Black-on-black love

4/26/2013, noon
If ever there was a show that reflects the positive elements of black relationships, then the YouTube sensation “The Couple” ...
The couple

LOS ANGELES – (NNPA) – If ever there was a show that reflects the positive elements of black relationships, then the YouTube sensation “The Couple” is that show.

“The Couple” is part of the new Black and Sexy TV, an online network created by producers Numa Perrier and Dennis Dortch to focus on black love and relationships and “provide viewing audiences a more accurate depiction of black culture.”

The show is compiled of web episodes and mini episodes all centered on a black couple and the daily situations they go through – from anything to everything. And the show is wildly popular, attracting hundreds of thousands of video views of the 2 million or so views that Black and Sexy TV garners.

And, as frequently is the case, the show was inspired by real life. One of the creators, Jeanine Daniels, said the inspiration for the show hit her when she was living with her boyfriend and his roommate.

“It was just really weird because I had never lived with a guy before and I was writing all these things down and I would tell Dennis about all the random stuff that was happening, funny stuff,” she recalled. “And I had this idea in my head that there needs to be a show about a couple – not just a story, but all the things that couples go through.”

“There has to be a show about how these two characters in my head – an anal jock and a really artsy chick – are together and how a lot of random stuff happens,” she added. “When I pitched the idea to the group, they were like: ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ ”

Dortch says the show is a hit because viewers can relate to the story line.

“It is a success because it’s accessible, relatable and I think also because you don’t have to follow every single story,” he said. “You could drop it and you could’ve seen 10 of them out of 20 and still feel like you know the show and you know them.”

Audiences also are attracted to the show because of the realism it portrays, Dortch said. Dialogue sounds more authentic because it’s not scripted – actors are given a description of the episode, but everything is done free style, he said. The feeling of realism and intimacy is heightened because “The Couple” uses actors’ apartments and former apartments to shoot the episodes, he said.

The surrounding being realistic caters to the scenes being realistic, he said, and sets up a platform for the audience to react to, he said – something he said the creators and actors say they love because it encourages audience feedback.

“However you set it up, the audience is going to play into it. If you set it up to take sides, they will happily take a side,” Perrier said. “From episode to episode, it will be his side or my side, but if we’re together then all of our past transgressions don’t matter, they love us.”

“Between the two of us, 80 percent think I’m right,” Desmond joked.

Having an online show allows “The Couple” to take in their feedback, which enables them to see what their audience likes. They say their success online is their main focus.

“This is really where the future is, online,” Dortch said. “Production companies and studios are starting to throw a lot of money into this, so we’re sort of looking at it with two lenses. We’re not just looking at it as a means to end up getting to TV.”

The show is so popular that the creators of Black and Sexy TV are producing a spin-off film this summer based on “The Couple.”

And, they say, the best is yet to come.

To view an episode of “The Couple,” visit www.youtube.com and type “The Couple Black and Sexy TV” into your search bar.