Screen legend and Palisadian John Goodman (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) recently celebrated a premiere for the new Netflix original and BBC-produced series “Black Earth Rising” (created by BAFTA award winner Hugo Blick) last Tuesday in New York City.
Goodman plays London-based American human rights barrister and alcoholic Michael Ennis, employer of rising 31-year-old star Michaela Coel (“Chewing Gum,” “Black Mirror”) who plays Kate Ashby, a Tutsi child rescued and adopted from the 1994 Rwandan genocide by London-based international human rights lawyer Eve (Harriet Walter).
The story follows Ashby’s life living in London, following in her mother’s footsteps while working for Ennis as a legal investigator. Everything changes when Eve takes on an International Crime Court case prosecuting a Rwandan Hutu militia leader, Patrice Ganimana (Tyrone Huggins), who is accused of crimes against humanity—crimes he had once fought to stop.
Ashby is thrust back into a world she thought she had escaped forever and is set on a journey to discover the truth of her identity that will take her from the streets of London and Paris to the plains and savannas of Rwanda, testing her relationship with her mother and her own personal grit.
Launched on Netflix on January 25, the series has been praised for its rich visuals, with photography by Hubert Taczanowski and compelling performances from Coel and Goodman.
The series deals with the complexities of genocide, family, civil unrest and colonialism while remaining entertainingly encamped in the spy thriller genre, replete with guns, foot chases and espionage.
Goodman has been back in the news recently due to his reprisal role as Dan Conner on the ABC spin-off sitcom “The Conners,” which follows the famous TV family after the drug overdose death of Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) of the original hit show “Roseanne.”
Season 1 of “The Conners” had its finale Tuesday, January 22, finishing its 11-episode run with 7.73 million viewers, its highest ratings in the 18-49 demographic since November.
In a January 11 interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Goodman said Barr was “really missed” on the show following her firing and the fiery fallout from her Ambien-fueled racist joke at the expense of Obama White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
There is no word on whether “The Conners” will be picked up for a second season.
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