept busy with the scandals of her employees and her own. Olivia’s affair with the president only adds to this political drama and leaves you wondering who to root for at the end of each episode. The exceptional cast includes Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant, Jeff Perry as Cyrus Beene, Scott Foley as Jake Ballard, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins and more. If you're a fan of Shonda Rhimes’ other TV works like How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, and Station 19, Scandal is definitely a show you should try out. 

Show Genre: Political/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%

A Black Lady Sketch Show

A Black Lady Sketch Show Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

 

This sketch comedy TV show was created by Robin Thede and premiered on HBO on August 2, 2019. The show includes a series of comedic sketches by the main cast of black women comedians including the show’s creator Robin Thede, Quinta Brunson, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis, Laci Mosley, and Skye Townsend. Guest appearances have also been made by Issa Rae, Angela Bassett, Laverne Cox and Nicole Byer. The show currently has two seasons and it was recently announced that it had been renewed for a third season. A Black Lady Sketch Show does a wonderful job of showcasing the talented black women actresses and comedians that exist in our culture today. If you’re looking for some light-hearted laughs and beautiful melanin on your screen, this may be the show for you.

Show Genre: Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Based on the same-named novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country takes place during segregated America in the 1950s. It follows a young black man (Atticus Freeman) embarking on a road trip with his friend, and uncle in search of his missing father. As they venture through white America, Atticus and his crew are met with racist terrors and beasts alike. The series premiered on August 16, 2020 on HBO. The cast includes Jonathan Majors as Atticus Freeman, Jurnee Smollet as Letitia Dandridge, Wunmi Mosaku as Ruby Baptiste, Michael K. Williams as Montrose Freeman, and Courtney B. Vance as George Freeman. Although the first season received a lot of views and media attention, it was announced on July 2, 2021 that Lovecraft Country was not being renewed and was subsequently cancelled. HBO did not provide reason as to why the show was not being renewed, leaving many fans confused and disappointed. Never say never, but for now you can catch the show's one and only season on HBO or on most online streaming sites.  

Show Genre: Horror/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%


The Game

The Game Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Also created by Mara Brock Akil, The Game is considered a spinoff of the show Girlfriends. The show ran from 2006 to 2015 and had 9 seasons. The main character, Melanie Barnett (played by Tia Mowry) was introduced as Joan Clayton’s cousin in an episode of Girlfriends. Melanie is a medical student that chooses to move to San Diego with her boyfriend, Derwin Davis (played by Pooch Hall), for his football career. By doing so, Melanie declines her offer to study at John Hopkins School of Medicine to attend a less prestigious school in San Diego. The show follows Melanie and Derwin’s relationship while handling football, fame and everything in between. The cast includes: Hosea Chancez as Malik Wright, Wendy Raquel Robinson as Tasha Mack, Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts, Coby Bell as Jason Pitts, Rick Fox as Terrence, and Drew Sidora as herself. The Game was so successful that at one point, it was the most watched sitcom premiere (for Season 7) in cable television history.

Show Genre: Romantic/Comedy/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

The Game trailer not available.

Black-ish

Black-ish Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Black-ish is an American sitcom that was created by Kenya Barris. The show follows an upper-middle class Black family. Starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross as the parents, the show centers on how they navigate personal and socio-political issues at home and work. Most times, Andre “Dre” Johnson (played by Anthony Anderson) is worried that his family’s affluent lifestyle coupled with growing up in a mostly white neighbourhood is causing his children to lose touch with their black culture. Cast members also include Marsai Martin, Yara Shahidi, Miles Brown, Marcus Scriber, Jennifer Lewis, and Laurence Fishburne. There are currently 7 seasons of Black-ish with the upcoming 8th season being announced as the last. Black-ish has been so popular and well-received that Kenya Barris created two other spinoffs from the show: Grown-ish and Mixed-ish.

Show Genre: Family Sitcom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%

How to Get Away with Murder

How To Get Away With Murder Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Annalise Keating (played by Viola Davis) is a criminal defense lawyer and professor. When five of her students are involved in a murder, a web of secrecy and questioned morals forces Annalise to protect the “Keating Five”. The show was created by Peter Nowalk and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. The first episode of How to Get Away With Murder aired on ABC in 2014. After 6 seasons, the series finale aired on May 14, 2020. The constant push and pull between Annalise and her students will leave you intrigued at the end of each episode, trying to piece together another revealed clue. The cast includes Jack Falahee, Aja Naomi King, Charlie Weber, Matt Mcgorry, Alfred Enoch, Liza Well and Karla Souza.

Show Genre: Crime/Thriller/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%
 

Grown-ish

Grown-ish Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

 

Also created by Kenya Burris, Grown-ish stars Yara Shahidi who continues her role as Zoey Johnson, eldest daughter of Dre Johnson and Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish. The show follows Zoey as she heads off to college and quickly learns that life can be a lot to balance at once. Zoey meets new friends and discovers more about herself in this spin-off sitcom. The show premiered on January 3, 2018 on ABC and season 4 is currently airing. The cast includes Trevor Jackson, Lukka Sabbat, Francia Raisa, Halle Bailey, Chloe Bailey, and Diggy Simmons. Cast members from Black-ish including Anthony Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross also make appearances throughout the season. Grown-ish gained a lot of popularity from the young adult crowd who found Zoey’s college experiences relatable and endearing. Grown-ish airs Thursdays at 8pm on ABC Spark.

Show Genre: Drama/Comedy/Sitcom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

Sister, Sister

Sister, Sister Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Sister, Sister stars identical twin sisters, Tia and Tamera Mowry in this American family sitcom. The show premiered on April 1, 1994 on the Warner Brothers network. In the show, Tia and Tamera are separated at birth and each adopted by a single mother and single father. Fourteen years later, they accidentally run into each other and reunite. The series follows the sisters as they become acquainted with each other’s lives and make up for over a decade of lost time. The show was created by Kim Bass, Gary Gilbert, and Fred Shafferman. Sister, Sister ran for six seasons and ended in 1999. The cast includes Jackee Harry who plays Tia’s mom, Tim Reid who plays Tamera’s dad, Marques Houston who plays the twins’ annoying neighbour Roger (GO HOME ROGER!!), RonReaco Lee, Brittany Murphy, Bianca Lawson, Deon Richmond, Alexis Fields, and Richard Lawson. Throughout the six seasons, viewers are able to watch the sisters go through high school and college together. In 2018, it was announced that Sister, Sister was being rebooted but in 2021, Tia Mowry was on The Wendy Williams Show and said that the reboot had not been picked up by a network due to lack of public interest. You can watch Sister, Sister now on Netflix and other streaming sites.

Show Genre: Family Sitcom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

Sister, Sister trailer not available. 

The Boondocks

The Boondocks Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

 

This animated sitcom was created by Aaron McGruder and originally made for the programming block, Adult Swim, on Cartoon Network. The series is based on a comic strip that goes by the same name and premiered in 2005. The show follows a black family, the Freemans, getting settled into their predominantly white neighbourhood, Woodcrest. Satirical in nature, the characters provide their perspectives on the different cultures, lifestyles and social classes they’re presented with. The show ran for four seasons and ended on June 23, 2014. It is noted that McGruder had no involvement in the production of the fourth season without public explanation. The Boondocks was considered raw and relatable because each episode/character offered commentary on American politics from a black perspective in the form of satire and controversial statements. The cast includes the voices of Regina King as Riley and Huey Freeman, Gary Anthony as Uncle Ruckus, Tara Strong as Cindy McPhearson, Gabby Soleil as Jazmine Duvois, John Witherspoon as “Grandad” and Samuel L. Jackson as Gin Rummy. In 2019, it was announced that Sony Pictures Animation was set to produce a reboot of the series for a 2022 premiere date. It was also said that the original creator and producer, Aaron McGruder, would be involved in this project. In 2019, HBO Max announced that they had picked up the reboot and ordered two seasons. 

Show Genre: Animated Sitcom/Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 48%

The Get Down

The Get Down Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

The Get Down premiered on Netflix on August 12, 2016 and was created by Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis. The show is set in the South Bronx area of New York City in the late 1970s, and follows the rise of hip-hop and disco music. This is shown through the eyes of a group of teenagers and also has snippets of real life footage from the 1970s. The series was released in two parts with part two being released on April 7, 2017. Shortly after, Netflix announced that part two had concluded the series and there would be no future seasons. The cast includes Justice Smith as Ezekiel, Herizen Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, Shameik Moore as Shaolin Fantastic, Jaden Smith as Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Cadillac, Skylan Brooks as Ra-Ra and Tremaine Brown Jr. as Boo-Boo. The Get Down was popular among audiences for its’ “accurate portrayals of the Bronx and Hip-Hop history”, and for having fresh faced black actors on screen.

Show Genre: Musical Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%

Power Book II: Ghost

Power Book II: Ghost Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Power Book II: Ghost is a sequel to the show Power and was created by the Courtney A. Kemp as well. The sequel premiered on Starz network on September 6, 2020. Book II follows Tariq St. Patrick (Jamie “Ghost” and Tasha St. Patrick’s son) to New York where he is attending college. Although he vows to be nothing like his father, Tariq still finds himself in situations that cause him to make decisions that align similarly with Ghost’s. Tariq becomes involved with a large drug-dealing family, The Tejada’s, and must learn how to navigate his alliance with them while dealing with school, family, and his love life. The first season had 10 episodes and it was already announced that there would be a season 2. No specific release date has been provided for season 2 yet but it has been reported that new episodes will premiere late 2021. Some characters from Power appear in Book II alongside other cast members. The cast includes: Michael Rainey Jr. as Tariq St. Patrick, Paige Hurd as Lauren Baldwin, Joseph Sikora as Tommy Egan, LaToya Tonodeo as Diana Tejada, Woody McClain as Cane, Mary J. Blige as Monet Stewart Tejada, Naturi Naughton as Tasha St. Patrick, Alix Lapri as Effie and Method Man as Davis Maclean.

Show Genre: Crime/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

 
The Proud Family

The Proud Family Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

You and me will always be tight…

The Proud Family premiered in 2001 on Disney Channel and ran for 2 seasons, ending in 2005. A total of 51 episodes aired on the network. The show features Penny Proud, a fourteen-year-old black girl, her friends and lovable family. Each episode follows Penny through her teenage experiences as she attempts to become more independent while dealing with the ups and downs of growing up. In 2005, The Proud Family Movie aired which served as the series finale for the original show. In 2020, it was announced that the show was being revived as The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, and scheduled to be premiere on Disney+ in 2022. The cast includes Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Parker Proud, Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez, Orlando Brown as Sticky Webb, Jo Marie Payton as Suga Mama and Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones.

Show Genre: Animated Family Sitcom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

The Proud Family trailer not available.  

Being Mary Jane

Being Mary Jane Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

From the same creator of Girlfriends, Mara Brock Akil brings the character of Mary Jane Paul to life in this drama series. The show premiered on BET on January 7, 2014 with a lot of buzz from the pilot that aired in 2013. The series follows the professional and personal life of Mary Jane Paul, a successful TV news anchor looking for her next big break. Mary Jane (played by Gabrielle Union) moves from her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia to New York City to pursue her dream of making it as an esteemed and thriving black news anchor. The show had four regular seasons and a fifth film-finale to end the series. The cast includes Lisa Vidal as Kara Lynch, Raven Goodwin as Niecy Patterson, Margaret Avery as Helen Patterson, Richard Roundtree as Paul Patterson, Richard Brooks as Patrick Patterson, Michael Ealy as Justin Talbot, Stephen Bishop as David Paulk, Chike Okonkwo as Lee Truitt, and Omari Hardwick as Andre Daniels. The show can currently be watched on Netflix, Hulu or any other online streaming sites.

Show Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%

David Makes Man

David Makes Man Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

In this coming-of-age drama, viewers follow 14-year-old David who lives in the projects and is haunted by the death of a loved one. He is relied on by his mother to provide for the family and must learn how to handle his quest for higher education with his burdening responsibilities. The show first aired in 2019 on OWN network and season two premiered on June 22, 2021. The cast includes Akili McDowell as “younger” David, Nathaniel McIntyre as Seren, Alana Arenas as Gloria, Kwame Patterson as “older” David, Ade Torbert as Raynan, Nick Creegan as Desmond, Phylicia Rashad as Dr. Woods-Trap and Isaiah Johnson as Sky. The show airs Tuesdays at 9pm on OWN network.

Show Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix



This classic American sitcom premiered on NBC on September 10, 1990. Created by Andy and Susan Borowitz, the series stars Will Smith as a street-smart teenager living in West Philadelphia. In an attempt to shield him from the street life, Will is sent to live with his wealthy uncle and aunt in Bel-Air. Will must learn how to adapt to this new affluent lifestyle while also trying to maintain his West Philadelphia roots. Will sometimes clashes with his upper-class cousins, creating hilarious moments in each episode. The show ran for six seasons and had over 148 episodes. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a staple of black comedy sitcom in its prime because it showcased the dichotomy of street life and wealth in one household. It was also refreshing to see an affluent black family prospering in a pre-dominantly white area like Bel-Air during that time. The show ended on May 20, 1996 and a reunion special aired on HBO Max in November 2020. The cast includes Will Smith (playing himself), Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks, Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks, James Avery as Phillip Banks, Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Janet Hubert as the original Vivian Banks, Daphne Maxwell Reid as the replacement Vivian Banks, Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey the Butler, Nia Long as Lisa Wilkes, DJ Jazzy Jeff as Jazz and Ross Bagley as Nicky Banks.

Show Genre: Family Sitcom/Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

Run the World

Run The World Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

 

The show was created by Leigh Davenport and premiered on May 16, 2021 on Starz network. The series is set in Harlem and follows a group of black girlfriends navigating their romantic relationships and professional lives on a daily basis. The show brings a feel of Girlfriends mixed with Sex and the City. Each character pulls you into their story and showcases the different elements of black girl magic that we love to see! Since premiering, the show has received multiple positive reviews and although there has been no news on whether there will be a season 2, it is expected. The final episode of season 1 aired on July 11, 2021. The cast includes Amber Stevens West as Whitney, Andrea Bordeaux as Ella, Bresha Webb as Renee, Corbin Reid as Sondi, Tosin Morohunfola as Ola, Nick Sagar as Anderson, Stephen Bishop as Matthew, and Erika Alexander as Barb. 

Show Genre: Comedy/Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%



Them

Them Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

 

This American horror drama was created by Little Marvin and executive produced by Lena Waithe. It premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 9, 2021 and was met with incredibly polarizing reviews. The show is set in 1953 and follows a black family who moves from North Carolina to an all-white neighbourhood in Los Angeles. Soon after moving in, the family’s home becomes the centre of evil forces and otherworldly beings threatening to destroy them. Many loved seeing a black horror series being brought to life but others found the storylines and scenes to be unnecessarily disturbing. Some even went as far as to describe the series as “black trauma porn”. Season 2 was already confirmed when season 1 first premiered, although there is no official release date for the next season yet. The cast includes Deborah Ayorinde, Alison Pill, Melody Hurd, Bashy, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Ryan Kwanten, Anika Noni Rose, Tim Russ, Paula Jai Parker, Latarsha Rose and Dale Dickey.

Show Genre: Horror/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 61%

 When They See Us

When The See Us Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

When They See Us is a mini-series that was created and directed by critically-acclaimed Ava DuVernay for Netflix. It premiered in four parts on May 31, 2019 and is based on the Central Park case from 1989. The case involved the five young black males that were falsely accused and prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a white woman in Central Park, New York City. The case received national coverage and the young boys became known as “The Central Park Five”. The show details the horrors, injustices and traumas that The Central Park Five faced throughout their prosecution and imprisonment. Although very emotional and disturbing to watch at times, the series received critical acclaim and put another spotlight on the discriminations black individuals face in the justice system. The show received 11 Emmy Nominations and Jharrel Jerome (played Korey Wise) won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. The cast includes Asante Black who played Kevin Richardson, Freddy Miyares as Raymond Santana, Felicity Huffman as Linda Fairstone, Vera Farmiga as Elizabeth Lederer, Suzzanne Douglas as Grace Cuffe, Ethan Herisse as Yusef Salaam, Storm Reid as Lisa, Dasha Polanco as Elena, Michael K. Williams as Bobby McCray, Marquis Rodriguez who also played Raymond Santana and Caleel Harris as Antron McCray. Many viewers have advised that the show is quite heavy and at times, mental breaks may be needed.

Show Genre: Crime/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
97%

 

 Pose

Pose Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Pose first aired on the FX network on June 3, 2018 and was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals. The show features New York City’s Black, Latino LGBTQ, and drag ball culture during the 1980s and 1990s. The characters in the show are models and dancers who compete for trophies in the underground culture. They show support for one another through a group of chosen families known as “Houses”. When the show first aired, it received critical acclaim for its inclusivity, representation and honesty. The show also received multiple award nominations and Billy Porter, who plays Pray Tell, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama. This made Billy the first openly gay black man to be nominated for and win an Emmy in a lead acting category. The cast also includes Indya Moore as Angel Evangelista, Angelica Ross as Candy, Evan Peters as Stan, Sandra Bernhard as Nurse Judy, James Van Der Beek as Mat Bromley, Leiomy Maldonado as Florida Ferocity, Haillie Sahar as Lulu and Ryan Jamaal Swain as Damon Richards-Evangelista. Despite the show’s success, FX announced that the show would be ending after season three. The series finale of Pose aired on June 6, 2021. 

Show Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%

One on One

One on One Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

One on One aired on the UPN network on September 3, 2001. The show stars Flex Alexander who is a sportscaster that becomes a single dad when his ex-wife takes a job out of the country. This move forces his teenage daughter, Breanna (played by Kyla Pratt) to move in with him. Once she moves in, Flex finds his bachelor lifestyle completely turned upside-down as his focus shifts to his relationship with his daughter. The show was originally set in Baltimore but later changed to Los Angeles. The series ran for 5 seasons and aired its last episode on May 15, 2006. The cast includes Robert Ri’chard as Arnaz, Flex Alexander who played a character by the same name, Sicily Sewell as Cloteal, Kelly Perine as Duane, Melissa De Sousa as Natalie, Tamala Jones as Tanya, Tichina Arnold as Nicole, and Brandy Norwood as Michelle.

Show Genre: Comedy/ Family Sitcom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

One on One trailer not available.  

Chewing Gum

Chewing Gum Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

 

Chewing Gum is a British television sitcom that was created and written by Michaela Coel. It is based on her 2013 play, Chewing Gum Dreams. The show stars Coel as 24-year-old Tracey Gordon who is dubbed a “restricted, religious virgin”. She wants to enter womanhood and explore her sexuality but faces many new adult challenges and struggles with her religious belief. The show had two seasons and ended on February 9, 2017. The story follows Tracey and her mates as they seek to settle into this new phase of life in Tower Hamlets, East London.

Show Genre: Romantic/Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

Dear White People

Dear White People Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

This series is based on the 2014 movie by the same name. It follows several black college students at an Ivy League school that have to deal with race relations on a daily basis. The experiences of the characters highlight the racial tensions and micro-aggressions that exist within the college world. The students must work through the politics of race at a school that claims to be “post-racial” and end up doing so in a satirical manner. There are currently three seasons and the fourth and final one is set to air later in 2021. The cast includes Logan Browning as Samantha, Giancarlo Esposito as Dr. Edward (also the narrator of the show), Wyatt Nash as Kurt, Lena Waithe as P. Ninny, Obba Babatunde as Dean, Nia Long as Neika, Ally Maki as Ikumi, Brant Daugherty as Thane and Antoinette Robertson as Coco.

Show Genre: Comedy/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

She’s Gotta Have It

She's Gotta Have It Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

A Netflix original, She’s Gotta Have It is based on Spike Lee’s 1986 film by the same name. The show features Nola Darling, the Brooklyn based artist that struggles to find a balance between the men she is dating and her independence as a woman. Each man feeds Nola’s soul in different ways, making it more difficult for Nola to choose one and commit to them. Besides, like Nola asks, why should she have to choose? Jamie Overstreet is the married businessman and father that brings a sense of maturity that Nola seeks in her own life. Mars Blackmon is fun-loving and animated, bringing a natural sense of joy and spontaneity to Nola’s life. Lastly, Greer Childs is the photographer and self-proclaimed model that exudes self-confidence and a zest for all things pleasurable. Nola must decide what she wants and who is at the forefront of that decision. The show ran for two seasons and was cancelled after the second. The cast includes DeWanda Wise as Nola Darling, Anthony Ramos as Mars Blackmon, Cleo Anthony as Greer Childs, Lyriq Bent as Jamie Overstreet, Chyna Layne as Shemekka Epps, Joie Lee as Septima, Margot Bingham as Clorinda Bradford, Fat Joe as Winnie Win, Ilfenesh Hadera as Opal Gilstrap, and De’Adre Aziza as Raqueletta Moss.

Show Genre: Comedy/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78%

A Different World

A Different World Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

A Different World aired on NBC network on September 24, 1987 and it was first presented as a spin-off of The Cosby Show. The show first surrounded Denise Huxtable (played by Lisa Bonet) attending Hillman College, a fictional and historically black college in Virginia. The school culture was based on student life displayed at popular HBCU’s in America. Once Lisa Bonet left, the show continued with its focus shifted to the other main characters of the show. The cast included Jasmine Guy as Whitley Marion Gilbert, Kadeem Hardison as Dwayne Cleophus Wayne, Cree Summer as Winifred ‘Freddie’ Brooks, Darryl M. Bell as Ron Johnson, Dawnn Lewis as Jaleesa Vinson-Taylor, Charnele Brown as Kimberly Reese, Debbie Allen as Dr. Langhorne, Sinbad as Walter Oakes, Glynn Turman as Colonel Bradford Taylor, Lou Myers as Vernon Gaines, Jada Pinkett Smith as Lena James and Marisa Tomei as Maggie Lauten. The show ran for six seasons and ended on July 9, 1993.

Show Genre: Comedy/Sitcom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

Black Lightning

Black Lightening Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

The show first premiered on The CW on January 16, 2018. It is based on the DC Comic character by the same name, following his return to life as a superhero after previously retiring. Each episode follows the effects of Black Lightening’s vigilante lifestyle on both his professional and personal life. The show had four seasons and had the final episode air on May 24, 2021. The cast includes Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightening, China Anne McClain as Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams as Thunder, Krondon as Tobias Whale, Christine Adams as Lynn Pierce, James Remar as Peter Gambi, Jordan Calloway as Khalil Payne and Chantal Thuy as Grace Choi.

Show Genre: Superhero Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%

Living Single

Living Single Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

People always talk about needing a “Black version of Friends” and seem to forget about Living Single!

Living Single followed six black adults in their twenties – four women and two men – that shared their careers and love lives. Five of the friends shared apartments in a Brooklyn brownstone where the sixth friend frequently visited. The show first premiered on August 22, 1993 on Fox network and remained on air for five seasons. The series finale aired on January 1, 1998. Part of the show’s success came from the appeal and relatability each character brought to the forefront. It was ground-breaking and refreshing to have six black professionals working their way through the world while maintaining their bond. The cast includes Kim Fields as Regine Hunter, Erika Alexander as Maxine Felice Shaw, Kim Coles as Synclaire James-Jones, Terrence C. Carson as Kyle Barker, Queen Latifah as Khadijah James, John Henton as Overton Wakefield Jones, Mel Jackson as Ira Lee Williams, Shaun Baker as Russell Montego, Khalil Kain as Keith, Bumber Robinson as Ivan Ennis and Chip Fields as Laverne Hunter.

Show Genre: Comedy/Sitcom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

 

Claws

Claws Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

 

Premiering on TNT network on June 11, 2017, Claws follows five manicurists at a nail salon in Manatee County, Florida who begin to launder money and create their own empire in the world of organized crime. The five women from diverse backgrounds attempt to make ends meet in their day to day lives and have to get creative in order to stay afloat. The cast includes Niecy Nash as Desna Simms, Karrueche Tran as Virigina Loc, Jack Kesy as Roller, Judy Reyes as Quiet Ann, Jenn Lyon as Jennifer Husser, Carrie Preston as Polly Marks, Dean Norris as Uncle Daddy, Harold Perrineau as Dean Simms, Jason Antoon as Dr. Ken Brickman and Kevin Rankin as Bryce Husser. The show currently has three seasons and the fourth (and final season) is slated to air this Fall 2021.

Show Genre: Comedy/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%

 

Empire

Empire Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, Empire is set in New York and centers around the entertainment company, Empire Entertainment. The owner of the company, Lucious Lyon, must deal with the drama that comes with owning the label coupled with his family members’ quests to control the empire. Lucious must deal with his sons each vying for ownership alongside his ex-wife, Cookie Lyon, played by Taraji P. Henson, who is also seeking to claim her share of the company. The show featured a beautiful blend of acting and talented singing, which drew more than 17 million viewers to the first season finale. To this day, Empire is still one of the most-watched televisions shows on Fox. The show had a total of 6 seasons and the series finale aired on April 21, 2020. The cast includes Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, Jussie Smollet as Jamal Lyon, Bryshere Y. Gray as Hakeem Lyon, Tray Byers as Andre Lyon, Malik Yoba as Vernon Turner, Gabourey Sidibe as Becky, Serayah McNeill as Tiana Brown, Grace Byers as Anika Calhoun, Kaitlin Doubleday as Rhonda Lyon and Ta’Rhonda Jones as Porsha Taylor. Guest stars of the show include Nicole Ari Parker, Naomi Campbell, Vivica A. Fox, Bre-Z, Tasha Smith, Xzibit, Courtney Love, Derek Luke and V. Bozeman.

Show Genre: Musical Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%

Lupin

Lupin Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix


Lupin is a French mystery thriller that retells the classic French story of Arsene Lupin, a world-famous thief and master of disguise. The lead character, Assaane Diop, seeks to avenge the framing of his father by using the skills he has mastered in thievery and disguise to expose the true culprit(s). Lupin first premiered on Netflix on January 8, 2021 and became the most-watched non-English series on the streaming site with 70 million viewers. Two parts have been released so far and Netflix has renewed the show for a third part. The release date for part 3 has not been announced yet. The cast includes Omar Sy as Assane Diop, Shirine Boutella as Lieutenant Sofia Belkacem, Ludivine Sagnier as Clair, Clotilde Hesme as Juliette Pellegrini, Etan Simon as Raoul, Mamadou Haidara as Assane Diop, Soufiane Guerrab as Youssef Guedira and Herve Pierre as Hubert Pellegrini.

Show Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
97%

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

This miniseries is based on the biography On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles and showcases the life of the first black self-made female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker. The show premiered on March 20, 2020 on Netflix and received extremely positive reviews. The series follows hair care pioneer Madam C.J. Walker and the story of how she overcame constant battles and a volatile marriage to make her business thrive. Issues of colorism and its impact on the black community are also raised throughout the series. The show did unfortunately receive criticism for some historical inaccuracies seen throughout the episodes. The miniseries has 4 episodes and can be watched on Netflix and most streaming sites. The cast includes Octavia Spencer as Madam C.J. Walker, Blair Underwood as Charles Joseph Walker, Tiffany Haddish as Lelia, Carmen Ejogo as Addie, Kevin Carroll as Ransom, Gerrett Morris as Cleophus Walker, Bill Bellamy as Sweetness, J. Alphonse Nicholson as John Robinson and Sydney Morton as Dora Larrie.

Show Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 68%

Moesha

Moesha Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix


Mo to the…E to the…

Starring singer and actress, Brandy Norwood, Moesha follows Brandy’s character as a high school student living with her family in Los Angeles. Moesha is raised in an upper-middle-class black family that consists of her dad Frank, her brother Myles, and her step-mother Dee, who also happens to be the vice-principal at her high school. The show covers many social issues that affect teenagers including sexual health, relationships, death, drugs, race relations, and teen pregnancy. Moesha’s family and quirky group of friends aided in the show’s long-standing popularity, also making it the biggest success for the UPN network. The series ran for 6 seasons and aired its final episode on May 14, 2001. The cast includes Brandy Norwood as Moesha Mitchell, William Allen Young as Frank Mitchell, Marcus T. Paulk as Myles Mitchell, Sheryl Lee Ralph as Dee Mitchell, Lamont Bentley as Hakeem Campbell, Shar Jackson as Niecy Jackson, Yvette Wilson as Andell Wilkerson, Countess Vaughn as Kimberly Ann Parker, Fredro Starr as Quinton ‘Q’ Brooks, and Ray J (singer and Brandy’s brother) as Dorian ‘D-Money’ Long.

Show Genre: Family Sitcom/Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

Moesha trailer not available. 

Chappelle’s Show

Chappelle's Show Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

This sketch comedy series was created by both Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan. Each show opens with Dave Chappelle hosting the show with a live audience, introducing the sketches. The show premiered on January 22, 2003 and ran for two and half seasons, ending on July 23, 2006. The third season was supposed to hold at least 12 episodes like the previous seasons however, the show ended abruptly when Dave Chappelle left. The show pushed the boundaries of racial satire and became a favourite among black crowds for the rawness and creativity Dave brought to each sketch. The show hosted many different guest stars in each sketch. Some cast members include Charlie Murphy, Donnell Rawlings, Paul Mooney, Mos Def, Bill Burr, Wayne Brady, Rudy Rush, Sophina Brown, Big Boi, Spike Lee and Charles Barkley.

Show Genre: Sketch Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%

Chappelle's Show trailer not available. 

Black Earth Rising

Black Earth Rising Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

Written and directed by Hugo Blick, Black Earth Rising focuses on the prosecution of international war criminals. The show follows main character, Kate Ashby, who works as legal investigator in London. She was born in Rwanda and was rescued as a child from the Rwandan genocide. Her white adoptive mother works as a British prosecutor and takes on a case focused on the prosecution of an African militia leader. This causes Kate to delve into a life-changing journey of discovery and conviction highlighted through race, justice, and integrity. The show aired on BBC Two on September 10, 2018 and was streamed on Netflix internationally on January 25, 2019. Although it was not renewed for a second season, fans still hold out hope that the show will be picked up again. The cast includes Michaela Cole as Kate Ashby, Hugo Blick as Blake Gaines, John Goodman as Michael Ennis, Noma Dumezweni as Alice Munezero, Harriet Walter as Eve Ashby, Lucian Msamati as David Runihura, Tamara Tunie as Eunice Clayton, and Abena Ayivor as Bibi Mundanzi.

Show Genre: Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%

 

Seven Seconds

Seven Seconds Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

This series follows individuals involved in the investigation of the death of a Black teenager and his family as they struggle to deal with the loss. The show premiered on April 18, 2018 on Netflix and it was deemed a limited series with only one season. The show was created and executive produced by Veena Sud and was based on the Russian film, The Major. The show’s plot is based on a white police officer that accidentally hits and kills a young Black teenager. The episodes showcase the racial tensions and injustices that still exist today in America between races and the legal system. The cast includes Clare-Hope Ashitey as K.J. Harper, Regina King as Latrice Butler, Michael Mosley as Joe Rinaldi, Beau Knapp as Peter Jablonski, David Lyons as Mike Diangelo, Russell Hornsby as Isaiah Butler, Michelle Veintimilla as Marie Jablonski, and Zackary Momoh as Seth Butler.

Show Genre: Crime/Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78%

Star

Star Best Black TV Shows to Binge Watch in 2021 on Netflix

This musical drama series was created by Lee Daniels (creator of Empire) and Tom Donaghy for Fox network. The show follows three young singers that are doing their best to navigate the music business on their quest for success. The show is set in Atlanta and features original music from the talented cast. The show first aired on December 14, 2016 and ran for three seasons before it was cancelled. There has been a lot of outcry since the show was cancelled but unfortunately, there has been no talks regarding it being picked up again by Fox or any other network. The cast includes Jude Demorest as Star Davis, Brittany O’Grady as Simone, Ryan Destiny as Alexandra Crane, Amiyah Scott as Cotton, Quincy Brown as Derek, Miss Lawrence as Miss Bruce, Queen Latifah as Carlotta Brown, Luke James as Noah Brooks, Lance Gross as Maurice Jetter, Evan Ross as Angel Rivera and Brandy Norwood as Cassie Brown.

Show Genre: Musical Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What shows have you seen? Which ones are you giving 5 stars? Let us know in the comments! Happy watching!  

Check out our Girlfriends TV show mug!  

Girlfriends TV Show Mug

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published