If You’ve Never Watched ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ Before, Now Is the Time to Fix That

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There’s a sketch in the first episode of A Black Lady Sketch Show’s Season 2 return which does a solid job of capturing one of the things that makes the HBO comedy series so special. In “Courtroom Kiki, Part 2” (a sequel to a sketch from Season 1), new characters trickle into a People’s Court-esque courtroom, thrilled each time when it’s another Black woman. A Black female judge, a Black female lawyer, a jury box of Black women — all celebrating being together. There’s a twist, of course, because the construction of the series is as razor-focused as ever, but the set-up of that camaraderie speaks to the essential essence of the show, which aims not to alienate, but instead celebrate the unique point of view of its cast and writers.

Created by Robin Thede, Season 1 of A Black Lady Sketch Show was nominated for three Emmys (Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, and Angela Bassett for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series), and while Season 2 was made under the burden of the pandemic, that hasn’t kept the show from continuing to build and grow. The Season 1 original cast, including Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, and Gabrielle Dennis, are joined by new recurring players Laci Mosley and Skye Townsend, and there are also numerous guest stars including Miguel, Skai Jackson, Laz Alonso, Omarion, Kim Wayans, Ayesha Curry, Lance Gross, and Wunmi Mosaku.

The show’s primary framing device — the show’s core cast playing a version of themselves, banding together to survive an unspecified apocalypse — continues into Season 2, with a slight shake-up to the scenario and perhaps a more lived-in feel, at least for any viewer who’s just been through over a year of quarantine at home. As for the sketches in between these recurring bits, the series’ worldview is sometimes hard to pin down, but that’s only because of the dedication to tackling the most random of subject matter. Now entering its second season, the series continues to expand on its stable of recurring characters and wild scenarios from angles that push beyond what other sketch shows might take on.


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