Awkward Black Girl, Mommy In Chief, Osiris, Black Folks Don't, Mommy Uncensored, Diva Divorcee, Diary Of A Champion, The Couple, The Number, Roomie Lover Friends, The Abandon, Brothers With No Game, DR0NE, Brett & The City, Lenox Avenue, Crumbs In The Bed, P.O.P, CV Nation, She Got Problems, and several others…
Those are just a few of the web series we featured on this site in 2012, listed in no particular order – just as they came to me. A hat-tip to those not mentioned.
I recall crowning 2011 as the year of the black web series, but, I think I'm going to give that honor to 2012 (although, don't be shocked if I'm saying the same thing about 2013, this time next year).
But yes, I'd say without a doubt that I received more emails this year, alerting me to new web series, than last year. And I won't be surprised if that trend continues in 2013.
What I applaud and appreciate most about this is that it tells me that black filmmakers (or content creators, as the zeitgeist demands that I call them) are realizing and exploiting the technology currently available to almost anyone, as the *process* is no longer one that's exclusive to those with wealth, or access to wealth.
There are no more excuses! You've heard those words before, I'm sure! The box has been smashed, and the means of production, distribution and exhibition, sufficiently democratized, are now far more accessible than they were as recently as 10 years ago.
Of course, not every web series will succeed, depending on how each creator defines success; however, a few stood out from the deluge, and even fewer (and/or their creators) have gone on to bigger and better things; for example, Issa Rae's teaming with Shonda Rhimes on an ABC pilot; or The Couple (photo above – created by Dennis Dortch, Jeanine Daniels, and Numa Perrier, starring Perrier and Desmond Faison) becoming a feature film, after successfully raising over $30,000 via Kickstarter, a couple of months ago.
And there are others…
Again, I expect this trend to continue into 2013, and beyond, as content creators claim their independence, free of restraints that previously limited their creative expressions, free to be bold and daring, to take risks, to experiment. So, if you're one of those who has been lamenting the lack of variety with regards to representations of black people on screens (primarily film and TV), I suggest you look to the web, where you're more likely to find the diversity in representations that's long been lacking elsewhere.
Taking a look at the titles I mentioned above, you've got the quirky comedy, the sci-fi thriller, the relationship dramedy, the musical, the documentary series, and more, all created by and starring people of African descent. You're not going to see that kind of variety on television or at the movie theater.
So, a toast to those of you who are no longer just talking about doing "IT," but who are actually taking control and doing "IT," and doing "IT" well. And also a toast to those who've been supporting these series, by watching them! Sometimes, that's all it really takes.
Unfortunately, with all I have on my plate, it's been impossible for me to keep up with watching any of these web series. I usually watch the first 2 or 3, just to get a feel for a series, and to find out if it's something readers of this site might appreciate, given how varied your tastes are. But I, frankly, really just don't have the time to keep up with all of them.
However, I'm hoping that some of you found a series (or more than 1) that spoke to you on some level (out of all of those we featured this year), and kept up with each episode, because I'm handing the mic over to you to share your favorite black web series of 2012.
Which ones did you watch (some of the series are over), or are you watching (those that are still going on, or recently debuted) with any regularity, and why? If you could recommend one or two or three that others should really be checking out, because you think they're awesome, what would they be?
School me… and here's to the black web series, and black web content creators in 2013!