TV Brew: A Black Lady Sketch Show Season 1
Before we get started I want you to look at the names in the tags. Each and everyone of them is a black actress. Whether they’re old school, like Marla Gibbs and Jackèe Harry, or the new guard like Kayden Grace Swan or Nicole Byer each and every one of them is filled with more talent than most people will ever see in one lifetime. If nothing else A Black Lady Sketch Show puts paid, once and for all, the utter and complete lie that there aren’t actresses of color out there, full of talent and range, ready to put in that work.
Created by Robin Thede, produced by Issa Rae and written by Thede; Ashley Nicole Black; Akilah Green; Brittani Nichols; Amber Ruffin; Rae Sanni; Lauren Ashley Smith; Holly Walker and Lisa McQuillan ABLSS chronicles the adventures of four friends: Black, Thede; Quinta Brunson and Gabrielle Dennis, all playing heightened versions of themselves, as they navigate the ultimate sleepover. In between we get various vignettes that range from an ongoing spy drama to the world’s most disturbing diner.
From episode one on the show is utterly delightful and, as we said recently, so wonderfully, brilliantly, unapologetically black, while at the same time being so funny and sharp that regardless of race you are going to laugh. However, for me personally, the biggest thing I love about the show is the twists. No matter how much you think you know where any given sketch is going…it’s not. As someone who performs, specifically improv, I know just how hard it is to find that twist and it still be funny. That each episode manages to do this, several times, is a testament to the craftsmanship of the writers of the show. Do all the sketches land? Not always, but 90% of the time is better than half the so called comedies on television.
On top of all that the show is a wealth of fashion; styling (which are in fact different things); set design and just plain black excellence.
In a real world gone utterly insane ABLSS is the balm to the soul that we all need.
Four Chipmunks out of Five
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