“We’re living in a country that was built on the backs of the enslaved and has shaped the souls of our humanity, and so we need to sort of revisit Harriet Tubman and her story,” Underground actor Aisha Hinds said last month at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmy event. She plays the iconic abolitionist on WGN America’s pre-Civil War drama created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski.
“I think that we would do well to take a page out of her book and include may people outside of ourselves and our families as we take care of this country,” Hinds told the packed audience in the DGA Theater.
The panel for the WGN America series included fellow cast member Alano Miller, Green and Pokaski as well as director/executive producer Anthony Hemingway. The expansion of the world of Underground in Season 2 hit a particular poignancy in the “Minty” episode that aired April 1: Directed by Hemingway in three days at the end of production of Season 2, it was virtually a Hinds solo show that powerfully depicted Tubman speaking of the movement and her own life during a secret abolitionists meeting in Philadelphia. Almost more theater that television, the Green- and Pokaski-written show mixed fact and fiction for a result that speaks as much to our time as the America of the 1850s.
As I said in my review of the season as a whole, “Season 2 of Underground is excellent and perhaps more pertinent than ever.”
“First season we made up fictional people put together from real enslaved stories, but Harriet Tubman was out there actually doing the work, and I think it inspires me and all of us to do more,” Green says of the impact (creative and otherwise) of bringing real American heroes into Underground this season. The series’ season finale is tonight.
With cost-cutting in effect at the now-Sinclair Broadcasting Group owned Tribune Media, there is no word on a third season for Underground. That’s a shame because this is obviously a tale with more to tell.
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