Photo: Courtesy of Lena Waithe.
While we've always been on the gushy side when it comes to Girls, we won't deny that the show has its drawbacks. Despite its pretension of rawness and unfiltered, realistic situations, it doesn't always live up to the hype. And, though the dialogue strives for tongue-in-cheek, it sometimes borders on tone-deaf in its representation of cultured, bright young things as the center of the Earth. It's a good show and an important show in a lot of ways, but we generally consider monopolies to be a bad thing when it comes to TV. We like a little variety. Which is why it's good — no, great — that Lena Waithe exists and is doing her thing.
Jezebel considerably brightened our Friday slump (as Jezebel tends to do) with this in-depth look at Waithe's work, ideas, and her show Twenties, about — you guessed it! — 20-somethings. It's centered around the life of a young woman named Hattie and all the fun, interesting mundanities of modern life (stuff like, you know, tampons). Waithe has been called the "black Lena Dunham," and while there's certainly more to it than that, she doesn't mind: "I watch Girls all the time. I don't have a beef with it, I think it's funny and great. I relate to those girls. We watch the world differently, sure...But my voice is just as valid as hers." And, after watching a few clips from Twenties, which currently lives online but is not, she insists, a web series, we wholeheartedly agree. Here's a little taste:
Waithe has several interesting projects under her belt already, and is currently trying to find Twenties a place on TV. Similar to what Dunham has tried to do for millennial culture, Waithe is seeking to offer a representation of young, black women that's "not Think Like a Man but it’s not Precious. We’re not in those extremes. We’re not pretty and pristine, but we’re not poor and crazy." In other words, a show that feels truly realistic in that its characters are interesting but normal, flawed but lovable, and reminiscent of you and people you probably know.
Selling the show to Hollywood and television bigwigs has been difficult, she says, because people believe there are already "enough" black women, thanks to Kerry Washington. We're here to say two things: First of all, that's stupid, and second of all, we really want to binge watch this show. Maybe Netflix could pick it up? Pretty please, Internet gods, make it happen. (Jezebel)