Imagine a world where stories of women, queers, and people of color were put in the forefront. OpenTV, a production platform empowering these types of individuals, is giving us this reality with Brown Girls.
Brown Girls tells the stories of two friends and young women of color in their mid-twenties exploring their own lives romantically, creatively, and honestly in Chicago. Although a simple concept, it is part of a wave to increase representation in storytelling – stories about queerness, blackness, and other non-conventional identities.
Directed by Sam Bailey and written by Fatimah Asghar, a poet, performer, educator, and member of the Dark Noise Collective, a spoken word group that focuses on race, gender, religious exploration, and truth telling, this series should not only be critically aware and relatable but also give us that intersectional feminism that is missing in so many of the shows about women in popular media. Think Girls and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – this show may offer an alternative to many individuals who often become hopeful with increased visibility of women storytellers in media but are left feeling disappointed when these shows sometimes perpetuate racism and many other problematic hegemonic ideologies.
The production team also mirrors the cast and those we will see in the series and is filled with queer, feminine, and/or brown artists. In their GoFundme campaign Director Sam Bailey stated, “I believe that the production team should reflect, as much as possible, the story they’re telling and I’m lucky to have put together a crew that does just that.”
This web series should give us hope and show us an alternative way to showcase different narratives. Web series offer the unique opportunities to make filmmaking more accessible, expand past the limited number of slots available on television networks, and offer an alternative to problematic and limited representations of race, gender, and sexuality in media.
Brown Girls drops on OpenTV February 2017 so make sure to check out the trailer, listen to the lovely sounds of Jamila Wood whose music will be featured on the web series, and check out the many queer and people of color friendly shows that are currently showcased on OpenTV. With a trailer whose opening line is “You gotta stop eating dirty butt,” Brown Girls will surely be a show you don’t want to miss.