With the winter season creeping upon us, inclement weather can drive many of us indoors to the comfort of our blankets, with a litany of television shows to binge on.
In our latest web series roundup, Shadow And Act has carefully curated a list of shows aimed at both satiating your appetite for new content and amplifying Black creatives.
Here are 1o noteworthy web series, made for Black people and by Black people, to put on your binge-watching list this holiday season.
1. Juju: The Web Series
The brainchild of Moon Ferguson, Juju is best described as “Charmed meets Insecure.” With the pressures of modern-day adulting looming over them, three best friends–Ally (Cydni Jenkins), Yaya (Cassandra Borgella) and Gigi (Nedge Victome)–get the shock of their lives when they discover that they are witches. Unlike many shows involving witchcraft, Juju places three Black women in the driver’s seat. To bring Juju to life, Ferguson enlisted a coven of Black women–Janeen Talbott, KiaraDiana Butler, Belle Brooks, Farrah Daniels and Wisdom Johnson–to help with VFX, casting, character arcs, screenwriting, producing and social media outreach. Only one month after its premiere, the pilot has already amassed more than 50K views on YouTube.
2. Poz Roz
Created by Carlton Jordan, Poz Roz chronicles the life of Rozzlyn Mayweather, a recently divorced woman looking for love and trying to get her life together. However, her efforts are further complicated when she learns in the pilot episode that she’s HIV-positive. Anchored by an endearing performance by Chauntae Pink, Poz Roz subverts expectations by documenting life, love and the pursuit of stability from the lens of an HIV-positive Black woman, and it does it well. In a society that often dehumanizes and stigmatizes both Black women and people living with HIV, the feat of creating such a web series is not small and shouldn’t go unnoticed.
3. Sit Black & Relax
Writer and director Latasha Mercer definitely got the “laugh” part of her web series Sit Black & Relax right. This comedic offering chronicles the life of Maya Williams (Shakirah Demesier), a Black woman attempting to master her new life as a transplant in New York City and chase her dream of being a jewelry designer, one hilarious faux pas at a time. Sit, Black & Relax presents a hilarious portrait of life as a newcomer to NYC and trying to figure out your place in the city, especially for a Black woman.
Unstuck centers around Katrina, a Mississippi-bred millennial woman who moves to Dallas in hopes of finding a job in the tech field. However, her enthusiasm quickly erodes into dismay when she takes a job at a call center and ends up working there for two years. As emphasized by the title, Unstuck follows Katrina as she tries to unshackle herself from her dead-end job, while also dealing with interesting co-workers who are out to sabotage her goals. The series is produced and directed by Tézya and written by Tézya and Farren Jackson.
5. Black Sex & The City
Philip Johnson not only wrote Black Sex & The City, but he also acted, directed and produced the web series. Across two seasons, Johnson chronicles the dating experience for Black millennials. Acting out multiple scenarios that are akin so sketch comedy, Johnson amplifies topics such as bisexuality, open relationships, STIs and the risk that online dating apps pose for women today.
6. The Grapevine
While panel talk shows such as The Talk, The View and The Real are very popular, there still has yet to be a panel show on television that caters to the voice of the millennial generation. Produced by Donovan Thompson and hosted and moderated by Ashley Akunna, The Grapevine gathers a group of Black millenials together for discussions on current events and the issues impacting their generation, such as colorism, climate change, women in hip-hop, cultural appropriation, gentrification and whitewashing in Hollywood.
7. Lea The Late Bloomer
Created by Kadia Blagrove, Lea The Late Bloomer follows 28-year-old Lea Watson, an underachieving filmmaker whose dream is to make it big (or at least get verified on the ‘gram). After a failed attempt at “making it” in Los Angeles, Lea returns home to The Bronx to live with her ultra-religious Jamaican parents and is forced to face her old demons and self-sabotaging behavior.
8. $ugar Maybe
Written and created by Adrianna Cherelle, $ugar Maybe follows the story of Mackenzie Reynolds, a freshly unemployed filmmaker tasked with starting from scratch after quitting yet another job. Here’s the kicker: Mackenzie’s sister, Tia, creates a sugar baby profile for her on SugarMaybe.com so that she can earn money. Set in Atlanta, viewers follow Mackenzie as she tries to keep her new venture a secret from her nosy roommates while trying all the things that could potentially come with being a sugar baby: dates with potential sugar daddies and sending nude pictures.
9. Appropriate Culture
Created by Julian Stephen, Appropriate Culture draws on classic Black 90s sitcoms such as Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Martin for inspiration. The digital comedy series revolves around an ensemble cast simply trying to survive in NYC while experiencing the obstacles that metropolitan life has to offer: gentrification, dating and code-switching.
10. Hello, White People
The title says it all. In a format similar to Billy On The Street, actor and comedian Julius Stukes travels the streets of New York City asking white people what they think of Black people and issues concerning the Black community. Across seven funny episodes, Stukes asks random white people their thoughts on saying the N-word, white privilege and their thoughts on slavery. The series touches on race in an upfront manner.
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