‘She Got Problems’ Will Make You Laugh and Sing

by Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, originally published at Televisual

“Oh hark, Alison! The theater calls. Answer! You were a smash in summer stock,” Audra McDonald shouts to her sister, Alison, as she signs autographs and collects flowers.

“I never did summer stock. That was you,” Alison replies, flatly.

“I have so many good reviews, I’ll just give you one of mine,” Audra says. “You just need to lose a few pounds. 30 or…35. Remember when you had meningitis? You were attractive then!”

That’s just the kind of self-deprecating humor audiences can expect from Alison McDonald, a television writer (Nurse Jackie, American Dad, Everybody Hates Chris) and performer whose short films “Alison Is Having a Really Bad Day” and “She Got Problems” have been making the rounds on the web this year.

Both “Bad Day” and “She Got Problems” focus on Alison, playing a version of herself, as she navigates being a single black woman in America. Both feature lengthy and ambitious musical numbers set to classic American songs, like ”Black dudes are a few of my favorite things” (after The Sound of Music‘s ”My Favorite Things”). A sample: ”When the blues strike, and my mood swings, when I’m feeling fat, I think of the sluts of the Flavor of Love, and then I don’t feel so bad!”

McDonald’s story lines are often based on true stories, like in the first and last scenes of “She Got Problems.” “It’s a very personal story…I’m making lemonade out of lemons, as they say,” she said in an interview.

While she identifies as a writer, McDonald, like her sister, also acts, dances and sings quite well, if not as professionally as her five-time Tony Award-winning sister. “I can carry a tune,” she joked. “I’m not tone deaf.”

McDonald said she views the two shorts more as trailers than episodes or installments. She’s pitching the project as either a web series, television or feature film, depending on what generates the most interest. She recognizes she has an uphill battle but is enjoying the opportunity to think outside of the “very small box” of the mainstream media.

“The commercial marketplace is not a very inclusive one,” she said. “Statistically I’m only going to be able to go so far.” Nevertheless she highlighted a number of positive developments for black women in television, film and online, including Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, recently picked up for a second season; Ava DuVernay’s historic best director win at Sundance for Middle of Nowhere; and Issa Rae’s massively successful Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, now debuting on Pharrell’s iamOTHER premium YouTube channel.

“These are milestones that have only recently been crossed,” she said. “But the fact that Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl has found its audience and is thriving cannot be understated.”

Take a look at the two shorts below!

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.

Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.

Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Support Racialicious

The Octavia Butler Book Club

The Octavia Butler Book Club
(Click the book for the latest conversation)

Recent Comments

Feminism for Real – Jessica, Latoya, Andrea

Feminism for Real

Yes Means Yes – Latoya

Yes Means Yes

Sex Ed and Youth – Jessica

Youth and Sexual Health

OMLN

Online Media Legal Network

Recent Posts

Support Racialicious

Older Archives

Tags

Written by:

  • http://www.facebook.com/deena.bowman.18 Deena Bowman

    Encore!

  • Pingback: Televisual | ‘She Got Problems’ Will Make You Laugh and Sing()

  • Anonymous

    I’m still at “Audra” signing the baby’s forehead.

    • Lonespark

      That is where I really laughed uncontrollably. And through most of “Bad Day.”

  • SpicyCandy

    Can’t wait to see more- although it does fall prey to my biggest pet-peeve- the Liz Lemon effect- in which an in-shape, conventionally attractive woman portrays herself as fat and undesirable. I understand that their dialogue could come from sincere feelings about themselves and things that may have been said to them, but seriously- if Tina Fey and now Allison McDonald are our models for being overweight and frumpy, I think there’s a lot of folks who might as well just throw in the towel.

  • Charlotte

    Too Funny! I look forward to hearing and seeing more.