Julie And The Phantoms Centres On A Woman Of Colour And It’s Amazing
The new Netflix show Julie and the Phantoms was the series I didn’t know I needed to watch, especially at this present moment.
Releasing on September 10th worldwide, it’s the latest musical teen show from Kenny Ortega.
And if you’ve watched anything which Ortega has worked on, you’ll understand why Julie and the Phantoms is the show to watch this fall.
Ortega has worked on many movies and series including the High School Musical franchise, Cheetah Girls and Descendants.
And it’s plain to see his distinctive style in this show.
There’s the great performances, compelling storylines and slightly unrealistic settings.
That being said Julie and the Phantoms stands out from the rest.
The show tells the story of Julie played by 16-year-old Madison Reyes.
It’s a remake of a Brazilian show called Julie e os Fantasmas.
Julie And The Phantoms In The Netflix show you need to watch
Read more: Mary Poppins Returns Review
Julie is still reeling from the death of her mother.
The trauma from losing her mother has affected Julie so badly that she can’t do the very thing that connects her to her mother and that is play music.
But just when Julie is giving up all hope of ever being able to play music at all, something comes into her life to change all that.
It’s the appearance of three ghostly boys who just happen to have been in a band before they died that reignites Julie’s love of music.
Without giving too many spoilers, Julie and the ghostly trio start a band (hence the name Julie and the Phantoms) making sweet music together.
There’s many things that can be written about the show.
It’s the show to watch just for the feel-good factor.
It brings to mind the easy watching of teen movies but with a little more seriousness.
In these difficult times the world is going through, it can be difficult to watch television.
The show provides the perfect amount of escapism.
There’s also the fantastic soundtrack that you will be singing along to.
I guarantee you will be streaming all of the songs after watching the show.
“Imma Stand Tall” is a personal favourite of mine.
There is also the very talented cast.
The cast is amazing
Reyes as Julie truly steals the show.
She manages to portray the kickass musician, the caring daughter and sister and amazing friend with such finesse.
I’m sure this is just the start of great things for her.
The entire cast all do a fantastic job.
There is the enthralling plot which leaves you on the edge of your seat.
But personally, what stood out the most from the show was Julie.
She is a woman of colour headlining a band and doing a great job of it.
There was just something so powerful about seeing a woman of colour as the lead of a teen drama series.
But what made it even more great was that she was leading the band.
The show might be aimed at a teenage and young adult audience, but it cannot be overstated how important it is to see Julie firstly overcome her trauma and then flourish as a singer.
Julie And the Phantoms puts women of colour front and centre
Oftentimes teen music movies, or generally any movies which are centred around teens feature white male leads.
Julie and the Phantoms starts off a similar storyline.
The ghostly trio is made up of three white boys who were a band in the 1990s called Sunset Curve.
They were due to perform one of the biggest stages but then they died.
And with that the story completely changes.
Once Julie meets the band, they ask her to headline the band.
Fair enough the band needs Julie to headline the group as she is, well, the only living member of the group.
But besides that she is also the most talented member of the group (no shade to the rest of the band).
She writes the most amazing music and has the most beautiful voice.
And later on in the series, we see that Julie doesn’t always need the band.
She manages to wow the crowds at one of the biggest stages even without the guys.
Julie And The Phantoms is so refreshing
It was so just so refreshing to see a girl of colour up on the stage, singing her heart out.
I’ve grown up watching many movies from the United States.
And without fail, most of those centred around white people and their issues.
With this show, Julie is surrounded by her family and those dynamics were so lovely to see.
There’s her aunt who is slightly overbearing and protective but is always immensely supportive of her.
Her dad is trying to navigate raising Julie and her brother while balancing his own sadness at the loss of his wife.
Somehow those family dynamics just worked all the more with Madison Reyes as Julie.
And one of the last things about the show that was pretty cool to see was Reyes represent her background in the show.
She is Puerto Rican.
In one of the scenes in the series where Julie is rocking it out on stage with the band, she is wearing a camouflage print jumpsuit.
On Instagram, Reyes wrote that the inspiration for her outfit was to pay homage to her mother who had been in the army reserve for 19 years.
“Thanks mommy for always showing me how to become a strong Puerto Rican woman that could do anything if you set your mind to it,” Reyes wrote.
The world and pop culture needs a lot more representation, especially meaningful and constructive representation – not just surface level.
Julie And The Phantoms is worth a rewatch
And sometimes it’s nice to see change happening in genres that for the longest time have been dominated by a particular kind of face and storyline.
For now, I’ll be rewatching the series, streaming all the songs and patiently waiting for the second season to drop.
I need many answers but I also just want to see Julie thrive up on stage, presenting.
What do you make of this article?
Are you looking forward to watching Julie And The Phantoms on Netflix?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out Small Screen Radio wherever you get your podcasts!