SXSW: You Can’t Escape The Swarm


Donald Glover, the creative genius behind “Atlanta,” joins forces with Janine Nabers to bring us “Swarm,” a series that takes viewers on a journey from the vibrant streets of Houston to cities steeped in fan-inspired lore. This show immerses us in the memories and obsessions of real-life fans, with each city depicted by a date and its name.

At the center of this whirlwind is Dominique Fishback, known for her remarkable performance in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” She steps into the shoes of Dre, an ardent admirer of a Black singer who bears an uncanny resemblance to the iconic Beyoncé. Ni’Jah Hutton, portrayed by Nirine S. Brown, is poised to embark on the Evolution Tour, and Dre’s devotion to her is nothing short of fanatic. Any critique of Ni’Jah’s work that falls short of sheer adoration deeply wounds Dre, pushing her to extremes.

The premiere episode, which graced the screens at SXSW, delves into the complex dynamics between Dre, her lifelong friend and roommate Marissa (played by Chloe Bailey), and Marissa’s boyfriend Khalid (embodied by Damson Idris). Marissa has made a name for herself as a makeup artist, and Khalid, despite living separately, is a constant presence. Dre’s reaction to an unexpected encounter with a passionate scene between Marissa and Khalid provides a glimpse into her aversion to emotional attachments.


swarm“Swarm,” now streaming on Amazon Prime, boasts a talented cast, with Dominique Fishback at the helm. Her portrayal of Dre, a character grappling with profound psychological issues, is a standout. The series explores the unsettling prospect of senseless violence, a reflection of society’s current obsessions. It challenges viewers to ponder the impact of social media on today’s youth.

Consider me old-fashioned, but when I watch a show that involves serial murder, I expect a degree of poetic justice. “Swarm” diverges from the typical crime drama, where victims usually have their reasons for retribution. This series explores the darker side of obsession, a refreshing change from traditional narratives, even if it may be unsettling at times.

“Swarm” delves into mindless violence, promising to unveil the motivations behind Dre’s descent into chaos in future episodes. The theme of unbridled fan enthusiasm is an uncharted territory, and the music and costumes are top-notch. The cinematography by Drew Daniels, coupled with direction by Donald Glover, Adamma Ebo, Ibra Ake, and Stephen Glover, keeps you engaged. The pulsating score by Michael Uzowuru adds an extra layer of intensity to the show.


While the acting is commendable, “Swarm” indulges in some “stunt casting.” The inclusion of Paris Jackson, Billie Eilish, Rory Culkin, and Stephen Glover may seem like a departure from the story’s core. Additionally, the writing occasionally falters.

It’s worth noting that Malia Obama collaborated with Nabers to craft the episode “Girl, Bye,” taking on the role of a “staff writer.”


“Swarm” may not cater to my personal tastes, but it’s an exploration of fanaticism that leaves you pondering its implications. Questions about practicalities like body disposal crossed my mind, perhaps a side effect of my experience in novel writing, where plot holes can be glaring. In contrast to shows like “Ray Donovan” or “Pulp Fiction,” “Swarm” seems to lack the meticulous planning required for the aftermath of its gruesome incidents.

While the series may not be my cup of tea, it serves as a unique take on the consequences of unchecked passion and devotion. “Swarm” is now available on Prime Video, having premiered at SXSW on Friday, March 10th, offering a fresh perspective on the darker facets of obsession and fandom.

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About Kimberly

Famously known as 👉🏾 @levelsofsanity, Kimberly is a Blogger, Real Estate Agent, Activist and Plant lover from Brooklyn, New York. Chief Editor Anthony Whyte says, "her communication style and storytelling skills are one in a billion." Follow @Levels of Sanity to gain knowledge that sparks your ingenuity through her culturally adept perspective.