Arts & Life, Film & Television

Netflix’s ‘Raising Dion’ shows the perils and triumphs of raising a superhero

The new Netflix series “Raising Dion” takes the superhero formula and flips it on its head. Rather than following a protagonist as they discover their path to becoming a hero, this original series looks at what it takes to raise one. 

The nine-episode season focuses on recently widowed mother Nicole Warren (Alisha Wainwright) trying to pick up the pieces following her husband, Mark Warren’s (Michael B. Jordan), mysterious death. Alone to raise her 8-year-old son, Dion Warren (Ja’Siah Young), the show hones in on their bond, which proves to be the biggest strength of the story. 

This bond is tested, however, when Dion begins showing signs of strange powers and abilities. In the first few episodes alone, Dion uses powers like telekinesis, teleportation, invisibility and pyrokinesis.  

While the audience will be thrilled watching Dion slowly discover and learn to control his powers, his mother’s visible fear and anxiety over what to make of her son’s gifts are far from unusual.

As Nicole attempts to keep her son safe and his powers a secret, the show takes the opportunity to showcase the love and bond between Dion and Nicole, and what lengths each is willing to go to keep one another safe. 

Alongside Nicole, family friend Pat (Jason Ritter), ally Charlotte Tuck (Deirdre Lovejoy) and Dion’s school friend Esperanza (Sammi Haney) all play a part in influencing Dion’s path to becoming a hero.  

What makes the show worth watching is the subversion of expectations, as every episode a genre trope is thrown out the window. From the identity of the big bad to secret identities, “Raising Dion” is a unique perspective on the genre of superheroes. 

Of course, no show is free of flaws, and “Raising Dion” is no exception. The writing and acting can, on occasion, come off as stiff and awkward.

But with a predominantly black and POC cast, unique special effects, and well-paced storytelling and direction, “Raising Dion” is a show that is worth the watch.

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