Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Sweet Life: Los Angeles’ On HBO Max, A Reality Series About A Group Of Successful Twentysomethings In South L.A.

Candy Life: Los Angeles, which counts Issa Rae amongst its govt producers, follows seven twentysomethings, supposedly all a part of the identical buddy group, as they fight to achieve success in Los Angeles. A number of the group, who all stay in South L.A., are already profitable, or are firmly ensconced of their careers. Others are on their method up, comparatively positive of the place they’re going of their careers. It’s their lives that they’re largely not sure about, not in contrast to most individuals at “quarterlife.”

Opening Shot: Scenes from the primary season of Candy Life: Los Angeles. “South L.A. breeds excellence, and we’re the proof,” says one of many solid in a voice over.

The Gist: The primary individuals we meet are buddies Amanda Scott, a PR rep, and Tylynn Burns, an occasion planner. Tylynn and her boyfriend Jaylenn meet Amanda and her boyfriend Rob on the seaside, the place the boys stroll the canine and the ladies go to a session of “lure yoga,” the place it appears there’s an emphasis on shaking your butt every time potential.

Then we see Cheryl Des Vignes on a hillside picnic date together with her longtime boyfriend, Jerrold Smith II. Cheryl is a designer and artist, and the 2 of them have been courting for eight years. In some unspecified time in the future, she desires Jerrold, a former faculty basketball star, to maneuver out of his dad and mom’ home and begin a life together with her. However he’s been reluctant; he tells Tylynn in a while that he doesn’t wish to transfer out, have battle with Cheryl, and smash the nice factor they’ve going.

Briana Jones, who has a level in psychology however at the moment works a medical data job and needs to begin her personal pores and skin line, is hanging out a bit with P’Jae Compton, who’s seeking to be a music producer. He thinks there’s one thing there, contemplating she doesn’t even thoughts driving in his outdated Honda Civic whose visor retains falling down as a result of he didn’t use sufficient duct tape. It seems that Briana has a historical past with P’Jae’s new buddy Jordan Bentley, who runs his personal clothes line referred to as Hypland.

It seems that Jordan has had fairly a historical past, as we see when Briana talks to her Michigan buddy Becky into coming to Tylynn’s “Black Is Again” get together. Appears that Becky additionally has a historical past with Jordan, and he or she simply desires a bit little bit of closure. And, whereas Tylynn isn’t too completely happy that Briana invited her buddy with out asking, it appears to be all good by the top of the night time. And P’Jae, whom Briana swears is only a buddy, is doing his finest to alter that.

Sweet Life; Los Angeles
Photograph: HBO Max

What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? Candy Life: Los Angeles roughly has the sensation of a Bravo-style actuality present just like the Actual Housewives sequence, however aged down a bit.

Our Take: The first mistake that Candy Life: Los Angeles makes proper off the bat is introducing us to too many individuals without delay. There are seven important solid members, and three different boyfriends/mates that can pop up on occasion. So, that’s ten individuals who present up within the sequence’ first half-hour. In attempting to determine all of them, and perhaps arrange the place the first conflicts are and who’re actually mates and who’re frenemies, there isn’t sufficient reality-style character and battle to make the primary episode attention-grabbing.

There’s some drama launched within the first episode, however most of it’s both minor — Tylynn not liking Briana inviting Becky to her get together — or complicated. Within the latter class, it was exhausting for us to maintain up with simply who Jordan and P’Jae each preferred and/or dated, and what the sequence was. Looks as if they each preferred Becky and Briana sooner or later, however we’d must re-examine the compulsory gymnasium scene the place the boys are speaking about it for us to essentially get a transparent image. And that sort of examine isn’t what you do with a actuality present like this.

What we wish to see extra of is how all of those solid members replicate Black excellence, an idea that’s talked about greater than as soon as. All of them appear to have both made it or are on their method to making it; even P’Jae, driving the hooptie Honda, has a aim that he’s effectively on the best way to attaining. If the producers can stability that with the requisite actuality drama — manufactured or in any other case — Candy Life will distinguish itself from different actuality reveals.

Intercourse and Pores and skin: None.

Parting Shot: Everybody gathers for an image on the finish of the Black Is Again get together. Briana insists she ought to go within the center as a result of “I’m single!”, which she says loud sufficient for P’Jae to listen to.

Sleeper Star: We wished to go to the dispensary that Briana and P’Jae went to, simply because.

Most Pilot-y Line: None, actually.

Our Name: STREAM IT. We’re hoping that Candy Life: Los Angeles ramps issues up shortly, and does a greater job of rounding out what we all know concerning the solid members. However the first episode was simply an excessive amount of, too quick, and it didn’t let the relationships between characters breathe in any respect.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Instances, Slate, Salon,,, Quick Firm and elsewhere.

Stream Sweet Life: Los Angeles On HBO Max | Stream It Or Skip It?


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