Warning: This post contains spoilers for Hulu’s The Other Black Girl and the novel it’s based on!
- The Other Black Girl’s season 1 ending departs from the book, setting up the possibility of a season 2 with a different storyline.
- Nella’s character in the series only pretends to use the hair grease, opening up opportunities for her to be a double agent in season 2.
- The show’s deviation from the source material allows for a more positive and inspirational story in season 2, showcasing one woman’s refusal to conform.
The Other Black Girl co-showrunner Jordan Reddout breaks down how the season 1 ending departs from the book’s, but raises the possibility of a season 2. The Other Black Girl premiered on Hulu on September 13 and is based on the novel of the same name by Zakiya Dalila Harris. It follows Nella Rogers (Sinclair Daniel), an editorial assistant at Wagner Books who is initially excited when another Black woman, Hazel-May McCall (Ashleigh Murray), joins the company. However, Hazel’s hiring coincides with threats, favoritism, and other odd occurrences that prompt Nella to dig into Wagner’s dark history.
In an interview with The Wrap, Reddout discusses The Other Black Girl‘s season 1 ending and its departure from the books. In both the book and the series, Nella uncovers a scheme in which hair grease is used on Black female employees to make them complacent, non-questioning, and non-problematic, compromising their identities but getting them advancements in oppressive workplaces that seek to silence them. In the book, Nella uses the hair grease, but in the series, she only pretends to, which has connotations for an Other Black Girl season 2. Check out Reddout’s statement below:
We spent a lot of time thinking about the ending, where we wanted Nella’s story to go, and really what her work in this season was. We all decided and really wanted to see her take back some of this power that she had been denied early in the season. From a storytelling perspective, we’re not done. The story is not over. We want to play with Nella in a Season 2 as a double agent and balancing this new, very precarious position that she’s put herself in. It was a natural completion of her season arc, but I also think it gave us a fun playground for Season 2.
What The Other Black Girl’s Ending Means For Season 2
The Other Black Girl‘s ending is a pretty massive departure from the book. Sometimes, deviations like these aren’t taken very well. However, the change seemed necessary in this case if the show wanted to continue beyond season 1. This is because the first ten episodes cover all of Harris’ book, and there is no sequel. Interestingly, the show hasn’t been marketed as a limited series, meaning that The Other Black Girl season 2 is possible.
Since the first book is covered, The Other Black Girl season 2 will need to do some improvising. Fortunately, the ending of the season left room for more. As mentioned above, Harris’ book ends on a note of finality. While Nella uncovers the dark scheme, she is also a woman who has faced oppression and racism her entire life. Hence, when Hazel mentions that using the hair grease could set her free, Nella uses it. By the epilogue, she has succumbed to the brainwashing of the hair grease, and there’s no story left to tell, just themes left to mull over.
However, The Other Black Girl season 1’s big twist, in which Nella only pretends to use the hair grease, means the story could have a more positive ending. In season 2, she could play the double agent role to dismantle this scheme from the inside. Of course, it’s a perilous position for Nella to be in, but the story could still be meaningful, just different from the book’s ending. Season 2 could be the inspirational tale of the impact of one woman’s refusal to conform. Ultimately, The Other Black Girl‘s departure from the source material makes an interesting continuation of the story possible.
Source: The Wrap