Hulu’s decision to bless me by putting every season of Living Single on its streaming service was truly the best birthday present I got this year (those socks were sh*t, Grandma). Yes, Living Single was one of the most amazing sitcoms of the ’90s for so many reasons — it was created by Yvette Lee Bowser, the first black woman to have a sitcom on primetime television; Queen Latifah starred in it and sang the iconic theme song; and white people appropriated it to create Friends! But it also reminded me of all the other ’90s black TV shows I wish were streaming. Here are a few!
This show is responsible for the phrase “Damn Gina”, kicking your friends out of your apartment, and calling them out for being secretly unemployed. Man, I miss the ’90s. It also gave us so many iconic characters — a young Tracy Morgan’s Hustle Man, Bruh man from “da fifth flo”, Shanaynay, and the list goes on.
As a black girl, I credit Moesha for every single box braid on my head. Watching this coming of age comedy about a young black girl was so inspiring for me growing up. Moesha was so cool and so pretty, I wanted to be just like her. In retrospect, Moesha was actually kind of annoying, a really bad friend, and super disrespectful to her parents, but somehow this show still hold up!
3. The Parkers
And from Moesha came The Parkers, a show about a girl who finally gets to go off to college… and whose mother decides to go with her. I know it sounds like a horror movie, but it’s actually really funny.
4. Sister, Sister
This show was just so fun, and I think it has the perfect first act — Tia comes to a store in the mall with her mom and asks the salesman for a blue sweater. At the same time, Tamera, who is her long lost identical twin sister, comes in to the same store with her dad asking for a sweatshirt in the same color. A hilarious misunderstanding ensues that ends with both twins saying “that girl has my face!” It’s perfect, sweet, and I’m now realizing how corny of taste I still have.
5. In Living Color
This was honestly the sketch show above all sketch shows. Not only did it bring hip-hop and a nearly all-black cast to comedy and primetime TV, but it made some legit stars: the artist Jamie Foxx, David Allen Grier, fly girls JLo and Carrie Ann Inaba, and the artist formerly known as James Carey.
6. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
I’m pretty sure that the Fresh Prince and Living Single theme songs are the only rap songs — no, songs period — that I know all the words to. And it’s because the show was so fresh (see what I did there). But seriously, Fresh Prince had Will Smith was at the top of his game and it was hilarious. It even had a bunch of celebrity cameos, including Trump before we knew he would destroy the world. Much simpler times.
I’m gonna break the theme of this article for this last one just because I love my giiiirrrlfriends! Long before Blackish, this was the show that made me fall in love with Tracee Ellis Ross. It was one of the first show that I watched regularly where the characters were having sex, living in a big city, and being mid-2000s fly. It made me feel like such a grown up, even though I still had to be in bed by 9 PM.
What shows are you hoping pop up on Netflix? Let us know on Twitter @Smosh!