I live for television. Anyone that knows me knows that. Some of my favorite music, quotes, and fashions come from television – ironically enough HBO. True Blood gave me Lady. Tony Soprano taught me to stop OldBoyfriend™ when he starts with that “remember that time we…..” with “remember when is the lowest form of conversation.” Carrie gave me that Galliano for Dior Newspaper dress….that I could never wear, but sure was orgasmic to look at. These days HBO is making it possible for me to see my absolute favorites – black women – in front of and behind the camera. One show, Insecure, is currently on air with two additional shows created by black women in development. My fave has a show she just sold to FX, but you gotta read the blog to find out bout it!
My beloved Awkward Black Girl is back with season 2 of Insecure. The summer hit will be back July 23 with the continuing saga of every girl, Issa Dee and her BFF Molly, both of whom have love lives that makes yours look – or at least feel, solid and isn’t that reason enough to watch a show? To see someone as fucked up as you? Or someone doing a little bit better which gives you hope. Either way, Issa is funny as fuck; can turn any situation into a rap; has a Blood neighbor who replaces C’s with B’s -cuz Crips, a sunken place of employment and had two handsome brothers after her. A woman playa? A woman conflicted? A woman wanting something more and different? A woman growing? Sign me up! Last season Jidenna’s fine ginger ass showed up…who knows who is on deck this season? Check out the season 2 trailer below and please know as the promo promises, “It’s gonna be hella great.”
You may have noticed Ms. Rothwell from the Insecure trailer, where she plays the so-wrong-she-is-right Kelli, but she is so much more than part of Issa Dee’s clique and Issa Rae’s production staff. This former SNL writer, who ALMOST appeared on our televisions instead of the recently departed Sasheer Zamata, is a comic force to be reckoned with in her own right. She is the co-creator and executive producer of her own sketch comedy show, The Characters, a Netflix original series. Much like Issa’s breakout rap performance of “Broken Pussy,” Natasha got down in her own right with her “Basic Bitch” song featured on the show. HBO and Natasha are being tight-lipped about her show which is currently in development, but the writer/actress told Nylon Magazine, “It’s a ridiculous opportunity. I can’t believe I tricked them into letting me have my own show.” If it’s ridiculous and anything like her Insecure and Characters appearances, I’m here for it.
Dr. Nnedi Okorafor
Everybody and their mothers, except me and my mother, is crazy as fuck about Game of Thrones. I don’t love it, but I understand the genius of George R.R. Martin’s sprawling series and how it has been adapted for television to the delight of book readers and series watchers. Who and what Mr. Martin finds genius is Chicagoland’s very own Dr. Nnedi Okorafor and her critically acclaimed novel Who Fears Death. It is the story of Oneyesonwu, a young woman who is the product of the forbidden love of the members of two warring tribes in post-apocalyptic Sudan and her efforts to right the wrongs committed against her family. On her Facebook page, Dr. Okorafor had this to say: I am very involved in the adaptation. I also know George very well; he’s been a mentor to me through all this. And all those involved know what this story is; Onyesonwu is in good hands.” While the show is only in development, with such rich source material AND Mr. Martin’s involvement, I’m sure we will see this one soon.
HONORABLE MENTION: Samantha Irby
People that know me know, I am over the moon about this woman’s writing. She is disgusting, profane, hilarious, sweet (though she wouldn’t want you to know that), fearless, horrid, honest and the best. Irby started her career with an extremely popular blog, Bitches Gotta Eat, which made her a critical darling in Chicago. If you have ever found ONE thing I said funny, trust me, this is the chick for you. Her debut collection of essays Meaty, made me laugh and cry and cheer and snark. I apparently was NOT alone in finding her funny as a number of A-list celebrities took note of her comedic genius. As a result she has a show based on Meaty, set to appear on FX. Add to this the juggernaut that is her second book We Are Never Meeting In Real Life, which is appearing on EVERY best list you can find, and you will soon know, if you don’t already, there is no end in sight for her. Note: she gets an honorable mention ONLY cuz this list is about HBO, which should be in the Samantha Irby business.