All Articles Tagged "web series"
When it comes to the issue of diversity in entertainment, we think of inclusion. As in more women directors, more actors of color and people of color in every facet of the industry, not just on screen. But diversity is rarely applied to the kinds of stories we tell and support. Stories that go beyond typical settings and eras, stories that present alternatives to the norm, oppose a monolithic view of blackness and reflect the array of beauty within the diaspora. That’s why I want to share the following projects with you, created by four amazingly talented Black women whose work upholds the importance of Black perspectives in film, television and beyond.
Sade Oyinade, senior producer of TV One’s Unsung and Unsung Hollywood, is in the middle of crowdfunding her second short film, Yemi’s Dilemma. You may have seen her first short, Who Do You Know? on ASPIRE TV during their ABFF Independent series. In Yemi’s Dilemma, the writer/producer/director presents three first-generation Nigerian-American sisters whose family is torn apart by an impending wedding. The sisters, though proud of their heritage, relate more to American culture, a fact that leads to clashes within their family, particularly among their parents. For better or worse, their family dynamic will forever be changed after one of them says “I do.”
When asked about what inspired her to bring this story to life, Oyinade stated that she wants to present audiences with a view of the different pressures and challenges that come with being a first-generation Black American whose parents come from African nations. Sade hopes to open peoples’ eyes and present a subset of American culture that often goes unnoticed and is often underrepresented in film.
Writer/director Rae Shaw, fresh off the heels of her supernatural feature film, The Repass, is currently in the beginning stages of crowdfunding her web series, Black Kungfu Chick. A huge kung fu fan, Shaw combined her love of martial arts with her love of community outreach and teaching to create what will be a 10-part dramedy web series with a Black adolescent character as the lead. This character, Tasha, hails from South Central, Los Angeles. She is both highly inquisitive and highly protective of the people she loves. Over time, she learns kung fu from her science teacher, Mr. Jian, who encourages her not to fight but to protect herself and those around her.
There are so few series with a Black adolescent character as lead, particularly a young Black woman straddling that challenging time in between youth and adulthood. Black Kungfu Chick will also get in on its action by concurrently presenting a comic that expands on Tasha’s adventures in and around South Central.
Twin sisters Shawneé and Shawnelle Gibbs thrive in the comic world and recently raised over $17,000 that will go towards the first two issues of The Invention of E.J. Whitaker, their steampunk comic adventure. Heavily influenced by Tananarive Due and Octavia Butler since childhood, the Gibbs sisters have said that their comic is a combination of science, romance, and adventure with an Industrial Age slant.
The heroine of this epic tale is a brilliant young woman named Ada Turner, an inventor’s apprentice who creates a flying machine and takes on a pseudonym in order to have her work taken seriously.
The Gibbs sisters have been creating comics and animated series for years, including Adopted By Aliens, Old Ladies Driving, Sule and the Case of the Tiny Sparks and their YA comedic travel series, Fashion Forward.
Yemi’s Dilemma, Black Kungfu Chick and The Invention of E. J. Whitaker are all female-driven stories that feature diverse, inspirational and unapologetic women. Told via multicultural perspectives and multiple genres, these stories have a little something for everyone, and we’re looking forward to them all.
I often sit around and lament, silently or verbally, the fact that only one season of “Living Single” was released on dvd. I mean, I understand that all good things must come to an end, but having all of the episodes in my possession would have certainly softened the blow.
But it looks like someone out there saw fit to ease our suffering…partially.
Tea and Breakfast recently broke the news that two of our faves, Kim Coles and Erika Alexander, who played Synclaire James and Maxine Shaw (attorney at law) respectively, are launching a new webseries called “The BFF Chronicles.”
So far, all we know is that the show, according to their Facebook page, “is about two friends, Erika Alexander and Kim Coles, and their wacky tales of being BFFs.” We don’t know what direction this new webseries will take; but judging by this image we found on the upcoming show’s Facebook page…
…we’re willing to bet it’s going to be worth a watch.
Seeing as how Maxine was easily my favorite character on the show, with her dynamic personality and physical comedy, I’m ready for this.
Plus, I’m happy to see talented Black actresses and comediennes take their careers into their own hands, in the midst of an industry dominated by White men, and create the content in which they wish to participate.
And I certainly wish them the best of luck on this new venture.
If you want to be kept abreast of the latest developments; and of course, the premiere date, follow “The BFF Chronicles” on Facebook and be sure to subscribe to Kim Coles’ YouTube channel where the first video will debut.
Are you excited about this new webseries? Will you be watching?
Seriously, you damn dinosaur, why are you still paying for any of it when there’s Netflix as well as all this great free programming available on the Internet? And why are you still paying or even giving your attention to networks and cable channels alike, who still thumb their noses at Black scripted series (no reality television does not count). At this point, it’s all a waste of money.
That’s why I have created this definitive (not really) list of smart web series you should be watching. Seriously, this list is pretty legit. And is a result of extensive research, completed over a series of three days including Wash Day, which is the whole day I put aside to take care of my loc maintenance. And because I have lots of hair and am slow in general with the re-twisting, I was able to watch the first seasons of these series.
So without further ado, here is a list of 10 smart Black web series you should be watching (and supporting) instead of cable. Enjoy.
Recently, we posted pictures of the shots Vanessa Simmons shared of her baby girl Ava Marie Jean Wayans. They were adorable and we all ooo-ed and aah-ed, so we figured we’d share a couple more, particularly since this one with her and her grandfather Damon is just too much to keep to ourselves.
Vanessa posted this picture of Ava and Grandpa Damon sharing a kiss–though Ava looks like she was too busy sleeping– on her Instagram account earlier this week with the following caption.
Ava and Grandpapa <3 #lovethispic
Ava’s a growing girl and she needs all the rest she can get but she managed to keep her eyes open for this photo opp with her dad, Mike.
And in other Simmons family news, Vanessa isn’t letting motherhood take her out the game. She’s currently starring in a new web series called “Mixed,” about a conservative, Republican biracial girl who is learning about all facets of herself while working with her mother, who is white, in corporate America. I had my reservations but after watching the trailer and first episode, it’s actually kind of funny. Get into the first episode below and tell us what you think.
With a new web series hitting the internet every other day, it can be hard to decipher what’s actually worth your time. But that’s why we’re here. I don’t spend nearly enough time watching web series but when I find one that’s good, particularly one that caters to black women, I have to share.
Enter: “An African City.”
The series, created by Ghanaian Nicole Amarteifio, follows five beautiful and successful African women who’ve all decided to return to their home continent and confide in each other about love and life.
Much like her characters Amarteifio studied in the United States and had a successful career when she returned to her native Ghana. She found that the dynamics between men and women to be intriguing and started writing about it. Eventually her musings turned into screenplays and now the web series. Amarteifio hopes the series provides a few laughs for women across the continent and uplifts them.
On the show’s website, Amartefio explains that she was tired of seeing African women depicted as poor and dire. Instead, she wanted her show to portray these women as intelligent, modern and classy. And because of that we now have “An African City”
The series, which debuted on March 2, boasts a cast of five women with rich personalities. There’s the religious one, the one who is all about her business, the central character who is trying to navigate her love life and the divorcee who returns to the continent without a job.
These women are played by actresses MaameYaa Boafo, Esosa E, Maame Adjei, Nana Mensah, and Marie Humbert.
In the first episode, Nana Yaa, the main character, played by MaameYaa Boafo, returns to her native Ghana for “big government contracts” and because it’s her home. At least that’s what she tells her friends. At the episode’s end we discover it might actually be something entirely different.
But I don’t want to give too much away.
Get into the first episode, “The Return” in the video below.
What do you think about this web series? Will you watch?
Bronx, NY-native Ebony Jasmin Lewis left a lucrative career path in finance to write, direct and star in the Web series she created, “Truth Unspoken.” She says of her former profession, her heart was never really in it.
“I actually stumbled into finance,” says the Pace University graduate. “I decided to apply for an internship at Citigroup in the Margins and Derivatives Operations. I didn’t think I was going to get it, but I did.” Two years later, Lewis says, she was hired as a stockbroker.
“They paid me to study and take the Series 7 [exam that would qualify me to trade stocks],” she explains, “but it was not for me. I decided to change careers before I was in too deep.” Interested in addressing the lack of diversity in film, she began assisting on movie projects and took a stab at writing and shooting her own script.
We asked Lewis how she went from fledgling writer/director to helming a cast that includes America’s Next Top Model alum Keenyah Hill, Tobias Truvillion (Blue Bloods, One Life to Live, Brooklyn’s Finest) and Liris Crosse (The Best Man, Baby Boy) — and securing a distribution deal with Maverick Entertainment Group. Come Tuesday June 11, “Truth Unspoken” is coming to a Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, REDBOX, On Demand, and Pay Per View near you.
MadameNoire: What inspired you to write and direct “Truth Unspoken?”
Ebony Jasmin Lewis: I really feel like there were not enough films out there that show real life cultural diversity. I also wanted to write a film that would have people on the edge of their seats wanting more. I wanted to show that I can really write a great script. But when I did start writing the script, I had absolutely no idea that it would be received so well.
MN: You left a lucrative career path in finance to pursue your passion to write and direct. What was the hardest thing about making that transition?
EL: The hardest thing was learning how to budget myself. Although I changed careers, my bills did not change… I am so happy Black Enterprise magazine is sponsoring my launch party because I learned a lot about my finances by reading that magazine as well. The other hardest thing for me was losing some friends and family who didn’t believe in my dream.
If we said the name Michael Ford to you, you probably wouldn’t know who we were talking about. But if we asked if you remember the man who was glued to Keke Wyatt’s hip during the entire first season of “R&B Divas” last year because the singer was afraid he would cheat, you’d know exactly who we were referring to. Interestingly, it seems Keke may have loosened her grip just a tad this second season because her husband — and manager — Michael Ford has been given a spin-off webseries on TVOne’s website: “The World According to Michael.”
Confused? Here’s a little explanation from the news release:
Often misunderstood and usually the target of many jokes, Michael Ford became last season’s “unofficial diva” due to his 24/7 attachment to his beloved wife Keke – and he wouldn’t have it any other way. In The World According to Michael, Michael sheds light on his hectic yet joyful life with Keke and their six children, giving viewers an exclusive look into their beautiful Atlanta home….
Each of the webisodes will feature Michael in his day-to-day duties as he switches between his roles as dad, husband, manager and business owner. From making breakfast for his kids and rousing his less-than-early-riser wife, to squeezing in tee times on the golf course and interviewing interns for his expanding entertainment company, Michael is finally getting his moment to shine.
We’re sure shine is exactly what he’s looking for as it’s become common place for the husbands of several of reality TV’s most well-known women to become just as popular and well-known as their wives. I’m just surprised Keke said yes to this. We are talking about the same woman who said her husband couldn’t even go golfing because he might stumble upon some other woman to creep with. It will definitely be interesting to see just how much she’s involved with his thing — and if she’s loosened that cray cray grip up just enough to let the main breathe.
Like “R&B Divas,” “The World According to Michael” will air every Wednesday on tvone.tv. Check out a sneak peek of the first webisode up top. What do you think?
It’s a broad question, we know, but it’s also one of the most asked — and a question whose answer usually differs greatly between men and women. Check out what the men say is good sex to them and find out if they’re on point with what they think is good sex to a woman.
- Sneak Peek: Gentlemen Uncensored
- Episode 1: Why Get Married?
- Episode 2: Why Get Married? Part 2
- Episode 3: Sex And Patriarchy, Part 1
- Episode 4: Sex And Patriarchy, Part 2
- Episode 5: What Is Good Sex?
MEET THE CAST
- Meet Chris Kazi Rolle
- Meet Anthony ‘Tmor’ Morris
- Meet Ainsley Burrows
- Meet Carlos Walton
- Meet DJ CEO
- Meet Harold Church
Andrea Lewis, an actress and singer, best known for her role as Hazel Aden on Degrassi: The Next Generation, has teamed up with “Awkward Black Girls’” Issa Rae to create a new web series called “Black Actress” that will premiere this summer.
No stranger to digital production, Lewis has spent the last few years growing the viewership for her current Web variety show “Those Girls are Wild (TGAW)” with friend Shannon T. Boodram to more than 60,000 subscribers and 7 million views.
But she insists that while this show will have a comedic arc similar to what you’ve seen on TGAW, it will also touch on some of the very real scenarios that women of color go through in Hollywood. And with the success of Kerry Washington’s historic role as the lead in Scandal, the reignited conversation about the lack of roles available to black women in television and film provides the perfect backdrop for a show like Black Actress.
I recently caught up with Andrea Lewis to learn more about the show, her new partnership with Issa Rae, and their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
MadameNoire (MN): You’ve achieved a good amount of success as an actress. So what made you decide to launch a production company and create this new series with Issa Rae? Why not just wait for your agent to call with your next big break?
Andrea Lewis (AL): So far, I’ve had a great career and I’m very grateful. And technically I have been waiting for my agent to call with my “big break” my whole life. But I figured that if I can take control of my career instead of waiting for the gatekeepers to [pick me] or give me permission than that’s what I’m going to do.
I’ve always wanted my own production company and look up to women such as Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore who’ve gone down a [similar path]. So starting my own [production company] was a no brainer for me at this point in my life, and teaming up with Issa just made sense because she read one script and saw a scene that was already shot was completely [on board with the idea].
I think she’s hilarious and we definitely get each other’s humor and quirkiness.
MN: So what is “Black Actress?”
AL: “Black Actress” is a “mockumentary” Web series about the struggles of pursuing an unconventional career and making your dreams a reality even if it hurts. The series follows the journey of Kori Bailey, the lead character, played by myself, and features interviews with actual well-known black actresses.
MN: Can you name some of the actresses who will make a cameo on the show?
AL: Yes! The show will feature interviews from actresses such as Tatyana Ali, Keke Palmer, Kim Coles, Tracee Ellis Ross and many more.
[Click through for a short clip…]
In episode 1 of Gentlemen Uncensored, it seemed marriage may not be in the cards for all of the fellas, but one thing they are all down for is sex. The question is what are their expectations of women — and themselves — in the bedroom, and how much of what they claim they need is based on true desires or simply what they’ve been taught to want. Check out part 1 of the discussion.
- Sneak Peek: Gentlemen Uncensored
- Episode 1: Why Get Married?
- Episode 2: Why Get Married? Part 2
- Episode 3: Episode 3: Sex And Patriarchy, Part 1
- Episode 4: Sex And Patriarchy, Part 2
- Episode 5: What Is Good Sex?