Tag Archives: web series

The Acclaimed Web Series Black Folks Don’t Returns for a Third Season

 

 

Black Folks Don’t (BFD) is back for a third season–this time tackling environmentalism. The series, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, explores the myth and reality of things black people allegedly don’t do. This time around BFD will explore feminism, NRA membership, plastic surgery and more. Racialicious alumna Andrea Plaid is part of the BFD season three team, so you know it’s bound to be good!

The Web Series: Where are our Black Queer Women On Screen?

By Guest Contributor Spoken Pandora; originally published at Elixher

In a three-part weeklong series, ELIXHER examines the Black lesbian web series phenomenon. 

It’s human nature to long for reflections of ourselves in our surroundings. Our ability to connect with people, places, and objects is based on a feeling of familiarity. Without this component, the connection is lost. That’s why it didn’t surprise me that I was uninterested in a recent film’s sad attempt to depict a lesbian relationship.

The acting wasn’t bad; nor were the women unattractive. It was more about my inability to connect with the characters. I saw very little of myself within them. I didn’t leave nor did I ask the movie attendant for my money back; instead I sat there purging myself on over-buttered popcorn and large doses of caffeine. I left feeling unsatisfied, as if I have shared the bed of an inexperienced lover.

It has been days and the junk food has left my system. However, I find myself insatiably hungry. My spirit will no longer allow me to be pacified by lesbian-inspired films and television dramas with women who have no resemblance to myself. As a queer woman of color, I long to see my beautiful sisters playing roles that reveal our truth.

What I do not want is to see unstable relationships, the come-save-a-lez male character insertion, or the downward spiral of our brown skin queer women due to their inability to deal with life’s issues. I’m not asking for perfection because I find beauty in imperfection. I am, however, asking to see our truth receive just as much exposure in mainstream media as some of the well-known lesbian flicks that chose to exclude women of our shade.

In my quest, I sent out a call to speak with queer African American women that had been involved in web series.  I asked them why they felt that we have shows that meet our standards popping up all over the Internet but not in mainstream media.

My first interview was with Milanda who appeared in the first season of Come Take a Walk with Me with me directed and written by Mina Monshá. Come Take a Walk with Me is a coming out story that focuses on lesbian relationships during the characters’ college years. The cast is comprised of an eclectic blend of queer women of color. This alone had me at hello.

I spoke with Milanda for hours discussing a wide array of topics that included our responsibility as brown skin queer women to educate the masses of our existence, the reason why we may get a bisexual cameo here and there, and why we find it easier to showcase our talents on the web versus television or the movie screen.

The truth is that we have a responsibility to each other to ask for what we want and when we get it, to show up. Often times we hear the cries for something better but when something better presents itself, we don’t always show our support. We will always be stronger in numbers. We must also look at the fact that more often than not, we create the labels and boxes that society tries to stuff us in. Because of this it is our responsibility to educate our heterosexual counterparts about who we are.

We both agreed that it seems to be easier for those outside of our space to tolerate our truth when we wrap it in a bisexual package. It seems that by including a man at some point of the story allows men to continue the fantasy of possibilities; possibly they can have us, possibly they can change us, possibly they can save us. But we don’t need saving. Black women have worn capes since the dawn of time and know how to make a steak out of a honey sandwich. After my conversation with Milanda my head was in a tailspin and that is when I realized that we are a strong force with the power to create change.

Shortly after our discussion, the opportunity to speak with the cast of Lez-B-Honest fell into my lap. This web series was birthed from the minds of its producers Dacia Mitchell, Shannon Todd, and Tonica Freeman and is filmed out of Palm Beach, FL. The show tackles various issues that go on within our relationships and community. Yes there is drama, cheating, and sex, but there is also true love, spirituality, the journey to finding self, and the battle with creating one’s own positive self-image.

These women brave the stigma that we have been imprisoned to and show how life really happens for some of us. After the first five minutes of watching one of the shows my soul felt quenched. And with over 6 million views combined at the end of their second season, it is obvious that I am not alone in my thinking.

I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to talk with these women, but what I received was a true representation of the queer family unit compiled of intelligent and grinding women.

In my interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with the characters Reese, Tye, Portia, Renee, Alex, and Shawna. All of the women came to the show for different reasons but after coming together found a bond that connected their spirits. I was able to learn a lot from our conversation. The most important thing I learned is that we all want the same thing.

They too would like to see more of us in mainstream media, outside of the stereotypical labels and preconceived notions. They feel that we have the power to make this change. They also expressed the importance of queer women supporting one another in their ventures and educating each other about the resources that are available in order for us to produce more of our brand of work.

See here is the thing: queer women of color come in as many types as we do shades and hair textures. To limit our ability is to kill the spirit that makes us who we are. When we invest in the next big movie or television series, we should invest not only our time and money but our hearts into media outlets that represent us in all of the forms we come in. We, as a unit, must come together because it’s time the revolution be televised.

It’s long overdue.

What’s your go-to Black lesbian web series? Make a commitment to supporting our own! Share your favorite episode on social media, advertise your business on their website or purchase their merch.


Spoken Pandora considers herself a gypsy that has traveled worlds through the literature she writes. Currently she resides in North Carolina with her daughter and partner. When she is not writing, she publicly speaks at LGBTQ events on sexual related topics. Her work can be found on her website.

Queer Web Series Worth Watching

By  Joseph Lamour

Leslievillegiffinal

The Summer Doldrums, as I like to call the break network television gives us from June to September, are quickly approaching. Hot temperatures and a new season of The Bachelorette go hand-in-hand, and I take that as my television telling me, “Go Outside.” But, like all couch potatoes, I just turn from one tube to another. Join me as I say ta-ta to my TV, and hello to my Macbook Pro. Below the cut are two queer web series worth watching.

This post comes with a STRONG LANGUAGE warning… for some of you. See what I mean, after the jump.

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‘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!

Web Series Spotlight: ‘Chrysalis’ Delivers Baltimore Noir With Black Muslim Characters

by Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, originally published at Televisual

Chrysalis

This week I’m starting a new feature on this blog called “Web Series Spotlight.” I regularly get pitched series by creators and find it difficult to write about all of them, because I often write about trends and bigger ideas, sometimes good, indie series just don’t fit. No longer! The web series market has a larger, oft-discussed curation problem, something which networks and news sites are trying to fix. I figured I’d pitch in.

First up is Chrysalis, an urban web series by filmmaker Nia Malika Dixon. Dixon is a new independent filmmaker, who a few years ago decided to pursue her passion. She didn’t go to film school, instead she learned the old-fashioned way: on set (how refreshing!). Chrysalis is her third short, a five-episode crime drama intended to build investor interest in a feature-length film.

Chrysalis, whose title refers to the cocoon a caterpillar creates before it transforms, tells the story of Jamal, a young Muslim man living in Baltimore with an infant child and a less-than-desirable career choice: drug dealing. The series kicks off by introducing Jamal’s world and an act of violence which sends it into chaos. Continue reading

Welcome to East Willy B! [Culturelicious]

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

Sometimes there’s love in laughter. And the cast and crew bringing the new web series East Willy B have a lot of love for the real-life neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and (most) of the fictional characters.

The series’ heart is Willie Reyes, Jr. (Flaco Navaja) the 30-something Puerto Rican-proud bar owner who inherited the business from his dad, including the barfly crushing on him, Giselle (Caridad “La Bruja” de la Cruz). Wille is trying to keep his bar, which has served as the nabe’s hangout and nerve center, from closing down due gentrification in the form of his ex-girlfriend Maggie (April Hernandez) and her new white beau (and Willie’s longtime rival), Albert (Danny Hoch), and the incoming white hipsters looking for cheap(er) rent.

Transcript of the premiere episode after the jump.

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Of Doc Martens and Journalistic Mayhem: The Real Girl’s Guide To Everything Else

by Latoya Peterson

In a post Sex and the City world, everything involving a group of young women seems open for comparison to the mega-franchise. However, all the stories told about women do not serve the same purpose. While Sex and the City began as wry commentary on life in Manhattan (and morphed into something else entirely), more and more women are taking to indie media to tell stories about those of us who manage to live life sans Manolos. Enter The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything Else.

The story revolves around Rasha, a journalist who is dying to write The Women’s History of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, her editor believes that her Lebanese-American client could have a brighter future as a Middle Eastern chick lit pioneer, and advises Rasha that she could be dropped from her contract if she doesn’t turn around something fluffy. Rasha and her friends concoct a plan to write the chick lit novel in exchange for the advance to fund the Women’s History project and they throw her into a world of heterosexual dating (and the attendant Cosmo-ified stereotypes), which complicates things a bit – Rasha is scheduled to walk down the aisle with her girlfriend in less than two months.
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