When is the last time you saw a black sitcom that featured Black folks from the diaspora? I swear I still get blank stares sometimes when I talk about watching the Desmonds on BET in the early 90’s, a British sitcom about a Carribbean family running a barbershop. And shows like “The Crouches” never even made it to the United States.
That’s why the new on-line hit show “Meet the Adebanjos” is exactly what the doctor ordered to expand and improve what’s on the menu for Black entertainment this year.
“Meet the Adebanjos” is a new web-only situation comedy about a typical family of Nigerian immigrants living in London and their London-born children. Created by Nigerian Londoners Andrew Osayemi and Deborah Odutuyo the show premiered in June and 8 episodes have been produced running throughout this fall. Featuring some comedy and some drama the show’s producers have already been sought out by television stations in Africa to run the show and produce future series.
The success of this program is a good sign politically, economically and culturally for the mother land as well as for the future of Black themed television and media. From Awkward Black Girl to 12 Steps to Recover Black folks are increasingly realizing that the web is a great place to put your content out if you don’t want to deal with the politics or the slime associated with Hollywood – or in this case Nigeria’s Nollywood.
More importantly the web only format of the show is an indicator of the progress of telecommunications infrastructure in many African countries. Web penetration and reliability has improved considerably in the last 5 years in most African countries making a show like this possible – when, in the past, few if anyone outside of England or most capital cities in Africa would’ve seen it.
So you better catch “Meet the Adebanjos” as soon as you can online while it’s still doing baby steps. Like most shows from overseas, once it becomes a hit you know some American producer will get their hands on it and ruin it with an Americanized cast of former 80’s stars and lame sex jokes. I can see it now “Tyler Perry Presents: Meet the Adebanjos” starring Mr. Gaines butchering an Igbo accent every Tuesday night on TNT.