July 31, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

“Brown Girls” Gets Picked Up by HBO

BY ANNETTE SEMERDJIAN| “Brown Girls” is the latest hit web series to secure a deal with HBO for a feature-length show. The network that brought us “Insecure,” which was based on Issa Rae’s web series

“Awkward Black Girl,” now will bring us another TV show centered on women of color – this time with a distinctly queer emphasis. The creators of “Brown Girls,” writer Fatimah Asghar and director/producer Sam Bailey, created the series early this year about two friends, Patricia and Leila, sorting through their mid-twenties in Chicago.

The show’s popularity has skyrocketed since episodes started airing on Chicago’s Open TV, a platform for queer and intersectional programming. The hilarious, compelling writing along with the comedic performance of the actors, makes for truly binge-worthy TV. Sonia Denis plays Patricia, a black musician and commitment-phobe who’s not afraid to kick a booty-call out of bed and call them an Uber. Nabila Hossain plays Leila, a South Asian Muslim writer who is just coming to terms with her queerness. As Leila deals with her fears around committing to a queer relationship, Patricia encourages her to stay single and remain a part of their “Single Girls Club Forever.”

The story and its characters do not follow the one-dimensional mold that most women of color and queer women get pigeonholed into. Rather, the show focuses on the complicated feelings and situations that women in their twenties deal with while still portraying the specific stories of each woman’s background. Asghar tells Time that “A lot of people come from intersections that get erased on media platforms.” The story of a South Asian Muslim woman who is just accepting her queerness is not one that many people are familiar with, and to tell that story on screen is a triumph for queer women of color in filmmaking. “If we can shed light that these people exist and are real, and have many different personalities, it will expand the definition of what some of these identities mean,” she continued.

The characters’ backgrounds, in terms of religion, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, do not become focal points of the show but rather an amalgamated aspect of the story arc that creates a nuanced and complex telling of the lives of queer women of color.

Bailey tells Paper that the internet and the popularity of web series have created an even playing field for show creators. “It wasn’t until I saw other web series like “Awkward Black Girl,” “The Couple,” and even “Broad City” to a certain extent, that I felt I could have an idea and get it to the masses without outside influences tainting it,” Bailey said. “It makes sense that we do it, and we do it our own way with our community so people don’t water down the story that we want to tell.”

Thanks to independent online platforms like Open TV, audiences get to enjoy diversity in characters without feeling queer-baited into a show that will eventually cut out those resonating characters and storylines. Now, as the number of female-centric stories with women of all backgrounds gain popularity, major networks like HBO are picking them up and the stories that have waited too long to be told are finally hitting the airwaves.

Related Posts

GLAAD Responds To Historic Emmy Noms

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

GLAAD has responded to the historic Emmy nominations after it was announced that out trans actress MJ Rodriguez and out...

MJ Rodriguez Makes History As First Out Trans Woman Emmy Nominee

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Actress Michaela Jaé, formerly known as  MJ Rodriguez, became the first out trans woman performer to be nominated in a...

“Gayest Episode Ever” An LGBTQ+ Podcast

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

Gayest Episode Ever is an LGBTQ+ podcast hosted by journalist Drew Mackie and screenwriter Glen Lakin. The podcast looks at...

Buzzfeed’s Docuseries “The Andrea Mares Project”

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

BuzzFeed’s As/Is presents “The Andrea Mares Project,” a docuseries that shadows Andrea Mares, a trans-feminine Latinx, as she embarks on...

2021 Pride Announces “Thrive With Pride” Theme

May 15, 2021

May 15, 2021

LA Pride has announced its 2021 pride theme this year called “Thrive With Pride”.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in...

Ellen DeGeneres Ending 18 Year Talk Show

May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

After more than 3,000 episodes and 19 seasons it is confirmed that Ellen DeGeneres is ending her talk show The...

Ellen DeGeneres Under Fire For Admitting To Driving Under The Influence

April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021

Ellen DeGeneres is under fire for admitting to driving wife Portia DeRossi to the hospital while under the influence.  While...

Tina Turner Documentary Breaks Records

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Singer, song writer and gay icon Tina Turner released a documentary on HBO Max as a farewell to her fans...

First Gay Teen Captain America Revealed By Marvel

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

Marvel Comics has revealed the first look at a new Captain America who happens to be a gay teen.  The...

32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced a new slate of...

New Grindr TV Show

March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

The popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr is getting its own original scripted TV show set to air this fall. Bridesman...

Anti-LGBTQ Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh Dies At 70

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh died on Feb. 17th from complications of lung cancer at his home in Palm...

Hal Holbrook, Actor Who Played Mark Twain, Dies At 95

February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

Hal Holbrook, the actor best known for his accurate portrayal of Samuel Clemens — better known as Mark Twain —...

Award Decorated Actress, Cloris Leachman, Dead At 94

January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

Cloris Leachman, Oscar and Emmy winning actress, has died at the age of 94 from natural causes at her home...

Iconic Talk Show Host Larry King, An LGBTQ Ally, Dies At 87

January 23, 2021

January 23, 2021

Larry King, the iconic talk show host and LGBTQ ally died on Saturday Jan. 23rd.  A statement was posted on...