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|Index||27 reviews in total|
Great little sitcom that unfortunately was up against "Seinfeld" for a good portion of its run. FOX did not handle the exit of the series with any kind of finesse; in fact, it was done very sloppily, with the show being cancelled, and then brought back for a few poorly done episodes. Regine the golddigger had finally gotten engaged to a rich man, but her wedding was never shown. Her character was abruptly written out after that happened. Synclair and Overton had just about become non-entities after their characters were married. There was this preposterous storyline that had Max becoming pregnant courtesy of a sperm bank, then finding out that Kyle was the donor. Khadijah was just left hanging. A bad end for a funny show that deserved better.
"Friends" before there were "Friends", Living Single was a far more relatable slice of New York City life and a far funnier one! Set in 1990's Brooklyn, this story of three female roommates living in the same apartment building as two male roommates, with a single-dweller thrown in was good fun to watch. The ensemble cast was great with Erika Alexander one of the stand-outs at the always mooching Max and Kim Fields as the mercenary Regine. And the rest of the cast blended nicely to make for a very funny sitcom. Each character had its own special sparkle, the dialogue was realistic, and the situations fun. If I had to choose between reruns of "Friends" or reruns of "Living Single", I'd take "Living Single" 7 days a week and twice on Sundays! An all around fun show!
Surprisingly, a lot of critics liked this show and compared it to the future megahit FRIENDS. More critics liked LIVING SINGLE than the latter NBC show and I can see why: The LS cast was far more funny without being silly. Each character had their own unique personality and they sparkled when they were on camera. The show also didn't hit the viewer over the head with the fact that the characters were black, their race just happened to be incidental to the show. However, the one thing that I DIDN'T exactly buy was the apartments that Kadijah and the girls lived in and Kyle and Overton had. Somehow, I don't think that these people would have THAT lavish a home considering that "Flava", Kadijah's magazine, wasn't exactly running on the level of, say, "Sister 2 Sister" or "Black Elegance". Heck, it wasn't even on the level of "Rap Pages". But, that aside, I can still enjoy the reruns to this day.
I really miss this show on Thursday nights. I first tuned in because I liked Queen Latifah but soon liked all the other characters, especially Maxine Shaw, Attorney at Law, and Kyle. The episode where they finally got together was a scream and the cliff-hanger for that season. I couldn't wait until the fall season began. I agree that the well-decorated apartments and designer duds were out of sync with the incomes of the characters, but it was fun. Also interesting about the characters in the context of their upscale lives were their eating habits. They were constantly noshing on high-fat snacks, never expressing concern about gaining weight. Imagine Monica in Friends being that carefree about food. In the end, these were humorous young people engaged in active social lives during the early days of their careers.
If you're as old as I am you may remember not only comparisons to FRIENDS and THE GOLDEN GIRLS, but this sitcom was also called 'a black version of DESIGNING WOMEN' by critics and viewers. OMG!! I know we're supposed to be living in a color-blind society denying that any current racism still exists, but this is ridiculous. And you all are carping about the 'unrealistically luxurious apartments' of these girls because...? How many hundreds of sitcoms are produced in Hollywood (and set in New York) every year which feature swanky apartments that no one with an annual salary of less than $200,000 can actually afford? Nobody questions why the out-of-work actor or the struggling chef on FRIENDS are in the huge apartments they're in. Black professionals do exist, even in the make-believe world of sitcom television. I thought this series was a charmer; if it was guilty of anything negative it was its initial presentation of all-men-as-neanderthals during the first season. It was allowed (after a fashion) to flourish and find its audience and in that time it even started to give shape and background to its core characters- not to mention allowing them to advance (in the way of job promotions, romances, breakups, and even a wedding). I never thought it ended satisfactorily, but I'm happy for the five years FOX allowed it on the air. Considering that it preceded FRIENDS on the air by one year, should we conclude that FRIENDS was a white version of LIVING SINGLE?
The foundation of most sitcom humor is the weaknesses of characters; this show is a priceless exception. The writers should be so proud to have presented us with characters who were strong and loving and fun to watch.
I just visited a Yahoo site which provided updates for actors who starred in the Facts of Life. Relative to Kim Fields, the site noted that she joined Living Single in 1993. They identified Living Single as "Fox's African-American ANSWER (emphasis mine) to Friends." How could Living Single be an answer to Friends when it preceded Friends by one year? If anything Friends was a rip-off of Living Single. Moreover, Living Single was much better quality show. The characters were well-developed, believable, and provided with better character story arcs. With that said, most people would likely describe Friends as groundbreaking and Living Single as derivative. Oh well, once again those in power get to shape myth into reality.
The first season of Living Single is finally finally on DVD! I'm so
excited, I already ordered it off Amazon. Hope you all are enjoying it
Also has anybody noticed how many random cast connections there are between this show and A Different World? I swear, I've counted like eight. There's Cree Summer who was Freddie on ADW as Summer the girl Overton dates right before he and Synclaire get together; Charnele Brown (Kim Reese) as Khadijah's friend who works at Flava and then wants to tattoo permanent makeup for a living; Jasmine Guy (Whitley Gilbert) played a psychologist that Khadijah's goes to see when she's way over-stressed; and Kadeem Harrison (Dwayne Wayne) is a hotshot reporter that tries to beat Kadijah out for the scoop on this fighter who pays off his opponents. Also the adorable, but pathetic Ivan Ennis is Bumper Robinson who played Dorian Haywood (the guy who wouldn't get with Jada Pinkett Smith's Lena unless they were married) I could go on and on .........
See how many you can count!
~ Smooches ~
"I laughed, I cried and when you opened that coffin, girl, I damn near died!" - Overton after seeing Synclaire perform in The Calling Hours or (as it was renamed) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Funeral...starring Synclaire James!
Loved this show and it may have been the reason why I never watch Seinfeld when it was on its original time slot. I just started to watch the reruns every morning. I wake up at 6:00 AM and watch two episodes back to back. Is a nice way to start the day. I now appreciate how well produced it was and I am proud of everyone in that show. They all did a fantastic job. If you watch, you realize it goes beyond of race or color. You don't think they are African American. You just think they are good friends. They are all unique and I can't decide who is my favorite. You identify with the characters. They are not too pretty or neurotic. They are your own friends, neighbors and coworkers. The message was positive and it remains fresh.
I really liked this show when it aired from 1993 to 1998. The characters were interesting and funny. For a TV show, the characters had great depth. Like some of the other reviewers, I thought this show was a lot better than "Friends". I remember an episode that had Brian McKnight in it, and another one where Regine is caught "knocking boots" with her boyfriend on the roof-classic!. I really miss this show, and have not really been interested in any of Fox's offerings since this show left the air in mid-season '98.
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