The line in Harlem’s Magic Johnson Theater was down two flights of stairs and around the corner despite a threat of rain to get a chance to see Issa Rae and her latest episode of the hit web series, “Awkward Black Girl.”
And after some organizational missteps (The screening was on CP time!), Issa’s adoring fans laughed, yelled, sung (My booty shawts! My booty shawts!), giggled and screamed, during the third episode screening.
Still, one of the biggest treats during the screening was that Issa brought along her new awkward friend and bankroller, Pharrell Williams, who got cheers and a mini standing ovation when he entered the theater in a wide brimmed hat.
The face of YouTube’s newest channel, I Am Other, Pharrell psuedo-introduced Issa and touted her praises. Still, most people who had already waited over an hour to get into the theater, already knew how great Issa was – and Pharrell seemed to take over the entire introduction, even interrupting Issa when she tried to speak. I guess her awkwardness is a self fulfilling prophecy. Still, it would’ve been nice to hear more from the brains behind one of the best web series on the ‘Net.
Issa eventually did take questions from the audience and dished that she’s not so interested in TV. “I would love to do an Awkward Black Girl movie,” Issa said in her typical Valley Girl monotone voice. Still, audience questions aren’t usually questions that enlighten, inform or reveal. A better suggestion would be to ask a seasoned journalist or interviewer to moderate a Q&A after screenings – there were many journalists in the audience who would be great for the task, including Parlour Magazine’s Hillary Crosley, Ebony.com’s Geneva S. Thomas, Essence’s Charreah Jackson, Glam.com’s Angel Lenise, Black Enterprise’s Ashley Calloway, or hello, me!
Issa’s screening was topped off by an after-party at Aloft Hotel, but after waiting an hour-plus to get into the screening, and another thirty minutes for the screening to start, I headed home exhausted. Whatever, I still heart Issa Rae.
And in case you haven’t seen it yet, check out Issa Rae’s third episode, “The Jingle,” where J is dealing with some deep childhood issues and self-doubt as she figures out what she wants to do with her life: