While the strong black women insignia charades as a compliment, it really pardons the rest of the world of their responsibility to view the black women as vulnerable, able to experience pain, capable of weakness, worthy of support, and unconditionally lovable. – Harlem, Amazon Prime Video
Call me blasphemous, but I am going out on a limb today. Mainly because it’s been a long weekend hiking in the Southern California mountains with the kids. Therefore, I am so ready to purje that delightful pure mountainous air, and dive deep into the thick, polluted city air while bringing momentos of the speedy city life in the Amazon Original Prime Video Series: HARLEM.
Picture the beautiful skyscraper scenery along the notorious Hudson River, within the most notorious borough we call and skyscrapers that all compile that thing we call Manhattan. We newbies call it New York City. Fly up to the northern most part of the borough of Manhattan, or hop on the ONE subway to get there. Then walk a few yards, and you’ll prestigiously find yourself in the culturally historic and diverse city of Harlem.
The Amazon Original Series, Harlem, sets us up with the scenes of four strong American women trying to make it in today’s age, with a sense of humor and dignity to win for their lives and the lives of their future children therein. And herein resides four native Harlem women, determined best friends that are ready to take on the world.
HARLEM is where we find these enthusiastic and ambitious career women that are ready to get their piece of the pie with as much comedic grit as they need to have to get things done as THEY want them to be. In case you didn’t get the memo, woman have choices now. HELLO IS THIS THING ON? We are all trying to get a piece of the American dream of success. These strong women are motivated to pave themselves a chance that no one else would hand them. Written by Tracy Oliver, known for her work on Girls Trip, creates this hilarious, raw experience of a quadrangle of girlfriends. All ambitious, stunning and well-spoken, these women are larger than life characters at the brink of personal, emotional and career-based struggle for competitive change and inherent success. Each women has their unique ways of dealing with conflict, resistance and change, that is a breath of fresh air for the modern day woman.
More raw and edgy than Sex in the City, these four women pass the time fighting for their success, while keeping their cool with the emotional support as challenging dilemmas ensue while their friends and family get their backs. Let me dive into the diverse characters we have at hand.
First is none other than Camille, the type-A, well-educated and determined adjunct professor looking to become a full-time professor at Columbia University. She has a student in class that tries to date her, but due to the school policy the teacher student relationship is frowned upon. Her student switches classrooms to ask Camille on a date. Once he keeps trying and trying to get her on a date (finding her at the gym, the supermarket and the university), she ends up accepting his courtship only to come to an awkward an absolutely must-see AND revolting awkward sexual experience that made her run for the mountain peaks. She is really thinking hard lately about her ex-boyfriend. She runs into his mother and she invites her to a family celebration party. She accepts thinking that her ex wouldn’t be there but lo and behold he is and worse than that, he is there with his fiancé. The fundraiser turns into a mini engagement celebration that turns awkward. And quick at that. It all turns into a completely difficult situation for her. We see Camille’s love for her ex and her regret when she decided to leave him. We learn more as her unique story evolves.
Moving on to the BADASS designer of the group, we would be corny and correct that Quinn is the quintessential bold badass that we all LOVE to HATE. Skinny, rich, fashionably more noble than thou that owns a clothing store that’s staying afloat only by the boat of her mother’s checkbook and nasty remarks to mash it all up. Quinn feels less than when she has to ask her mom for a check, but she is determined to be the fashionista she dreamed of being as a child. This old money mega-rich, clothing store designer’s bad mom relationship reminds us all of the mother we never wanted. Her mother is competitive with her in every single way from her weight to her looks, she is envious of her beauty and is ready to go face-to-face, tit-for-tat, to be the QUEEN B of Harlem. A serial dater and chooser of unstable, disingenuous men (including one that robs her purse when she goes to the ladies room) he says money can’t buy great relationships.
Tyesha, and less formally known as Tye, owns the ad tech company Q dating app for LGBTQ folks. She dates as many girls as possible to grab that perfect fit, but has yet to find the one. Once she passes out at the airport as is sent to the hospital to remove an unknown ovarian cyst gone wild, we come to find that she married a man named Brandon before she came out of the closet and he still was listed as the emergency contact to approve surgery while she was unconscious. Luckily Tye is okay, but the doctor does recommend a hysterectomy. Removing her ovaries would mean she would not be able to have kids, and she is not sure she wants to succumb to this state yet. Even though she hasn’t truly found the one yet, she wants to remain fertile and intact. Tye has ovarian cysts and fibroids however, and her best shot at a cancer-free life is having this dangerous, and potentially life-threatening surgery.
Angie is the extreme comedian, funny girl that we all love and have in our girl gangs. She is the fairy tale, happy ending fairy godmother friend you want to keep at the end of the movie for all those heartwarming, funny puns. This up-and-coming actress slash singer loves to crash on Camille’s couch too. She quotes things like, ‘you got to check in on your strong friends,’ and clever diddies like ‘why are we the ones who always have to apologize when we are hurting?’
HARLEM dives into the lives of 4 single, successful women that are figuring it out, one day at a time. I am going full on Paula Abdul in the late 80’s today when I say ‘Straight Up Now Tell Me’ that this series the best thing you’ve seen since sliced bread. I mean, common now guys. This is good. I am channeling the pure glee and similar rapture that I felt on Season 2 of Sex in the City as the series unravels. And in my early single, year of 2000 life, my inner femme fatale gets it as like a phoenix out of the ashes here I am, and here we go on a new journey of love and light. HARLEM has true love, controversy and raw female edge that embodies the new ambitious American woman. That is ready and willing to fight with the will to win it all on pure grit and hard work. I would go even further to say that it is better than Sex and the City itself. My best friend MAY defriend me due to this controversial statement, however today, I came, I saw, I conquered and binged the whole season in three sittings.
I will end this with restating what one episode so boldly proclaimed: Until the black woman is allowed to reject this demand for strength, she will never truly experience her own humanity.
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