In the first few years of the nineties, hip-hop singer/movie actress Queen Latifah headlined her own comedy show called Living Single. The show went on to last for five seasons. Although it never won much acclaim or any big awards, the show still had viewers. The basic premise for the show saw the day to day life of four twenty-something year old girlfriends and their two male neighbors.
In each episode, the cast sorted out its various issues with life. They also found time to find problems with eve…ything and also found time to overreact in nearly every situation. The show was might to show how normal people deal with everyday life. While I didn’t find the show to be constant laughter, I did find myself enjoying the show for what it was worth.
Khadijah James (Queen Latifah) is not as goofy and silly as some other characters like Regine Hunter (Kim Fields) and Synclaire James (Kim Coles). However she lacks any odd personality trait that all her other friends have. She is obviously the main character who is often leading her friends through the everyday troubles of life. She also owns a small magazine called “Flavor Magazine” which is featured every so often.
Regine Hunter is your typical man hungry woman who wants to always date some big, powerful, rich man. Synclaire is a little country girl who is easily the most entertaining out of all the characters mainly because she is so unaware of her surroundings that she doesn’t figure things out for quite some time while the audience is sitting there laughing at her misfortunes.
We are introduced to another girlfriend named Maxine Shaw (Erika Alexander) who plays an aggressive lawyer with a somewhat laughable angle. The other two characters are named Kyle Barker (T.C. Carson) and Overton Jones (John Henton). Kyle is a suave and pretty cool customer, while Overton plays your typical big, dumb jock who is oblivious to everything around him.
All of the cast provides a good mix of personalities that tend to turn any simple situation into a situation with some laughs. While the show is not some of the best comedy I’ve ever seen on the Television Side, I did enjoy watching these characters coexist from episode to episode. For example, Max and Kyle play your love/hate relationship characters. Both constantly throw jokes at each other.
The unfortunate part is that while the characters can be pretty funny sometimes, the show doesn’t really hold together from episode to episode in a manner that would want the viewer to go back and watch the show down the road. After you’ve seen a few episodes, you can figure out the general path the show is trying to take. Because of these faults, I can only recommend Living Single for a weekend rental.
Here is a list of the episodes included in season one:
Living Single is presented in an aspect ratio of 1:33:1. Since the image has been re-mastered for DVD, I expected a pretty good picture. What I saw was a picture that had noticeably high levels of grain and extremely dark darks that were so dark resulting in some scenes that were hard to make out. There were also edge enchancements and color distortion due to over video compression. Overall this is a pretty average transfer.
We are given a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound Audio Track. The overall quality is decent when compared to other Television DVD releases. Dialogue is rather flat and there is little to no distinction from the left to right channels.
All we get is one paltry feature here.
- How Ya Livin’?: Season One of Living Single: In this feature we get to hear from the series creator Yvette Lee Browser. Actors/Actresses Kim Fields, John Henton, Kim Coles, T.C. Carson, and Erika Alexander also show up to speak. All the guests discuss their respective characters and the show in general with relation to season one. If you want to know more about Living Single, you’ll be surprised. However, it may not be too interesting for the rest of you.
While the show does provide a few laughs here and there, the repetitiveness of each episode gets pretty dry toward the end of the season. The overall quality of the video and audio is rather disappointing in comparison to other older Television Shows. I would only recommend this show for a weekend rental, as there is not too much in the show that you won’t pick up from one viewing.
Special Features List
- How Ya Livin