The actresses in the show sit on the giant title on a pale pink background.


Title: A Black Lady Sketch Show (Seasons #1-3)
Released: 2019

Fix: You Want To Laugh, Black Joy, Celebrating Black Voices
Platform: HBOMax

HBOMax Summary:

A half-hour sketch comedy written by and starring Robin Thede.

FYA Summary:

There isn’t enough emphasis in the realm of comedy on women’s voices, and definitely not Black female voices, which is a damned shame because they are freaking FUNNY. The comedy in this show isn’t afraid to GO there, and you’ll find a wide variety of topics, unique perspectives, original scenarios and parodies. All the writing and directing credits are attributed to Black women, which is awesome and still rare enough that I think it deserves to be mentioned and celebrated.

Each season is only 6 half-hour episodes, so it’s a low commitment but high-reward as you will definitely laugh multiple times during each episode. They also reward continued viewing with some running storylines, particularly one about the group stuck inside a house after the apocalypse supposedly killed everything, that twist and turn throughout multiple seasons.

Familiar Faces:

Robin Thede, Quinta Brunson, Gabrielle Dennis, Ashley Nicole Black, Skye Townsend as Various Characters

This show is Robin Thede’s baby, and while I hadn’t heard of her specifically prior to watching this, her name looks to be connected with TONS of writing credits for various comedians, news shows, and more. This woman is a freaking chameleon when it comes to her characters. She commits to a bit 100% and I love it. A good chunk of my enjoyment is simply waiting to see how she transforms herself for the next sketch. One of my recurring faves is when she plays a gang leader dealing with her members like they’re at a professional corporate orientation or annual yoga retreat. Yes, it’s as ridiculous and hilarious as it sounds. Every woman can relate to the No Makeup sketch:

Quinta Brunson only appears in the first season (I assume because she went off to star in a little show of her own, Abbott Elementary) but this was also where I was first introduced to her. This one called Dance Biter takes a turn for the weird as Quinta’s dance moves keep getting copied:

Gabrielle Dennis is probably my favorite of the core ladies; her reactions always get me. My all-time favorite sketch with her (and probably my all-time favorite sketch of the show, which also features the incomparable Angela Bassett, and is the one that made me fall in love with the entire thing) is the Bad Bitch Support Group. You don’t know how often I will randomly quote lines from this sketch to myself (“And she didn’t seem burdened by the pressures of having bald eyes!”):

Ashley Nicole Black also does a lot of writing for this show and others like Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and stars as part of the main group, and I feel like she often plays the straight (wo)man with the biting observations. She also stars in some excellent sketches like Invisible Spy:

Skye Townsend came in after Quinta left, and she’s got a great bubbly energy, like when she’s a captivating singer in Ya Nona Love 2 C It:

Aside from the main cast, there is a veritable who’s who of guest stars who pop in for a random skit here and there. To name but a few: Angela Bassett, Issa Rae, David Alan Grier, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tyler James Willams, Amber Riley, Loretta Devine, Patti Labelle, and I could GO ON.

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

Laughter is always best when shared, so invite your besties over for a fun night in.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: What Kind Of Night Is It?

Sometimes you need something funny and distracting because you’re feeling down. In that case, I say drink all you need, even if you miss some of the finer details—it’s not like you can’t rewatch it later. But if you’re watching for the humor, I’d say keep it at two so your mind is still fresh.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent

It’s irreverent, it’s silly, it’s witty and weird. I’m pleasantly shocked and thrilled that this show, which came out in 2019, managed to survive Covid and thrive—in fact, season 4 is coming out in just a few weeks in April! If you’re a current fan, it’s a great time to rewatch to refresh your memory, and if you’re new to the show, well, then you’ve got even more to look forward to!

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.