April 16, 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

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...

Betty White Will Celebrate 99th Birthday In Quarantine

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Gay Icon and legendary actress Betty White turns 99 on Jan. 17th and has some wild plans to mark the...

L.A. Makeup Artist Is First Trans Man To Compete On “RuPauls Drag Race”

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The cast of RuPauls Drag Race Season 13 has been announced this week revealing its first trans man contestant will...

Real Housewives Star Comes Out As A Lesbian

December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

Braunwyn Windham-Burke star of Real Housewives of Orange County has come out as a lesbian.  In an interview with GLAAD...

East Hollywood Man Appearing on Wheel Of Fortune

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Tim Quinn, an East Hollywood resident, will be a contestant on the hit TV show Wheel of Fortune on Wednesday,...

Anne Heche Eliminated From DWTS

October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

After four weeks on season 29 of the ABC reality dance competition Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) Anne Heche has...

An Apologetic Ellen DeGeneres Returns To Daytime TV

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Using technology to it’s advantage for its 18th season The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned to a virtual studio audience on...

Local L.A. Woman Appearing On Wheel Of Fortune

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Local Los Angeles woman, Julie Reyes, will be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, the longest-running syndicated game show in...