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Across the Pond: Black UK Web Series Worth Watching2/28/2013
The 2011 release of Issa Rae’s hit web series The Mis-adventures of Awkward Black Girl ushered ...
The 2011 release of Issa Rae’s hit web series The Mis-adventures of Awkward Black Girl ushered in an era of the black web series. Since ABG’s debut, I have been a black web series junkie. Every time I log onto YouTube, I find a new series to obsess over (see: Roomieloverfriends, The Unwritten Rules, Downtown Girls, etc). I recently discovered two UK-based series, documenting the lives of young, black professionals and their relationships that really piqued my interest.
The first show, Brothers With No Game, was recommended to me by a friend, another fellow web series junkie. While I was initially doubtful that I would be interested in watching a show from the point of view of several men, I was pleasantly surprised at how invested I became by the end of episode one.
The Brothers With No Game are four best friends, in their twenties, navigating their complicated social and love lives, all while possessing the same characteristic: no game (that is skills, swag, mojo, etc). Addressing issues of unemployment, relocating to a foreign country with a significant other, and the backlash that may come with interracial dating, BWNG does a great job of providing their audience with relatable, sometimes uncomfortable situations mixed with UK cultural nuances and timely doses of comedic relief.
Another hidden UK gem worth mentioning is Venus vs Mars. This series follows Venus, a 25-year old, single, Accountant living in London. Venus decides to journal her dating life after a serious relationship ends. Complete with an attractive cast, full of diverse relationships, Venus vs Mars gives us a plethora of relationship situations from nosy girlfriends and flirtatious boyfriends, to a woman so in love with her boyfriend, that she wants to propose to him. Venus' dating woes, the focal point of the series, are also very relatable, as she experiences a bad blind date with a guy that she deems “not on her level” and a one-night stand that turns sour.
What's refreshing about these two series is the similarities that exist between black people in America and the UK. There are Afro-centric women, who wear ornate head wraps and proudly showcase their cultural pride, there are friends who are secretly in love with one another, but deny it to their friends; the list goes on and on.
Brothers With No Game and Venus vs Mars are well-produced shows that showcase the diverse and complicated lives of young black professionals living in the UK. I appreciate that BWNG provides insight for me, as a black woman, into the mental processes of a group of black men, who don’t have it all together. I relate to the premise of Venus vs Mars because I am a single, young, black woman trying to figure where my love life will go next. These series serve to show us that black people, no matter what country or continent we live, are more alike than we realize; both series are worth checking out and supporting.
The two series are currently raising money to produce season 2.
Catch them on Twitter: @TBWNG @FollowVenus
Precious J. is a 20-something, aspiring culture writer and music enthusiast located in DC. For more on her contemplations about blackness, culture and music, email her at: Precious@ForHarriet.com and follow her on Twitter: @_ProfoundMenace
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