BookMates episode 5

There’s only one way to read a “book”….right? Watch below!

Tank you all for riding with me and the cast of ‘BookMates’ on this journey! We’ve got more to come. Please feel free to like, share, and subscribe to my YouTube channel as so much more content is in store. Your support and feedback is most welcome.

BookMates

*taps mic* Is this thing on?

Hi everybody,

It’s been a long minute, huh?

Well, I’m excited to say I’m back and I did not return empty-handed. For MONTHS I’d been working on a web series that took many twists and turns and has finally evolved into what I’m so thrilled to share with you all.

BOOKMATES is a series following two book-loving friends and the situations bibliophiles find themselves in.

They’re short and sweet skits that I hope you enjoy as much as I enjoyed making them.

The teaser is below…catch all the fire names we dropped in just 26 seconds!

Comment below, I wanna know what you guys think!

5 Web-Series to Keep You Laughing

Issa Rae sparked something with her Akward Black Girl series. Created out of the paucity of material that reflected awkward black girls, Issa set out to change that—and that she did. Now the producer has a book, not to mention a show due out on HBO, and a series of other internet content.

But Issa isn’t the only black woman making hilarious web content. Check out these five web-series created by, and starring, black women that will keep you laughing:

1. Clench & Release 

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“Clench & Release is an original series that follows Charla, an up-and-coming comedian, as she navigates the frustrating, clench-worthy situations that inspire her stand-up.”

Such clench-worthy events include being “chicken-shamed” by another black co-worker, snorting cocaine with a homeless man, trying to buy a Plan B pill at a pharmacy in Harlem, and explaining what a celiac allergy is to a chef at a fish and chicken take-out spot.

This web-series is created by Charla Lauriston, who is a stand-up comedian and writer for Tina Fey’s Netflix series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. By the end of season 2 you will see why Fey hired Lauriston, she’s hilarious!

Start your clentch-worthy binge here: Clench & Release

2. Downtown Girls 

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“Downtown Girls is the story of four girls, Abney, Alex, Sam and Zo, who recently graduated from New York University and impulsively decide to start a business after an over-achieving college friend pays them a visit and challenges their party, do-nothing lifestyle.”

In an attempt to “revolutionize” the way their peers party these four besties decide to create an app that locates the hottest house-party. The catch is they have to come up with over $100,000 to pay for the creation of the app, so they turn their once do-nothing lifestyle of partying into a do-the-most lifestyle where they turn their house into a club and charge party-goers for everything. ECM: everything cost money—even the amount of toilet paper one uses.

Follow the wild and hilarious journey of these four girls trying to follow their dreams: Downtown Girls

3. Ackee & Saltfish 

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“A comedy that explores the everyday interactions of the two friends. The series was inspired by the desire to capture the small, random, golden and banter-filled moments between friends”

Rachel and Olivia are two friends whose constant bickering and joking will remind you of your bestie. Plus, you can’t afford to miss the intense debate on back-bread—do you eat it or do you not eat it.

The series is created by fierce visionary, Cecile Emeke, who has black women from every side of the pond laughing.

Join in the fun here: Ackee&Saltfish

4. I Love Lucy & Bekka 

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“A comedy web series about two best friends. this is a fly on the wall experience of hanging out with them.”

I Love Lucy & Bekka will have you laughing out loud and clutching your heart at the hilariously tender moments Lucy and Bekka share in their closer-than-close friendship.

The web series is created by writer/director, Rachel Holder.

Become a fly on the wall here: I Love Lucy & Bekka

5. Vocation 

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“A twenty-something writer with 0 skills must find an occupation that doesn’t require leaving her living room.”

Serie is the twenty-something who, like many of us, is  in that interim period of trying to figure out what the heck she’s going to do with her life! Watch Serie try out several careers from actress to stylist to beat-maker.

The web-series is created by writer/actress/director Shelby Coley.

Follow Serie’s hilarious series of career changes and learn more about how not to be a LinkedIn whore: Vocation

The web continues to prove that it’s a viable place for quality, and hilarious content. Each one of these web-series and creators deserves to be supported, not just because they’re black women, but because they’re HILARIOUS!

***this post was originally published on my tumblr site.

Ackee & Saltfish is the web-series I’ve been waiting for

It might be too early to make such a bold statement, seeing as the first episode of the series is barely an hour old, but if you’ve invested in Emeke’s previous work I don’t think I’m being premature in my praise.

The five minute hilarious clip of Rachel trying to make Olivia understand that she did not get the Lauryn Hill concert tickets is one of the most relatable thing I’ve seen in any web content. Emeke’s simplistic style allows for you not to get distracted by the aesthetic and focus on the story. Now, that’s not to downplay how visually appealing her pieces are, it’s to say that the images she reflect have sustenance.

I’m very drawn to authentic art work—pieces that aren’t created for the specific purpose of filling a gap. Emeke is proving to have an ear for humanity and an individualistic approach to narratives that reaches her audience in their gut. I found myself actually lol-ing at Olivia’s reaction when she finally accepts that Rachel is not pulling another one of her mind games and seriously did not have the Lauryn Hill tickets. I’ve played so many games like that with my friends that watching this episode was like watching myself. Olivia and Rachel are you and your best-friend. If you’ve watched the short film (which, if you haven’t, here you go: http://www.ackeeandsaltfish.co.uk/) then you will find that Emeke has somehow spied on the exact conversations you’ve had with your friends about race/food/gentrification/Solange and reflected them in two characters who you’ll swear are just like you.

And that’s why I deem this web series as the one that I have been waiting for. Emeke is not trying to make content that qualifies to others why our narratives are valuable, dynamic, and beautiful. She’s speaking directly to us and I think that’s why she can so expertly reflect us—whether you’ve grown up in London, live in the States, in the Caribbean, or the Continent—Emeke is proving her capability to reflect, educate, and express the plurality of the Diaspora.

Props to you cecileemeke, I can’t wait for episode 2!

Oh, and for those who are worried that I gave away any spoilers to the first episode, I didn’t—you’ve got to watch the full episode to see how it ends:

Literary Web Series: A Modern Retelling of the Classics

I’m more of a Charlotte Brontë fan, myself, but after binging on Pemberley Digital’s “Emma Approved,” I might be more inclined to pick up a Jane Austen book- or two.

The 72 episodes (yes, I watched them in a span of 24 hours) are a modern rendition of Jane Austen’s novel, Emma:

“Emma amuses herself by matchmaking, convinced of her own superiority and knowledge of people’s hearts.”

The web series showcases Emma Woodhouse as a 20-something lifestyle coach/event planner/matchmaker/all-around-renaissance woman whose ambitious yet stubborn spirit gets her into a world of trouble.

Binge-watching a web series was not how I imagined spending my Sunday, but I thoroughly enjoyed the show and it got me to thinking. Modern re-telling of classic contemporary tales as web series could be a way to rejuvenate, preserve, and inspire interest in a new generation of readers. By applying the story to a modern-day context, it delivers the story in a message that appeals to the digital generation while sparking interest in what the original text was about.

“Emma Approved” isn’t the only literary-inspired web series from Pemberley Digital; the production company is also responsible for the widely popular, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Welcome to Sandition, and Frankenstein MD (Which airs on PBS).

And Pemberley Digital isn’t the only one retelling classic tales. There are web series about Romeo&JulietJane Eyre, and more.

With web series like “Emma Approved,” classic literature has the ability to make its mark on yet another generation of readers.

Could this perhaps be an emerging trend that book publishers invest in to generate interest and sales of classic and  not-so-widely-known classic literature?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, what are some classic tales you’d like to see in a modern-day rendition?