Twenties (2 stars)


Eight-parter about a trio of friends living in LA

We've seen fictionalised stories down the ages of people trying to make it into the world of show business, but Twenties is probably the first which offers this narrative from a black female perspective. This fact alone should make it worthy of trumpeting, but the eight-parter about a trio of pals based in LA is so packed with flaws and irritations, that it makes you hope that someone else comes along with a much better and far funnier execution of the same idea.

The main problem is with lead character and aspiring screenwriter Hattie played by Jonica T Gibbs: it's difficult to truly root for someone who acts like a spoilt child, unable to stop herself from throwing pretend punches at people she doesn't like. When she pompously chastises her mum (the brilliant Kym Whitley) for just turning up at her workplace unannounced as this might not make her look like a serious player, it comes a minute after she was slouched half-asleep at her desk. Complaining almost every few minutes that she can't get a break with her writing ambitions, Hattie regularly avoids getting stuck into a script to go to parties or hang out with pals. If this truly is a work of autobiography, then it's clear that somewhere down the line, Twenties creator Lena Waithe must have given herself a good shake.

Thankfully, the other members of this friendship trio are of more interest: yoga teacher Nia (Gabrielle Graham) still harbours acting ambitions while trying to understand why her new boyfriend doesn't have a mobile phone, and TV studio exec Marie (Christina Elmore) suspects her husband may have an alternative take from her on sexuality due to his changing taste in porn. This, sadly, is about as compelling as Twenties gets.

All episodes available on BBC Three, Sunday 25 October.


1. RM Bell23 Nov 2020, 9:31pm Report

I read the first couple run-ons and had to check who wrote this. Was too bored to read the rest of a predictably white male's perspective on people he'll never have the depths to understand. Read the last sentence and sadly, the fact that you think bipoc need to be compelling for YOU is a reflection of your own "spoilt" entitlements.

Rather than being curious about something you clearly know nothing about, you seek to fit it into your incredibly limited and unseasoned perspective. Methinks you don't have many, if any, black women as real friends, and definitely no one as close to any of the incredibly real characters in this show. Classic white male colonizer gaze and utter trash.

You're just like that closeted bigot fail theatre guy in the show. Forgettable and mediocre.

Travel and culture yourself a little.

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