Written by: Briana Wright @misswrighttv
Too often, we're misled and made to feel bad about ourselves because of the unofficial standards set via our favorite reality TV shows. We see celebrity-like lifestyles with outings every day, enhanced bodies, expensive living, etc. and suddenly- we're expected to see it as the norm.
We still tune in for the drama and perhaps, to get away from our own lives for a bit. But let's face it, these 'reality' shows glorify lifestyles that ironically, are NOT real.
Luckily for us, Issa Rae is putting the REAL back into reality TV with her new unscripted show "Sweet Life: Los Angeles." This coming-of-age series follows a group of young, Black, friends located in South LA in pursuit of their dreams.
Courtesy of HBO Max/ @sweetlifeonmax
All at different stages of their careers, relationships, and self-growth, this show has something for EVERYBODY. Most importantly, we're witnessing their journey to success and it's motivational to anyone who isn't quite where they want to be yet because as opposed to glorifying the end result, Sweet Life is glorifying the process too!
I recently had the chance to speak to the cast members about the show's uniqueness, viewers' takeaways, their personal lives and more and it's safe to say, they're my new bffs (in my head lol). The cast includes:
Tylynn Burns, a 26-year old event planner and founder/ director of operations for her own event series agency, "House Party Creative." Amanda Scott, 25-year old PR professional, entrepreneur and real estate investor. Briana Jones, 26-year old healthcare worker turned business owner following the start of her new skincare line "Buttrd By Bri." P'Jae Compton, 27-year old music manager and co-owner to "Lost Sound" record label. Jordan Bentley, 24-year-old founder/CEO of Los Angeles-based streetwear brand, Hypland® . Cheryl Des Vignes, 26-year old fashion designer and owner of clothing brand "Des Vignes." Lastly, Jerrold Smith II, 26-year old podcaster and entertainment marketing specialist at Westbrook, Inc.
I know based off of their bios, it sounds like they have it all together, but what you'll see in the show is that they are all works in progress, continuously striving. My conversation with them is both enlightening and refreshing because it's candid!
Myself and most of my viewers can relate to where the cast is at in their lives and it shows in the interview.
We discuss relationships such as Briana and her new boo and the fall of her and Jordan. We cover personal development, like Amanda becoming a new property owner but still working on moving out of her parents' home. [Comment below if you live at home because I felt this on spiritual level!] Cheryl discusses hitting milestones in her career alongside the cast and P'Jae talks about the impact that the friend group has had on him.
"I like to say, when people ask me about the friend group it's like, to quote Bino Rideaux, 'all the homies on I can't be out here mix matched.' So, it's like inspiration at its finest," said P'Jae and I couldn't agree more.
I not only felt reassured AND inspired after watching the show but I felt the same way after watching the interviews and I'm confident that you will too! I also thought the our conversation was thought provoking so, I included some interactive questions below for you and your loved ones to chat about what we discussed. [Let me know how these talks go! Got your wheels turnin'?!]
Click the links above to view the extended interviews with myself and the cast on my YouTube channel and don't forget to subscribe for more😉. Be sure to stream all of "Sweet Life" Los Angeles," including the NEW group chat episode that dropped TODAY (9/16/21) hosted by my favs Issa Rae and Kamie Crawford [tuning in directly after I post this] on HBO Max now!
Lastly, if you loved this article pleaseeee comment, like, and share! Tag me @misswrighttv on all social media platforms and stay tuned, more content is on the way! See ya later!
-- Miss Wright
Courtesy of HBO Max/ @sweetlifeonmax
Interactive Questions for Discussion
Would you ever pick up and move to a new city/state on your own? If so, where and why?
In a time where so many people are business owners and influencers, how do you decipher genuine desire to provide a service from just trying to 'get on'? What's your reason for wanting to be successful? How do you define success?
What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want to be remembered by? What are you doing to accomplish this every single day?
How do you balance independent growth with the growth/progression of your intimate relationship? Can you work on yourself while in a relationship? Do you feel the need to pick one [self-growth or relationship] or can it be simultaneous?
Do/Did you feel pressure to move out of your parents' home by a certain time? Why do you think that is? Compare societal reasons to your personal reasons.
Do you want to live with your partner anytime soon? Why or why not? How do you plan to tackle finances when/if you move in with your significant other?
Do you feel like it's important to live on your own before living with your significant other? Why or why not?
Can you think of an opportunity you had that originally felt like it wasn't the right fit but you went with it anyway? Describe it and its pros/cons.
What do you think is the key to success?
For those who watched the final three episodes of the series, who do you side with in the dispute between Tylynn and Cheryl (originally between the men) and why?
Who makes up your inner circle(s)? What are they like and how do these relationships impact you? Reflect.
Recall the argument during Jerrold's podcast. Why do you think it got so heated?
We don't see men [Black men especially] get emotional on TV very often, but we do here. Talk about why we don't see this enough and how seeing it here has affected you.
How often do you verbally express your emotions? [For everyone, but primarily the men] Use this time to unpack why you do or don't express your emotions often.
If you don't, attempt to do so now with your friends or on paper. If you do, what's something you can do to help other men become more comfortable being expressive?