1.1: Enjoyably silly with a strong comic performance from Grae
I guess for most people Jean Grae is not a name you'll know unless you are into hip-hop; even then you may not have since she is not exactly top 40 material. I found her some years ago now through being a Talib Kweli fan, and quickly found myself loving her music and also being frustrated with her sporadic output and seemingly random career path. She is also one of the few artists where interludes between songs are not really a bad thing, since she can actually be pretty funny and seems less interested in the sort of boasting swagger than many in her genre use these things for. This sense of humor was the reason I checked out this webseries, and it is also the main reason why I enjoyed this first episode.
The plot is great nonsense; despite Jean berating a friend for inventing a sick cat to get out of work, Jean then bumps into her ex and, in a moment of madness, not only invents a relationship, but also a baby – although as she builds her lie she is smart enough to build in the roots of a sickness in the baby so she can probably kill it off to get out from under if needed. There are elements of this situational comedy that is fairly standard for the genre, but at the same time it goes its own way by virtue of how lacking in sense it is, but yet how much total sense it makes in the context of Jean's world.
The production values are decent, but not great; sound and picture could be sharper and better, but generally it looks good and works well. What makes it though is Grae herself. Her performance is natural, funny, and committed to her character. I liked the total lack of ego in her delivery, and I found her brand of awkward denial to be very amusing throughout. She also works well with the others in this episode, who play off her very well. I won't suggest it is hilarious or that it is a humor that everyone will get, but I found all of it pretty funny and enjoyed the jazzy coolness mixed with the narrative nonsense and uniqueness of Grae's character.
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