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Watch Episode Four Of New Comedy Web Series 'No Strings, Please’

by Sergio
September 11, 2013 5:33 PM
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No Strings, Please

As I recently stated last week in another post, many of these new black web series are becoming indistinguishable from each other.

Most of them seem to deal with the lives and loves of 20-something year olds, and they’re all starting to look alike (How about a series about relationships between 40-somethings or 50-somethings year olds? You know people who have lived a life?).

But I say that to state that the on-going web series, No Strings, Please, to its credit, is going for something different. It's a more quirky, oddball sort of series with a quirky, oddball sort of person at the center of it, named Charley Parker, as played by Naima Ramos-Chapman.

If I recall correctly, one commentator called a previous episode "offensive," which any filmmaker would be overjoyed about. I would rather make something that offended someone rather than have the person say "Hmmm yeah... It was all right. I guess."

So with that, here’s episode number 4 of No Strings Please.

The series is written and directed by Gemal Woods, and produced by Dawn L. Hall,  who says in this latest episode "Charley drifts off into a light nap in her cubicle at work during her break. She has a "comic book styled" daydream that ends abruptly. She then ventures off for the remainder of her lunch break to get some tea and to read a self help book. Along her journey of reading and sipping, she bumps into a very mysterious man."

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  • CareyCarey | September 12, 2013 10:19 AMReply

    "if they're too many stories from the younger folks, and the site's moderators are tired of them, they shouldn't post them, they should hold out for the 40 year old creator's web series to surface. A lot of the posts on this site seems to be embedded with personal opinions/attacks from the writer. I don't know if it's to spark attention, or to make people feel a type of way so they go harder in the comments section.. all of you seems to..." ~ Twentysomething years old Ms. Well

    WELL WELL WELL, Ms. Wells, in a previous comment I tried to address your concerns, however, after re-reading said comment, I realized it may have been a bit confusing (that's par for me), so let me reiterate.

    As KNIGHT3K comment will attest, one never knows who's reading S&A's post, nor do we know their agenda or how they've interpreted what was written. Yet, fortunately, for the most part S&A has that mix covered. Their writers/authors/contributors (contrary to what you believe) are a mix bag. Some will get down and dirty with frisky commenters. Some write with a confrontational flare. Others simply present a piece of information with limited commentary. They all DO NOT do ANYTHING the same. Some are young-ish, some are in their thirties & forties, and some, lets just say, are seasoned.

    Aside from their differences in age, they each are on completely different walks in life. Needless to say, they each have different writing styles/techniques. Not only are their styles different, depending on what they're writing about, each individual's style may change from day to day. That's a given which should be expected, right? So when you throw the blankets of "all of you seem to"... and... "A lot of the posts on this site" and "all of you seems to write from the pretense that you can do no wrong" over the entire S&A crew, I believe you've committed a grievous error in judgement.

    Listen, the basic similarity in the following S&A contributors is their skin color, that's it. Let's start with one of the youngest writers, then go from there. I will not mention their writing styles nor their walk in life, but I believe most who read this site already know who's at the end of the pen. Masha Dowel, Curtis John, Jai Tiggett, Andre Seawood, Tanya Steele, Tambay, Cynthia, Vanessa Martinez, Zeba Bley and Sergio. Each of those individuals are completely different in their walk, talk and writing styles. And the door has always open for guest contributors like Jake Austin, Dwanka Brooks, Phill Branch and a host of other brave souls who had something they'd like to share with the black film-watching community. So get your groove on, pickup a pen, so you can talk about something you know -- in whatever style you choose to do so.

  • furtg | September 12, 2013 9:11 AMReply

    Right that we need more voices of less self-centered ages — or, actually, different ages self-centered about more pressing issues.

    I'll have to watch the first episodes, because what was occurring to the characters in ep4 did not grab me (especially on a superficial level, sleeping in a cubicle and putting liquid from a homeless person's bottle into one's cup…)

    Good to see Teaism still open. I haven't been to DC in a while.

  • Rel | September 12, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    I'm in my thirties so I guess I'm completely irrelevant.

  • CareyCarey | September 11, 2013 10:33 PMReply

    Something is happening in the air around me. Over the last few weeks I found myself in agreement with Tambay and AccidentalVistor on the film The Butler ( AV and I seldom see eye to eye) and today, Sergio and I seem to be on the same page (TWICE in one day!) so what in the world is going on around here?

    I don't know but this Web series caught my eye for exactly the reasons Sergio spoke of... and more. First, it was different, fresh, witty and "smart". Also, in the first episode I loved the scene changes and the camera movements, particularly the exterior shots. This is obviously not a slam-bam, thank you ma'am production.

    The subtle narration also gets my hat tip... and the lead actress is doing a commendable job. And the music selections sets the perfect tone. It's not the usual same ol' same ol' old school R&B or the latest rap song, or some lame elevator music.

    Yep, No Strings is playing all the right cords.

  • Rel | September 11, 2013 7:53 PMReply

    Tell some 40 and 50 yr olds to start making web series the internets is an open forum

  • Knight3k | September 12, 2013 8:19 AM

    AMEN Sergio...I refuse to call the comment about 40 and 50somethings arrogant for the simple fact that it does a gross disservice to the word arrogant. Allow me to be blunt, as a professor of mass communication, while I applaud the entrepreneurial efforts here at digital filmmaking, in this program, there is a clear lack, that of writing. The writing leaves much to be desired. Next, where is the originality here? This is bougie awkward black girl at best. Finally, since it has come up, allow me to pitch my own web series titled, "Grown Folk Business". The show centers around late 30s to early 50somethings who have to negotiate around topics like, finding child care, working two jobs to take care of themselves and their child, taking care of their elderly parents, surviving foreclosure, returning to school with 20somethings, getting through job layoffs. I would produce this program but unfortunately due to my busy schedule inclusive of getting my son ready for school, working (for far less than what I'm should be making), research, looking for a better job, trying to repurchase a house and so forth, my series is still in development.

  • sergio | September 11, 2013 9:33 PM

    We're too busy dealing with life and not so self-centered to think that the entire universe revolves around us that we have to Twitter about every bloody goddamn thing we do to complete strangers to be bothered doing web seires about our relationships.

  • Shak | September 11, 2013 7:15 PMReply

    I completely agree. This show is so unpredictable to me, and I love it. This type of variety speaks to Viola Davis's words when she spoke about being a black actress, but also being an artist and not wanting to be stifled as an artist so as to not offend black people (I'm paraphrasing from that special that Oprah hosted featuring Davis, Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union earlier this year). I'm happy to see so many filmmakers producing and distributing their own work, and I hope more are inspired to go against the grain to explore the variety within our community even more. Let's not be scared, if someone says they don't like it, they still saw it! (And it probably sparked a discussion)

  • CC | September 12, 2013 1:17 AM

    Okay WELL, I see your point but I don't necessarily agree with it. First, 40 year old can write about the lives of 20 year old's because they've lived it AND in many ways they're experiencing it right along with them. On the contrary, the same cannot be said about the lives and abilities of a twenty year old who has not experienced life outside their city or neighborhood (as Sergio stated) or simply because of their limited time on this earth, they just can't go "there".

    In reference to the moderators choices of web series they post and their accompanying commentary, I think it's safe to say over the last few year I've seen and read most of them. Therefore, it's fair for me to say they don't discriminate (showing a vast array of different genres of varying "quality") and each are generally accompanied by a small commentary. Granted, each author has their own style. Some are passive, some are aggressive, some are written in a tongue-n-cheek fashion, some are wordy, some are short, some are confrontational and yes, some do have a "baiting" flavor, but that's what blogs are made for and that's the flavor of black folks. We are not a monolithic group... and "confrontation" has never been our enemy. In fact, our present conversations attests to how "confrontation" and disagreements are the life blood of inspiring conversation. So, in short, Sergio is just doing his job.

    And thanks for joining in.

  • Welll | September 11, 2013 11:42 PM

    I hear ya CC, and I know what you and Sergio are saying, but the point I'm making was just what you said... The life of a 20 year old is going to be totally different from the life of a 40 year old. These are 20 something year old people making web series about a 20 year old's type of life. Unfortunately it's going to not be as appealing to an older audience. Why would you expect these 20 year olds to try to create something they can't understand at this point in their life. A 40 year old would be better at telling the life of a 40 year old. Same thing as if a 40 year old tried to create something geared towards a 20 year old, it may not have the same exact tone/feel as if it were coming from someone that is truly living in their 20s. People should just do what they know, or that they feel they're inspired to tell. Or if they're too many stories from the younger folks, and the site's moderators are tired of them, they shouldn't post them, they should hold out for the 40 year old creator's web series to surface. Oh wait, there are none to select from I guess? My bad.

  • Sergio | September 11, 2013 11:41 PM

    "... all those things only a person who has lived a life can really talk about" Exactly.

    Hey I'm in Chicago so I know what goes on here every single day and if Well.. wants to infer about some 20 year old who has "seen enough bs in their short lives to not be able to write a book about it" that's not living a life. That's living a very sheltered life closed off from the world

  • CC | September 11, 2013 11:02 PM

    " You know people who have lived a life"

    Well Ms Well, if you'd lived a little you would know all the implications of that popular saying, but obviously, based on the details of your misguided rant, you're still wet behind the ears.

    Btw, those kids may be able to write a book, anyone can talk about "pain" and "misery" but you're obviously missing the point. I'd bet my last nickle that in those kid's books there would not be a paragraph on raising children, the pain 2 divorces, the death of a teenage son or daughter, graduating from college, working at the same job for 20 years, dwindling relationship opportunities, changing career paths after losing their job to a younger and/or lower paid worker, waking up and realizing they're not as pretty nor attractive as they once were, etc,etc, etc, all those things only a person who has lived a life can really talk about.

  • Well..... | September 11, 2013 10:36 PM

    Why make the comment? I feel like Rel, if these people are creating THEIR web series, and they want to tell it from the voice of people in their 20s, since that's the world THEY relate to, what's wrong with that? You forget that a lot of these web series are created by actors that are producing things for themselves to star in so that they can get some work in. If this is THEIR story, if it's what's true to them, that's what they need to create. Why pour all your time/effort into something to satisfy someone else? And from an actor's perspective, why create something for 40/50 year olds when you're going to need to cast 40/50 year olds in it? Sergio's comment is basically a contradiction of what you stated in your original post, you want to see more "mature" projects, but when told someone more "mature" needs to create it, you basically say you're too "grown and mature" to worry about needing to create it. A lot of the posts on this site seems to be embedded with personal opinions/attacks from the writer. I don't know if it's to spark attention, or to make people feel a type of way so they go harder in the comments section, I don't know but all of you seems to write from the pretense that you can do no wrong, your opinion is the Gospel, etc etc. And that last bit about "people that have actually lived a life" is just disrespectful. Just because people are younger than others does not mean they have just seen more in life. Yes they have seen more in terms of actually being alive, but you don't now what these people have been through. Take a 20 year old in Chicago. You think some of those kids haven't seen enough bs in their short lives to not be able to write a book about it? I could go on about this all day but that would not help the situation, so I'll stop, my thoughts are all over the place and I'm not editing this rant. LOL

  • JEFTCG | September 11, 2013 5:45 PMReply

    ""..Most of them seem to deal with relationships between 20-something year olds and they’re practically all looking alike with practically the same looking people. (How about a series about relationships between 40 or 50 year olds? You know people who have lived a life?).."

    Cold hard truth.

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