Netflix Show “Raising Dion” Fails To Impress

Produced by star of blockbuster hit “Black Panther” Michael B. Jordan, “Raising Dion” is a show about a widowed single mother raising a young boy named Dion in the second grade who acquires super powers. Throughout the show, Dion’s mother teaches her son the realities of systemic racism as she tries to protect him from outside forces.

The series takes place in Atlanta, and is based on a comic book written by Dennis Liu. When Dion transfers to a new school in the middle of the school year, he struggles to find friends and gets bullied. His mother, Nicole, struggles with mothering her energetic child as she loses her job and remembers the days of when Dion’s father was alive. One day, Dion magically gets powers which give him the ability to levitate objects.

This show has been in the making for a few years, gaining popularity on social media as viewers waited for its premiere. In 2017, a trailer for the series went viral, as individuals were happy to see an interesting drama that includes Black characters. Seeing as children only stay little for so long, by the time “Raising Dion” aired on Netflix, the show had to cast a different actor than the one that appeared in the original trailer to play Dion. But the production team cast a fairer-skinned Black woman to play Dion’s mother, as compared to the dark-skinned woman who originally was casted for the character in the original trailer. Additionally, in the comic the mother had darker skin. 

Some people were taken aback by this casting decision. @rosechocglam on Twitter said, “The mom on #RaisingDion is the lightest black woman on the show. It’s like the producers had to make the mom light skin so the viewers could feel empathy for her grief and struggles. Man, colorism in Hollywood is a trip.” Another user,@YallAllLuvCris, raised concerns about the casting and racial representation: “That Raising Dion show is good, but damn they couldn’t give the mom a black love interest? I’d rather a little black boy have another black male figure to look up to than John Ritter’s son…no disrespect, but still.” 

Overall, the execution of the series is sub-par. The production value is high as the setting is shown extensively and with good camera quality, but the writing could be better. The beginning scene of the pilot episode was cheesy, and did not make me want to continue and gave the feeling that it was at the climax of a trailer of a fantasy movie from the nineties. It is understandably difficult to create a show that is appealing to both younger and older viewers, but “Raising Dion” did not hit the mark. 

There is no word of a second season of “Raising Dion,” but there is still plenty of time for Netflix to release a statement. “Raising Dion” is not being advertised much, so there is a possibility of the show not receiving enough viewers to support another season.

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