Social media has been buzzing all day with many people giving their flowers to the classic ’90s sitcom Living Single.
Following the much-talked about series finale of HBO’s Insecure, many were simply giving credit to the show that came before for inspiring Issa Rae to deliver a proper successor that fits into the Black female-oriented comedy realm also occupied by Girlfriends and more recently Run The World, Sistas and Harlem.
However, while those shows each gave us standout lead performances by Black men, a debate began around whether a similar show centered on a cast of Black men in the vain of a Living Single or Insecure could actually make it past one season.
The conversation was sparked by Mike Hill, husband of former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey. While giving his respect to the aforementioned shows, he questioned whether men could ever have an equal show to relate to, writing, “We’ve had Living Single, Girlfriends and Insecure…shows about positive black women & their relationships with each other. Has there ever been a good, successful tv show about black men like this? (One that lasted at least 4 seasons?).”
The question soon led to many people chiming in with their own opinions, with some pointing to the fact that Living Single also starred T.C. Carson and John Henton as iconic Black male characters Kyle Barker and Overton Wakefield Jones, respectively. Others made note of more recent examples like Donald Glover’s Atlanta, but Hill felt that cast didn’t reflect his vision of “college educated, positive brothers navigating life together & their relationships.”
Overall it created an interesting dialogue surrounding the viewership power of Black men when it comes to television. Take a look below at a few standout reactions and then think about it: could an all-male Living Single work?
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1. I feel like our society wouldn’t sit well with a male version of living single/girlfriends… Single heterosexual black males LIVING!! Y’all would just call all the men toxic/dogs on the show lol
2. I’m not gonna gas…while I actually think my answer is no, not really, I also think that Black men are going to have to want to actually want to watch a show that covers similar topics that Insecure, Girlfriends, and Living Single did.
3. The shows exist but I think what you’re looking for is *impact* Living Single inspired Friends, Insecure has changed the industry, etc To get what you’re asking for means to challenge the patriarchy and toxic masculinity and men don’t want to give that up. Most don’t know how.
4. This man called for a show where the nucleus is 4 Black men who are friends from college and yall in the replies and quotes saying family shows like damn Fresh Prince, Jamie Foxx lmao
5. Living single had successful black men, Martin had his job as did the guys… well except Tommy! Fresh Prince & Uncle Phil.
6. For those asking for a Black male equivalent to Insecure, Living Single, Girlfriends…The Wood series looks like an attempt to delve into Black men’s lives and friendship
7. Whats really getting me about this tweet is living single and insecure focused just as much on the male protagonists as they did on the women…sooo…are you asking wheres the tv show about black men *absent* of black women?
8. knowing goddamn well the same men who act like hugging their homies is gay ain’t finna watch a male version of Living Single. Stop it.
9. men love to be like “insecure, living single, girlfriends, how come there isn’t a show with black men like that” like first of all what man has more than two friends tops
10. Living Single was literally about positive mixed-gender Black friendships, the fact that you think it was only about women just says a lot about you lol