L is for Living Single #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

April 14, 2021

I rewatched Living Single (Hulu) over the winter, and I regret nothing.

living single cast

For one thing, I couldn’t remember if I had seen all of the episodes before or not, and it turns out that–much like with The Bernie Mac Show–I had seen almost all of them. I went to college before the last couple of seasons aired, which is why I have less memory of them, but DON’T YOU WORRY. I can still quote the pilot episode almost verbatim. There are so many great lines and exchanges in the first episode alone. I mean, it’s really solid.

“What do you think the world would be like without men?”

“A bunch of fat, happy women and no crime.”

“And he just up and left, just packed his raggedy old duffle bag and left…

Also this whole exchange!

There’s more, but the two quotes I use all the time are “He’s a man. They never vary from the script” and “Nothing. I’m just lying, trying to get attention again.”

So, anyway, that’s just the pilot, and the show more than delivers on the promise of that pilot and has lots of other memorable lines and exchanges.

The show is about six twenty-something single friends in New York City that are a combination of childhood friends, college friends, and a pair of cousins, and if that sounds familiar, that’s because Living Single was the prototype for Friends, which has been well-documented both here and here:

So, if you have watched Friends and not watched Living Single, you might as well go on ahead and rectify that right now.

The characters are so fun, and I really dig it because it’s like hanging out with actual people I know–especially Regine who reminds me of one of my childhood friends. I love that all of the characters are pursuing careers that they’re actually invested in and that one of the characters is a handyman and that’s not portrayed as less than or something to be ashamed of. Do I have a favorite character? Yes. Is it all of them? No, of course not, but I do like them all a whole bunch.

The show is so fun and funny, and I could watch it all over again right now and be perfectly happy doing so. Also, unlike many of the Black sitcoms made today, this one is completely uninterested in the white gaze, so focuses on the characters as people, not as spokespeople for Blackness or the Black community and do not treat Blackness as something that needs to be explained. Oh, we just did not know how good we had it in the ’90s, huh?

So I suggest you make some new friends and hang out in a New York brownstone while we wait for the rest of this pandemic to be over.

Oh, and once again, I dare you not to get this theme song stuck in your head. It’s a bop!

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have decided that I’m going to focus on comfort reads/watches as we enter our second (!) April in the pandemic. Tune in tomorrow to see what I choose for M!

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