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7 TV Shows & Movies by Black Voices Jesse L. Martin Wants You to Watch Now

Jesse L. Martin's Peacock picks for Black History Month have a little something for everyone.

By Jill Sederstrom

Not sure what to watch this month? Jesse L. Martin has you covered. 

How to Watch

Watch The Irrational Mondays at 10/9c on NBC and next day on Peacock

In honor of Black History month, The Irrational star has selected seven of his favorite television shows or movies by Black voices now streaming on Peacock and shared the list with fans.

“This February is Black History Month and to commemorate on Peacock,  I’ve curated a collection full of some favorite movies and series,” he explained in a video announcing the project.  “Whether you’re looking for drama, edge-of- your-seat action, or a curious mystery, this collection has it all.” 

So, just what made the veteran actor’s list? Martin chose a mix of his own television projects, Spike Lee-directed films, and a Jordan Peele horror movie sure to have you on the edge of your seat. 

Here’s a little more about everything that made Martin’s movie list: 

Found

The cast of Found sits around a table in Found Episode 113.

Martin gave a shout out to another NBC freshman crime drama, Found. The edgy television series focuses on Gabi Mosely (Shanola Hampton) and her crisis management team, who are committed to bringing people who have disappeared back home. The uniquely-qualified group often takes on the missing person cases of victims from marginalized groups or people of color who might not otherwise get media attention.

But Gabi also has a secret. Gabi has tracked down her own childhood kidnapper, a man known as Sir (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), and is holding him captive in her basement, forcing him to help her solve cases.

Law & Order

Jesse L. Martin on Law And Order

There is no crime procedural more classic than Law & Order. Premiering in 1990, the beloved series is the perfect mix of investigation and courtroom drama. Now in its 23rd season — after taking an 11-year hiatus — Law & Order showrunners have proved they aren’t afraid to take on a controversial subject and often feature storylines ripped from the headlines.

What’s even better? Martin himself played Detective Ed Green on the series from 1999 to 2008.

Nope

OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya), Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) and Angel Torres (Brandon Perea) in Nope

Academy Award winner Jordan Peele has become the new king of horror and suspense with a string of psychological thrillers that have earned critical acclaim and frightened audiences everywhere. 

His 2022 hit Nope follows a brother and sister, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, after they notice something disturbing in the sky above their California horse ranch and become determined to capture evidence of the sinister force plaguing their isolated community.

Do the Right Thing

Ossie Davis appears in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing

Spike Lee wrote, directed, and starred in this 1989 classic. As temperatures sizzle in a Brooklyn neighborhood on the hottest day of the year, racial tensions also heat up between an Italian pizzeria owner and his Black customers, leading to a pivotal and thought-provoking moment of violence.

The movie is ranked #40 on the American Film Institute’s list of greatest movies of all-time.

In addition to Lee, the film stars Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, and Rosie Perez. 

Dear White People

Screenshot from Dear White People

Dear White People is a comedy satire that offers a new take on race relations at a fictional university in America.

As the official synopsis for the 2014 film explains: “A campus culture war at a predominantly white school comes to a head when the staff of a humor magazine stages an offensive Halloween party.”

The Justin Simiens-directed film stars Tyler James Williams — who many may recognize from his current role on Abbott Elementary — Tessa Thompson, and Kyle Gallner, among others.

The Irrational

Alec Mercer points in The Irrational Episode 110.

No list would be complete without Martin’s own new NBC hit, The Irrational. Martin plays Alec Mercer, a behavioral science professor who often lends his uncanny abilities to understand human behavior to the FBI, police, and other clients to solve the latest crime.

But Alec also has his own mystery to solve. More than two decades earlier, Alec was badly burned in a church bombing that claimed the lives of 13 other people. Today, with the help of his FBI agent ex-wife Marisa (Maahra Hill), Alec is determined to unravel the complicated plot and reveal the mastermind behind the bombing.

Crooklyn

Screenshot from Spike Lee's Crooklyn

Spike Lee’s 1994 film Crooklyn is a semi-autobiographical tale written by Lee, his sister Joie Susannah Lee, and brother Cinque Lee, loosely inspired by their memories of growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s. 

The film follows the Carmichael family, led by father Woody (Delroy Lindo), a musician, and Carolyn (Alfie Woodard), a high school teacher trying to manage her rambunctious family of five children.