The cast of ‘The Wonder Years’ is ready to remind the world that black family unity is a forever thing
Photo by David Willems
The Next Reimagined’The Wonderful Years The series follows a fictional black family living in Alabama in the 1960s. The show addresses the norms, struggles, and barriers they endured during a time in America when these families were vastly underrepresented. The series takes viewers into the world of a strong black family overcoming barriers and the importance of building respect alongside success.
In a conversation presented by ABC and led by Talk Show Host Tamron Hall during the inauguration ESSENCE Film Festival to ESSENCE Cultural Festival 2022cast members from the show shared how their roles impacted them and the story behind this brilliant remake of a classic. “To me, being a part of this show is important because our stories matter,” the actor said. Dule Hill, who plays the character of Bill Williams. “I think it was important to show that the family unit, we have always been there. And will always be there in our tomorrow.
Although the highly anticipated series features some of the many challenges within the black community such as colorism, not being accepted on one’s own and having sensitive conversations that are normally held behind closed doors, the actress Laura Kariuki notes that the show also depicts the beauty of growing up through these challenges as a family. Ultimately, she thinks viewers will walk away with not just insight into these issues, but an understanding of how to overcome them. “It’s a whole new perspective,” she says. “And being able to be a beautiful, dark-skinned family for people to see, is a blessing.”
Black representation is indeed an important factor in the reinvention of this spectacle and Elisha Williams, who plays Dean Williams, has been dubbed the epitome of courage and “black boy joy” on the show. “Audiences watching it will be able to watch and analyze it for themselves,” he said. “A lot of things that happened then are now similar to [what’s happening] today. There’s always something being reflected now that I think viewers will be able to see and understand.
Season 2 of The good years, slated to air in fall 2022 on ABC, with episodes streaming on Hulu. For more on everything you missed at ESSENCE Culture Festival 2022, visit our official video content hub HERE.