Once upon a time, we’d have to wait week after week to see our favorite primetime sitcoms. Whether it was In Living Color or Living Single, the time in between episodes sometimes seemed to stretch forrreverrr.
Now with the advent of streaming services and web series, finding your latest entertainment fix is just a click away.
If you like Insecure, then you’ll love Brown Girls…
Described as “an intimate story of the lives” of two best friends, Brown Girls is a Chicago-based web series that’s filling a void for queer communities of color.
In an interview with JETmag.com, director and producer Sam Bailey had this to say about the series: “I would really like for brown and Black people to see it and see a piece of themselves on TV. I remember watching Awkward Black Girl and feeling like OMG! To see yourself on TV, even at 27, is still revolutionary. We want people to see people who look like them on screen and feel less alone in the world, especially now. It’s super important to say your story is important and it’s valid. You’re human and that’s valid. I really do believe representation matters in that way.”
This one is for us.
Where to watch: http://www.browngirlswebseries.com/episodes/
If you like Mysteries at the Museum, then you’ll love Where Art Thou: South Africa
What do you get when you mix a love of art and travel? In this web series, host Terhys Persad interviews artists in South Africa about their work and learns about the culture, history and society.
“When I was 26, I fulfilled my wildest dream: I quit my job and traveled around Asia and New
Zealand. In Bangkok, I wandered into a gallery displaying the carvings of Pornprasert Yamakazi. They were sinister: warped wood carved in the shape of body parts, punctuated with black grains of rice,” explains Persad. “… Through contemporary art, I learned compelling stories about everyday life; and, the stories weren’t exoticized because they were being told by people from the country. I thought this would make a dope travel show.”
You’ve never seen art history like this before.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0ABWKSILUM
If you like The Mindy Project, then you’ll love 2 Self Help Books Away from Being Perfect
Winner of the Best Web Original at the American Black Film Festival in 2016, 2 Self Help Books Away from Being Perfect is about Kimmy Monroe, a “bright-eyed Brooklynite” and lab technician who uses self-help books to find love.
The brainchild of Park + Haven Productions, this rom-com web series is written and created by Kimberly Young and directed by Lopez Williams.
“I wanted to expose the ridiculous expectations within different subcultures that we succumb to within our everyday lives. Everything from corporate culture to hip-hop culture, I wanted to show through the character Kimmy Monroe, the lengths we will endure for the sake of belonging and for the hope of being loved or rewarded,” Young explains online. “These expectations become a form of abuse when we deny our true selves, and forcibly fit ourselves to meet them and to excel at them.”
Talk about being a hopeless romantic.
Where to watch: http://2selfhelpbooksseries.com/
If you like A Different World, then you’ll love Single and Anxious
Motownphilly’s back again with Single and Anxious, “a sincere web series about POC and culture in Philly.” Based on the lives of five Black college students from various backgrounds, the show explores the trials and tribulations of building, establishing and maintaining relationships.
“Single and Anxious is an honest representation of both the diversity and universality of the urban, African-American experience. Growing up, we all had a friend who dated the bad guy and made decisions they regretted,” says show creator Christina Faith. “We’ve all been in love with someone who hasn’t given us the time of day. I want Single and Anxious to be the series people are telling their kids about in 20 years. I want our teenagers and young adults to grow up with college students who look, talk and wrestle with issues just like them.”
Not too hard, not too soft.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8XCHGbn2o0&feature=youtu.be
If you like The Real World, then you’ll love BK Chat LDN
What happens when Black British millennials stop being polite and start getting real? A viral YouTube series, apparently.
What started with a pilot called “He Broke Up With Me At A Bus Stop!” has returned for a second season filled with everyday people tackling everyday issues like sex, dating and racism. Created and directed by Andy Amadi, BKChat (pronounced “back chat”) is the British import we can’t get enough of.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC31HGjPhqcrq74cVRdikdCg
Your turn! Which digital series has your attention?
A journalist turned nonprofit PR pro, L’Oreal Thompson Payton is also a blogger and freelance writer with a passion for empowering women. When she’s not busy writing, she can usually be found reading, dancing and eating her way through Chicago. Learn more about her at LTintheCity.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @LTintheCity.