Jussie Smollett-Executive Produced Series GIANTS Returns For Second Season
Returning to claim its position as a must-watch digital series for the "culture," season two of Giants premieres Wednesday, February 21, 2018 on Issa Rae's Youtube channel. Giants is a scripted drama digital series created by and starring James Bland (USA's upcoming crime series, "Unsolved"), alongside Vanessa Baden Kelly ("Kenan & Kel," "Gullah Gullah Island," and "Rosewood") and Sean Samuels (SyFy channel's "Toxic Shark"). Season one of Giants was praised for authentically capturing the black millennial experience and tackling stigmatized issues including mental health, sexual identity, and unconventional means of economic survival.
"I created Giants with the intent of addressing TABOO topics that weren't often seen on mainstream television, but are universal and relatable," said Bland. "I think the success of our first season signifies a desire to not only see these challenges played out on screen but to also start conversations about them off-screen."
Giants is executive produced by EMPIRE star Jussie Smollett and talent development intermediary LeadersUp. In an effort to help increase diversity and create on-ramps into the entertainment industry, Giants partnered with LeadersUp to provide young adults of color with the opportunity to gain experience as production assistants. The series is distributed under ColorCreative.tv, an initiative within two-time Golden Globe-nominee Issa Rae's production company.
Giants returns bigger and bolder with six, half-hour episodes and an hour-long finale in its second season. Nothing will be the same for Malachi (Bland), Journee (Baden Kelly) and Ade (Samuels), who find themselves sharing a tiny, one-bedroom apartment and are forced to face their inner giants while on full display to one another. This season dives deeper into each character's past and peels back the layers of their insecurities to find the root of their issues. In true Giants fashion, season 2 pushes the envelope by exploring real-life issues such as abortion, drug abuse, black masculinity and the parameters of sexual assault.
"Season two really raises the STAKES for these characters and their problems rise to a level of hurt that leaves us wondering if they can ever come back from this," said Bland. "By season's end, we learn that not all giants can be slain. Some we tame and learn to live with.
This season, the cast is joined by talented guest stars including Emmy-nominated Kelsey Scott (AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead," ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder"), Will Catlett (CW's "Black Lightning," OWN's "Love is ___"), KJ Smith (OWN's "Queen Sugar," CW's "Dynasty"), Woody McClain (BET's "The New Addition Story"), and J. August Richards (ABC's "Kevin Probably Saves the World," "Agents of SHIELD"), who also wrote and directed two episodes. Other notable guest directors include Carey Williams, whose short film Emergency won the Special Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, as well as Xavier Burgin, who is a Sundance Institute Fellow.
Giants received six Indie Series Awards nominations, including Best Drama against Amazon's The Bay, and is an official selection of the 2018 Houston Black Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, and HollyWeb Festival.
The series is produced by CJ Faison and Takara Joseph for James Bland Productions.