Let’s Talk About ‘See You Yesterday,’ Where ‘Back to the Future’ Meets Systemic Racism (Podcast)

With special cameos by Michael J. Fox and Octavia E. Butler’s “Kindred”

Netflix’s “See You Yesterday” combines the time-travel goofiness of “Back to the Future” with the social criticism of “Boys N the Hood.” It’s the subject of our latest “Low Key” podcast, which you can listen to right here.

Does “See You Yesterday” work? We’re a little divided. We appreciate that the protagonist is a young, black and female scientist (played by Eden-Duncan Smith). And we love seeing Marty McFly himself, Michael J. Fox, reading Octavia E. Butler’s time-travel classic “Kindred.” We also think the message of the movie is pretty brilliant.

But the question is how well the film melds silliness with seriousness. It starts like a Brooklyn-based “Back to the Future,” melding a late ’80s and early ’90s sensibility with the present day. But then a shooting that is all-too-familiar across every era takes the narrative in a serious direction, and the much-discussed conclusion — if you can call it a conclusion — feels like a commentary on the sisyphean nature of trying to right injustices.

We have a good honest discussion about how well the movie fulfills its ambitions, and ultimately we’re glad this story exists in the world. “See You Yesterday” is directed by Stefon Bristol and written by Bristol and Fredrica Bailey. It’s produced by Spike Lee, and its now streaming on Netflix.

Finally, if you’ve never listened to “Low Key” before, this is a great episode to start. Your three hosts — Keith Dennie, Aaron Lanton, and me — are spread out from Dallas to Nashville to West Hollywood, which guarantees we’re never in the same bubble. Our mission is to examine the often-overlooked parts of pop culture, often through a racial lens. And also to have fun and battle evil.

If you don’t want to listen to the episode above, please listen and subscribe on one of the following:

Spotify

Apple

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Also: Follow @thelowkeypod on Instagram!

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