Netflix, Please Hook Us Up With Some Living Single!
Considering there is talk of a reboot, Netflix needs to jump on it.
In 1993, a show aired that would change the world forever. Because without that show, there would be no Friends. Yup, Friends was a rip-off of an amazing sitcom called Living Single. The premise: a group of six single 20-something friends living in a Brooklyn, navigating the often comical dynamics of love, friendship and being a young professional in the bustle of New York City. Sound familiar? I thought so.
Anywho, I’m not here to talk about the Columbusing of Living Single. I want to talk about the pure awesomeness embodied by this show and why Netflix needs to upload all the seasons so I can watch them whenever I want to. You’re right, the self-interest is real. And I’m not ashamed.
Though the first episode of Living Single aired the year I was born, and the series ended when I was only five years old, the magic of reruns allowed me to experience the show. I need to pause here for a moment to give a shout out to the television channel, TV Norge. Because, thanks to TV Norge, a black girl growing up in the Norwegian countryside got to watch shows like In Living Color, Moesha, Sister, Sister, Martin, Girlfriends, and Family Matters on Friday afternoons and see herself represented. Big up, TV Norge. You’re the homie.
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But back to Living Single. The show was created by Yvette Le Bowser. Lee Bowser, who had previously worked on A Different World and Hanging With Mr. Cooper, was the first black woman to develop her own show for a primetime slot. The cast included Queen Latifah (who also wrote and performed the infectious theme song), Kim Coles, Kim Fields, Erika Alexander, Terence C. Carson and John Henton. Queen Latifah played Khadijah James, the founder and editor of the fictional Flavor Magazine. Kim Coles played Khadijah’s good-hearted Minnesotan cousin, Synclaire James, who was an aspiring actress. The two lived on the first floor of a Brooklyn brownstone with Khadijah’s childhood friend, fashionista and social-climber, Régine Hunter. The trio received frequent visits from their friend, Maxine Shaw. Maxine is a feisty attorney (with a mad strong power suit game) and has been close friends with Khadijah since they were students at Howard University. The ladies share the brownstone with the dapper stockbroker, Kyle Barker and cuddly handyman, Overton Wakefield Jones. Kyle and Overton, or Obie as Synclaire affectionately calls him, have been friends since they grew up together in Cleveland, Ohio.
The chemistry between the six actors was fantastic. They embodied these characters so well that to this day I cannot see Erika Alexander in anything else without exclaiming, “Maxine!” Living Single had pretty much everything you want in a sitcom. A love-hate relationship between two characters, that’s really just a love-love relationship in disguise. Shenanigans that don’t really need to happen and could be resolved easily, but that make sitcoms oh-so-fun. So many great one-liners and roasts that even the actors took moments here and there to chuckle at them. Above all, you had six black people with fleshed-out personalities that pushed beyond your typical stereotypes. They were just a group of young black human beings living their lives and having fun while doing it. And as a viewer, you could have a kickass time watching them be hilarious regardless of your background. I don’t want to give away too much, but I have to share one of my favorite moments – when Kyle showcased his incredible vocal skills on Valentine’s Day and Maxine didn’t quite know how to handle it. It is wonderful.
Living Single has been off the air for almost 20 years now. The other day, Queen Latifah shared the most beautiful piece of information fans who have been longing for a 90s kind of world: she and the rest of the original cast are working on a reboot of the show.
But now I find myself faced with a new conundrum. Currently, only the first season is available for purchase on DVD and it is extremely difficult to find episodes from other seasons. Where is a girl supposed to go to binge-watch the show before the much-anticipated reboot? Well Netflix, this is where you come in. I’ve got a little favor to ask of you. Pretty, pretty, please with a sprinkling of diced mango on top, release all the episodes of Living Single?
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