Your Next Binge Watch: Raising Dion

Looking for something to binge watch instead of studying for finals? Picture this: a black family superhero drama featuring Michael B. Jordan streaming on Netflix.

Interested?

Raising Dion is not your average superhero show (which is saying something, because there’s a lot of them). First of all, it’s not Marvel or DC. I love Marvel, don’t get me wrong, but it’s refreshing to see smaller comics get their chance in the limelight. 

Netflix’s show was adapted from a comic (and also a short film) by the same name by Dennis Liu. The first season came out in October of this year and it has seen mostly positive reviews. 

The premise of the show surrounds Nicole Reese, a single mom struggling to raise her 8-year old son Dion after the death of her husband Mark. When Dion begins showcasing some supernatural abilities, Nicole and Dion, with the help of Mark’s best friend Pat Rollins, must figure out what is going on and how they can stop some dark forces that are threatening them.

Dion himself is obsessed with superheroes. So, naturally, when Dion gets superpowers he’s very excited. Meanwhile, his mother is terrified. This mother-son relationship is what makes the show so unique. It’s her and Dion against the world. Dion wants nothing more than to use his powers (and become a superhero just like in the comics, duh) but he can’t seem to control it which causes even more stress for his already struggling single mom.

Not only does this show have a fun and refreshing perspective, but it also tackles serious issues. A superhero that tackles subjects such as racism, sexism, and ableism? Sign me up. This series is rated PG, but I forgot that at times, especially in instances such as when Nicole had to explain racism to her son (I may have shed a tear shhh). Children still suffer from the systematic racism in the U.S. and I’m glad that was addressed in this series. The show has some amazing representation and can address these real-world issues in this science-fiction superhero series!

I personally love anything superhero related, so this show was a slam dunk for me. If you’re not as interested in that, the compelling performances make this series what it is. The actor who plays Dion, Ja’Siah Young, is 8 years old and is definitely going places. He manages to exemplify all the wonder and amazement as well as the anger and fear a kid who both recently lost his father and gained superpowers would have. His performances keep the show moving. Of course, Alisha Wainwright, who plays Nicole Reese (Dion’s mother) takes on the role of the worried single mother who would do absolutely anything for her kid with grace. The show would be nothing without her. Finally, I want to mention Sammi Haney, who plays Esperanza, Dion’s classmate and friend. Both the actress and the character have brittle bone disease and the discussions surrounding disability that eventually happen are so important. Sammi makes this character one you look forward to, and she leaves you wanting more.

If Raising Dion sounds like your cup of tea, it’s streaming on Netflix now with only 9 episodes (which I may have watched over the span of less than two days). I cannot recommend it enough. 

Good luck with finals, and don’t procrastinate too much. ;)