Home News+Pop Culture Strong Black Lead: Classic Black Sitcoms, more come to Netflix

Strong Black Lead: Classic Black Sitcoms, more come to Netflix

Over the weekend, Netflix kicked off its release of classic Black sitcoms, hailing mostly from the ‘90s and early ‘00s. “Moesha” came to the streaming service on August 1, with “The Game,” “Sister Sister,” “Girlfriends,” “The Parkers,” “Half & Half” and “One on One” to follow through October. The shows’ stars made the announcement with a video last week.

Get ready to binge

“These shows changed the face of television as we know it,” said “Half & Half” actress Valarie Pettiford. 

The impact can be seen on Twitter, where viewers have been reminiscing over “Moesha,” indulging in nostalgia and acknowledging the occasional untoward humor (fatphobia and homophobia were the norm on ‘90s television). Looking back is opening up a better understanding of the significance of these shows in popular culture. In fact, Shar Jackson revealed on the Strong Black Legends podcast that her character, Niecy, was only supposed to be on “Moesha” for one season, instead of all six.

Summertime Romcoms

If you’re looking to break up your “Moesha” binge with a movie, “Seriously Single” hit the streaming platform on July 31. The movie takes your living-single-in-the-big-city romcom to Johannesburg, South Africa. We meet polar opposite BFFs, relationship-crazed Dineo and free-spirited Noni. Like any fun romantic comedy, there are wild nights at the club, weird dating experiences, pivotal karaoke moments and major life lessons. Even when Dineo and Noni clash, the pair lead each other to make the right decisions.

“Seriously Single” is a moment to escape lockdown and live vicariously through Dineo and Noni’s adventures. Even though we can’t necessarily party all night with our best friends or chase down a possible true love, at least we can indulge in the millennial dating experience through the screen. Below is a look at 5 laugh-out-loud moments from the movie.

Dineo and Noni mess around in a club bathroom.
Image Source: Netflix

  1. We immediately know Dineo and Noni are the kind of friends who have an aspirational closeness. The tone of their relationship is set in their first scene together, when Noni finds Dineo in a bathroom stall Instastalking her ex. A light-hearted argument ensues, resulting in Noni hiding Dineo’s phone in her bra.

Dineo has a breakdown on a livestream.
Image Source: Netflix

Dineo realizes the social damage she's done.
Image Source: Netflix

 

2. Early on, it’s clear Dineo is obsessed with social media. Not only is it her line of work, but she can’t not be with an attractive man without posting about it (even when that man is sleeping). Nevertheless, it’s fairly relatable when Dineo goes on a drunken rant about the hardships of being single on a live stream. Hello #DesperateBAE!

3. A hangover at work is never good. Unfortunately for Dineo, she doesn’t have quite the knowledge Noni has acquired for balancing work and nightlife. When a big client comes to visit, things don’t go so well. 

Dineo rejects a match on a dating app.
Image Source: Netflix

4. Noni understands the pitfalls (and positives) of online dating. Dineo does not. In the hopes of executing a more formal plan to find a man, Dineo endures a series of bad dates that really make you wonder if you can find love online.

Noni makes a devil face behind Dineo's mom.
Image Source: Netflix

5. Ah yes, the judgmental mother. The millennial lifestyle can be hard to understand for older generations, such as Dineo’s mom, who desperately wants her daughter to marry and have her grandchildren. Dineo already craves a monogamous relationship, so luckily she has Noni to ease the salt to her wound.

Haley Bosselman
Haley Bosselman is the editor-in-chief of Culturas. She grew up in Orange County and moved to Los Angeles after earning her bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University. In May 2020, Haley completed the Master of Science in journalism program at the University of Southern California. She's written a lot about music, but is geared toward any culture-related storytelling.
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