As original as we thought we were when we set out to produce “First Dates,” it quickly became apparent that we aren’t all that original when it came to our high-level subject matter: dating.
Online dating has become quite the fad when it comes to web series. Everyone and their momma is making a web series about dating. And there are a lot of good reasons for that. One, it’s an economically-friendly premise for a web series given that an entire episode can take place in one setting with little to no movement from just 2 actors. Two, it makes for some highly relatable content, as almost every grown adult in America as been on a date of some sort. And three, a video about online dating it combines two of the fastest growing fads in the country: online dating and online video. It really is the holy-trinity of web series topics.
Even as we tried to tackle some issues specific to black culture and dating, we still failed at complete originality, as there are quite a few black series focusing on dating. In an effort to curate a few, here are three of my favorite black web series about dating along with my YouTube Link: https://goo.gl/OQzoMp
“First” – by Issa Rae
Issa Rae, among all of her other trailblazing activities, has also pretty much set the standard for the black web series (or any web series) about dating. Devoid of much of the humor that “Awkward Black Girl” brought to us on a regular basis, “First” goes the dramatic angle, we peer into the lives of two individuals who fall in love from beginning to end. Unlike your typical sit-com pilot where we see the protagonist and his/her love interest struggle to find each other, “First” starts off right at the outset of courting, on a first date. From there, it’s a magical rollercoaster ride of emotions through all of the “firsts” that people go through as couples, and as an audience, we can only be so glad but to be along for it.
“Hello Cupid” – by Black&Sexy TV
I will admit it…I was very skeptical of this show before I gave it a chance. I had just been brought on to Black&Sexy via “That Guy,” a hilariously funny show about dudes and their never-ending onslaught of female issues. But my fiancee (now wife) kept badgering me to watch the show, and so on a long bus trip to D.C., I pulled out my cell phone and before we got to Philadelphia, I was hooked. The show follows two outlandish women as they play photoswap on a dating site only to find themselves in a weird triangle of love. It goes from hilarious in Season 1 to a lot more dramatic and cliffhanger filled in Season 2, and yet it still doesn’t disappoint, as each of the 2 main characters carry the show well with their humor, snide remarks and spot-on portrayals of confident and flawed black women.
“Love Handles” – Directed by Crystle Roberson & Carlton Jordan
I’m not even sure how I stumbled upon “Love Handles”–perhaps it was by reading a blog post just like this one. No matter how it came to be in my life, I’m glad it’s here. It has to be one of the funniest of three black web series mentioned here today, as it takes a unique perspective on “dating” by looking at the other side of the coin: what happens when you stop dating somebody. No, it’s not about a pledge of abstinence after a lifetime of too much sex, or a women picking up the pieces of her life after a divorce. Instead, “Love Handles” focuses on the absolute mind-fuck that occurs when your brain and your figurative heart go into withdrawal after the “love of your life” leaves you behind. It also manages to tackle female obesity in a funny and artistic way that is somewhat powerful.
Those are my favorite black web series about dating, but what are some of yours? Let us know in the comments. And as always, feel free to subscribe to the “First Dates” Newsletter!