Written By: Okla Jones
The way that we spend our Friday nights may change with time, but it never loses it importance. This day signals the end of the workweek, and the beginning of the weekend. As a child, I spent my Friday evenings at my nearest Blockbuster, searching for the new releases while the employees at Pizza Hut prepared what would become my meal for the night. As I advanced in age, Friday became a time to create amazing memories with friends and new acquaintances; or even as a release from the stressful days that preceded it. Today, I do what I what with my Fridays – reflect, release, react – which is why long ago it became my favorite day of the week. A few days ago, I ran across a refreshingly unique show, filled with beautiful and talented women of color, both in front of, and behind the camera. On August 2, 2019, HBO debuted A Black Lady Sketch Show, and my Fridays would never be the same.
In recent years, there has been a black renaissance in film and television. The emergence of network programs and movies that featured people of color is an achievement that should be applauded. However, what is most impressive is this new wave of young African-American writers, producers and directors. A Black Lady Sketch Show was created, written and produced by Robin Thede. The show stars herself, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Quinta Brunson. This sketch comedy program provides a unique and satirical take on topics such as racism, sexism, womanhood and relationships – just to name a few. What is most enjoyable about ABLSS is that each character brings a special and specific talent, thus making the show better as a whole.
A Black Lady Sketch Show’s creator, Robin Thede, has that no-holds-barred comedic style. Her energy and transparency mesh perfectly with Ashley Nicole Black’s sarcastic and witty humor. Newcomer Quinta Brunson brings a fresh and unique delivery, while seasoned veteran Gabrielle Dennis provides the authenticity of serious acting, while at the same time stepping out of her comfort zone with surprisingly funny performances. One of A Black Lady Sketch Show’s most intriguing segments is the dialogue between the program’s four stars, short after the end of the world, simply referred to as “The Event.”
Outside of the quality of the show, it is also important to point out the immense amount of support that it has gained, especially from many celebrities and iconic figures. Cameos from Angela Bassett, Patti LaBelle, David Alan Grier and Loretta Devine, brings another element to the show, and is a testament to the respect that the show’s creator and producer (Robin Thede and Issa Rae) garners. Each week, ABLSS intelligently satires current events, race relations and normal human interactions in a perfectly digestible way. The shock-and-awe value the comes from each sketch, along with the underlying message, gives A Black Lady Sketch Show the potential to be a standout television program.
You can check out A Black Lady Sketch Show every Friday at 11pm EST, on HBO. Regardless of you gender, ethnicity or race, this is definitely something worth watching.
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