Our teen years can sometimes feel stifling — we find ourselves confined in a box desperate to stretch out and explore adulthood while clinging to the safety of adolescence. Without any of the unexpected trials of life, it’s a bewildering time and the unexpected can feel overwhelming.
Coming-of-age stories are plentiful in Hollywood for this very reason. Audiences relish the opportunity to watch characters grow and change — to make those pivotal choices that could shape their lives forever. From Juice to Higher Learning and most recently, J.D. Dillard’s Sleight, Black males have often been the subjects of these particular stories. Now, The Black TV & Film Collective’s riveting web-series, Keloid has taken this particular narrative and revived it in a fresh and sensational way.
The web-series follows Keloid (David Nixon), a shy young man whose ability to control electricity along with his telepathy, teleportation and telekinesis gifts have left him lonely and desperate to connect with anyone other than his overbearing mother, Marielle (Aba Woodruff).
Led by superhuman abilities that have been passed down through his family line, Keloid finds himself a prisoner to his mother’s well-meaning paranoia. When a horrifying event forces Keloid and Marielle to flee their home, Keloid discovers that the answers he’s been seeking all of his life might have been better off hidden.
Written and produced by Black TV & Film Collective founder Huriyyah Muhammad who also serves as the series’ showrunner, Keloid explores science fiction, superheroes and mother/son relationships that are hardly ever examined with Black characters in the entertainment space. Keloid is, of course, a Black boy with powers— however, instead of being glorified, these skills add to his otherness and isolation. For Keloid there is little to no advantage when it comes to his abilities — at least not in the first season.
The mother/son dynamic is also critical in this series. During our teen years, we see our parents as helicopters constantly circling over us and never allowing us the opportunity to step out on our own. As we mature, we realize that a great deal of that has to do with fear— a gripping worry that taunts parents into holding on. Just as their superpowers are important here, Keloid and Marielle’s relationship also takes center stage especially since their telepathy allows them to communicate in very different ways.
The nuances of Keloid are what take it several steps above traditional superhero narratives. As Keloid desperately attempts to carve out both a life and identity for himself outside of the powers that he was born with, he must also deal with guilt over his past actions and the secrets that his mother is desperate to keep hidden.
Keloid is suspenseful, wonderfully crafted and nothing like you’ve seen before.
Check out the rest of season one of Keloid here.
Support season two of Keloid, here.