Smart. Sexy. Miserable?
Those are the three words I use to describe the cast of OWN’s new reality series Love in the City.
The dearth of non-catty, educated Black women on reality television had me excited about watching OWN’s latest coup. But for some reason, I thought that when I found a show with the perfect medley of dynamic women something else would naturally be included: happiness. Love in the City dispels my assumption. The show centers around hair stylist Kiyah Wright, and her three New York-based buddies Bershan Shaw, Tiffany Jones and Chenoa Maxwell.
None of them seems truly happy.
Each of these ladies is fabulous in her own way. They have awesome careers. They’re fiercely loyal to each other. They also have men who are interested in being in committed relationships with them. Still, none of these women have a life I would want to emulate because they all seem fundamentally dissatisfied, and I find it very saddening.
Every time I watch the show I get Haagen Daz vanilla chocolate chip ice cream — the perfect snack for a gripe session. I realize it’s because for me the show makes it seem like being a Black woman is synonymous with struggle. Each of these ladies is battling a catastrophe — infertility, cancer, divorce, abandonment — that I find disheartening and somewhat uninspiring. Now, I’ve had my share of hardship. And I’ve even had friends who’ve battled hardship. But I’ve never had ALL of my friends experiencing life-altering, depressing and disappointing transitions at the same damn time.
While I love that the show wants highlight the challenges that women in their 40s encounter, I want to see some non-superficial, happily ever after stuff in our stories too. I know women who have that. And they are brown. So since I’ve seen it, touched it and lived it, I want it reaffirmed in the media. Executives please note: I want to watch a show with a bit of drama, complemented by happiness of equal stature (READ: not from shoes or clothes). Where are the girlfriends that have happy marriages, good jobs, fab clothes and just everyday drama? I’d love that show. I’d watch it religiously. Most important, I’d buy everything advertised while it was on.
Love in the City airs Saturdays, 10pm ET on OWN.