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The Year In Black Web Series - With Plenty To Keep Up With, What Were Your Favorites?

Features
by Tambay A. Obenson
December 28, 2012 3:28 PM
50 Comments
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Still Image From 'The Couple'

Awkward Black Girl, Mommy In Chief, Osiris, Black Folks Don'tMommy Uncensored, Diva Divorcee, Diary Of A Champion, The Couple, The Number, Roomie Lover Friends, The Abandon, Brothers With No Game, DR0NE, Brett & The City, Lenox Avenue, Crumbs In The Bed, P.O.P, CV Nation, She Got Problems, and several others...

Those are just a few of the web series we featured on this site in 2012, listed in no particular order - just as they came to me. A hat-tip to those not mentioned.

I recall crowning 2011 as the year of the black web series, but, I think I'm going to give that honor to 2012 (although, don't be shocked if I'm saying the same thing about 2013, this time next year). 

But yes, I'd say without a doubt that I received more emails this year, alerting me to new web series, than last year. And I won't be surprised if that trend continues in 2013.

What I applaud and appreciate most about this is that it tells me that black filmmakers (or content creators, as the zeitgeist demands that I call them) are realizing and exploiting the technology currently available to almost anyone, as the *process* is no longer one that's exclusive to those with wealth, or access to wealth. 

There are no more excuses! You've heard those words before, I'm sure! The box has been smashed, and the means of production, distribution and exhibition, sufficiently democratized, are now far more accessible than they were as recently as 10 years ago.

Of course, not every web series will succeed, depending on how each creator defines success; however, a few stood out from the deluge, and even fewer (and/or their creators) have gone on to bigger and better things; for example, Issa Rae's teaming with Shonda Rhimes on an ABC pilot; or The Couple (photo above - created by Dennis DortchJeanine Daniels, and Numa Perrier, starring Perrier and Desmond Faison) becoming a feature film, after successfully raising over $30,000 via Kickstarter, a couple of months ago. 

And there are others...

Again, I expect this trend to continue into 2013, and beyond, as content creators claim their independence, free of restraints that previously limited their creative expressions, free to be bold and daring, to take risks, to experiment. So, if you're one of those who has been lamenting the lack of variety with regards to representations of black people on screens (primarily film and TV), I suggest you look to the web, where you're more likely to find the diversity in representations that's long been lacking elsewhere.

Taking a look at the titles I mentioned above, you've got the quirky comedy, the sci-fi thriller, the relationship dramedy, the musical, the documentary series, and more, all created by and starring people of African descent. You're not going to see that kind of variety on television or at the movie theater.

So, a toast to those of you who are no longer just talking about doing "IT," but who are actually taking control and doing "IT," and doing "IT" well. And also a toast to those who've been supporting these series, by watching them! Sometimes, that's all it really takes.

Unfortunately, with all I have on my plate, it's been impossible for me to keep up with watching any of these web series. I usually watch the first 2 or 3, just to get a feel for a series, and to find out if it's something readers of this site might appreciate, given how varied your tastes are. But I, frankly, really just don't have the time to keep up with all of them.

However, I'm hoping that some of you found a series (or more than 1) that spoke to you on some level (out of all of those we featured this year), and kept up with each episode, because I'm handing the mic over to you to share your favorite black web series of 2012.

Which ones did you watch (some of the series are over), or are you watching (those that are still going on, or recently debuted) with any regularity, and why? If you could recommend one or two or three that others should really be checking out, because you think they're awesome, what would they be?

School me... and here's to the black web series, and black web content creators in 2013!

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50 Comments

  • Rasheed | February 12, 2013 2:48 AMReply

    CV Nation. Black superheroes!
    Cvnationseries.com

  • Danielle | February 12, 2013 2:24 AMReply

    culturestarved.com always has great lists for black web series... Check them out!

  • Stephanie | January 31, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    I've created a new web series called Sessions. Check it out on youtube!

    I also love Awkward Black Girl of course, and the unwritten rules, roomie lover friends, and the number.

  • Grimm Factor Music | January 11, 2013 5:32 PMReply

    I just started watching Osiris and watched all of the episodes of Brothers With No Game. Those two are excellent! Since someone already posted a link to Brothers With Not Game, I'll post a link to Osiris - http://www.youtube.com/OsirisTheSeries

    here is a link to my blog: http://grimmfactormusic.blogspot.com for anyone that is into independent urban music and wants great online marketing advice. Embrace the web!!

  • s. Araya | January 6, 2013 1:22 AMReply

    for the queer Black women there is 'between women'. watch with care there are scenes with domestic and homophobic violence.

  • LeRoy E. | January 3, 2013 5:56 PMReply

    "Mommy Uncensored" is an awesome show and pretty funny also. Check out "The Bo Mania Project", it an black adult talk show with the comfortable feel of the Barbershop.

  • Lawrence | January 3, 2013 4:23 PMReply

    Brothers with no game, Unwritten Rules, Awkward Black Girl and Lennox Ave. HIGHlarious!

  • CosbyLover | January 3, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    Don't sleep on "Mommy Uncensored." It's just fun! Embarrassingly relatable. Parents trying to get it in while the kids are sleep? LOL. And "The Couple" is my smooth and mellow choice for the late night.

  • CosbyLover | January 3, 2013 3:31 PM

    Links:
    "Mommy Uncensored" http://www.youtube.com/mommyuncensored
    "The Couple" http://blackandsexy.tv/

  • Spirit Equality | January 2, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    For people late to the party for some of these shows, could this article be updated with links? Commenters responding with your favorite shows, I'd appreciate links to them as well. Will take me a minute to Google all of these, I'd be a lot more productive with direct links (LOL), help save a brother some time on a weekday :-)

  • calvin | January 5, 2013 10:10 PM

    THE LYONS DEN: www.youtube.com/thelyonsdenseries

  • Rowdy Orbit | January 3, 2013 3:09 PM

    Here's the link to 12 Steps To Recovery http://www.youtube.com/user/12stepswebseries. This series just premiered on an over-the-air TV network on January 1st @ 9pm, called Punch TV. Soon you'll be able to catch this webseries, now on TV as a 30 minute show, pretty consistent.

  • Funmi | January 3, 2013 5:25 AM

    Hi Spirit Equality,

    I hope the following link helps; http://www.youtube.com/user/AmacoastWebSeries

    Happy New Year!

  • Raina | January 2, 2013 5:03 PMReply

    Brothers With No Game. British, and hilarious

  • Chanel | January 2, 2013 7:32 AMReply

    Spin is a British show. i love it

  • sisi | December 31, 2012 3:40 PMReply

    LYON'S DEN

  • Funmi | December 31, 2012 6:36 AMReply

    I really like the diversity of the stories within these black web shows and I hope 2013 leads to more of them getting picked up or creators having opportunity to work with big networks. Venus vs Mars, Awkward Black Girl and Chick are my top 3 shows. I recently stumbled across http://www.youtube.com/user/AmacoastWebSeries they seem to have a lot of shows in playlist format.

  • Fight | December 30, 2012 1:09 PMReply

    Between Woman best drama on the web hands down.

  • Chenelle | December 30, 2012 7:01 PM

    I agree.

  • Jcas | December 30, 2012 1:06 PMReply

    The complex shine productions
    Venus vs mars
    Punanny diaries
    She got problems
    King's bachelors pad
    Boomerangs
    Pop power of the pussy
    Crumbs in the bed
    The gay family
    Playa and wifey
    Touye Owen by rl Scott
    Carl Sagan
    12 steps to recovery
    The Lyons den (projectblaque n blip tv)
    All woman's channel wig tv

  • CALVIN | December 29, 2012 10:48 PMReply

    The Lyons Den is a great webseries that definitely shows a real look at what families deal with after the death of a loved one. It's real life, real drama.

  • Shantelle Wheeler | December 29, 2012 10:33 PMReply

    If you haven't seen it already, you should check out The Lyons Den. It's about a five siblings that deal with their father's murder and the secrets that come out because of it. Seasons 1 and 2 are available on youtube, projectblaque, and bliptv.

  • Bryan | December 29, 2012 7:26 PMReply

    12 Steps To Recovery is also very entertaining.

  • Rowdy Orbit | January 3, 2013 3:12 PM

    Just so you know. You can now catch 12 Steps To Recovery, on an over-the-air TV network called Punch TV on Tuesday's @ 9pm. 12 Steps premiered on New Years day. And we're just waiting to get the audience numbers back. Be sure to check 12 Steps on TV.

  • woh | December 30, 2012 9:39 AM

    I like this one too.

  • bondgirl | December 29, 2012 5:46 PMReply

    Personally, the only web series that held my attention was the one about the music industry execs w/ the 2 guys and a woman who killed (I think) the ingenue singer. I can't even remember the name bc you haven't posted it in over 6 months. I'm hoping that Shonda can get Issa back on track bc she kinda fell off, and I just don't connect with The Couple...the dialogue is so boring. I guess I'll check out the rest though before my hiatus is over.

  • Table23 | December 29, 2012 4:41 PMReply

    Brothers With No Game. Just to see where they started from as a blog and then to turn it into a web series (an entertaining one at that) is an amazing feat. Credit to them. Black and Sexy TV are brilliant and definitely have at least two of my top 5 webseries. Unwritten Rules is great too!

  • Shines Productions | December 28, 2012 11:17 PMReply

    Season's Greetings! Yes, I too have become intrigued with the new wave of black web series. So much so, that my creative partner &I have created one this yr called "The Complex". Its a quirky comedy about a young lady who relocates to Atlanta to pursue her dreams in the entertainment industry & moves in w/her sister as she tries to get back on her feet, trying to find a place of her own, a gig, and love in the A! Check it out these 6 new episodes at: www.youtube.com/shinesproduction. GOD BLESS! -Shines

  • Jali | December 28, 2012 10:01 PMReply

    I have been hooked on Awkward Black Girl, The Couple, The Number, Roomie Lover Friends, Brothers With No Game, The Unwritten Rules, and Venus vs. Mars (at least their 1st season). I literally just canceled my cable because all of my favorite shows are on the internet and not the TV. I'm entertained all day!

  • Cel | December 28, 2012 9:43 PMReply

    Oh and between women! I'm not even gay and was hooked

  • Cel | December 28, 2012 9:40 PMReply

    Unwritten rules! My work life!

  • CeCe | December 28, 2012 9:34 PMReply

    OMG I'm such a fan of Black Web Series. I watch so many but, Awkward Black Girl, The Unwritten Rules, Punanny Diaries & She Got Problems are my faves. It's like my life on the web.

  • Greg | December 28, 2012 8:39 PMReply

    King Bachelor's Pad is definitely the funniest new sketch comedy series on the web, I subscribed to them and love the quality and production value! Plus its unpredictable and features some celebs and famous youtubers

  • Chenelle Covin | December 28, 2012 8:36 PMReply

    Great list! Roomie Lover Friends is a new favorite of mine. BUT I never seem to understand why "Between Women" hasn't made these 'black web series' list. This incredible show was written by a black woman, directed by a black woman, has a black cast, and was picked up by a major network. Not to mention has an average 200,000 views on each episode. More than some on the list. Is it because the show is about lesbian lifestyle? Do we not support them? Shouldn't we? .. it's still black, people of color! Interesting .... http://www.youtube.com/user/betweenwomentv

  • Chenelle Covin | December 28, 2012 8:34 PMReply

    Great list! Roomie Lover Friends is a new favorite of mine. BUT I never seem to understand why "Between Women" hasn't made these 'black web series' list. This incredible show was written by a black woman, directed by a black woman, has a black cast, and was picked up by a major network. Not to mention has an average 200,000 views on each episode. More than some on the list. It is because the show is about lesbian lifestyle? Do we not support them? Shouldn't we? .. it's still black, people of color! Interesting .... http://www.youtube.com/user/betweenwomentv

  • Lbug | December 28, 2012 7:48 PMReply

    I love Awkward Black Girl and the Couple.. Check the new web series "Boomerangs" Starting Jan 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ksrNfltThC0

  • Adam Scott Thompson | December 28, 2012 7:35 PMReply

    That new POP ("Power of Pussy") show -- about Atlanta-based strippers -- has gotten my full attention of late. lol *sorry* My own webseries, "Crumbs in the Bed," is wifey... but this could be my mistress. LOL

  • K | December 28, 2012 6:11 PMReply

    I just discovered The Unwritten Rules about a week ago starring Aasha Davis. I want to know what you guys think about that web series. Check it out.

  • Shay | December 29, 2012 12:58 AM

    I love The Unwritten Rules. It covers situations most black people in the work place face on a regular basis.

  • Raqi | December 28, 2012 8:40 PM

    Yes! This show is one of my fav's! Unwritten Rules, ABG, RoomieLoverFriend, and The Couple are my line up... Oh, and got to give a special shout out to Ratchetpiece Theater... YES!!!!! :D I've recommended all of these web shows to friends/coworkers/fam. and most of them are now avid fans!

  • Mr. Pi | December 28, 2012 5:58 PMReply

    You guys missed a great and funny as heck web series called "The Gaye Family" on Youtube.
    Its a mess and a fun ride. The show challenges gender roles and stereotypes with humor.
    The Gaye Family should most def be on your list!

  • Darkan | December 28, 2012 5:24 PMReply

    "Roomie Lover Friends" is my show!!! From the music to the actors, direction and storyline. Very good show that deserves to be on a network. Also "Playa and Wifey" which should get some attention. BET or VH-1 should take notice of these shows. Congrats to all involved!!!

  • Guyver | December 28, 2012 4:34 PMReply

    Definitely my man R.L. Scott's action crime series "Touye Pwen." It got funded and turned into a feature film coming out early 2013 called "Kill Point." He also has a brand new series called "Fixer" premiering on Feb. 24th. 2013. Dude is a great filmmaker, has a strong eye and keeps his production value high.

  • Jada | December 28, 2012 4:15 PMReply

    I fell in LOVE with Roomie Lover Friends from the first episode! Also discovered King Bachelor's Pad after seeing that HILARIOUS Denzel parody!! If you haven't seen it, please check it out on YouTube. Also, Awkward Black Girl and the Couple are amazing, amazing, amazing!

  • Ashley1 | December 28, 2012 3:54 PMReply

    She Got Problems only had one or two episodes and Alison McDonald ALREADY got major things going on. Kudos. Awkward Black Girl too. Good job ladies! But my absolute favorite is Got 2 B Real: A Diva Variety Show. It is funny as hell. Patti LaHelle is the creator but she's only doing 2 seasons.

  • Luce | December 30, 2012 2:10 PM

    I would like to thank you all. Got 2 Be Real is the best thing I've discovered on youtube this year. Love the voice-overs. Aretha, Dionne and Fantasma make me cry.

  • Laura | December 30, 2012 1:10 AM

    Got 2 B Real is the funny as all get out. It was so good I had to steal a line from it (Hate-Retha) "What bulletless gun were you holding... in my Hitler parody of the 2012 election
    http://youtu.be/87wb1vpaxns

  • Xi | December 29, 2012 11:17 AM

    YES! Got 2 B Real was HI-larious! Very well done!

  • blaqbird | December 28, 2012 5:41 PM

    Got 2 B Real is my show! I'm always visiting YouTube to rewatch those episodes because they have me crying laughing. Hate-retha all day!

  • Xi | December 28, 2012 3:37 PMReply

    I keep my dial tuned into blackandsexytv and Dortch has yet to let me down! I also enjoy "Unwritten Rules"; I can actually get my mom to sit down and watch it with me (the elders aren't fond of watching computers).

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