Before there was a little show called Friends, there was Living Single, a show about a group of six young African-Americans living in Brooklyn. It ran for five seasons, from 1993 to 1998, on FOX. There might be similarities between the premise of each show but I think the shows are different enough that someone could enjoy both.
The setup was simple. Khadijah (Queen Latifah) published her own magazine, and lived with her cousin Synclaire (Kim Coles), and her friend Regine (Kim Fields), who worked at a boutique. Maxine (Erika Alexander) was a lawyer and Khadijah’s friend from college, who had her own place but dropped by Khadijah’s place a lot. Overton (Jon Henton), the building’s handyman lived upstairs with Kyle (Terrence “TC”. Carlson), a stockbroker. Their lives intersected with the women’s lives.
Queen Latifah sang the theme song and sang a few other times during the show’s run. The theme song included the line, “In a nineties kind of world, I am glad I’ve got my girls”, which explains the title of this blog post. A couple of the other actors sang occasionally but the cast singing never became a regular element of the show.
The cast was a mix of newcomers and seasoned actors. Jon Henton had the least TV experience of the main cast but the others had a range of TV experience with Kim Fields having the most due to her time on The Facts of Life. The four women played well off each other and the same went for the guys. Synclaire might have been a bit naive but she was sweet and I don’t think her character ever became too naive or too foolish. It was fun observing Overton try to court Synclaire as the show developed. Kyle and Maxine had a combative verbal relationship that later developed into something more but even their verbal combats were fun.
Living Single was a comedy but it could get dramatic from time to time. One story had Kyle worried that his hairstyle might prevent him from getting a promotion or that he might have to change his hairstyle to get the promotion. In addition, there was a time when Max lost her job because a partner at the law firm felt she overstepped one time.
The show might be somewhat dated but the show came out over 25 years ago. I think it still holds up. The cast has fond memories of the show and there is an oral history of the show from Atlantic Magazine. There are rumors of a reboot for Living Single but so far, I think a possible reboot has not passed the rumors stage.
If you have not seen Living Single or have not seen it in a while, I think it is worth a look. Seasons 1-3 are available to borrow on DVD from the Lark Branch Library.