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Aasha Davis Stars In The Hilarious Workplace Web Series 'the Unwritten Rules'

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by Emmanuel Akitobi
June 19, 2012 5:10 PM
20 Comments
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I'm a little late to the party on this, but . . . if you've ever been "one of the few" in your office/workplace, then you must watch Aasha Davis (Pariah) in the first three episodes of the web series, the Unwritten Rules, based on series creator Kim Williams' book 40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman.

The Unwritten Rules is a funny and realistic series that will appeal to those of us who aren't necessarily the awkward ones at our jobs.  Writer/creator Williams describes it as a series which "examines the comedic realities of being an African-American in a predominantly white workplace."

Davis (who I absolutely loved as Bina in Pariah, which is now out on DVD, so go out and buy 10 copies) stars in the series' lead role as Racey Jones, sharing, “The series immediately made me laugh because, it reminded me of stories that my sister would tell me about working in corporate offices and in the same turn it made me nervous because it was exposing those type of stories I only felt comfortable enough to discuss with someone like my sister. I'm really attracted to stories like "the Unwritten Rules" because they inspire interesting and sometimes difficult conversations."

Also starring throughout the season are Balbinka, Nicole Fox, Sara Finley, David Lowe, Ebenezer Quaye, and Antonio Ramirez.

Check out episodes 1-3 of the Unwritten Rules.  A new episode airs every 1st Wednesday of the month HERE.

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20 Comments

  • Yolanda | March 5, 2013 11:06 PMReply

    Recently discovered this series and I love it! It will help ease my pain if Awkward Black Girl doesn't do a season 3.

  • Charles Judson | June 20, 2012 1:30 PMReply

    As the actor, I like Aasha in this. She demonstrates how extremely likable she is. Because her character is hard to take. This is like listening to one my friends consistently whine and moan about their job. Just like them, we're only getting one side of the story and I can only think "is it really that bad, all the time?" Hell, Racey even complains that she doesn't like the grape soda a co-worker offered her. What makes CURB or SEINFELD's grumbling characters work is that the characters are just as flawed as the people they find annoying, and they either get their comeuppance as well, or they make the situations worse by their own devices. Racey (which is a name that's way too on the nose) seems to exist more so White characters can do things to her, than as someone who is trying to navigate the corporate world so she can make it through her day. She's a straight-man without a goal, which doesn't make for good comedy. What truly doesn't help is that the White characters are not only one dimensional, they are so outwardly hostile and oblivious it makes the scenes seem less believable. Which is a shame, because I think almost everyone has experienced episode 3. This definitely seems like a missed opportunity to say something more or new.

  • ThatDeborahGirl | May 19, 2014 8:15 AM

    I've read your review twice. It's two years later. I have to say something.

    You don't get the comedy because the racism portrayed doesn't effect you. Comedy is based on a shared understanding of what's happening and recognizing it as absurd.

    You have obviously never been in the situation with white "characters" who act like these people. Exactly like these people. So if the people in the series seem "one-dimensional" what does that say about white people. Especially when there is NO black person in America who cannot relate to what she's put on screen.

    You're right about what thing. It's not always funny. Actually, to me, it was so real it hurt. I watched the first three episodes and episode 3 made me cry. I felt it that deep because incidents like this have happened to me in ever single place that's on my resume. And I know that when I start my new job tomorrow, I will have to start all over again.

    So may answer to you is that yes, white people can be that outwardly hostile. And if that makes it seem "less believable" to you, then it's because you have no idea what it is to be on the receiving end of that hostility.

    That is the very definition of the unwritten rules of white privilege. Not even having to acknowledge or even recognize when true racism is taking place in front of your eyes.

  • Akimbo | June 21, 2012 12:12 AM

    I totally agree with this assessment...except I didn't make it to episode 3.

  • CareyCarey | June 20, 2012 12:50 AMReply

    I made it to the 4 minute mark in the first one and 2 minutes in the second. Nope, dain't funny and it's played played played. I cringe when I see wasted opportunities like this. Anyway, lets see how this is suppose to work. White folks are oblivious to everything about black folks, right? Okay, and all white people talk like little Chatty Cathy who was born in a shoe, never seen black folks so she didn't know what to do, right? That's it... that's the premise of this series? GT*OOH. Listen, when the tightass crowd stops saying this lame mess is funny, or cute, or original, or needed or whatever, then "we" might start making something creative and fresh. THIS is not the one. And see, I wanted to enjoy this because I thought Aasha Davis did a decent job in Pariah. I would give her a B-minus for that performance. I mean, that's good in my book --considering I wasn't overly impressed with the movie. It was alright, but nothing grand that I would pass on to others. Don't get me wrong, if I had to rate it solely on how it faired with the other "black" productions of the past year, it would be at the top. But again, this 40 hours of contrived rules needs to go straight to file 13 or back to the front office. Geez... when I watch Tyler Perry's stuff, I laugh because it makes me laugh. While watching this, ahh... this.... attempt at humor, I felt as if I was suppose to laugh, smile or whatever, but I couldn't even crack a grin because it didn't take me there.

  • CareyCarey | June 20, 2012 12:58 PM

    Come to think of it Bondgirl, I have to admit that I laughed a few times while watching this. HOWEVER... Tyler Perry's "Madea Goes Crazy" was playing in the background, so I was multi-laughing (true story). And you say retro, I say hell nawl. These "black people in white environments" are nothing more than wolves in sheep's clothing. They're the new vehicle for black folks to cry "look how dem white folks been treatin' us". So yeah, retro might be apropos. I just wish some black folks would sing a new song. You know, as Huey Lewis said, I want a new drug. One that won't make me sick. One that won't make me crash my car. or make me feel three feet thick. I want a new drug. One that won't hurt my head.
    One that won't make my mouth too dry, or make my eyes too red. One that won't make me nervous wonderin' what to do. One that makes me feel like I feel when I'm with you. When I'm alone with you. I want a new drug... one that won't spill, or squel, like black folk running on a racial trendmill.

  • bondgirl | June 20, 2012 12:29 PM

    I would agree, though I did laugh once. Wondering if the place it's suited for was In Living Color circa 1991? Except for ABG, all these "black people in white environments" seem retro to me, unless there's a unique hook or funnier delivery.

  • JMac | June 19, 2012 11:49 PMReply

    Good premise, bad execution. I should be able to relate but nope.

  • Dr. Boogie | June 19, 2012 11:33 PMReply

    This is totally the series for the time in between episodes of Awkward Black Girl, The Number, and The Couple....YOUTUBE is seriously about to be waaaay better than network t.v. She is sooo dead on with the situations....HIGH-LARIOUS!!!! Comedic nuance is just as important as gutt bucket, knock you over the head humor IMHO.... The co-worker sliding out of no where gets me every time!!!! EVERY TIME!!!!!

  • aliciafiasco | June 19, 2012 9:47 PMReply

    Can't say I'm a fan. I really like Aasha Davis, but if this is supposed to be funny, it's largely missing the mark.

  • bondgirl | June 19, 2012 9:20 PMReply

    I was trying to remember where I'd seen Aasha before. Yes, she was really good in Pariah. Dare I say, better than some of the leads. There's a warmth about her that is personable, like a young Nia Long. Anyway, the first ep is cute. Sooo, black people are going to make this decade about stories centered on surviving corporate America, huh?

  • Dr. Boogie | June 19, 2012 11:35 PM

    "Sooo, black people are going to make this decade about stories centered on surviving corporate America, huh?"

    Yeah, we're 30 years behind and didn't have the benefit of affordable digital technology and high-speed internet before. Welcome.

  • Lydia | June 19, 2012 9:05 PMReply

    I totally identified with each situation, esp. the food situation. A white coworker actually stuck their FINGER in my food after their 'that smells good, what's that?" routine. I was livid. I also had a white co-worker tell me the entire saga of her messy divorce and desperate search for a new man on her second day of work. I didn't ask.

    For me, all three episodes were highly relatable, well done and quite amusing.

  • the black police | June 19, 2012 10:17 PM

    What. Tha. Fuck???? Someone put their finger in your food? What happened next?

  • AF | June 19, 2012 8:25 PMReply

    I love this show.

  • the black police | June 20, 2012 8:32 AM

    @LYDIA: Looks like S&A commenting system is acting up. Hmm I dunno what I would have done either. I would definitely let my displeasure be known - my tattletale face always gives me . And I'd ask why they thought it was ok to do that. Things happen too fast most of the time though.

  • Lydia | June 20, 2012 8:26 AM

    Nothing dramatic. Sorry to disappoint. I just made a snarky remark about my lunch being over. They apologized. Life went on.

  • Taryn | June 19, 2012 11:56 PM

    Yes! Me too! I have been through this. Also, why shouldn't we comment on the truths that happen to us, especially in a fun, funny light. Keep em' coming!

  • Bohemian Princess | June 19, 2012 6:33 PMReply

    Not sure that I would call it "hilarious" but it was definitely enjoyable. I liked it.

  • Akimbo | June 19, 2012 5:49 PMReply

    Love Aasha, but don't love this show. Appreciate the effort, not funny or very good.

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