Issa Rae's Idea To Create Shows Like 'Gossip Girl' For Black Teenagers Is Both Necessary & Brilliant
From The Mis-Adventures Of Awkward Black Girl to HBO's Insecure, anything that comes from the brain of creator Issa Rae is pretty much gold. The television breakout star sat down with The New Yorker recently, among other talents like Broad City's Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, and was tasked with delivering a show idea that was "left-field." And though a few pitches were a bit inconceivable — like My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator Rachel Bloom's claymation about boobs teaching grammar — Rae's dream to create a show like Gossip Girl for black teens is oh-so necessary.
Rae's potential brain-child would be along the lines of a 90210, but placed in predominantly black and affluent cities like California's Ladera Heights and Windsor Hills, and Maryland's Potomac. The show would be centered around the privileged lives of black teenagers. And she's not talking reality television like BET's 2007 show Baldwin Hills. Rae is thinking of a totally scripted phenomenon. While explaining the gist of the show on camera, Rae said,
"I don't think since, I would say, like Moesha have we followed the lives of black teens. So, like, where's our Gossip Girl?"
And sure, the pitch was laced with sarcasm, but fans of Rae's productions know that there's a bit of truth hidden within her explanation.
Joking or not, Rae certainly made an awesome point: TV hasn't really explored the lives of black teenagers since the early 2000s with shows like Moesha and Sister, Sister. Not to mention that diversity in television was an even bigger issue then than it is today.
And although black entertainment is in the midst of a brilliant resurgence with shows like Atlanta, Queen Sugar, and Insecure, having scripted coming-of-age series that tell of the growing pains of black teenagers — both comical and dramatic — is also needed.
With every idea spewed or production aired, Rae continues to show that she knows just what her fans want and need to see. Who knows, maybe someone will actually convince her that she should bring this show idea to fruition. Because with her potential working-titles of Ladera Heights 90041 and Potomac Maryland 20854, this black 90210-Gossip Girl mashup seems like even more of a possibility.