I don't want to see "Awkward Black Girl" on TV


I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't want TV to go anywhere near this show.  I don't even care if it's HBO.  If TPTB get their hands on ABG, they will fucking ruin it.

Or...we'll get one semi-decent season, and then it'll be canceled, while the network conveniently hangs onto the rights to it and keeps anyone else from touching it.

J's story is not universal. The awkward moments are, but outside of that, her story is that of a WoC's living, dating, and working in America. There's nothing "universal" about that.  Once TPTB get a hold of something like this, they're going to do something crazy like tell Issa she has to wear her hair differently, or tell Tracy Oliver to lose some weight (or simply recast them both), while the white fans who never watched the show before will flock to blogs and forums to talk about how they hate the fact White Jay is called "White Jay", and how he and J "have no chemistry" - no.  I refuse.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and Ktown Cowboys are perfect examples of what happens when POC take matters into their own hands and make.shit.happen.  Their creators and actors have reclaimed the POC entrepreneurial spirit which our predecessors wielded with deadly force.  There really is no excuse for our generation at this point - PayPal, YouTube, Facebook, and Kickstarter have made a 21st Century American POC Renaissance possible, and we have to continue on our own.

Now that you have our attention, set up a website where fans can pay $5/mo for unlimited viewing.  That's a reasonable $60/year for each of us, and since a show like ABG has at least 25000 fans, that's a generous $125,000/mo for them.  ABG and Ktown Cowboys have shown us that we don't need to see special effects or massive explosions, or ridiculous, over-the-top wardrobes.  We just need to see us.  We just need to see people who look like us, sound like us, and behave the way we do in real life, without someone else's agenda coloring the script.  I watch a 10-minute episode of ABG and it sends me straight to Cloud Nine.  I end each episode feening for the next one.  I see a dark chocolate, natural-haired black woman being witty and holding it down on her own show and I am catapulted into heaven.

So congrats to Issa Rae & Co. for all their amazing accomplishments. I am in awe. I am impressed to see Issa on CNN; it's a testament to how much attention her show has garnered.  But for the love of all that is holy, ABG needs to stay in firmly her hands and the hands of her fans.

Comments

  1. Oh dear Lord...please tell me Issa isn't considering moving to TV! Please say it ain't so. I've never watched the show, but I support Issa's effort regardless. I think that what's she is accomplishing is nothing short of amazing...and TV will eviscerate that shit.

    Now that you have our attention, set up a website where fans can pay $5/mo for unlimited viewing. That's a reasonable $60/year for each of us, and since a show like ABG has at least 25000 fans, that's a generous $125,000/mo for them.

    Talk about solutions-oriented. Netflix charges more than that for their streaming service.

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  2. "Now that you have our attention, set up a website where fans can pay $5/mo for unlimited viewing. That's a reasonable $60/year for each of us, and since a show like ABG has at least 25000 fans, that's a generous $125,000/mo for them."

    Hell, if she gets the eps on iTunes, that'll be a major win right there.

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  3. I agree. Do not let this become a product of mainstream (white) television.

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  4. Hell, if she gets the eps on iTunes, that'll be a major win right there.

    For real. There is some serious money to be made, and fans wouldn't bitch at all.

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  5. O_O Someone needs to send her this post. Where's her e-mail addy?

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  6. Yes, watching the interview, the irony of something like this moving to regular TV would be that the problems that she has remedied (not seeing herself represented anywhere on TV) will reappear.
    B/c she's lovely, but they will want her to have more hair, bigger breasts, and smaller everything else. And it would become some silly, formulaic show with canned laughter and probably some obnoxiously "cute" kids (you know how Hollywood loves to add unnecessary children to everything.)
    She could only go to TV if they were wiling to give her complete control over the show and that isn't going to happen.

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  7. If it moves to tv not only would they probably recast it, they would probably take over creative control. All of the subject matter that appeals to WOC would be whitewashed so it could appeal to a wider audience. Basically Issa's voice would be silenced along with the life view many WOC have. And white fandom would most definitley invade the internet with negative commentary riddled with drone speak. I commend the success of this show and hope it reaches new hights.

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  8. Hi, this is my first time posting. I love your blog, and wanted to concur with you: I don't want to see ABG movie to TV either. They will lose their creative freedom and unique point of view if they let the TV big wigs get their hands on the series. Keeping it on the web also makes it more accessible to viewers.

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  9. If corporate media gets their hands on ABG the A will no longer stand for awkward but for angry because that is the only way they know how to depict black women. I laughed my ass off at the first 8 episodes because they are funny. I also enjoyed seeing a shy/introverted/awkward black woman depicted because we are never shown that way or allowed to be vulnerable.

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  10. This is what I have been saying. I do want ABG on TV but only if she is given complete creative control without any underhanded sneaky mess from the network that picks it up, but that is nearly impossible. I believe they will change her skintone or just make it something ridiculous which would pull her away from her fanbase, from women of color. I dont trust tv I see what they provide for people of color and its all stereotypes. I refuse to see ABG become one. Seriously someone tell Issa Rae all the avenues she can use without TV.

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  11. As much as I want this show to be on TV, I have to agree with you.
    You will hate to have a show like this has generated an unlimited buzz across the internet to be watered-down and therefore, have low ratings.

    But look on the flip side, Let's take Tyler Perry for example (Yes I am comparing him to this)...Tyler Perry started off making church plays for a niche audience who then want his works to be transferred to the big screens. His only big downfall was not hiring people who are well versed in writing scripts and plots more befitting for a mass audience outside of that market.

    If ABG was to make it to a TV network, I will suggest Issa Rae to find out how she will have creative control and legal rights to everything in regards to this franchise and it can be successul.

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  12. I agree with you. ABG is a phenomenal show, i would hate for it to go on TV and get steered into a different direction thereby meeting its unexpected end. I feel sorry for the shows that have met their doom in the hands of TV after a short period of time. It is hard to resist the enticement of the money that would be offered for a show like ABG to go on TV. This would strip away your sense of ownership and control of the materials and originality of the show as a whole.

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  13. @Ankh
    I follow Issa Rae on tumblr and she's read this article!! She said it resonated with her. Here's a link ...

    http://blog.issarae.com/post/11361632657/i-dont-want-to-see-awkward-black-girl-on-tv

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  14. @ HazelEyedErica

    OMG!!!

    @ The new bar patrons

    Introduce yourselves, please!!!!

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  15. @Ankh - Girl, you got a VOICE!!! This is what's so cool about creative control and access over the internet! I'm glad your post touched her and I pray that Issa does not let anyone turn her around with money and false promises of creative control. Keep it on the web--don't sell it for corporate money.

    I agree with Neo Prodigy and would pay $5! Thats a VERY small price to see myself represented as a human being!
    Yes to Awkward BLACK girl!

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  16. THIS IS EPICALLY FANTASTIC!!!!

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  17. I totally agree with this, its best for ABG to remain a web show. If ABG became televised it would change to "appeal" a white audience. J will most defiantly be replaced and it will probably be replaced with an Angry instead of Awkward black girl because thats how society wants us to be like. This show is perfect the way it is online, television will make it white washed.

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  18. When I thought of this show getting on TV I figured it would be a station like TV One. While BET/Centric recently has been trying to put out more original sitcom series like Reed Between The Lines, TV One has Living Single, Half and Half, and A Different World. Although those are older series, ABG seemed to fit into the realm of the shows because each of these show had black female characters that were quirky, and awkward (LS had Sinclair, HH had Mona, and ADW had Freddie). So I wouldn't mind seeing ABG on the air permitting it was on a station like TV One.

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  19. The only way I'd want to see this series on television is if Issa Rae maintained complete control over the content and rented a time slot. Otherwise, no. Hello no!

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  20. I'd be worried even if she had complete creative control. I'm reminded of this article by Roseanne Barr, where she talks about the hell (white male) tv execs put her through as a woman and creator:

    http://nymag.com/arts/tv/upfronts/2011/roseanne-barr-2011-5/

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  21. @ Danila: *reads* ....holy CRAP! No, I do NOT want that for Issa Rae! No, no, no! I'd rather have no show than see/hear her suffer that elitist, sexist, racist crap!

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  22. I concur. I feel she will lose creative control. There should be an internet channel like pic.tv for black web series so they are in one place. I love the show and feel maybe online is where black content writers can showcase their work. Diary of a Single Mom, Everything Coming Up Ro'ses, etc are just examples of wonderful shows that are not the sterotypical black women acting a fool. But real life situations written in a way we can connect to. So please Issa please don't give up your control. As always love www.womenaregamechangers.com.

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