Boomerang TV Series

In 1992, Boomerang was considered a comeback vehicle for Eddie Murphy. Coming to America had only been released four years prior, but the hype of Harlem Nights made its ultimate performance a disappointment, exacerbated by the fact that he wrote and directed it. The underperformance of Another 48 Hours and a two year gap from movie screens meant Murphy needed a comedy comeback, and Boomerang provided it.

Now, BET is premiering a TV series based on the movie from producers Lena Waithe and Halle Berry, the latter of whom also starred in the original film. Here are the three ways BET’s Boomerang TV series will update the movie.

Berry Wants Angela Back

Angela (Berry) was one of Marcus’ love interests in the film. The show centers on their now grown-up daughter Simone (Tetona Jackson) and Bryson Broyer (Tequan Richmond), the son of Marcus’ other love interest, Jacqueline (Robin Givens). Both Simone and Bryson happen to still work at the same ad agency.

“You might see me at some point,” Berry offered. “I’m just going to say that. I can’t speak for anybody else from the cast. I could only speak for myself. And I’m so proud of this show and you might see me. You might see me for sure. I think Angela might have something else to say.”

The show is definitely Boomerang: The Next Generation though, but at least that also makes it a direct sequel to the movie. Berry has incentive to make a cameo. As a producer, she wants people to watch and the promise her appearing could be the show’s secret weapon.

The Boomerang cameo I really want to see though is Strangé, played by Grace Jones in the film. Berry agreed.

“That was my first question, to Lena,” Berry said.

Waithe nixed a Strangé cameo though, but encouraged fans to pay attention to the character Tia Reed (Lala Milan).

“No, Grace Jones will not be making an appearance, but the spirit of Grace Jones is all up and through,” Waithe said. “I like to say Lala is very much like our version of Strangé in our own way, her character Tia.”

It’s a Rom-Com for Professional Millennials

The movie Boomerang was one of the first rom-coms for the ‘90s. Being a player like Marcus wasn’t considered cool anymore, and women achieving positions as bosses shifted the power dynamic for workplace relationships. Those issues are 30 years old now.

“[We want] to tell this story in a fresh way and deal with all the issues that our millennials are facing today, which are very different than the issues that Jacqueline and Eddie and Angela were facing back in 1992,” Berry said.

Co-Producer and Director Dime Davis laid out the themes that millennials are facing in the new Boomerang.

“[The movie] was the first time I got to see black people that had it all, and they didn’t have to compromise themselves to get it,” Davis said. “There’s a line in the pilot that Bryson says.  He says, ‘Being young, gifted, and black is cool, but it’s exhausting.’ I think the fantasy of the movie didn’t quite touch on the exhausting part. So what we do is lean into kind of the groundedness and, like, how hard it is to really be all of those things.”

That is a valid modern point. Anyone can relate to the high demands of being successful at work and having a social life simultaneously, compounded by the expectation to keep up with all of it on social media. Add to that the pressures of being a black man or woman in a corporate world that is, frankly, still dominated by white execs, and that does sound like Boomerang 30 years later.

Love Triangles Go Beyond the Straight World

The Boomerang movie focused primarily on heterosexual romance. Waithe brings her perspective on LGBTQ sexuality to the TV show. Ari, played by Leland Martin, is bisexual.

“I’m not going to shy away from the fact that there is queerness and fluidity in the black communities as there is everywhere else,” Waithe said. “I’m a prime example of that.”

Back in the ‘90s, any expression of gay characters became the main subject of the episode. There was Ellen Degeneres’s big coming-out, and the episode of Roseanne where Mariel Hemingway kissed the title character. Those were important steps towards the inclusion of LGBTQ characters in mainstream television. By now, Boomerang can treat Ari as he is without calling constant attention to him.

“I don’t believe in doing the PSA thing of, like, ‘Oh, this is the episode at which you guys accept the fact that one of the masculine black man also is into guys too,’” Waithe continued. “No. It just sort of like it comes up and it goes and we sort of let it live.  Some episodes he’s talking to a girl. Some episodes he’s talking to a guy, and that’s it. So this is very intersectional. And if you’re going to show up to Boomerang, that’s going to be a part of what you get.”

Boomerang premieres tonight on BET.

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