Season 1, Episode 4 – Night IV of When We Rise ends on a high note. The Defense of Marriage Act is found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, affording gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. It is an incredible feat for a movement with beginnings in the 70s.
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Season 1, Episode 3 – When We Rise continues to struggle in a few areas: 1. The characters’ stories are unbelievably shallow; and 2. They pack way too much in a 2-hour episode. The adult versions of Ken Jones and Cleve Jones are played by Michael K. Williams and Guy Pearce., respectively. Their performances attempt to give more depth, but it still falls short.
Season 1, Episode 2 – I have to get this off my chest. Why is the second episode two hours as well? ABC, stop. Now that that’s out of the way, I have to note how amazing Jonathan Majors is. He portrays a young Ken Jones, a gay Black activist in When We Rise. His work, along with Cleve Jones continues.
Season 1, Episode 1 – When We Rise is a dramatic series on ABC that chronicles the LGBTQ movement in the early 70s. It is inspired by Cleve Jones’ real-life activist history. While a solid episode, I wish it wasn’t 2 hours. Hollywood, this can’t be a thing.