Rating 7.9
Streamer Starzplay
Seasons 1
Episodes 8 x 50 mins

STARZPLAY is quickly becoming a streamer with content that critics are raving about. Amazon and Apple take note. And its content is definitely aimed at a grown-up audience, none more so than this bold and gripping story of the characters who inhabit a strip club in the Mississippi Delta.

In case there is in any doubt as to what this series is about, Hank Stuever in the Washington Post dispels any misconceptions: “one of the most striking aspects of the series is how it elevates pole-dancing to a feminist feat of artistry and athleticism. It’s hard work in a place where employment options are few.” And he goes on to say that P-Valley “excels at both tawdry entertainment and meaningful moments of character study — a reminder that premium cable can toggle between romp and reflection.” The Guardian’s Adrian Horton notes that P-Valley has an almost entirely female writing staff, “each episode directed by one of eight different women, resets the classic TV trope of a beloved joint to the deep south. As told almost entirely by black female and queer characters, it’s one of the year’s best new television series.” And he concludes “P-Valley is blisteringly entertaining”.

In The New York Times James Poniewozik calls this a “confident and lyrical story with an intimate understanding of the sort of characters who are too often used as decoration in the Bada Bings of antihero drama.” He acknowledges that “Sex and flash may get audiences to pay the cover charge into P-Valley, but at heart it’s really about work. Specifically, it’s about working-class women at the frayed edges of a service economy.”

 You’ll note that many of the critics who reviewed this series were white men – we’ll leave you to make your own mind up about that. However a valuable female and black perspective is provided by the series creator and writer Katori Hall who talks about her inspiration and purpose for the series in a short film here. Including, the background on the title.

First shown July 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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