Waves on The New Chitlin Circuit (Episode 7)

This week Syd & Lex reviewed the buzzworthy indie drama ‘Waves’ (2019) starring Kelvin Harrison Jr, Sterling K. Brown, and Renee Elise Goldsberry. The movie was directed by Trey Edward Shultz and distributed by A24.

Waves follows a south Florida family navigating the stresses of family life and the tragedy of loss.

Waves' review: An African American family is the fulcrum of this ...

Syd & Lex share their thoughts on the stresses of a high-achieving High Schooler, reflecting back on the pressures felt by many teenagers in Tyler’s (played by Harrison Jr.) position. Lex notes the careful cinematography in Waves, citing the recent movement toward beautiful film often at the expense of functional shots and driving plot with the camera.

Both hosts are big fans of Sterling K Brown in the TV show This Is Us. So they remark on how startling it is to see Brown in the role of a mean father, contrasting the loving Randall Pearson America watches each week on This Is Us.

Syd’s Who Came to Ack Nominee of the Week:

Waves (2019) - IMDb
Bro. Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Syd nominates Kelvin Harrison Jr. for the weekly Who Came to Ack award. Harrison character, Tyler, seems eerily similar to Harrison’s character in another indie film ‘Luce’. But by the climax of Waves it’s clear that the characters are on different ends of the spectrum. This is quite a nod to Harrison Jr.’s abilities as an actor.

Segment: On Second Watch

Syd & Lex reflect on the now 20 year-old action flick, ‘Romeo Must Die’ featuring the late Aaliyah. The hosts give credit to the impact and coolness of the film….but question the true quality. Is ‘Romeo Must Die’ still worth a watch?

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The New Chitlin Circuit, a podcast reviewing black indie, low-budget, and direct-to-tv black movies, is hosted by Syd and Lex.

What do chitlins have to do with movies?

The ‘Chitlin Circuit’ is a term used to describe a ring of performance venues where black entertainers could perform. Throughout American history this term has mainly referred to theatre and musical venues. But now independent black performers can showcase their work on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Urban Movie Channel. This is what we call the new Chitlin Circuit. We started The New Chitlin Circuit as a place for independent Black films to receive the spotlight and appreciation they deserve.

What type of movies will we review?

While attending Howard University, Syd and I were roommates. And our favorite way to wind down on a Friday night was a tall glass of cheap Moscato (ahh, college) and the blackest movie we could find.

While many film buffs scoff at the Sister Codes and Boy Byes on the movie world, Syd and I love these feel-good flicks. But after finishing a movie like Plug Love, when I search the web to find the critical reception or the online conversation about the movie…there’s nothing. So The New Chitlin Circuit is our answer to that.

Black independent film comes in many genres and our goal is to highlight all kinds of black indies. So we’ll review the gangster movies, the rom-coms with Marques Houston, the arthouse dramas with Sundance buzz, and everything in between.

The Hosts


Syd is a native of Lithonia, GA and Howard Alum. She’s a proud member of the Beyhive, a Cheetah Girls enthusiast, and your local Black culture expert. While Syd is a professional Marketer, she moonlights as a free-trial scammer. Meet Syd!


Lex grew up in Metro Atlanta, but is (overly) proud of their country, Alabama roots. If Lex is chatting at a party, chances are they’re talking about public transit, a Tyler Perry movie, or some gay sh*t. Meet Lex!

Tune in every Monday to hear our review of the very best of Black independent movies!

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