|“Hi … This is my ‘I’m a serious person despite my age’ face.” Selah (Lovie Simone) runs an empire at a Pennsylvania prep school in Amazon Studios new teen drama SELAH & THE SPADES. Credit: Amazon Studios. All rights reserved.|
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
Enter Paloma (Celeste O’Connor).
A sophomore with an eye for photography, Paloma catches Selah’s attention, quickly forming a friendship. But as Paloma star rises, Selah start to re-assess what it means to have power and her legacy.
The world in which the characters exist feels incredibly forced: Williams’ headmaster would be fired for his ineptitude in real life, the underutilized factions and their council are as ridiculous as the average talking head news panel. Likewise, Selah’s character, which is supposed to be multi-faceted, is nowhere near as complex and nuanced when you break it down and the whole affair feels like a teen drama taken to an extreme for the sake of itself. Save for teens invested in watching people their age explore something they often don’t have as they mature – power (which is what the film tries to convey) – most people will find the film much like it’s story: Underdeveloped, underwhelming and underserving of the love the people that would be most invested in it (youths, African-Americans).
I wish Selah and the Spades had more to say or, at the very least, did it better. Then again, maybe like high school itself, it’s better left to just the cool kids.