More Black witches have finally arrived for your viewing pleasure. The highly anticipated first episode of Moon Ferguson’s Juju webseries came to YouTube two days early on October 29–just in time for Halloween. For those who aren’t familiar, Juju follows the journey of friends Ayana “Yaya” McGregor (Cassandra Borgella), Angelique “Gigi” DeBlanc (Nedge Victome), and Aleja “Ally” Delgado (Cydni Jenkins), who discover that they are witches. They try to balance their everyday careers and social lives alongside their newfound abilities and destiny to continue the legacy of their ancestors.
Juju’s pilot episode, “One Time for the Birthday Witch,” firmly establishes each of the trio’s unique personalities without over-explaining their backgrounds or getting caught up in lore too quickly. Yaya offers sage advice and wears kyanite around her neck. She’s clearly the emotionally and spiritually grounded cornerstone of the friendship group. Gigi is the social butterfly who fights for women’s rights, speaks her mind, and loves to have a good time. Workaholic Ally wants to climb the career ladder quicker—even if it’s at the expense of her social life. They don’t always get along and have different worldviews—which is a pretty accurate portrayal of adult friendship—but the love between them is real.
Moon Ferguson/Nobody’s Perfect Productions
There’s an easy chemistry between them as they tease, argue, and party with each other. This comes along with a humorous edge and realness to each character that will lead many viewers to identify with them in some sort of way. Juju‘s tone balances some darker subject material alongside moments of levity without quickly falling into the heart wrenching trauma, evilness, tropes, and inflated drama that comprised many other Black witch characters’ narratives. Gigi, Ally, and Yaya are no doubt the imperfect heroines of this story and fans will look forward to pulling back the layers on their lives.
Juju also introduces a villain and knowledgeable stranger. Their respective motivations are not known at this time, but that works perfectly for a first episode. A pilot is all about establishing the premise and building enough intrigue to bring fans back for more action. Juju does this in a clear and authentic way that shows the power of putting diversity behind the scenes as well as on the screen. Many of the show’s creatives are people of color and this resonates through the ladies’ interactions and dialogue. There’s also many props due to Juju’s team for its cinematography, particularly the lighting at the party. Various shades of Black all shine beautifully and it really helps to enhance the overall viewing experience.
How will Gigi, Ally, and Yaya navigate through this path? What is the history behind their powers? Is their friendship really a coincidence or is it the result of fate? Who is the mystery person who knows them better than they know themselves? And, what’s the deal with all the shady happenings in their city? Juju is off to a good start and has a lot more to explore in this unique Black millennial witch saga.
Featured Image: Moon Ferguson/Nobody’s Perfect Productions