The Good Lord Bird S1
IMDb rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 100%Watch full episodes now
This miniseries about John Brown (Ethan Hawke), the infamous abolitionist who set out to defeat slavery in the USA in the 1850s, was produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television, which also brought us Get Out and Blackkklansman.
Told from the point of view of fictional enslaved boy Henry Shackleford, known as Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson), the series takes us through the events that led to Brown’s raid on the Army Depot in West Virginia in 1859. While it didn’t lead to the slave revolt he was hoping for, it’s often credited as the instigating event that started the American Civil War.
Adapted by Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum from the James McBride novel, the seven-episode series follows Onion as he joins Brown’s crew of soldiers. Hawke co-wrote the first two episodes and shares a creator and executive producer credit with writer Mark Richard. This is his first leading role in a series.
Look out for rapper Daveed Diggs, who plays abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Critics have almost universally praised Hawke’s “dazzling” performance, with IndieWire writing, “With a rollicking pilot from director Albert Hughes, the limited series is bursting with lively music, well-staged shootouts, and a wicked sense of humor. Holding it all together is Hawke.”