I came across raving reviews for The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG) a couple times this week, and finally took some time to watch it last night. As my fiancé snored next to me, I was laughing, screaming “I know, riiight?” and saying “uhh uuh!” throughout the 6 mini-episodes. I decided to save episode 7 (which was in such high demand, that when it aired, it crashed the “Watch Party” website) for today, but first made my mom and fiancé watch the first 6 with me. Together, we laughed, related to her awkward misadventures, and said, “Uhh uuh!”
The reasons why this show is better than any other (mis) representation of people of color on network television run plenty. If you’re awkward (which describes most of the company I keep), you’ll relate to the protagonist, Jay (played by the show’s creator, Issa Rae), and her inner narrative, which runs in the backward as we watch her do things we have all done before. You know, like trying to recover from waving at someone who, actually, was not waving at you, or unsuccessfully pretending you have swag at a party when you feel completely out of place. Continuing the relatable factor, you will probably find that some of the cast members are like characters in your own life—her problematic white boss with braids has made many appearances in my life.
All the delightfully staged awkward moments aside, one of the most endearing nuances of Jay’s character is that when she’s alone in her room, she raps.
But the thing you need to understand is, Jay is like me. I’m assuming she’s college educated, she has probably been accused of “talking white,” and as the title of the show indicates, she’s awkward. So, when a cover-your-eyes bit of awkwardness then cuts to her expressing her emotions vis-a-vis self-written rap lyrics, you can’t help but cry, “Yes!”
And don’t get it twisted—we’re not talking “treat-me-like-I’m-a-Nubian-Queen” spoken word type of rhymes, but good ‘ol raunchy, angry “suck-my @##?!!” Lil’ Kim gangsta rap. There’s nothing more golden than watching a relatable character valley girl her way out of mis-happenings, and then watch her go hard on her “microphone,” which, I think, is a pen, or sometimes a travel size hairspray bottle.
This, my friends, is entertainment, and Hip Hop at its best.
If you want to find out why The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl tickles me, my mom, my fiancé, and my awkward friends (as well as other viewers), check out episode 1 (below) or go to http://awkwardblackgirl.com/. I doubt you won’t make it to episode 7.