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'Run The World' Is The Ode To Black Women, Black Culture, And Black Love We All Need

From the fashion and Harlem backdrop, to the sex and quality drama, it's a refreshing must-see.

Culture & Entertainment

This article is in partnership with Starz.

Listen. We all love a good rerun of Sex and the City, but the ghosts of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda can go ahead and rest. There's finally a new, formidable foursome further uptown—Harlem that is—and they've taken the fashion, sex, and sister-girlfriend drama to entertainingly engaging new levels. Trust me, Starz's new series Run the World is the ode to Black femininity, friendship, and NYC flavor we all need right now. And if you haven't been tuned in on Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m., you're truly missing out.


The series features women we can all either relate to, live vicariously through, or maybe even side eye, wondering where our coin is because at least one sis is us. Ella is a sexy, Caesar-cut rocking writer (played by Andrea Bordeaux) who begins the season mourning love lost and stumbling through a career renewal. Sondi (played by Corbin Reid) is a Ph.D. student who serves Cree Summer-in-A-Different-World-edgy realness, while juggling school and an entanglement with her single-dad advisor.

Rebecca Smythe (Starz Entertainment)

Whitney is an elegant yet aloof banker (played by Amber Stevens West) prepping for a massive Nigerian wedding after cheating on her fiance. (And that's reason enough to continue watching if not just to see the festivities unfold. If you know, you know.) And last but certainly not least is Renee (played by Bresha Webb), a feisty-fiery soon-to-be-divorced marketing exec who unapologetically serves as the tell-it-like-it-is voice of ratchet reason in the group.

It's The Quality For Us

Rebecca Smythe (Starz Entertainment)

This is the Living Single of today's generation, packed full of quality cinematography, storylines that actually make sense in a city setting, cameos by real-life staples of the Harlem nightlife and restaurant scenes (that will make you forget how long you've been self-isolating), and sexcapades that spark memories of what it was like to have an active dating life that went beyond sexting, quarantine loving, and weird dating app rendezvous. There's not a badly styled or poorly-sourced wig in sight, no disjointed plot lines to sort through, and hardly any saucy, overly dramatic dialogue or fight scenes, so you're in for just good, solid TV with this one.

Speaking of Living Single, Erika Alexander makes an appearance, playing Barb, the chic, no-nonsense boss of Ella. She brings the same ambitious, savvy, youthful spunk to the role as she did with Maxine.

Sex, Some Good Sex, and More... Well Sex

Rebecca Smythe (Starz Entertainment)

Oh, and let's not forget the foine (yes, F-O-I-N-E) men who add the perfect dose of masculinity and tainted romance to the mix. Whitney's debonair Nigerian doctor bae, Ola, is played by Tosin Morohunfola, Renee's soon-to-be ex, Jason, is played by the chocolate goodness that is Jay Walker, and the naughty zaddy professor, is played by Stephen Bishop. (Remember him from the luscious situationship in Being Mary Jane? Yes, sis. Him.)

Ella's handsomely clever boo, Anderson, (played by Nick Sagar) represents that irresistible guy we all put in the "It's Complicated" file, who uses mysterious charm, a smirk buoyed by a good set of immaculately white teeth, and some amazing bedroom moves to keep us coming back for more when we shouldn't. These men don't disappoint, especially when it comes to sex and eye candy, and if you want a sense of what the sensuous scenes are like, these sistas are gettin' it in like Issa and Nola.

Serving Looks and Harlem Vibes

Rebecca Smythe (Starz Entertainment)

Social commentary on subjects including sexism, gender roles, Karens, and upward mobility is peppered in without beating you in the head and ruining the escapism factor, of course. You'll also get chats about white dicks vs. Black ones, motherhood vs. the rich auntie life, and married life vs. gloriously-single-and-loving-it in a way that feels like you're just eavesdropping at a good Sunday brunch. And we can't talk a good Black female-driven dram-com set in NYC without mentioning fashion. You've got pieces from favs LaQuan Smith and Hanifa that spark all the good feels of getting up and showing out for the streets.

The mix of luxe door-knockers, brightly-hued furs, alluring silks, beautiful ankara prints, and strappy heels is absolutely everything when paired with the landscape of 116th Street's landmark African market, the expansive wall murals and monuments on and around 125th Street, the yummy sights and smells of spots like Red Rooster, Shrine, and Yatenga, the lushness of Marcus Garvey Park, and the grand historic architecture of Harlem's walk-up brownstones.

Don't Call It A Remake

Rebecca Smythe (Starz Entertainment)

But don't get it twisted. While there are comparisons being made to other girlfriend-centered shows of years past, this one offers its own fresh, updated take on dating, sex, and friendship that ensures you know you're in 2021, and there's a contemporary maturity to the show that allows it to hold its own. This isn't just a revamped, been-there-done-that remake of something you've already seen—and probably still stream for nostalgia's sake—before.

Run the World offers a refreshing slice of uptown Manhattan life featuring imagery of Black women, vibrant Black culture, and captivating Black love that reignites the senses and perfectly reflects a spicy semi-utopia of normalcy we all hope to return to—in real life—sometime sooner than later.

Catch Run the World on Sundays on Starz and the Starz App.

Featured image courtesy of Rebecca Smythe (Starz Entertainment)

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