Darby and the Dead is full of little moments of joy. I loved how Darby’s version of making herself popular involved a twist out. Often when Black girls are given a TV makeover to look hot (according to Western standards), she ends up with straight hair, but Darby went back to her natural curls. There’s a scene with Nicole Maines hanging out in the girls’ locker room with her Mean Girl friends and everyone is totally cool with it. (If you don’t know Maines’ background, she was at the center of an anti-discrimination case where the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that trans people can use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.) It was so nice to have 100 minutes of no racism, sexism, queerphobia, or transphobia. Breaking the fourth wall isn’t easy to pull off, but Riele Downs nails it. Particularly at the end when she has her heart to heart with Alex (played by the delightful Chosen Jacobs) and during the epilogue. If you liked how She-Hulk played with the fourth wall trope, you’ll probably also like how Darby and the Dead does it.
For the rest of my review, head over to Tor.com.