Netflix Series Review: When They See Us

‘When They See Us’ is a 2019 mini-series created, co-written and directed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix. The series was released on Netflix in four parts on the 31st of May 2019. ‘When They See Us’ is based on the true events surrounding the 1989 Central Park jogger case and the unlawful incarceration of five young boys, aged between 14 and 16.

‘When They See Us’: Cast and Characters

The Netflix series features an ensemble cast which includes Asante Blackk, Michael K. Williams, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Joshua Jackson, Vera Farmiga, Felicity Huffman, Kylie Bunbury, John Leguizamo, and Marsha Stephanie Barker. The five main characters of ‘When They See Us’ are Kevin Richardson, played by Asante Blackk (Justin Cunningham as adult Kevin Richardson), Antron McCray, played by Caleel Harris (Jovan Adepo as adult Antron McCray), Yusef Salaam, played by Ethan Herisse (Chris Chalk as an adult), Korey Wise, played by Jharrel Jerome, and Raymond Santana who was played by Marquis Rodriguez (Freddy Miyares as adult Raymond Santana).

‘When They See Us’: Episodes

Each episode of the four-part Netflix series details the gruelling story of the unlawful treatment of the five African American and Hispanic boys that were wrongfully accused of the brutal rape of Trisha Meili. ‘When They See Us’ is not for the faint hearted. The series depicts the real story of police brutality, racial tensions and systemic racism that was faced by the boys and their families. Amongst the rising momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, it is important to educate oneself on the racial abuse that is faced by black people every day at the hands of the system.

 ‘When They See Us’: Reception

‘When They See Us’ has received critical acclaim upon its release. The review website, Rotten Tomatoes, reported an approval rating of 95% of the Netflix series. ‘When They See Us’ was also mentioned in Variety with a glowing review written by Daniel D’Addario.