Welcome to the Weekend Binge. Every Friday, we’ll suggest a binge-able title designed to keep you from getting too stir crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.
The Underrated: Twenties
Leave it to Lena Waithe to create a show this funny, and this unapologetically gay. Twenties follows the lives of three African-American women trying to make it in Los Angeles: Marie (Christina Elmore), a TV executive; Nia (Gabrielle Graham), a yoga teacher, and Hattie (Jonica Gibbs), an aspiring screenwriter and proud, butch lesbian. While Marie and Nia deal with the usual woes of dating and balancing a career, Hattie’s life is a constant scandal. Struggling with her own lack of direction and motivation would be bad enough. She also ends up having affairs with several “straight” women, including her boss, has to deal with racist and sexist condescension in the workplace, and has a tendency to speak her mind. Naturally, in the yes-men world of Hollywood, that gets her in trouble.
Twenties has a definite Sex and the City vibe to it: the Hattie-Marie-Nia trifecta reminds us a good deal of Carrie & the gang, though the characters in Twenties are far more grounded. Hattie, in dealing with her personal struggles, has much greater depth as a character than Carrie Bradshaw, who only seemed concerned with men and fashion accessories. By contrast, Hattie will both infuriate and inspire viewers with her mix of self-defeating vices, grit, and penchant for making women swoon. She’s the kind of character too little seen on the screen, one whom viewers could easily envision as a brilliant, if frustrating, friend who is always a good time. Credit Waithe’s writing, and Gibbs’ winning performance (which was nominated for a Queerty Award) for that one. Original, funny and at times a bit too real to anyone that has worked in Hollywood, we offer up Twenties as a refreshing look at showbiz aspirations, and gay life.
Streams on BET, Amazon, YouTube, AppleTV+ and VUDU.