In November, I discovered “Buppies” (http://buppies.bet.com), BET’s new web TV show that chronicles the life experiences of five Black professionals in Hollywood. “Buppies” is a blend of comedy and drama. It depicts how twentysomething upwardly mobile Black folks live, love, dress, work, and deal with issues such as relationship breakups, death, sexual orientation, and pregnancy.
“Buppies” centers around Quinci Allen, a Hollywood Black American Princess (BAP) socialite and publicist. Quinci is dealing with the death of her celebrity father and recent breakup with fiancé Shaka. As she navigates the landscape of her life’s ups and downs and discovers who she is, Quinci realizes the importance of her friendships and begins to rely on them as her true family. Her friends are also engaged in similar journeys of self-discovery.
My thoughts about “Buppies”
So far I like the story line of the series. I wish the webisodes were longer. They are only three minutes. However, the actors and producers pack a lot into those three minutes! Check out my social media suggestions on how BET can market “Buppies” below.
- Expand “Buppies” social media presence by launching a Vimeo and YouTube channel so that fans can see what life is like for the actors behind the scenes. The page should be linked to “Buppies” composer Gary Gunn’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/garygunnmusic.
- Create a UStream.tv channel for the actors and producers so they can host weekly live chats.
- Launch a video campaign that encourage fans to make their own videos sharing why they love the show and what characters resemble their lives.
- Increase Twitter followers and Facebook fans.
- Offer weekly chats on Twitter or Facebook that feature one or more of the actors and producers. The conversations could create a series of topics that could be featured during a weekly or monthly blogging carnival.
- Have the actors do audio blogs with Cinchcast or Utterli about their characters on a weekly basis. Post the blogs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Invite bloggers to review the webisodes or a topic discussed on the webisode.
- Promote the show with campaigns on Twitter and Facebook which include some giveaways.
Click here to read a review of “Buppies” by Aymar Jean Christian, a journalist turned academic who founded the Televisual blog: http://blog.ajchristian.org/2009/11/01/buppies-tatyana-ali-and-the-value-of-making-a-web-series. Christian is also a doctoral student in communication at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania.
I adore the cast of “Buppies” which stars Tatyana Ali as Quinci. Ali is one of my favorite actress from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Young and the Restless.” She is a singer, activist, and graduate of Harvard University.
Quinci’s ex-fiance Shaka McCarthy, a corporate attorney and rapper, is played by Ernest Waddell, a Brooklyn-born actor with childhood roots in Bowie, Maryland (a P.G. County homeboy!). Waddell is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. As a NYU student, he worked on “As the World Turns” and HBO’s “The Wire.”
Robin Thede, an actress, comedian, writer, entertainment correspondent, host and radio personality, and Northwestern University graduate, plays Priscilla “Prissy” Belle, one of Quinci’s best girlfriends. Prissy is a magazine editor with a celebrity attitude who is dating Eliot David, a sports agent with a closet full of secrets that involve his relationship with another man.
Preston Davis, an actor and native of Los Angeles, brings the character Eliot to life. Davis is a graduate of Louisiana State University, has a recurring role on HBO’s “Entourage,” and is starring in the upcoming films, “The Brotherhood V: Alumni” and “The Prankster.”
Chante Frierson breathes “keep it real” life into Quinci’s other best girlfriend Kourtney Bellows, a woman who considers being a music industry heiress a profession. Frierson’s acting career began with recurring roles on NBC’s “A Different World” and the Broadway production of “Rent.” She recently appeared in the San Diego Musical Theater production of “Dreamgirls.” Click here to learn more about the cast of “Buppies”: http://buppies.bet.com/cast.
Filmmaker Julian Breece wrote and directed the series. Breece and his producing partner, Aaliyah Williams co-produced “Buppies” through Game Theory Films and in partnership with Tatyana Ali and her sister Anastasia’s company HazraH Entertainment.
Gary Gunn, a fellow Howardite and composer with D.C. roots, created an amazing soundtrack for ”Buppies.” Click here to listen to the soundtrack: http://www.garygunnmusic.com/filmtv_buppies.html.
“Buppies” has become a source of inspiration for my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two. Book Two tells the story of Symon Allure, the last person you meet in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com). Symon is a thirtysomething Brooklyn-born African American man with an eclectic background and striking resemblance to actor Courtney Vance. His eclectic background includes working class Afro-Cuban roots dipped in the southern culture of Richmond, Virginia, and a professional persona that mirrors Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois’ Talented Tenth. Symon earned his BA and MBA in finance from Howard University’s School of Business. He is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He works as an investment banker in Washington, D.C. and enjoys a buppie lifestyle with his 15th Street bachelor pad home and BMW. The novel opens with flashbacks from Symon’s childhood in 1968 and moments from his freshmen year at Morehouse College. It takes you on a journey of Symon’s dating experiences which lay the groundwork for a major life transformation that helps him discover his identity as one of Love’s Troubadours.