TV Club: Harriet Tubman breaks out of Underground’s time and format in a singular episode

Underground has never been afraid to gamble—its premise is based on a perilous proposition, after all. And it must have been something of a tough sell for co-creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski: A TV series about slavery in America—depicting its victims and perpetrators—necessitated even more nuance than a film, as it would unfold over dozens of hours (ideally). The show couldn’t be quite grueling, but neither could it do what so many other harmful projects have done and gloss over the atrocities or center the story around white people.

But it’s a gamble that’s paid off, as this drama has not only taken Manhattan’s place as the show that could put WGN America on the map—as a place for content, no disrespect intended—but it’s quickly becoming one of TV’s most compelling dramas. The renewal didn’t cost Green …

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