Over the past year I’ve become somewhat of a web series junkie. Being that I live in South Korea, English-language television pickings are slim, and one has to get sort of creative if she wants to see people like herself on the small screen.
Enter the web series, the new darling of the television, film, and media world. What I love is the amount of diversity that is displayed in the various shows. A lot of mainstream TV series and movies are just uninspiring and regurgitated plot points we’ve seen time and time again. This isn’t the case with web series. This new form of independent media production is giving the opportunity for new voices, experiences, and talent to be seen and heard.
Here is a list of five web series that I’m currently crushing on.
Now in its third season, this Black and Sexy TV production follows Tomiko and Jay, a pair of co-ed roommates who fall hard for each other. Tune in and watch as they navigate their emotions for one another and deal with drama from Jay’s ex-girlfriend and Tomiko’s crazy overprotective father.
Leeza is in a funk after just being dumped by her personal trainer boyfriend for packing on the pounds. With the help of her two besties, Leeza sets out to get back in shape and rediscover her happiness, one exercise class at a time.
Everything I Did Wrong In My 20’s
35-year-old Stephanie Roger’s life is in a tizzy after being laid off from her corporate day job. Rogers struggles to find happiness as she reflects on all of the mistakes she made in her 20s.
Be Here Nowish
Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo play Sam and Nina. One works as a dating consultant while the other brings home the bread as a drug delivery gal. The two become friends and after hearing about a guru-shaman in California, they are convinced that a move to L.A. is just what they need to wake them from their funk. They undergo spiritual bootcamp and struggle to embrace their new surroundings and identities.
K & A
This series is about Karly and Alex, a straight and lesbian best friend duo who are living, loving, and freaking out in Boston. Watch as they navigate everything from hookups to herpes scares.
The popularity of these shows along with success stories like Issa Rae, of "Awkward Black Girl" fame, and the ladies over at "Broad City" give me hope that Hollywood will one day wake up and stop casting and hiring like it's 1955. As a woman -- specifically a black one -- it is a rare treat to see positive portrayals of us on the big or small screen.
When I was younger I was an actress myself, but for various reasons I stopped acting and made the switch to writing. One of the biggest motivations for my switch was that I didn’t like the type of roles that were available to me. There has been a lot of progress since then, but African-American people are still often relegated to stereotypical roles or forced to play second fiddle or magical negro to the white protagonist.
I love writing essays and other non-fiction works, but since this web series boom has come along I’ve become really inspired to flex my creative muscle in a whole new way. I’ve had so many great experiences living in Korea this past year that I want to share with the world. That’s why I’ve decided to create my own new web series, "Black Girl in the ROK."
This six-episode project will follow Janae, a recent college graduate who has come to South Korea to navigate the exciting world of ESL teaching. Some of the episodes will deal with issues like: workplace relations, dating while black in the ROK, culture shock, and many other topics. I’m really excited to showcase a perspective of the black experience that is not often seen: a black woman living and thriving abroad in Asia.
I’ve created an indiegogo campaign to help fund the series. In order to make "Black Girl in the ROK" a success I need to raise $5,000 dollars. I’m more than confident that this series will resonate with a wide variety of people. If you’re interested in seeing more creative projects by women please consider backing this project.