This week’s female-centric VOD releases and noteworthy webseries are not to be missed. On the VOD front, we have two documentaries that have garnered some well-deserved buzz over the last few months. The Sundance-to-Netflix doc “Hot Girls Wanted” gives its viewers a rare and eye-opening look into the lives of young girls lured in front of the camera, while “Gaming in Color” exposes the inner workings of homophobia in the gaming community.
Both of our webseries selections of the week follow compelling best friendships between black women, a dynamic that has long been missing from network television. Both poignant, interesting, and unique in their tellings of the same subject, “Hello Cupid” and “Akee & Saltfish” are sure to have you and your BFF in stitches.
Here are a few new women-centric titles for you to enjoy this month on streaming services and online.
“Hot Girls Wanted” is a passion project of sorts, focusing on the rise of amateur porn and its exploitation of the naive, fresh faces that it constantly churns through. Netflix grabbed distribution rights for this Rashida Jones-produced doc after its highly discussed Sundance premiere.
Gaming in Color
“Gaming in Color” was a crowdfunded effort, and it’s not hard to see why it succeeded. With a documentarian lens turned toward the inner workings of gamer culture and the varying biases that are amplified within it, the film examines the treatment of LGBTQ gamers on (and off) line. Interviews are conducted with creators and players and everyone in between, focusing on how to make the gaming community a less toxic space. There’s a focus on the GaymerX convention, a LGBTQ-centered event that connects members who may have been abused and ostracized online to one another in a welcoming environment.
“Hello Cupid” follows roommates Whitney (Ashley Blaine Featherson, “Dear White People”) and Robyn (Hayley Marie Norman) as they navigate the disappointing world of online dating. Their dynamic is as compelling as “Broad City’s” Abbi and Ilana’s, with Robyn constantly giving Whitney a hard time for “responding to the Flavor Flavs and Bobby Browns of the world.” Written by Lena Waithe, the show’s whip-smart dialogue is only one of many reasons to catch up on this series. (Also, the show’s theme song is among the catchiest we’ve ever heard.)
The best on-screen friendships are those that make you feel as though you’re there and part of it all. Meet Rachel (Vanessa Babirye) and Olivia (Michelle Tiwo), the focus of the new and compelling webseries “Ackee & Saltfish.” The show’s creator, British director Cecile Emeke, credits her desire to “capture the small, random, golden and banter-filled moments between friends” as inspiration for the series. Fortunately for us, Emeke delivers. The show only just premiered this past January, so there’s sure to be more honest hilarity on its way.