A crudely Urban Entertainment has now compiled animated series made popular on the Internet are now on DVD, and the results are both hit and miss.
A spin-off of the HBO series “Sex and the City”, “Sistas” delves into the sex and professional lives of four young black women in Chicago; Tamika, a P.R. executive who is dating a Mama’s boy; Mercedes, a painter who flings herself at any white man who looks at her; Jordan, a rich snob; and Athena, a lesbian nightclub singer.
There are ten episodes in all, although the end leaves room for more. In the first episode, “Oh, No She Didn’t, we meet the femme foursome. Episode two, “Men are From Mars, Black Women are Stuck on Earth” delves into the relationship between Tamika and Jawon, a handsome black man who can’t break away from the apron strings. Jordan is hospitalized for an ulcer and we meet her stuffy parents in “Water Your Own Grass”. “Be Careful What You Ask For” has Mercedes and Jordan both getting some much needed booty action, with surprising results. Tamika is tempted to go into business with Jawon’s parents in “Toxic Parents”. The girls go lingerie shopping in “Obviously Obvious”. Tamika finds her new job too demanding in “Life’s Lemonade”. New York beckons Tamika in “Do What You Gotta Do”. Everyone’s courses in life are altered by an offer from a French magazine to pose nude in “A Key Change in the Melody”. To pose or not to pose? That is the question in “Are We Insane”.
Creator Andrews has a wonderful gift for how women, especially young black women, talk when there are no guys around (the DVD includes a very funny round table with Andrews and three of her girlfriends, and it’s pretty easy to see where the inspiration came from). The animation itself is pretty pedestrian; the drawings move like stick figures in a third grade art class, and the words rarely match the mouth that is moving. But the animation is not the important thing here. The dialogue by Andrews is potent and funny, and she has created four very real women (although we don’t really see that much of the lesbian singer Athena; the main emphasis is on the other three girls).
There will be some carping that Andrews is merely ripping of “Sex”, but the truth is that they are two separate entities, both entitled to their say so and both equally entertaining. In fact, in some ways I enjoyed the raucous talk of the four sistas more than Carrie and her rapidly fading click on HBO.
The DVD by Urban Entertainment includes the above-mentioned Round Table, but there is also an interview with Andrews and a saucy interview with singer Medusa, who gives voice to Athena. None of the other characters are credited, which is a shame.
Truth in Advertising: although the box says that the running time is 85 minutes, the episodes themselves only run 33 minutes altogether. A little liberty taken by Urban, or just an honest mistake?