by Alma Hill
What was the last teenage melodrama you watched on TV? Was it this last, very disappointing season of Pretty Little Liars? Are you a Riverdale fan? Or maybe you relive your younger years with the socialites of the Gossip Girl world. Ever notice anything? Or rather, do you ever notice that you…. well.. don’t notice something?
Recently, screenwriter, producer, and actress, Issa Rae, was asked by The New Yorker to pitch her fantasy television series. Her answer: Black Gossip Girl. The hilarious sales pitch had us in tears, and praying for this show and it’s absolutely epic dream cast (featuring Little Richie and a miscellaneous “ho character”) to be a reality sooner than later.
Her title suggestions: Ladera Heights 90041, Windsor Hills 90043, or Potomac Maryland 20854.
It’s been almost twenty years since predominantly black casts were a regular staple on network television. Even back then, there weren’t many sitcoms that focused on the experience of black teens. Moesha starring Brandy Norwood is the most legitimate example of a show that really had a cast and storyline based around being a black teen in modern society but even that show ended in 2001. Everybody Hates Chris closed up shop in 2009, and any honorable mentions, like Smart Guy, Sister Sister, and Family Matters were long gone before the current generation of teenagers was even potty trained.
Plenty of people are ready for some new, more diverse faces in television. Issa Rae, creator of Insecure, is definitely one of those people. Her HBO Series was just renewed for a third season proving to Hollywood that there is a market for black stories, and that people actually care about these narratives.
It’s time for more young black teens to be on the silver screen. If you could pitch a show focused on a group of black teenagers, what would it look like? What would you call it?
Pitch us your shows in the comments below!