Even for those who aren’t the most important Beyoncé fan, it’s unattainable to not clock who the megastar on the heart of Swarm, Amazon’s new comically-edged psychological thriller collection from Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, relies on. All the things concerning the present’s story of a disturbed fan who finds murderous function in her obsession with a celeb she doesn’t know is supposed to make you assume deeply about what it actually means to lose your self in parasocial relationships and online fandom.
At instances, you’ll be able to see how Swarm is tapping into quite a few fascinating concepts and making an attempt to weave them right into a important textual content meant to be learn intently. However the present’s so dedicated to lampooning one real-world idol and her legion of stans that Swarm finally ends up feeling fixated on punching down relatively than really saying one thing insightful about how folks can find yourself discovering group in essentially the most poisonous digital areas.
Swarm tells the story of a younger lady named Andrea “Dre” Greene (Dominique Fishback), who, like numerous different folks on the planet, thinks of multiplatinum recording artist Ni’Jah (Nirine S. Brown) because the second coming or the closest factor to it. For Dre and her sister Marissa (Chloe Bailey), Ni’Jah isn’t only a singer and dancer whose performances promote out stadiums the world over — she’s a wellspring of the artwork that helped form their identities as younger ladies once they first found her music. However after years of having the ability to bond over their shared love of Ni’Jah’s music and a Twitter fan web page devoted to their favourite singer, Swarm opens at a time within the sisters’ lives when it’s clear that their closeness hasn’t precisely been wholesome for both of them.
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Because the extra well-adjusted sister, Marissa is aware of in her coronary heart of hearts that a ways would possibly do her and Dre a bit of good. However when Marissa’s determination to tug away turns into considerably extra long-term, Dre begins to spiral in a approach that makes good on the numerous heavy-handed hints Swarm drops to the truth that she’s a harmful particular person in determined want of some skilled counseling.
To some extent, the primary time Dre murders somebody for a perceived slight in opposition to Ni’Jah is supposed to take you unexpectedly due to how objectively unhinged killing an individual over a pop star is. However as Swarm’s story unfolds throughout the season’s seven episodes, the present tries to clarify that the darkness inside Dre is way extra difficult than her being a burgeoning serial killer who simply so occurs to love probably the most widespread singers on the planet. The isn’t at all times profitable on the endeavor, sadly.
Just like Netflix’s You, Swarm is a chronicle of a killer coming to grasp their specific taste of psychosis and attempting to persuade themselves that the monstrous issues they do aren’t precisely their faults. The present’s additionally a critique of recent fandom, nonetheless, which is fascinating on its face. However as a result of Swarm’s Ni’Jah is so clearly a Beyoncé analogue as an alternative of an amalgam of celebs with rabid followings, the collection tends to learn like screed aimed on the Beyhive and the Black girls who rely themselves amongst its members relatively than a nuanced deconstruction of stan culture writ massive.
As Dre, Fishback is a pitch-perfect portrait of arrested improvement and idiosyncrasies that talk to her years of codependence on her sister and Ni’Jah, who seems all through the collection in music movies and different TV appearances that provide you with a way of how ever-present a determine she is. However one of many extra shocking issues about Swarm is how little of Ni’Jah’s artwork is de facto put entrance and heart within the present. That may generally make it arduous to grasp what it’s that Dre, or anybody else, loves about her a lot.
That every one being mentioned, Swarm positively has its deserves, and it’s usually legitimately humorous because it weaves real-world Beyoncé apocrypha into its fictional actuality. That every one being mentioned, Swarm positively has its deserves, and it’s usually legitimately humorous because it weaves real-world Beyoncé apocrypha into its fictional actuality. However as stable as its jokes are and as promising as its idea is, Swarm doesn’t at all times really feel prefer it’s placing within the work to actually be nice, which is a disgrace as a result of it’s so near being there.
Swarm additionally stars Karen Rodriguez, Damson Idris, Paris Jackson, Billie Eilish, and Kiersey Clemons. The collection is now streaming on Amazon Prime.