In an effort to display and promote Black representation on their platform, Netflix has made many of the shows that I used to love available for you to stream right now. Some of these shows include fan favorites like, ‘The Parkers,’ ‘Half & Half,’ and ‘One on One.’ When I found out that they were adding these shows, I was so excited to take a trip down memory lane and relive some of my favorite memories of watching these shows with my mom, munching on a bag of chips, and laughing so hard that we almost pee on ourselves. Shout out to my mom for these amazing memories, by the way!
Well, the first on my list to watch was ‘Girlfriends,’ and I can honestly say that I’m so happy to have watched it again now that I’m older. It’s definitely a little disappointing and even a bit frustrating to get all the way to season eight only to find out that the show was cancelled mid-season, but I learned so many valuable lessons along this eight-season journey that made watching the show well worth it in the end. Here are 5 reasons to watch ‘Girlfriends’ in 2020.
- The show features multiple characters who go to therapy or explore the option of therapy.
It is certainly no secret that even talking about therapy was a bit taboo in the early 2000s. Back then, if you went to therapy, everyone assumed that you were crazy, and talking about going to therapy was out of the question — especially in the Black community. However, this show allows viewers to see that Black people, even those who are accomplished and in powerful positions like the characters in the show, can benefit from therapy and build healthier relationships with themselves and those they love. ‘Girlfriends’ was not afraid to have the conversation that so many avoided previously, and it’s amazing to see this in 2020 now that we live in a more evolved society.
2. The show helps people understand that every action has a consequence.
My goodness, there were soooo many scandals and betrayals in this show, and not one bad deed went unpunished. Whether someone was cheating, lying, or simply being a bad friend, we as viewers are able to see the aftermath and consequences of each character’s actions. It allows us as viewers to learn from their mistakes, even if they are just fictional characters, so that we can become better people and live better lives. Who says you’ll never learn anything by sitting in front of the TV because they most certainly lied 😉 .
3. The show isn’t afraid to talk about topics like physical and emotional abuse.
I love it when a show or a celebrity uses their platform to highlight issues within our society, and that’s exactly what this show does. In this case, ‘Girlfriends’ had a character that was being abused by her husband, and although it was difficult to watch, it was a great idea to include this episode in this show. The writers knew that there would be at least one person out there who needed to see that episode, who felt like they were the only person in the world going through the same situation, who needed a reminder that they deserve to be treated better. I imagine that episodes like that have helped countless people gain the strength to leave their abusive partners and value their self-worth.
4. This show demonstrated that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Without giving away any names, there are at least three characters in the show that give up their accomplished or once-fulfilling career to pursue a life-long or recently discovered dream. It’s so inspiring to know that even in your 30’s, it’s not too late to take a completely different and unexpected path! So many people expect us to have everything already figured out, and if we diverge from that path, then they say we are doomed to fail. One thing I love about ‘Girlfriends’ is that these three characters took a chance, gave it their all, and was determined to see it through.
5. This show had great examples of what it means to be a good friend and what it means to be a bad friend.
This show has a total of 172 episodes, and each one taught me at least one thing about how to be a better friend to those closest to me. Some episodes taught me how to show up for my friends by remaining honest, providing a listening ear and comforting arms, and supporting them through all of the highs and lows. Some episodes taught me what not to do — I saw first-hand that selfishness and conceitedness can leave you lonely, lying to spare one’s feelings is still a lie in the end, and spreading yourself too thin will make it so that you have no room left for the people most important to you.
See? Amazing right? I learned so much about who I am as an individual and who I am as a friend, all by watching ‘Girlfriends’. I hope that those of you who watched this show over a decade ago decide to watch it soon because I think it will be better than you remember. I hope that those of you who have never watched it before take the time to watch at least the first two episodes, just to give it a try. Don’t let the fact that it was cancelled stop you from watching it, though. It’s a wonderful show with lovable characters and real-life drama that will have you binge-watching an entire season in two days.
“I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest of all God’s gifts, for it is a love that has no exchange of payment.”
– Frances Farmer