Spread the word: Netflix has secured the rights to stream some of the best Black sitcoms from the 90s and 2000s — including my personal favorites Moesha, Sister, Sister, and The Parkers, all of which I fondly remember watching as a little girl. I still remember running to my room to turn on the TV, singing the R&B theme songs for each show (they were so energetic and catchy that I memorized the lyrics word by word), and how amazing it was to see TV sitcoms targeted to my demographic. There weren’t a ton of black TV shows, with black female leads taking charge, that focused on things I personally struggled with growing up.
I was pretty young when these three shows had their initial runs (I was born in 1995), but thanks to reruns throughout the 2000s, I got to experience these shows and why they were so beloved by viewers who watched each show during their original runs. I remember seeing the promotions and bumpers for Sister, Sister when it was syndicated on Disney Channel. I remember watching The N (now TeenNick) to watch Moesha. In 2009, BET was showing The Parkers.
Time to pop bottles— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) July 29, 2020
The following classic shows are coming to @Netflix (US)
Moesha - Aug 1
The Game S1-3 - Aug 15
Sister Sister - Sept 1
Girlfriends - Sept 11
The Parkers - Oct 1
Half & Half - Oct 15
One on One - Oct 15
To celebrate, here's a message from your faves: pic.twitter.com/zohNPEo0rz
What resonated with me, watching these shows, was how much they focused on things I struggled with at that age. Sister, Sister focused a lot on low-self-esteem and insecurities; in one such episode, the twins joined an unpopular cheerleading squad and were nervous to perform until their parents explained they didn’t need to worry about what others think.
One of my favorite episodes of Moesha was when she got a Saturn from her dad even though she wanted a Jeep. Seeing Moesha overreacting made me realize that I’ve done the same; I hadn’t always appreciated the things my mother bought for me. The Parkers also had an episode where a clown dies in a freak accident and it pulls the mother out of a funk; I’ve had a lot of moments growing up where I felt like the world was out to get me or I was insignificant, and it was a count-your-blessings kind of moment. From time to time (especially today) this episode sticks in my mind because of that message, even if the episode’s plot was a bit wacky. It also includes one of the funniest moments on the show, in my opinion:
It means so much to me that these shows are coming to Netflix in the next few months because up until this point, it was impossible for me to binge-watch them and relive my childhood. Sadly, they won’t all be available at once (Moesha debuts on August 1st), but this gives me time to finish watching each show before the next one arrives on the service.