The Other Black Girl brings to life Zakiya Dalila Harris’ best-selling novel. Boasting a fabulous cast, the satirical show is less horror and more psychological thriller. As is common with adaptations, the show definitely misses out on a lot of the pulse of the book. The show details the life of a young black assistant editor named Nella Rogers in the rather colorless publishing industry. In this very real story with an element of horror, Nella becomes overexcited when she meets a fellow black woman who joins the workforce.
Allyship is the only way out in such a situation, and the two become tight rather quickly. Soon, Nella comes to realize that the situation is not as friendly as it seems, and things go drastically downhill from there on. Nella’s life is transformed when Hazel enters it, and while at first, everything seems like it’s on an upward trajectory and Nella is easily achieving all her dreams, soon Nella realizes something fishy is going on. There’s a lot to unpack with the show, and there’s only so much you can watch in a 30-minute episode. Although we don’t know just yet if the series has been renewed for a second season, fans can be hopeful because of the ambiguous ending of the first season.
Firstly, there is the fact that Jesse has been kidnapped by Kendra and Malaika. There’s the book that is supposed to be published in his name, and this is only their first move in this game of chess against Diana and Wagner. With Jesse missing, they can stall the book’s publication for a little while, but soon they will realize something is wrong. Now that Kendra has people to help her in Nella, Malaika, and Owen, she can actually make something out of her rebellion. There’s a lot to learn about Kendra, too. Where was she for the last 35 years, and what was she doing to survive all this time? Does she have anyone else on her side?
Additionally, we have no idea what this grease is or where it came from. What gives it these supernatural powers? We also don’t know how Diana found the grease itself or the recipe to make it. Did she start the network herself, or are there other players involved? Even though we haven’t read the book, we’ve learned that there’s a lot about hair and hairstyles in it that we haven’t seen in the show. For example, all the ladies have their hair changed after they start using the grease. How do they choose these hairstyles, and are they also in compliance with the white workplace? Hazel’s hair is in braids, but Diana and Nella’s (even if it’s fake) hairstyles are wavy and straight, respectively, very non-black hair types.
At the end of the series, Hazel gives Nella a heart-to-heart talk, explaining to her how she feels about Diana and how this grease is helpful to Nella. Hazel’s last resort is to get Nella to join their side by telling her about her humble beginnings. Nella understands Hazel’s story, but she has plans bigger than Hazel alone. She wants to build the organization from within. Nella returns to work the next day, even though she should technically be fired, with full confidence. Nella doesn’t just change her mindset, though; she’s had a complete makeover. Apart from her new vibrant clothes, her hair is different, too, hinting to the OBGs that she’s part of their team now. What we know is that Nella wants to fight from the inside. Now that Diana and Hazel believe she’s on their team, Nella can learn more about the organization and extract all the information she needs to defeat them from within. We can’t really tell if Nella’s plan is foolproof, but at least there’s a plan.
Nella and Hazel’s relationship is on the fence right now. Nella has returned to the company and shown her grit, becoming the second black editor at Wagner. There’s a chance that Hazel will get jealous at some point because Nella isn’t treating her as an equal anymore. When Hazel asks her to spend some time with her, Nella turns her down in a rather aloof manner, making it seem as if Hazel isn’t so important to her. There are two ways this could turn out. She pushes Hazel away and tries to take her position as the “conditioner” closest to Diana. Or, she turns Hazel against Diana slowly by making her jealous.
Additionally, there’s a lot to learn about the background of our main characters. We don’t know much about Nella’s background or her family. All we really know is that she was a big fan of “Broken Heart” and chose this career path because of Diana and Kendra. But now that it’s obvious we shouldn’t meet our heroes, what will she do next? Nella’s journey for two years felt wasted to her before Hazel came by. But now that she is in on the real deal with Diana and Wagner, she can use this to get to the top within their ranks.
The Other Black Girl has a satisfying ending if it does become a limited series, but with all these things left unanswered, there’s definitely a chance of another season. It also seems like the makers are really keen on bringing back the show, so we can hope for the best. Given the scale of the story, we can imagine some expansion and getting some new characters into the mix. Considering the situation with the strikes right now, we really hope things work out for The Other Black Girl and the new season gets to roll out.