Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, Black Panther is the movie everyone is talking about, along with its leading man, Chadwick Boseman. It’s a Marvel flick, so yeah, it’s about to make a ton of money this weekend, but action-packed blockbuster superhero movies aren’t always everyone’s vibe. If a movie has a fire cast starring the super talented babe that is Michael B. Jordan along with fashion queen and Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o though, I figured, why not check out the trailer. And then I saw who was playing the newly crowned king T’Challa, aka THE Black Panther: Chadwick himself. For reference:
My first thought was wow, the 41-year-old looks great running around dressed like a very sleek cat and I will have no problem watching him fight off bad guys on a big screen for two hours. But then I couldn’t help but think about how he looks so familiar. I know he obviously appeared in one of the Captain America movies where we first met this character, but no. That wasn’t it. I knew his face from somewhere else. And then it hit me: Chadwick was once on an ABC Family show. Yes, long before the network became Freeform and even wasted years of our lives making us all get hooked to the nonsense that was Pretty Little Liars, there was a show called Lincoln Heights. Chadwick played the character, Nathaniel Ray Taylor.
YES, as in Nate, the Army guy who came along and nearly ruined everything for the Sutton family. Although it technically wasn’t all his fault and I’m being a bit over-the-top with that declaration. So here’s a quick recap: Lincoln Heights told the story of police officer Eddie Sutton and how he moved his wife and three kids to his old neighborhood of Lincoln Heights. It’s a rather dangerous place to live and he hopes to make it a better, safer city but of course, there’s tons of drama along the way: one Sutton daughter ends up getting kidnapped while the other thinks it’s a good idea to get engaged in high school, there’s a massive earthquake, you know just typical teen show drama. And then entered Nate.
Nate was in the Army and served in Iraq and unfortunately suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We were told he was the cousin of Eddie’s former (as in they dated when they were 16) girlfriend, Dana. Then we find out Nate’s actually her son. OK, lie about your child, sure. We’ll roll with it. But then PLOT TWIST: the identity of Nate’s father which remained a mystery for all of Nate’s life was revealed: it was Eddie. The patriarch of the Sutton family, the good guy had a child he never knew about. Oh, and remember that earthquake? Yeah, well Nate got injured during it and it’s when he was in need of a blood transfusion to save his life, Eddie does the math and figures out he is Nate’s dad. Which good thing he figured that out since Nate was about to succumb to his injuries and needed someone with his blood type, quick. Yes, DRAMATIC to say the least.
Nate ends up living with his newfound family for a little bit before he reenlists in the Army. The show didn’t last for too long only giving us 43 episodes so not much else to go off here when it comes to Nate’s fate. But all that matters is before Chadwick was the lead role in the most buzzed-about superhero movie in what feels like years, he was just a guy who suddenly found out who his dad was on an ABC Family show. How far he’s come. And for those who watched every season of Lincoln Heights from 2007-2009, you have the answer as to why he looks so familiar. Now you won’t spend all of Black Panther thinking about it in the movie theater. You’re welcome.