If there ever was a show that positively represented the elements of what Black relationships should be, then YouTube sensation ‘The Couple’ is that show.
‘The Couple’ is apart of Black and Sexy TV, a network that was created by Numa Perrier and Dennis Dortch. According to its website, it is “a network established to provide viewing audiences a more accurate depiction of black culture.” It also says their shows focus on love and relationships in the Black community.
The show is compiled of web episodes and mini episodes all centered on a Black couple and the daily situations they go through, which can be anything and everything. It can be as simple as a living situation like which side of the bed to sleep on to a controversial text message that paint a simple picture for the audience: it could relate to your relationship too! In fact, Black and Sexy TV gets more than 2 million views on their videos, with ‘The Couple’ getting hundreds of thousands of views in itself.
The inspiration behind the episodes of ‘The Couple’ is what makes the show unique. One of the creators, Jeanine Daniels says it was her own life experiences that sparked the inspiration for the creation of the show. More specifically, it was when Daniels was living with her boyfriend and his roommate at the time where inspiration hit.
“It was just really weird because I had never lived with a guy before and I was writing all these things down and I would tell Dennis about all the random stuff that was happening, funny stuff. And I had this idea in my head that there needs to be a show about a couple, not just a story, but all the things that couples go through.”
She continued, “There has to be a show about how these two characters in my head—an anal jock and a really artsy chick are together and how a lot of random stuff happens. When I pitched the idea to the group, they were like yeah, let’s do it.”
Those experiences were the talk of a typical conversation with the creators of the show Dennis Dortch and Jeanine Daniels and the cast who plays the couple in the show, Numa Perrier and Desmond Faison, who had previously been friends before the creation of the show.
As Daniels explained the guy who became the inspiration for the show, Dennis shockingly said, “Oh Wow, I didn’t know that!” as he laughed.
While speaking to all four you can tell that there is some major chemistry going on. I wasn’t even able to tell if the two actors for ‘The Couple’, both Faison and Perrier, weren’t an actual couple in real life! Unfortunately, they weren’t able to disclose that information because they are on contract, but either way, they had me beat!
Because of that chemistry and how relatable the show is, Dortch says the show is a success, but for more than just those reasons.
“It is a success because its accessible, relatable and I think also because you don’t have to follow every single story. You could drop it and you could’ve seen 10 of them out of 20 and still feel like you know the show and you know them,” Dortch said.
Not only that, but Dortch also says ‘The Couple’ is different from other Black shows because of their cast.
“It’s a collaboration where people are bringing themselves to the table. Both Desmond and Numa bring something that’s unique that we discover as we shoot,” he said.
According to Dortch, who directs and edits the episodes, editing the episodes down is more tedious than the actors actually performing in front of the camera. They are given a description of the episode and do not use scripts; everything is done free style. Not only that, but ‘The Couple’ uses the actors’ apartments and former apartments to shoot the episodes.
“It’s a little funny because we shoot in my old apartment in Korea Town for The Couple and now my friend lives there, so sometimes that gets a little weird because it’s like I’m taking over that place again,” Perrier laughs.
The creators of the show were purposeful for those locations being that they wanted to create a more intimate and realistic setting. The surrounding being realistic caters to the scenes being realistic, which are all made up of ideas or actual experiences. All of these factors set up a platform for the audience to react to, which the creators and actors say they love and encourage feedback. In fact, according to Dortch and Pierrer, viewers tend to take sides. Dortch says this can be in part because large portions of their viewers tend to be women.
“However you set it up, the audience is going to play into it. If you set it up to take sides, they will happily take a side. From episode to episode it will be his side or my side, but if we’re together then all of our past transgressions don’t matter, they love us,” Perrier added.
“Between the two of us, 80% think I’m right,” Desmond joked.
Having an online show allows ‘The Couple’ to take in their feedback, which enables them to see what their audience likes. They say that their success online is their main focus.
“This is really where the future is, online. Production companies and studios are starting to throw a lot of money into this, so we’re sort of looking at it with two lenses. We’re not just looking at it as a means to end up getting to TV,” Dortch said.
Currently ‘The Couple’ is in its second season. Episodes are slowing down a bit, but it’s because Black and Sexy TV has a movie getting filmed this summer that will be a spin-off of ‘The Couple’. So if you already loved the realistic nature of this web-based show, looks like you’ll have something more to look forward to!
Go to www.youtube.com and type ‘The Couple Black and Sexy TV’ into your search bar and see with your own eyes what this popular show is all about.
by Nicole Williams, Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel
There is much you can say about LisaRaye. You can say that she always looks good – because she does – when she steps out on the red carpet and at galas globally. From her hair to her shoes, this style diva has what it takes to move forward in the entertainment world of television, film and beyond.
LisaRaye is currently preparing to film season 3 of the break out hit VH1 series, “Single Ladies,” starring opposite Charity Shea and DB Woodside and produced by Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment. The comedic drama follows three best friends with different philosophies on sex and relationships. LisaRaye plays ‘Keisha,’ a former video vixen who’s always on the prowl for a man to keep her in style. With much anticipation of a third season, viewers will see how the heroic LisaRaye has finally come full circle in her journey.
We all know that LisaRaye and her cast mates always look fabulous in whatever they wear on each episode. During our interview, many style facts were revealed that relates to the dresses she wears, to the shoes she loves, to the car styles she prefers.
I asked LisaRaye, “What car would best exemplify your daily style?” She said that BMW is her current preference. However, LisaRaye said she still holds her first car – a Toyota Celica – in high esteem. She said she loved the automobile style of her car at the time and still, to this day, swears that the quality of service was exceptional at Toyota. As for a woman and her car, the automotive style choices sometimes change over time.
As our conversation moved deep into the direction of style, LisaRaye said she is a big fan of a few key colors: dark hunter green, yellow, lavender and white. Her five favorite shoe designers are Giuseppe Zanotti, Rene Caovilla, Sergio Rossi, Casadei and Manolo Blahnik. For a moment, as LisaRaye and I were conversing about her shoes, she was looking through her closet identifying her favorites among the many in her shoe collection. I giggled and briefly had a flashback to my fond memories of watching Sarah Jessica Parker who portrayed the lead character Carey Bradshaw in the Sex and the City television series.
For all the women who adore shoes, you know exactly what it’s like to be in a shoe store and shop for shoes. The sheer excitement of having amazing shoes – as LisaRaye so eloquently shared with me – was enough to get me daydreaming about a future shoe-shopping experience.
As for perfume, her favorites are My Life perfume by Mary J. Blige, Mary Kay’s Angel Fire, Jo Malone, Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau de Toilette and Jeans Couture Perfume by Gianni Versace. Jeans Couture Perfume – a glamorous fragrance for women – has a scent that carries a blend of orange flower, plum, freesia, iris, black jasmine, musk, heliotrope and sandalwood. LisaRaye’s sense of style in relation to her favorite fashion designers are Tom Ford suits for women, Diane von Furstenberg’s selection of signature wrap dresses, Stella McCartney, Mui Mui and Elie Tahari dresses.
The good news shared – LisaRaye will launch her own hair care product line sometime in August. She notes that women are always reinventing their hairstyles and that she will be providing a great hair care line of products suitable for women with and without weaves. She said favorite hair care products are Infusium 23 Repair & Renew Leave-in Treatment by Infusium 23, Nioxin Scalp Treatment System and Mizani HRM (Humidity Resistant Mist) Hairspray.
When LisaRaye attends gala’s and or special red carpet events, she is usually styled in diamonds to compliment her fashion styling. There are two specialty jewelry designers that she fancies currently – Glynneth B and Twisted Jewelry. Both have great everyday and special occasion jewelry many can add to their day or evening attire.
In closing, LisaRaye continues to use her celebrity status to highlight issues close to her heart. She is the global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® foundation and is passionate about the organization’s mission to promote early detection and screenings for women.
In addition, she created the Miss Rayediant Jewels teen pageant to mentor an boost the self-esteem of girls in the 13-15 age range. LisaRaye resides in Los Angeles and is a proud mother to daughter, Kai. Stay tuned for additional episodes of the VH1 Series, “Single Ladies” coming soon. Link into the online website for more about the show at http://www.vh1.com/shows/single_ladies/season_1/series.jhtml
by Lela Christine, Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Wave
Wayans. The mere mention of the name likely brings to mind the talented siblings who took Hollywood by storm in the 1990’s and successfully created a dynasty that traversed the decade and reigns to this day. Determined to carry the torch, the latest generation of Wayans is working hard to earn their rightful place on the throne.
Says Damien, “There was always a misconception of what it’s like being a Wayans or a second generation Wayans. A lot of people thought we were just born into money and it was like—nope—it was a tough road, a tough journey.” But the Wayans are nothing if not tough. The new kids on the Wayans family block have taken the popular misconception of a cookie cutter lifestyle and capitalized on it, resulting in the launch of BET’s Second Generation Wayans show.
“You know, me and my cousin Craig [who co stars in the show] were project kids, project bred—we were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths,” Damien reveals. People look at you in a good light sometimes and people look at you in a negative light sometimes. Because you are a Wayans, they expect you to be [like] your family at times. We’re trying to carve our own name and ground ourselves, like our uncles grounded themselves.”
In keeping with family tradition Marlon Wayans, Damien’s uncle, is one of the executive producers for Second Generation Wayans. The show, which Damien says is largely based on real life experiences, reflects years of the ups and downs, successes and failures which he and the younger Wayans have experienced while trying to break into showbiz. Because ‘elders’ Shawn, Keenen, and Marlon have frequently appeared in the spotlight, the assumption is that the entire Wayans family is solidly linked into the film industry. With Second Generation Wayans Damien, his cousin Craig, and Uncle Marlon wanted to dispel that notion and portray the true path which the younger generation has taken.
“Hollywood is a very fickle town,” explains Damien. “It’s a very ‘What have you done today?’ type of town especially now a days. They’re not making certain types of movies like they used to. Sometimes you feel like Hollywood is its own clique, so that’s why I’m happy I got my clique—my Wayans clique!”
Underneath it all is the rocky, albeit quirky, and genuine love that is the glue that bonds the Wayans together.
“It’s always fun being able to do what you love, and my family is my best friend; so throughout the years that I’ve been working with family it has kind of become second nature. You know, we have our arguments; we have our disagreements, but at the core of it all we are family, and we love to have fun with each other.”
Outside of the show when he’s not working out at a spin class, or chowing down on some Crazy Rocking Sushi on Santa Monica Boulevard, he’s writing and working on projects for his production company. In addition to developing a movie, he’s also directing a six part You Tube web series called That’s a Friend. The series is designed to make viewers beg the question “Is my friend really ride or die?”
“It’s about putting your friend to the ultimate test,” says Damien. “So if you’ve ever wondered, ‘How ride or die would my friend really be in a time of need?’ we take scenarios and we see how ride or die that friend really is.”
The multifaceted Damien Wayans is slowly proving his staying power in this industry, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is indeed a ride or die Wayans.
by Chelsea Battle, Special to the NNPA from the LA Watts Times
(Photo: Damien Wayans (left) Craig Wayans (right))
Vanessa Lynn’s “Boss Lady” is more than a play, it’s an experience.
After viewing “Boss Lady” at its premier on April 13 at the Midtown Arts Cinema it left me inspired, cleansed, rejuvenated and so much more.
In the play viewers not only learn what a “Boss Lady” is but will be taken on a ride on the road to becoming a “Boss Lady” and go down all its many twists and turns, its highs and its lows.
Boss lady is also a tale of a woman who is on a mission to becoming more than a music mogul; she has her mind set on becoming nothing less than a “Boss”.
Essentially, the play depicts the lives of everyday Black issues in the inner city and Lynn illustrates the struggles that come with that environment very passionately and without any room to question her authority on the subject.
Drugs, death, greed, money, hustling, success, failures, love, conviction, forgiveness and even the gospel are all discussed in such a way that it leaves the viewers entertained and emotional.
The play had so many twists and turns that when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did and when you thought the story was told, there was more to it—lots more.
I must commend Vanessa Lynn for having the guts to write such a play as she can definitely help other urban play writers carry the torch that was left behind by Tyler Perry who has shifted his sights to films.
As a viewer one can tell she put her heart in every line because, from one heart to another, it is very hard not to connect with each of the characters and the truth of the story.
Additionally, the cast members did a phenomenal job of breathing life into the characters they played, the story they told and the message they portrayed.
The cast’s amazing performances show that they believed in the story and they knew how powerful its message is.
Anyone looking to support urban playwrights like Lynn who are looking to change the way the “chitlin’ circuit” – which she describes in detail in her book ‘Beyond the Chitlin’ Circuit: The Urban Playwrights Guide’ – is perceived and work hard to bring black stories to the stage, I highly recommend “Boss Lady”.
However, be warned you will are not watching a mere play, you are watching a play with a purpose and the experience is indeed mind blowing and definitely life changing.
Presented by Myx lounge, Monday’s “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” season two press reception was an exclusive premiere for members of the press to meet the LHHATL cast and to preview the show to give viewers an idea of what’s to come in the upcoming season. Season two premieres April 22.
One thing viewers should know is that if LHHATL delivered last year it will definitely bring the drama in season two and the event was indicative of that.
All of the cast members of the show were at the Creme Ultra Lounge premiere including new cast members Traci Steele and DJ Babey Drew who are both DJs and radio personalities at Hot 107.9. However, Lil Scrappy, K. Michelle and Karlie Redd were all no shows.
When asked where the missing members were the cast was quick to respond, “You will have to see the show to find out why they are not here.”
Nonetheless, the drama did not stick to the script. Even the drama that viewers witness on the show, with Stevie J, Mimi and Joseline, was brought to the event as it was evident that Mimi and Joseline had no problem showing their disregard for one another.
And just like in the show, Stevie J appeared to feed off of the feuding and proceeded to pay Mimi a compliment on her shoes to which she responded, “Whatever, [expletive]. Just keep them checks coming [expletive].”
Mona Scott-Young, the mastermind behind the “Love and Hip Hop” series, which is in its third season, was at Monday night’s event in a non-dramatic fashion. As one of the show’s executive producers, Scott-Young took to the VIP area to greet her LHHATL crew and to welcome the crowd.
After Scott-Young’s introduction came the preview of episode one of season twos’ LHHATL and below is a breakdown of what is to come:
The show picks up after last year when Scrappy proposes to Erica and shows Shay’s response to the proposal. Season two attempts to shed more light on the feelings that Shay is trying to come to terms with, as it relates to her love and friendship with Lil Scrappy. She ultimately seeks counsel from Momma Dee, who supports her and her feelings for Scrappy.
Although Scrappy was a no-show for the event, he was a constant factor between Erica and Shay who wanted to share more on the issue but ended their nearly volatile debate with “watch the show to see what happens.”
But it was clear that Shay had some dealings with Scrappy since the proposal and all of that would be exposed in the upcoming season.
In response to the back and forth between Shay and Erica, Momma Dee, who was fiercely dressed and one to watch during the event, was not hesitant to share with the press that she was a “mother first and would do anything to protect her son.”
Benzino helped to kick off the first episode and makes his contribution to the Joseline and Stevie J drama. Although there was not much time dedicated to him in the first episode, his appearance was significant and helped fuel more drama in the pair that viewers can’t seem to get enough of.
K Michelle, who was not present at the event was debuted on the first episode and definitely gives viewers a dramatic update on her life since the last season. She does all but shut a spot down when attempting to resolve an issue that took place after season one ended.
Although only a few of the cast members were featured in the episode, it made the second episode a must see.
Season two will give viewers more insight on what happened after the reunion, what happened as a result of the popularity of the show and the events that occurred while taping the show. Big events such as Kirk and Rasheeda’s pregnancy are in store. (Rasheeda looked very pregnant on Monday, by the way.) All those details and many more will give viewers much to tune into on April 22 at 8 p.m. ET on VH1.
“Watch it,” said Mona Young-Scott about season two. “We didn’t know there was going to be a season two but there is and we out did ourselves.”
Rapper-singer Lauryn Hill is set to be sentenced for tax evasion next week. In a last minute attempt for leniency, Hill filed documents to further explain why she failed to file tax returns from 2005 to 2007. During that time, she earned $1.8 million.
According to TMZ, Hill says that she feared for her safety and the well-being of her family. Hill went on to explain that her fear led her to withdraw, “from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family.”
Last year, Hill pled guilty and faces more than three years in prison. Hill is asking the judge to take into consideration that she can pay off the debt much faster if she’s a free woman, along with several other factors.
NeNe Leakes has become the consensus star of the reality series “The Real Housewives” and she has reportedly also become the highest paid star of the franchise. According to reports, Leakes inked a $1 million deal plus bonuses to return for the sixth season of RHOA.
Before last season, Leakes claimed to be unsure of her future on the show. Since then she has appeared with recurring roles on shows such as "Glee" and "The New Normal."
A few months ago, Leakes revealed that she would indeed return for another season, claiming that the money was “too good to pass up.”
After making his acting debut on CBS’ comedy “2 Broke Girls,” Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz is returning to the small screen for a guest role on “Law & Order: SVU.”
Aside from his character’s name, NBC has not allowed anymore details to be released. The rapper will play a man named Calvin "Pearlie" Jones.
Scenes were shot earlier this week in New York City and the rapper posted photos of him on set with the cast including Ice-T and his “new boo” Mariska Hargitay.
There has been no word on when the episode will air.
Do not annoy Jay-Z.
The rapper has recorded a song that appears to take on those who criticized his recent trip to Cuba with wife Beyoncé.
Hip-hop site Global Grind reported that Jay-Z recorded "Open Letter" Wednesday night after seeing that their visit was the lead story on CNN.com.
The couple ventured to Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary in a trip that the United States Treasury Department says was sanctioned.
But it's clear the superstar rapper has taken umbrage at all of the attention and controversy surrounding the jaunt to the communist country, which is currently under a U.S. travel embargo. The tune includes the lyrics, "Obama said, 'chill you gon' get me impeached. You don't need this s**t anyway. Chill with me on the beach.'"
Jay-Z also addresses his reported plan to sell his shares in the Nets basketball team in order to allow his new sports agency to actively recruit ball player clients.
"Would've brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free," he raps. "Except I made millions off you f***ing dweebs. I still own the building. I'm still keeping my seats. Y'all buy that bulls*** y'all better keep y'all receipts."
Listen to the song here:
The story on Global Grind (which is headed by rap impresario Russell Simmons) also contains photos of the rap superstar in the studio with hip-hop producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, who are believed to have worked on the track.
By Lisa Respers France
Radric Davis, also known as rapper Gucci Mane, was indicted Tuesday on one count of aggravated assault.
Davis' charge follows after an incident in March at Harlem Nights on Courtland St., where he is alleged to have hit a soldier in the head with a champagne bottle.
According to WSB, the soldier was hit while requesting to take a picture with the rap artist.
"I'm in the military. I wanted to get a picture with Gucci Mane, is it OK?" the soldier said to a security guard.
The soldier was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after the altercation where he received 10 stitches.