Written by C.Diva
***a spoiler free review***
Flint Town Review: Flint Has More Going On Than Just Bad Water
Flint, Michigan has been in the news since 2014 because of the lead poisoning that happened when state officials tried to save money by siphoning water from the Flint River and then lied about it. Four years later, one of the poorest cities in America, with one of the highest crime rates, still cannot cannot use the tap water, but this 8 episode docu-series is about more than just the water crisis. Creators followed a handful of police officers over the span of two years to reveal a city in crisis, not only from the lack of clean water, but because public safety funds are at an all-time low, houses and businesses are being abandoned and the commitment to change from local government is questionable, at best.
A few days ago, my teen daughter and I were out of work/school with that nasty cold going around and when we flopped down on the couch to binge watch Netflix, we came across this and she suggested we watch it together. Now, my daughter and I have overlapping taste in television–we both enjoy Doctor Who and Riverdale, but she isn’t really into Supernatural and I cannot watch that CSI she absolutely obsesses over. We do, though, have similar political ideals and she is one smart kiddo so, we sat down and watched the first 5 episodes in a single sitting before I had to get up and do real life stuff. Later on the same day, we both finished the series and had the chance to talk about it.
The story centers around the Flint Police Department and the challenges that come with having only 98 sworn officers for a city of 100,000. The series covers a plethora of issues that come up in Flint in 2015 and 2016 through the eyes of the police officers, who range in background, aspirations and political ideals, but yet hold the office of public service in Flint to the highest caliber. At this time in history, when many of the public are wary of police officers, this series humanizes a group of people who have various reasons for becoming cops but all seem to genuinely want to help the community of Flint in the city’s time of need. The show is beautifully shot and full of poignant and honest stories of real people in real America. It is a timely reminder that the important folks don’t reside in the White House but on the forgotten avenues of America.
Should I binge it?
Why not? There are only 8 less-than-45-minute-long episodes. Just do it so we can talk about it.
Can I watch it with my kids?
Sure, if you’re kid is old enough to hear a couple F-bombs and see a dead body. Mine is 15 and loves cop dramas, so I wasn’t really worried about the content. It’s not Dexter but it’s also a little more raw that CSI MIami.
Is the show graphic?
Like I said, cops cussing, a few dead body shots, and pretty graphic scenarios in terms of real life police work. My 15yo handled it and seemed to enjoy the content and didn’t get bogged down by the cursing or occasional blood. There is a pretty heavy message on current American ideals that doesn’t get resolution in the 8 episodes, only raises more questions. I honestly considered using it with my students, but don’t have that much classroom time to devote to a single topic. The series is a learning experience and I hope Netflix continues to give us content that has the potential to teach audiences empathy on this caliber.