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‘Proud Family: Louder and Prouder’ S2 Makes Sure to Say It Loud!

‘Proud Family: Louder and Prouder’ S2 Makes Sure to Say It Loud!

Unless you were born under a rock or not allowed to watch TV, you know exactly what to do when the phrase, “You and me, will always be tight, family every single day and night” begins. It’s time to drop everything, find your note, and get in formation. The Proud Family debuted on Disney 20 years ago and now Season 2 of the popular spinoff, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, is just around the corner. 

Louder and Prouder employs a time jump where the crew of children are now teenagers. The original family is still intact: Penny (Kyla Pratt), Trudy (Paula Jai Parker), Oscar (Tommy Davidson), BeBe and CeCe (Aiden Dodson and Bresha Webb respectively), and of course Suga Mama (Jo Marie Payton). Most of her friends have returned and new friends have joined the mix. 

The reboot was an instant hit. It was easy to see the tighter animation and the brighter art, but the main change happened with the content. The Proud Family was always cutting edge, showing an unabashed view of an upper middle class Black family in a diverse neighborhood. Penny understood what it was to be Black in the world, but also lived in a place surrounded by people of color. Her friend Zoey (Soleil Moon Frye) is one of the few white kids in the area. This comfort allows her to flex confidently when it comes to facing injustice. Along with her best friend Dijonay (Karen Malina White) and their group of friends, they keep fighting wrong while trying to look fly. 

Penny is older and wiser, but still very much a teenager, which means thinking about boys and running around getting into different kinds of trouble with her friends. She’s 16 in Louder and Prouder, and we see her as she begins to rebel a bit, while also finding herself and her place within her family and her community. 

The change hits all of the kids differently and shows their growth. Michael Collins (EJ Johnson) really begins to explore their gender identity and sexuality. LaCienega Boulevardez (Alisa Reyes) is trying to deal with the unlikely physical effects of getting older, like hair in places she wasn’t prepared for. 

Throughout Season 1, Louder and Prouder views like the best kind of weeknight sitcom. Yes, it’s a cartoon, but the storylines are far from tidy and saccharin. Penny’s use of social media lands her in hot water when her power over cancel culture gets out of hand. Oscar is unaccepting of Barry and Randall Lebowitz-Jenkins (Zachary Quinto and Billy Porter respectively), a gay couple who has adopted twins Maya (Keke Palmer) and KG (Artist “A Boogie” Dubose). Oscar’s road to acceptance is bumpy and full of lessons for the whole family. We even see Oscar get into some financial issues trying to fast track his own success. 

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While the family has its share of downs, it has a nice share of ups as well. In the season finale of Season 1 called “Old Towne Road,” we go back in time to see the roots of Charlette “Suga Mama” Towne-Proud. Trudy is concerned that she can’t find Oscar’s lineage and while searching uncovers family that they haven’t communicated with in years. Everyone is reluctant to go visit, especially Suga Mama. We find out that she and her father (who is also ageless and very much alive) Pa (Glynn Turman) always hated the fact she was a girl and held her back time and time again because of it. 

When we come back to Season 2, we open with Part 2 of the same episode. We learn not only about Suga Mama’s past, but also the history of the land and the people it was stolen from. The episode adds in just the right amount of heart, silliness and sentiment. 

Episode 2 goes back home, and we open with Penny and her friends in jail! It’s exactly the type of shock that Louder and Prouder is all about. Not only are they in jail, they are livestreaming and protesting. We go back in time and realize there’s a Founder’s Day celebration and statue being erected in the town square. Barry Leibowitz-Jenkins is extremely happy as he’s a distant but direct relative of the town’s founder. His daughter Maya is less than thrilled as she learns some uncomfortable truths about the founder, her dad’s family, and her dad’s inability and unwillingness to accept the truth. The episode deals with things like white fragility, the intersectionality of being queer but also ignorant of minority issues, and making up for past wrongs.

It sounds heady and it is, but it’s not too dense that kids can’t watch and learn. Louder and Prouder truly has its finger on the pulse of America’s youth, and another pointing in the direction it hopes they go. It’s encouraging and awesome and truly a good time. The series was created by Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar and the two were determined to be even bolder with the reboot. During the old run, they had to be coded in the way they spoke about topics, and now most of those tethers have been untied. It makes the show even more daring and relevant. 

And don’t forget about the theme song! Singer Joyce Wrice has created another take with composer, songwriter, and producer Kurt Farquhar. It’s a stunning remix of the original that’s different and edgy but has just enough of the original to be instantly familiar. I would recommend this show to anyone and especially if you have kids that you want to grow up to be louder and prouder themselves.

Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Season 2 will premiere on Disney on February 1, 2023.

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