Are you Awkward? Then Watch This Show.

Before there was a "Jess," there was a "J" standing up for awkward girls everywhere on "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl."

Nov 10, 2011 at 5:07pm | Leave a comment

Do you have a CNN ticker of self-conciousness constantly streaming at the bottom of the screen of your life episodes? Does the space between middle school lunch table and grown up lunch break seem non-existent? Does the phrase "bitches be tripping" make you laugh for absolutely no reason at all? If any of this is true then you'll love "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl."

The webseries stars writer Issa Rae as "J," a girl who's "awkward and black." Awkard here means hilariously hesitant because despite being gorgeous and funny "J" sweats not just the small stuff, the totally microscopic stuff. Like "the protocol for repeatedly running into someone at a stop sign" or "how many fakes laughs are acceptable before it becomes too much."

 

Unlike Zooey Deschanel's "Jess" on Fox's hit "New Girl" or even Tina Fey's "Liz Lemon," Rae's "J" actually acknowledges her social ineptitude as the barrier to her charm, not the basis of it. In each new episode, she navigates awkward audiences through the simple maze of living as an almost-adult. These days there's no Thomas Guide for growing up, so "J" and her very funny voice-overs are leading the way GPS-style. The show's very "The Wonder Years" meets "Herman's Head." Right. Get into it.

I interviewed Issa awhile back when ABG (as it's known to fans) was just a little guerilla YouTube project with a measly average of 40,000 views per episode. In August, a Herculean Kickstarter effort raised more than $56,000 dollars, $26,000 dollars above creator and star Issa's original goal to keep the show going. So now ABG is more sleek and the storyline has gotten a tad soapy, but "J" is finally learning how to be comfortable in her skin.

The thing about "Awkward Black Girl" is that you don't have to be either to find it "funny 'cause it's true." Any regular ole twenty, thirty, or forty-something has trouble sussing out the everyday turn-by-turn called living. Do you date the hot guy or the sweet one? Do you slap your bitchy boss at work? Or suck it up and keep it moving? 

As long as ABG is around, all that questioning tension you have built up won't explode out the business end. Just put on some earphones ('cause most of the episodes are NSFW), sit back in your OfficeMax chair and relax. Plus, if you get into ABG now you can say you knew Issae Rae back when "bitches be tripping" was just funny 'cause it's true.