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© PULP MAGAZINE | 2019

Why You Should Watch a Black Lady Sketch Show



The first season of Robin Thede’s original HBO’s series, A Black Lady Sketch Show, has recently come to an end. In other words, it's time for you to start binge watching -- ASAP. If you haven't heard of A Black Lady Sketch Show, then you're definitely missing out. Although similar to the likes of SNL and Key and Peele, A Black Lady Sketch Show, however, is filled with influential black women from all corners of Hollywood. From the prominent actresses, Tia Mourey, Angela Bassett, Marsai Martin, Laverne Cox, and Issa Rae to the talented musicians, Kelly Rowland and Patty Labelle, to even Buzzfeed’s very own, Quinta Brunson, representation of all types of black women are portrayed throughout this show, making it unlike anything I've ever seen before.


For too long, black women have been the background characters in so many sketches, comedy shows, and even mainstream media. It took actress and producer Robin Thede, along with Insecure's very own Issa Rae, to produce the first sketch-comedy-show, starting an all black female cast.



While the show is definitely unique for its diverse representation of black women, its strongest asset is the comedy. A Black Lady Sketch Shows episodes are similar to that of Key and Peele, but with a twist of other-worldliness and ridiculous scenarios. From a soul food diner located in purgatory, to a scene of a “bad bitch” support group, the sketches in this show personify the term Black Girl Magic. And if that wasn't enough, the opening credits blast Hot Girl, by Megan the Stallion, as puppet versions of the main characters participate in deviant activities, setting the “Hot Girl Summer” energy of the show.




Before viewing this show, I assumed that it wasn't for me. Although I knew the actresses and liked the message that the show had overall, I didn't feel that I would find it humorous. Nevertheless, I gave it a try and within the first five minutes I knew this would become an easy favorite. Watching this show has made me more aware of the lack of representation in film in regards to telling the different stories of black women. And although the sketches in the show are dramatized, there is a level of truth behind each of the jokes. In one of my favorite sketches, Robin Thede plays the fictional Dr. Hadassah Olayinka Ali-Youngman, a pro-black eccentric character whose beliefs and rhetoric align with the type of community I was raised in. This characterization was hilarious and something I never imagined I would see on screen. Being able to see something that was a part of my early life portrayed to millions in a setting I would’ve never expected made me truly understand representation and what it felt like to see a part of your culture (no matter how dramatized) in the mainstream. That representation of different parts of the black community coupled with a comedic approach make this show a must-watch, and frankly, long overdue.