Timewasters is a generous depiction of what this generation would be like amongst their rich peers in the past…some of it is quite unexpected. The series is an easy one to binge as the six episodes of season one are only 30 minutes each. Join Nick, Jason (Kadiff Kirwan), Lauren (Adelayo Adedayo), and Horace (Samson Kayo) as they journey, by way of a pee-soaked elevator, back to the roaring 20s.
Some American viewers may balk at the British humor. However, the story is a fun one that deserves more than a cursory glance. The show is a great one to binge as it weaves comedy, sci-fi, and history in a way that is very fresh. Audiences that are tired of the darker themes concerning Blackness in history will enjoy this quirky reprieve. The show also provides a commentary on the lack of Black history that is taught in British school systems (much like that in the US). This and a few other important connections are hidden beneath the comical storylines and the music.
Racism and History Complicated by Money
The group gets to the 20s to find themselves the private musicians of a rich brother and sister duo. Victoria (Liz Kingsman) and Ralph (Joseph Quinn) have their parents’ money and all of London at their beck and call. They solve some of the band’s problems, providing decadent food, luxurious shelter, and clothes finer than anything the friends have worn even in the present. Nick is anxious and scared and trying to warn everyone from the onset that Black people are not welcomed in the era. However, under the protection of the siblings and their money, Nick’s warnings fall flat. It’s an important happening that the audience shares with the character and it’s also the info that keeps him sort of disconnected from the fun that everyone else is having.
However, it doesn’t take long for the group to overstep in some hilarious scenes in the last two episodes of the season. Horace, Lauren, and then Jason start to see what the money hid, that they are just pets to entertain the rich white people. That reality really hits when their white benefactors grow tired of them. Once that happens, it’s time to find the time machine elevator if it even works for them.
Placing Blackness in its Proper Place
The history of Black people in Britain has become a fascination as of late. As creator/writer of Timewasters, Daniel Lawrence Taylor, said in a recent interview with The Black Cape, many people believe that Blackness just “appeared” in modern times.
The characters in the show can begin to disprove that, hopefully. But he insists that Timewasters is not an educational series.
Maybe more that, I think I’d be worried if anyone looked at what I wrote as something to be put down in history. I think I definitely try my best to be as accurate as possible. When [the team] land, on the screen it says 1926. And, there’s a few things that I picked [for the historic events] that were probably later–like in the later half of the 1920s–rather than the earlier and stuff like that. So I do kind of mess around a bit. And I do tweak bit. There are a lot of characters who are historical characters, but then I also make a lot of fictional characters. So yeah, if you’re going to watch it, or take it for historical facts, do it with a pinch of salt…
An Important Fiction
Taylor’s dive into this topic is one of a handful of British series and films tackling the topic. Even if his version takes some license with the stories, it uses them and that’s what is important about Timewasters.
The series is easily a funny sci-fi spin on a topic that is often dark and too dense for many to swallow. It adds a much-needed and light variety to the Black history-based entertainment that many will appreciate.
Timewasters streams on IMBD, a channel on Amazon Prime.
Check out the Black Cape interview with Daniel Lawrence Taylor on Medium and the full interview on our YouTube channel.
Rating 4.5 of 5
The post IMBD’s ‘Timewasters’ is a Crash Course in Brit History–But Only For Entertainment Purposes appeared first on The Black Cape Magazine.