Entertainment

'BMF' Season 1 Will Have You Singing 'You Can't Stop the Rain'

The STARZ crime drama is off to an undeniably exciting start.

STARZ
STARZ
STARZ

Following the success of Power and its extended universe, 50 Cent and STARZ have teamed up once again for the standalone original series BMF. The show serves as the fourth straight crime drama from the rapper-turned-television producer and the premium network’s ongoing collaboration, but BMF‘s existence is justified by its cultural significance.

The series is loosely based on the Black Mafia Family, the infamous African American drug trafficking and money laundering organization that emerged from Detroit in the late 1980s and went on to run a major cocaine network well into the 2000s, with main hubs in Los Angeles and Atlanta. The notorious drug empire was led by brothers Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, and due to their work in the music industry, BMF transcended the world of crime and became true popular culture phenomenons, leading to major shoutouts in Rick Ross’ 2010 hit single “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” and Gucci Mane’s 2017 autobiography. Big Meech remains in prison to this day while Terry Flenory – who was released as a result of COVID-19 safety measures in 2020 – is once again a free man, and STARZ’s BMF aims to tell the story of how those two brothers from southwest Detroit got started.

Big Meech’s actual son, Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr., leads the cast as a young version of his father, and for a first-time actor, Lil Meech holds his own. The soon-to-be Euphoria cast member may come off as one-dimensional at times, but Flenory Jr. does ooze confidence in the role. Da’Vinchi portrays Meech’s brother and partner in crime, Terry “T” Flenory, and familiar faces such as Russell Hornsby, Michole Briana White, Ajiona Alexus, Steve Harris, and Wood Harris fill out the rest of the main cast. Yet even with all of those heavy hitters assembled for BMF, the show’s most glaring flaw is the acting.

STARZ
STARZ
STARZ

To be clear, however, the show isn’t plagued with unbearable acting. It just suffers from a noticeable amount of flat performances from several of its main and supporting characters. In addition to Flenory Jr.’s shortcomings as a novice actor, the characters that Meech interacts with the most tend to be portrayed with a similar lack of depth, especially when it comes to his parents Lucille (White) and Charles Flenory (Hornsby). Perhaps it’s due to a restrictive script that only allows their characters to oppose Meech and support Terry regardless of the circumstances, but White and Flenory are either not convincing enough or frustratingly superficial when portraying their characters. Still, other BMF stars – including the incredible Wood and Pat Harris, Da’Vinchi, and Myles Truitt – were more than able to shine in the roles, but it’s without a doubt that no one on the show stood out as much as Eric Kofi-Abrefa, who plays the iconic Lamar Silas.

Lamar is based on Layton Simon, a Detroit man who was one of the Flenory brothers’ most dangerous rivals in the late ‘80s and the 1990s, and his character is easily the most complex on BMF. He is a ruthless street vet and an untreated mentally ill man who was failed by the system, as 1980s policies resulted in the widespread release of mentally ill patients from hospitals. Thus, Lamar is both a threat to Meech and Tee and a threat to those that he loves the most, including Monique (Kash Doll), her daughter Zoe (Stormy Merriwether), and his right-hand man Slick (Myles Bullock). By bringing intensity, humor, and a frightening spontaneity to Lamar, Kofi-Abrefa does his character justice, and his menacing vocal performance of Loose Ends’ “You Can’t Stop the Rain” in Episode 106 “Strictly Business” is already arguably one of the best crime-drama scenes ever.

Beyond Lamar’s antics, BMF‘s historical ties to Detroit’s late 20th-century organized crime wave also adds another layer of intrigue to the show. Countless characters – from Meech and Tee’s beloved mentor Pat and their trusted shooter B-Mickie to other characters like Kato (Ajiona Alexus) and White Boy Rick (Eminem) – can be traced to real people, and it’s entertaining to see how BMF brings each of them to life. The violent, yet hazy, events that rocked the Season 1 finale definitely mark a shift from the real-life events that inspire the show, so it will be interesting to see how BMF moves into uncharted territory moving forward.

STARZ and 50 Cent’s latest crime drama is off to an undeniably exciting start, and if it brings depth to more of its central characters and creates more unforgettable “You Can’t Stop the Rain”-esque moments, then BMF will be unstoppable when it returns for Season 2.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Joshua Robinson is Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist who may or may not have been playing Loose Ends’ “You Can’t Stop The Rain” while writing this review. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @roshrisky.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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