If you’re looking for a new series to watch on Netflix this weekend, you need to know this Body.
The crime and science fiction drama follows four detectives from different time periods – 1890, 1941, 2023 and 2053 – who discover the exact same body and begin to unravel a decades-long mystery while trying to catch the murderer.
A detective, Shahara Hasan (played by Amaka Okafor), is a Muslim woman who wears the hijab and without a doubt her character is the Muslim representation I have been waiting to see on screen.
The series begins with Shahara going about her day – jogging, waking her son up for school, and doing her job as a police detective. We also learn that Shahara is of mixed race and her father (played by Nitin Ganatra, what a legend!) is of South Asian descent.
As the series progresses, we see how her faith and culture play a role in her work. She is assigned certain cases because she has a similar cultural background to those involved, and we hear from police officers who may discriminate against certain communities associated with a case she is working on.
Still, Shahara is so much more than just her faith and culture, which is refreshing to see. When a Muslim woman is portrayed on screen, writers usually resort to lazy stereotypes, portraying her as oppressed by her faith, family or culture and not having much to say or do except wait for it to be told by a white one Protagonists to be freed.
But Shahara doesn’t need saving. Body does things differently by highlighting their faith and culture through important conversations about their role in policing, without that being the *only* lens through which we view them. Series creator Paul Tomalin talks about why this was so important.
“There isn’t a character that doesn’t have something that makes them an outsider,” he said Cosmopolitan Britain. “We researched and looked for actors, preferably with their own experience, while ensuring we had the best actors.
“Any thing that makes the characters different could be a whole show, so we highlighted them and then developed them along with the main story,” he continued. Sure, Shahara is Muslim, but she has a lot more to offer.
Body is extremely diverse not only in terms of Muslim representation but also in that of different communities. Detective Charles Whiteman is Jewish but struggles with his faith and faces constant anti-Semitism in the police and in society. Alfred Hillinghead is gay and faces prison if he comes out, while Iris Maplewood is disabled.
Overall, the series is about representation in a way that truly values it, and not just about checking a box. It addresses the issues each character faces and their lack of feeling loved by society, but does not make that their sole focus, instead creating a compelling, entertaining series with an overarching, important theme about the Need for love and acceptance in society.
If you are looking for a new series on Netflix, Body is it.
Source : www.cosmopolitan.com