‘P-Valley’ Is the Show of the Summer. Why Aren’t You Watching It?

Follow the lives of the employees working at a Chucalissa strip club called Pynk, the Starz TV series Valley of P provocative, intoxicating and especially wonderful, real. Right from the captivating eerie theme song, which begins with the lyrics, “Down in the valley where the girls are naked,” it transports you into a neon-lit strip club deep in the Mississippi Delta. , which immerses you in the stories, characters, mannerisms, and language that express nuances of Black Southern culture in a way few other shows do.

Originating in a world that exists in many small towns across the country, Valley of P is an edgy and layered drama; a cousin to Player’s Club with the sparkling image of Hustlers or Zolaand tell the story of the South as you find it in Queen Street. Showrunner and creator Katori Hall has described her show (which is nearing the end of a second season) as an attempt to allow viewers to empathize with those who have been historically marginalized. Hall presents the lives of strippers not through the eyes of Pynk’s paying customers, but through the eyes of Black women, creating three-dimensional characters with full lives and ambitions. specific, complex expectations that raise questions about morality, vulnerability, power, and consent. Pynk’s main dancers are: Mercedes (Brandee Evans), OG dancer, hustling towards a future outside the club; Keyshawn (Shannon Thornton), aka Mississippi, a beautiful girl trapped in a physically abusive relationship; and Hailey (Elarica Johnson), aka Autumn Night, a mysterious newcomer with a dark past. The other mainstays of the club are Lil Murda (J. Alphonse Nicholson), an aspiring rapper and regular patron, and the illustrious Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan), the club’s owner by gender.

Elarica Johnson and Nicco Annan in P valley.Courtesy of Erika Doss for Starz via the Everett Collection.

Like many elements of the show, including unique regional dialect Among the characters, Chucalissa is a nod to Hall’s innate understanding of Southern Black culture. Hall, who is from Memphis, explain via Twitter that “if Memphis, Tunica and Jackson had kids it would be Chucalissa.” Non-Southerners may not know what that means, but it’s part of the magic of Valley of P; The series provided a lens into Southern Black culture that was lacking in mainstream media. From using the front porch as a gathering place, directing nods to actual sites like the Hurt Village housing project, to the unprecedented influence of the Black church, Valley of P is a true portrait of Southern black life. The second season includes a storyline that focuses on the hoodoo tradition in the South: Pynk’s bodyguard, Diamond (Tyler Lepley), is also an original worker, and steps in to remove negative energy from the club. set after a tumultuous evening that took place in season 1. As Hall shown (in one of her regular live tweets that accompanies each episode’s initial broadcast, Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET), Asteroid spirituality is a big part in everyday life in the South.

Valley of P delve into the complex issues faced by people in similar communities: race, sex, poverty, incarceration, police brutality, mental health, and of course, prostitution and strip club culture. The women know their livelihood depends on their youth and their bodies, and have to contend with patrons who believe strippers give up their right to consent based on their profession. . Acronym Valley of P as a sinful “stripper play” would be a mitigating disagreement with what Hall and her collaborators have created. Hall gives his characters autonomy and self-determination beyond being sexual objects, intentionally shooting pole dancing scenes in a way that highlights the sportiness and discipline of the commercial industry. Valley of P is a show about the humanity behind the performance.

https://www.gq.com/story/p-valley-starz-you-should-be-watching ‘P-Valley’ Is the Show of the Summer. Why Aren’t You Watching It?

Russell Falcon

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