1.08.2017

Black Girls' Night Out: Raquel (#Crazyhead)


So I finally finished watching Crazyhead on Netflix and I'll admit...I'm a fan.  Crazyhead has shades of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as echoes of '80s horror, not to mention that signature modern British style of humor, so there's definitely a lot to work with here.

***Spoilers Ahead***

What They Did Right

Casting British-Nigerian actress Susan Wokoma as Raquel earns Crazyhead very, very high marks from me.  She's dark-skinned with proud West African features, curly-haired, awkward as hell, she's not a size 2, and in the Crazyhead universe, she's the Chosen One.  So if we end up having to choose between Wokoma as Cynthia on Chewing Gum (where I absolutely adore her) or Raquel on Crazyhead...I vote for Raquel.  Since both shows stay within the 6-8 episode range per season, hopefully, she can continue doing both.

Now, when you read about the show on the web, Raquel is constantly described as a "seer" who can see which humans have been possessed...which she can then hunt.  Personally, I wouldn't have marketed this character as a seer, since her role as a demon hunter is pretty straightfoward.  She never hesitates to let people they can catch those hands.  Her friend Amy (Cara Theobold), whom - let's be honest, is Raquel's sidekick - is an actual seer (and formal mental patient).  In addition to seeing possessed humans, Amy sees glimpses of the future, though her interpretations of her visions still need some work.

But back to Raquel: she's technically half-demon, which is what makes her so special in the story.  In the Crazyhead mythos, demons cannot reproduce once they possess a human.  Apparently, their evil makes them sterile.  But Raquel's biological father was possessed by a rather benevolent (and very powerful) demon who successfully impregnated a human. Thus Raquel was born, a demon-human hybrid with the ability to open the gates of hell.  Raquel's demon father clearly adores her, so even though he's sent back to hell early on,I hope they decide to bring him back.

Some might take issue with the Black girl being half-demon, but I was totally cool with it.  It's part of her being the Chosen One and the central focus of the demon world.  I'm all about a sista being the central focus of a show.

In addition to being able to recognize demons, Raquel has some powers she doesn't understand yet.  When she gets emotional, she can disrupt electrical currents; she also appears to be telekinetic.  Like with Amy's ability to see the future, Raquel still has to learn to channel and properly manipulate her abilities.

Raquel also has a forbidden love interest on the show; Harry (Charles Archer) tells Raquel he's a demon hunter her father sent to look after her.  Turns out, he's actually a demon double agent.  Raquel is livid at being deceived, but then we find Harry actually did fall for her.


I'm down.  Their romance is funny and endearing.  They share lots of deep, passionate kisses, and this one hilarious scene when Raquel takes his hand and grabs her own cake with it.  *laughing/crying emoji* Harry is sent back to hell during the season finale, but I have a feeling they might bring him back, if in another body. Tom Felton, please.

Things Which Need to Improve

Stop trying to pull a Sleepy Hollow.  Seriously, y'all; if the writers continue to try to push Amy to the center, they will screw everything up.  It's okay for the White girl to be the wacky sidekick, children.  She doesn't always have to be princess/eye candy/shero.  She's a side chick.  Actress Cara Theobold is giving Amy a good side chick vibe, so let her do her damn job.

This thing where the writers are trying to make all the guys (except for Harry, thankfully) go ga-ga for Amy is trite and forced.  With a potentially broad and epic mythos like Crazyhead's, we don't need to fall on tired, heterosexist tropes.  In fact, one of the best moments of Season 1 was the lesbian moment in the finale when Raquel snaps (thus opening the gates of hell), because she learns the truth about Harry.  To get her to close the gates, Amy tells Raquel that Harry didn't love her, but she does - and then Amy kisses Raquel.

Later on, in adorkably awkward scene, Raquel asks what Amy meant by saying "I love you" and kissing her.  Amy awkwardly insists it was strictly platonic.  Raquel then asks if she now has to say it back, because she's not really comfortable with saying "I love you."

More scenes like that, please.

2 comments:

  1. I adore Susan Wokoma in this role, and she was one of the bright spots in Chewing Gum for me, too! When she first showed up in Crazyhead, I was afraid she'd end up being a wacky sidekick, so I was thrilled to see that the plot of the show unambiguously revolved her in all of her awkward black girl magic. That's HUGE to me, and like you, my fingers are crossed that they don't ruin the formula of the show by trying to sideline her impact in it. I followed Sleepy Hollow up until it became damn near unbearable to watch, and it's only a matter of time before it gets canceled, so yeah...stay awesome, Crazyhead! PLEASE.

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  2. This article is so true to how I felt too. It is differnet from the stereotype of who the hero/main character looks like. It felt real (minus the demons and magic of course). They have a perfect cast and working formula right now. I watch and love Chewing Gum. I also fell out of love with Sleepy Hollow as well for the same reason.

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