Harlem season 1, episode 1 recap – the pilot explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 3, 2021
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Amazon Harlem, season 1 episode 1 - Pilot


It’s not the greatest start to a show that I’ve seen. There’s a couple of genuine laughs in the opening episode of Harlem. But overall, this episode is annoying, with the characters even more so.

This recap of Amazon’s Harlem season 1, episode 1, “Pilot,” contains spoilers.

Harlem season 1, episode 1 recap

After a quick flashback of Harlem, Camille (Meagan Good) explains that she has a good tribe of unbreakable sisters. That unbreakable bond is with Angie (Shoniqua Shandai), Quinn (Grace Byers), and Tye (Jerrie Johnson). What follows is a long voiceover whilst Nicki Minaj plays in the background. Camille goes on to say, “We’ve always had to go faster, but how can we do that now?” She adds that dating for women is hard in Harlem, but that she must refuse to settle. It cuts to Camille teaching at university, where she attempts to inspire a group of students. A student, Malick (Ashlee Brian), tells her that class was amazing before asking if she wants “help” with his assessment. But Camille claims it’s against code to date students.

Robin (Andrea Martin) informs Camille that she will try and move a budget so that she can join full-time as a professor. After the four main characters meet, Tye reveals she has turned down a business offer for her dating app. Meanwhile, after lunch, Camille bumps into her ex Ian (Tyler Lepley). But when at the gym, her student, aka Malick, takes her phone and slides his number into her contacts. Later, as Camille, Tye, Quinn, and Angie wait for a table, Camille states that she didn’t want to have sex in a locker room.

Angie, who sleeps on Quinn’s sofa, goes on to reveal that she is performing at an open mic night. But Quinn isn’t overly impressed, “it’s just not a job, job”. Angie defends open mic by stating it could lead somewhere and that she must take the job as she doesn’t have a trust fund or parents supporting her every move. “No, you just use me for that,” Quinn replies. Tension between the pair?

Tye goes on a date with Shayla (Claudia Logan), which she learns was a dare. But the date/dare goes well, and they have sex. Whilst on Long Island, Quinn finds that her date is in a nightclub. To make it worse, a guy spills his drink on her. After she attempts to clean up the mess, she finds that her date has left her with the bill. And her purse is gone! So now Quinn is stranded. After she attempts to have a passer-by lend her $10 for the next train, which isn’t until 5 am, she is mistaken for a hooker.

The ending

Feeling down, Camille calls Malick after she finds him on a dating app. They come close to having sex, but when he wants her to lick his a*s, she backs out. Still stranded, Quinn calls Angie. They put their past argument aside, and Angie praises Quinn for putting herself out there. Even if the results aren’t always the best. The first episode of Harlem concludes with Angie singing at Open Mic. Camille spots Ian within the crowd, and it cuts to the credits before we see whether she decides to talk to him.

What do you think of Amazon Harlem, season 1 episode 1? Comment below.

Watch Harlem on Amazon Prime. 

Amazon Prime Video, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
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