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Monday, May 14, 2012

WEBSERIES: Black and Single

I am all about the gaining popularity of web series.  Writers and directors are taking control of how the media portrays African-Americans in mainstream media by creating their own platform and specialized audience.  Here is my latest obsession, a series entitled "Black and Single" written and directed by the talented Jay Ali who I got a chance to speak with regarding the background and creation of the show.

Ali expressed how the idea to create the show came about due to his feeling that African-Americans are not portrayed to look or act like real everyday Black people on network television.  Poor writing, production, and the rise of reality television are a few of the things Ali attributes to this inaccurate portrayal (he even thinks Black porn is suffering from the aforementioned as well!) and are causing scripted television shows to become the last of a dying breed.  It is through generosity, dedication of FREE time, and the belief that his team has in the success of "Black and Single" that this show is currently being made possible.

The web series takes place amidst the back drop of the dating scene in Atlanta, Georgia where two young black and single characters, Oni and Jessie, struggle to find love.  They continuously and inadvertently cross pathways and it appears they could be perfect for each other, only problem is, will they ever officially meet?  Check out the first episode below:

What makes this web series even more intriguing is that it feels "real." The genuine feel can be attributed to the fact that the experiences, as well as the trials and tribulations that the characters go through, are derived from Ali's own personal dating stories or those of friends. In the opening scene and closing scene of the date, the viewer is audiotorily engaged by a jazz band.  This audio-visual concept was inspired by Ali's memories of "The Cosby Show" which featured various jazz acts.

Ali hopes the series takes off and goes network, as long as he is still creatively pulling the reigns. You can expect 10 great episodes this season to drop bi-weekly for your viewing pleasure.

I definitely see the potential...as a writer myself, I dig when fellow writers take charge and do their own thing.  It's always nice to give your brain a "hoodrat break", turn off Basketball Wives and watch something with a bit more substance.  Will you be watching?

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