In the event you’re frustrated with the one-dimensional depictions of Blackness in mainstream media culture, I would urge you to look online and check out some folks who are already creating new media. For example, I am a Black academic. I am in graduate school and my day to day life is pretty mundane. I take classes, I teach students, and I repeat this all over again. However, I really don’t see *any* bits of my reality reflected when I watch entertainment on television. That’s why I picked up the camera and started my own online-series, “Tales from the Kraka Tower” which you should definitely check out, especially if you’re frustrated with academia.
I am writing this post to let you know that there are many guerilla-style shows out there created by Black people who are trying to bust the impenetrable bubble of Hollywood. Most of us have already heard of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, but if you haven’t, check it out. Issa Rae’s show demonstrates how there is a plethora of material online just waiting for viewers. I’m not saying the online space is perfect; however, many minoritized people have to resort to the internet because television and film do not prize our voices. One day when I was on YouTube, I just started sifting through some videos and I found a YouTube channel called, Black&Sexy TV.
They had several web-series, however, The Couple was utterly hilarious. The Couple stars Numa Perrier and Desmond Faison and tracks the mundane elements of their daily lives as a couple. The show is completely relatable and hilarious. Some of the episodes are only a couple of minutes long, but they will have you laughing hard.
My personal favorite episodes are “Hungry” and “Ride or Drive Chick.” “Hungry” is pretty short but demonstrates how fights between couples can start from mundane things. Numa and Desmond are sitting on the couch watching a show on tv and laughing. Numa gets hungry and asks Desmond to get her dinner. He initially doesn’t want to, but goes to the store and gets beer and donuts. This sparks a fight. I can relate to this because I have a partner and we experience the mundane tiffs and arguments that most couples have.
“Ride or Drive Chick” takes place in Numa and Desmond’s car and showcases how couples treat each other when they have different driving styles. Though the whole episode takes place in a car, it absolutely hilarious and true. They are on their way to an event and Numa keeps commenting on the way Desmond is driving which sparks a fight. Numa takes backseat-driving to a whole new level.
“The Couple” is so popular that it was picked up by HBO. According to the Washington Post:
“Black & Sexy has specialized in creating series that explore sexuality and relationships between young black people, and it’s resonated. The first episode of ‘The Couple’ has been viewed more than 200,000 times. Daniels and Dortch also surpassed the $25,000 goal they set for a Kickstarter campaign to turn ‘The Couple’ into a movie. The network’s Twitter mentions were filled with congratulations when the news was reported by Jet and Madame Noire.”
I would urge you all to check out Black and Sexy’s material and continue to support independent organizations and creators who are making it their mission to contribute to the growing representations of Blackness in mainstream media culture.