Series creator Leigh Davenport, stars Amber Stevens West, Bresha Webb, Andrea Bordeaux, and Corbin Reid, and showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser at the "Run the World" LA premiere. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
The new Starz show "Run the World" centers on a group of four best friends living in Harlem.
Showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser, who wrote "Living Single" too, told Insider her brand is "sisterhood."
Its depiction of friendship among Black women makes it a worthy follow-up to "Living Single."
Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
In 1993, Yvette Lee Bowser brought "Living Single," the groundbreaking sitcom that inspired "Friends" and a legion of other half-hour comedies, to TV. The show's iconic theme song reminded viewers that "whenever life gets tough, you gotta fight with your homegirls standing to my left and right."
Back then, the ambitious, fun-loving, and "tight like glue" group of women (and men) who were the focus of "Living Single" lived in a Brooklyn brownstone.
Fast forward to 2021, and Bowser is at the helm of the new Starz half-hour comedy "Run the World," acting as executive producer and showrunner alongside series creator Leigh Davenport ("The Perfect Find," "Boomerang"), who also serves as a co-EP.
The fun, vibrant new series continues to bring Bowser's signature brand of "enviable female friendship," as she calls it, to the masses.
The four leads of "Run the World" in a still from the show. Starz
In "Run the World," which is part of Starz's #TakeTheLead initiative (a commitment to amplifying the voices of women and underrepresented audiences), four thirty-something Black women are intent upon world domination in covet-worthy fashions, with Harlem as their backdrop. The show stars Amber Stevens West (Whitney), Andrea Bordeaux (Ella), Bresha Webb (Renee), and Corbin Reid (Sondi) as four friends with a lifelong bond. Or, as Renee puts it in the trailer, "We've known each other longer than we've not known each other."
For Bowser, who's been making TV since 1987, a show focusing on female bonds is perfectly in line with the stories she's interested in telling. The longtime creator says sisterhood is central to her existence.
"Some of my most important and life-saving relationships are with my female friends and relatives. I enjoy paying homage to how that inner connectivity gives us life," she told Insider during a recent virtual press junket for the new series. "We're constantly redefining ourselves, but to be able to do that with women who pick you up? It's like no other feeling."
Yvette Lee Bowser at the "Run the World" LA premiere. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment
And while Bowser and Davenport, who are both Black women, use comedy to disarm audiences and show them "our humanity," Bowser doesn't take her storytelling legacy lightly. To her, it's a tremendous responsibility that she takes "very seriously."
Bowser took it so seriously that she tapped "Living Single" alum Erika Alexander to join "Run the World" as a new character, Barb.
The conversation with Alexander started as a one-off opportunity to appear in the pilot, according to Bowser. But after reminiscing about their "Living Single" days, it soon morphed into an opportunity for Alexander's Barb to play with this new, modern iteration of sisterhood and offer a multigenerational presence to the enterprising friends on a recurring basis.
While the Starz comedy's vibe is "us vs. everybody," that doesn't mean the beautifully flawed women at its center don't have issues with themselves and with each other.
Sondi, the doctoral student, is sleeping with her advisor. Ella's writing career needs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Renee's five-year-old marriage is headed for divorce, and Whitney is second-guessing her upcoming wedding to her long-time boyfriend.
West's character Whitney in a still from the show. Starz
Whitney is that girlfriend who colors inside of the lines. She plays by the rules because she believes bad things happen when she gives herself freedom. On the surface, West's Whitney has a picture-perfect life. Although she's weeks away from her lavish wedding, Whitney is longing for some juicy experiences.
West told Insider that the show feels real and "looks a lot like my real life," especially Whitney's ride on the struggle bus.
"I spent a lot of my early twenties feeling like I needed to please everybody," said West. "I was concerned with the optics, following the rules and making sure that I didn't let anybody down."
While that approach can keep women like West and Whitney focused on their goals, there's a downside. "You might not look inward enough. You might miss out on how you're truly feeling in the moment," West added. "That's where Whitney is in life. On paper, she has everything, but she is still not sure [of herself]."
West isn't the only "Run the World" star who can really relate to their character.
Like Whitney, Renee also plays by the rules-as long as she's the one writing the commandments. Webb, who plays Renee, admits to being the Renee of her own crew in real life. "It's not a stretch for me. Renee is very unapologetic in the way she lives her life and gives advice to others," the Baltimore native told Insider. "I feel like all women have those friends that call them out and have strong personalities."
And viewers can count on Renee to be herself in some of the season's most memorable moments, like in the bodega when a "colonizer" tries to dominate her space, or in the club when a bouncer rejects her entry into Souljah Boy's VIP because she and Ella are older than the women behind the velvet rope.
Webb hopes Black women see themselves in Renee, Whitney, Sondi, and Ella, and she fondly remembers seeing glimpses of herself in certain shows. "I grew up watching 'Living Single' and wanting to live in New York or looking at 'Girlfriends' and saying, 'Oh, my God. I'm goofy and awkward, like Joan.' And I also related to 'Sex and the City' and saying, 'I'm Carrie Bradshaw.'"
The four leads of "Run the World" in a still from the show. Starz
Webb, who recalled how she and her friends would hop on the famous Chinatown bus from B-more to the Big Apple and "get dressed up in a Burger King bathroom and twirl around and have brunch" in order to have her own big-city moments like the women from their favorite shows, told Insider she'd get downright emotional if a "Run the World" fan told her they saw themselves in her character.
"If a girl came up to me and said, 'I'm so much like Renee.' I would cry on her face. 'Cause that's the good stuff," she said.
But most of all, Webb loves how "Run the World" shows the nuances and complexities of Black women's friendships: "It's juicy. It's sexy. It's fun. And it's a mess."
"Run the World" debuts Sunday, May 16 at 8:30 p.m. EST on Starz.
Read the original article on Insider
The rest is here:
- The spiritual healing path is a way to healing your mind, body, and spirit - ABC 4 - May 17th, 2021
- SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Life (and traffic) returns to normal - Wicked Local - May 17th, 2021
- Time for a spiritual vaccine - The Times of India Blog - May 17th, 2021
- DEBRIS Uses Science Fiction to Tell a Moving Spiritual Story - Nerdist - May 17th, 2021
- Spiritual Side: Food Distribution Drive-Thru in DeLand on May 15 and 29 - The West Volusia Beacon - May 17th, 2021
- Are You Experiencing Bloating? | Spiritual and Physical Wellness - ChicagoNow - May 17th, 2021
- CRiver: Church of God Mission gets first indigenous spiritual leader - Vanguard - May 17th, 2021
- Prince Harry feels US is his spiritual home as he gears up to welcome baby girl - The News International - May 17th, 2021
- Cause & Effect: Where is Your Focus? - The New Indian Express - May 17th, 2021
- Voices of Faith: Re-imagining the covenant as we mark Shavuot - Record-Courier - May 17th, 2021
- Between the lines: Do we have the spiritual grit our beliefs require? - The West Volusia Beacon - May 17th, 2021
- MENTAL HEALTH WEEK: It's Important To Remain Mentally Healthy And Spirituality Can Help - South Asian Link - May 17th, 2021
- Meghan Markle is Diana's 'spiritual heir' and 'Age of Meghan' will last for years - Daily Express - May 17th, 2021
- Spirituality - From one end to other - Goa Chronicle - Goa Chronicle - February 4th, 2021
- 8 Women in Spirituality to Know in 2021 - PRNewswire - February 4th, 2021
- Simplicity of spirituality - The New Indian Express - February 4th, 2021
- THE CREATIVE SOUL Podcast Explores The Intersection Of Creativity & Spirituality - Broadway World - February 4th, 2021
- Upcoming exhibit to show connection between lowriders and spirituality - KRQE News 13 - February 4th, 2021
- SOLOS goes on a spiritual journey with Bill Forchion - Brattleboro Reformer - February 4th, 2021
- Bring Me the Horizon's Oli Sykes Had 'Spiritual Rehab' With Monks at an Ashram - Loudwire - February 4th, 2021
- Skiing and the spiritual life - Arlington Catholic Herald - February 4th, 2021
- Spirituality for Millennials: Choosing quality over quantity is always a good idea - Free Press Journal - February 4th, 2021
- Horoscope, Thursday, February 4, 2021: Spiritual Day for Gemini, Love is in the Air for Virgo - India.com - February 4th, 2021
- Sophie Xeon passes away in terrible accident while being true to her spirituality - Republic World - February 4th, 2021
- Sundance's 'Son of Monarchs' Is the Spiritual and Scientific Anthem We Didn't Know We Needed - Daily Utah Chronicle - February 4th, 2021
- One of the last living spiritual sons of Padre Pio reveals what he learned - Aleteia EN - February 4th, 2021
- Vow of poverty: Jesuits to look at its spiritual, practical implications - The Catholic Sun - February 4th, 2021
- A holistic professional shares a guide to transform life through reflections, practical tools and spiritual wisdom - GlobeNewswire - February 4th, 2021
- Want to Know Your (Spiritual) Family's History? Then Read What They Wrote Southern Equip - The Southern News - February 4th, 2021
- Letter: Be spiritual all the year through - Grand Forks Herald - January 5th, 2021
- Spiritual direction: What is it, who needs it, and why? - The Catholic Telegraph - January 5th, 2021
- 'I see miracles every day': Hospital chaplain reflects on spiritual care during pandemic - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - January 5th, 2021
- Inspiration - The Abundant Empower Hour 01/04 by Universal Energy | Spirituality - BlogTalkRadio - January 5th, 2021
- Spiritual Editorial: Walk confidently In 2021 and always | Faith - NorthcentralPa.com - January 5th, 2021
- New Religious Fiction Novel 'The Chronicles of Assignments: Principalities' Presents Thrilling Adventure in Spiritual Warfare - GlobeNewswire - January 5th, 2021
- Spiritual Reflections: Remember to find joy the new year - SW News Media - January 5th, 2021
- 2020 YEAR IN REVIEW: Washington reflects on a year of 'Spiritually Speaking' - The Atlanta Voice - January 5th, 2021
- Spiritual politics in the world: Is it an utopian expectation? - WION - January 5th, 2021
- African-American Educator and Spiritual Leader Jay Vinson Offers Hope for American Youth - Publishes Powerful New Memoir and Devotional That Turns... - January 5th, 2021
- Ignatian spirituality in 'Wonder Woman 1984': The line between greed and the true more of 'magis' - America Magazine - January 5th, 2021
- Spirituality: This is time of year to make our dreams real - Norwich Bulletin - January 5th, 2021
- Surviving Death on Netflix, A Scientific and Spiritual Investigation into the Afterlife | Movie trailer - Prudent Press Agency - January 5th, 2021
- JI spiritual leader Bashir set to be released on Friday - The Straits Times - January 5th, 2021
- New Year's resolutions: A spiritually uplifting thing to do - Walla Walla Union-Bulletin - January 5th, 2021
- Spiritual Successors Are Keeping Iconic Game Series Alive, and They're Not Slowing Down - The Escapist - January 5th, 2021
- Landry: How to make spiritual New Year's resolutions - Grandin Media - January 5th, 2021
- Contagion Spiritual Sequel In The Works From Steven Soderbergh - Screen Rant - January 5th, 2021
- Generation Z and spiritual wellness The Famuan - Famuan - November 10th, 2020
- Pastor Paula White calls on angels from Africa and South America to bring Trump victory - USA TODAY - November 10th, 2020
- Spiritual Warriors on Behalf of Donald Trump - The Bulwark - November 10th, 2020
- COLUMN/PERSPECTIVE: The spiritual experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail - Brunswick News - November 10th, 2020
- NJAC Rededication: 1970 Revolution impacts spirituality and religion in T&T - Wired868 - November 10th, 2020
- US election 2020: Biden seeks spiritual comfort before maelstrom of 'loneliest job in the world' - Sky News - November 10th, 2020
- OPINION/SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Were still in this together - Wicked Local Kingston - November 10th, 2020
- Inspiration - The Abundant Power Hour 11/09 by Universal Energy | Spirituality - BlogTalkRadio - November 10th, 2020
- Spiritual teacher Sri M comes out with new collection of short stories - Times of India - November 10th, 2020
- Morality, spirituality must be at centre of discussions aimed at lasting unity - Stabroek News - November 10th, 2020
- Yes, There Is a Spiritual Side to Having a Healthy Relationship With Food | RELEVANT - RELEVANT Magazine - November 10th, 2020
- Tokayev receives head of Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan - Kazinform - November 10th, 2020
- Worldly concerns bleed into the spiritual realm | State - Southernminn.com - November 10th, 2020
- Trip to top of wind turbine offers spectacular sights and spiritual sensation - Wicked Local Plymouth - November 10th, 2020
- The strange tale of a former massage therapist turned religious leader & his 5 spiritual wives - The Independent - November 10th, 2020
- Study links daily spiritual practices to improved well-being and mental health - Baptist News Global - October 28th, 2020
- Brother Voodoo offers Marvel a chance to explore Black spirituality and acceptance - SYFY WIRE - October 28th, 2020
- Everything eco-friendly for the spiritual vibe - The New Indian Express - October 28th, 2020
- The Alchemy of Heartbreak and Hope: A Spiritual Practice for Our Time - Resilience - October 28th, 2020
- Chaplains and the role of spiritual care in Healthcare - The Laconia Daily Sun - October 28th, 2020
- As Witchcraft Surges in America, Is the Church Prepared for the Spiritual Battle? - CBN News - October 28th, 2020
- Spiritual Editorial: God Is With Us Through It All - NorthcentralPa.com - October 28th, 2020
- How this Indigenous architect designs buildings with Indigenous history and spirituality in mind - CBC.ca - October 28th, 2020
- PEARRELL: Our spiritual revival is not tied to who wins an election - Rockdale Newton Citizen - October 28th, 2020
- Amazing high school choir sings spiritual Down to the River to Pray from hotel balconies - Classic FM - October 28th, 2020
- A window on to Ram Kumars visionary and spiritual world - Financial Times - October 28th, 2020
- Are we experiencing a pandemic spiritual mutation? An approach from Kabbalah - The Times of Israel - October 28th, 2020
- Holly Courtier planned to go on spiritual journey, fast inside Zion National Park, family says - ABC 4 - October 28th, 2020
- Spiritual coaches aim to ease COVID-19, other health disparities in West Baltimore - Yahoo News - October 28th, 2020
- Indulgence for cemetery visits extended to spiritual visits and whole month of November - Aleteia EN - October 28th, 2020
- Russia is fighting coronavirus with prayers: a companion of Putins spiritual father has published a special book - Pledge Times - October 28th, 2020
- 4 Women of Color Share How Spirituality Has Helped Them Heal, Rest, and Resist - Well+Good - October 19th, 2020
- Tent revival focused on spiritual breakthrough | Religion - The Mountaineer - October 19th, 2020