It is the tip of an period. Practically 25 years after introducing us to the well-known “Black Pack,” the “Finest Man” solid are saying goodbye to their iconic franchise with Peacock’s “The Closing Chapters.” It is really been a journey for Harper (Taye Diggs), Lance (Morris Chestnut), Jordan (Nia Lengthy), Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Shelby (Melissa De Sousa), Quentin (Terrence Howard), Candace (Regina Corridor), and Murch (Harold Perrineau), however their development from Malcolm D. Lee’s 1999 movie to 2013’s “The Finest Man Vacation” to their new restricted sequence has been a pleasure to look at.
“My solely intention was to make a film that stood the take a look at of time and could be thought-about a basic.”
“The Closing Chapters,” which premieres on Dec. 22, catches up with the “Finest Man” crew and their unfinished enterprise one final time, following the group of now-40-somethings as they navigate midlife crises, grief, altering relationships, and the woes of the world of their older years. However the true full-circle second for this grand reunion is Harper’s notorious bestselling novel “Unfinished Enterprise,” aka the supply of most of his drama, being become a film adaptation greater than 20 years after its debut (sure, the franchise continues to be maintaining with the instances within the age of reboots and book-to-movie inspiration).
Though many followers take into account Peacock’s eight-episode sequence a bittersweet farewell to their favourite Blassic, the “Finest Man” solid say they did not shed too many tears over the tip of the franchise. “I feel it is totally different [for us],” Chestnut tells POPSUGAR. “If in case you have a long-running TV present the place you are seeing one another on daily basis, eight months a yr, it is just a little totally different as a result of we [reunite], have a spot, [reunite], have a spot, so it has been numerous enjoyable working with household, however I feel we’re good with the way it’s ending.”
Corridor, who made her movie debut in “The Finest Man” as Candace, agrees. “You gotta bear in mind, we did not comprehend it was going to be a franchise, so we’re simply grateful for each time we get to [reunite],” she says. When “The Finest Man” creator Lee launched his debut movie again in 1999, he had no thought it’d flip right into a cult-classic franchise both. “It wasn’t my intention,” he says. “My solely intention was to make a film that stood the take a look at of time and could be thought-about a basic. I wished these characters to be impactful and indelible, and we did that with the primary film.” Even the 2013 sequel got here as a shock, as a result of Lee did not anticipate followers nonetheless being invested in his characters’ tales. However 23 years later, the “Closing Chapters” co-showrunner considers himself and the solid “very lucky that audiences nonetheless react the way in which they do to them.”
Earlier than the announcement of “The Closing Chapters,” many believed the “Finest Man” franchise would proceed with a 3rd movie centered on Quentin’s nuptials teased on the finish of its vacation sequel, which was additionally Lee’s authentic plan — along with a fourth film. However with the growth of restricted sequence in TV land, the director says the celebrities aligned to offer “The Finest Man” a extra correct sendoff. “We may very well be extra expansive with our storytelling,” he says of making the sequence versus one other film. “The Closing Chapters” offers “the actors some surroundings to chew” with “the proper finances that will entice them to come back again,” Lee provides.
“For me, it was necessary as a girl, as a Black girl, becoming a member of Malcolm on this leg of the franchise. I wished to essentially dig into the ladies.”
A method the sequence takes the franchise’s storytelling to the subsequent stage is by highlighting its sturdy solid of girls and their tales, which traditionally have not gotten as a lot consideration. “For me, it was necessary as a girl, as a Black girl, becoming a member of Malcolm on this leg of the franchise. I wished to essentially dig into the ladies,” co-showrunner Dayna Lynne North says of getting tapped for the present. “As a result of I felt like they’d been extra so counterparts to the boys within the earlier iterations of the story, and I used to be actually curious to see when the ladies get collectively, what does it seem like?”
“We all know in regards to the iconic card video games, however what do the ladies do once they hang around?” she continues. “I wished to know with Candace, with Shelby, with Robyn, what are these arcs going to seem like once they get to a degree of their midlife metamorphosis? That is what was actually necessary to me. Ensuring these arcs felt as full and three-dimensional as Harper, Quentin, Murch, and [Lance].”
“Nice storytelling, actual folks, real-life experiences, the highs, the lows, the births, deaths, issues, these are issues we will all relate to, and it is a tradition.”
Refreshing storytelling is among the predominant causes the “Finest Man” franchise has stood the take a look at of time. Along with its “correct portrayals” of Black folks, per Diggs, Lengthy says “honesty” has so much to do with the franchise’s legacy. “We’re actual folks,” she says. “Nice storytelling, actual folks, real-life experiences, the highs, the lows, the births, deaths, issues, these are issues we will all relate to, and it is a tradition. It is a cultural expertise that is tremendous relatable and timeless.”
Although this can be the tip of the street for the franchise as we all know it, it definitely will not be the final time we see nice Black storytelling on display. “That is only the start of the subsequent model,” Howard notes. “Subsequent story, we construct it up and see what occurs. I am simply hoping that the technology that was influenced by it’s going to outdo it. I am hoping that the actors that come up behind us will make the stuff we did seem like it was simply idiot’s play.”
All eight episodes of “The Finest Man: The Closing Chapters” start streaming on Peacock on Dec. 22.
Picture Supply: Peacock