So...when is someone going to make a sitcom about single people that isn’t focused on the fact that they’re single?
When I first heard about Insecure I was so excited; a sitcom written and produced by a Black woman focusing on two Black women who are fly, beautiful, funny, and a little bit awkward? Sign me up immediately! But we’re two seasons deep now and honestly, I’m kind of bored. Everyone’s talking about #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence and I’m over here like #isIssafollowingherdreamsatWeGotYall and #whathappenedtoMolly’scoworkerwhowasn’tcodeswitching?
It’s not Insecure’s fault though, all sitcoms about single people are like this and I find that incredible annoying. I first realized it a couple years ago when I decided to rewatch all of Girlfriends, a show that I remembered being about the sisterhood between a group of beautiful, educated, successful Black women. That kind of representation was so important for a little Black girl, like me, to see at that time. However, watching it as an adult was so disappointing because I realized the majority of the show was about them trying to find men!
Sitcoms that aren’t based on a family dynamic usually focus on a group of single friends as they fumble through love, work, and friendships. But, why does it always feel like “love” is in all caps on these shows and the other aspects of life are just filler? It’s so frustrating to me that Issa and Molly are supposed to be best friends but if you add up the amount of time they spend talking to each other about their love lives vs literally anything else, the disproportion is ridiculous. Is complaining about niggas all that (cis-heteronormative *cough cough*) sisterhood is about? Is love/sex/romance the biggest part of young single people’s lives?
My little cynical, anti-everything self is tempted to roll my eyes, cross my arms and say, “Not I! I’m more interesting than that!” But I don’t know...maybe I’m not. Even though I’ve cut out a lot of those romantical things from my diet now, do I still talk about my lack of participation just as much as others talk about their participation? Do my friends and I discuss relationships more than we talk to each other about work and our art and projects and other feelings? Do I think about love more than I think about the other things that are (supposedly) more important to me? I really want to say HELL NO, but I’m honestly not sure.
And this makes me think about the whole art reflects life vs life reflects art argument. Do shows like Insecure focus so heavily on romantic relationships because it’s reflecting the real life values of real life single young people? Or are single young people so obsessed with love/sex/romance because television and media has brainwashed us into thinking that’s how we’re supposed to be? Y’all can probably guess which one I lean more towards but, who really knows the truth.
What I do know is that I’m tired, and I want to see something new. So, I’m gonna challenge TV writers (if any were to happen upon this humble blog of mine) to write that show. What would a sitcom about a group of single young friends be if you took out or minimized this focus on romantics? What about an asexual or aromantic group of friends? Would we still find it relatable, funny, and entertaining? In the comments below please list any “single friend group” sitcoms that you think do not focus heavily on love/sex/romance. I think Brown Girls could go that direction and I was also thinking about Atlanta, but I actually don’t know what kinda form of TV comedy that show falls under.
*Please do not list TV dramas or family/workplace comedies, that’s not what I asked for*