Are you ready to experience a male version of “Girlfriends?” Something that gives you vibes from the 2000s comedy, “The Brothers.” If so, the newest Bounce TV dramedy is for you. Johnson focuses on four life-long best friends, all of whom share the same last name.
These guys could be your brother, best friend, cousin, or boyfriend. It takes a look into their intriguing and sometimes complicated journey of love, friendship, heartbreak, and personal growth. Some of the topics covered this season will feel as if they are hot off of your Twitter or Instagram feed, including divorce, interracial love, sexuality, finances, and manhood.
Jill Munroe talked with the cast and creative execs behind the show to discuss Black women being part of the inspiration for the show, why the show is a representation of the “everyday Black man,” and “Bro Code.”
Deji LaRay: First and foremost, this is a show for Black women. It’s a show where Black men can see themselves represented on screen. We haven’t seen ourselves represented onscreen in a long time in a very honest way. And I’m talking about the everyday Black man. Men like your uncle, brother, cousin, husband, or boyfriend. Television glorifies certain aspects of the Black man. The more extreme aspects. The vast majority of us are like the guys on “Johnson.” Everyday hard-working guys who are in love, trying to excel in business, have strong opinions of controversial issues like politics and religion. And we’re getting those out on this show and expressing it. So, you’ll get the chance to see Black men vulnerable finally. I think that’s why it’s important to have a show like this and show Black men on screen.
LaRay and Jones both admit to using social media to listen for ideas and inspiration for storylines in the show. So, with that in mind, I wanted to know if any personal experiences inspired some of the scenarios featured:
LaRay: The show, in general, is a collection of life experiences. For me, there are several situations that I’ve personally been through. Somethings are embellished. Or maybe I saw my friend or my brother go through it. Ultimately with this show, we wanted to be super realistic.
There are displays of “Bro Code” and hints of the upcoming drama in the first two episodes. Thomas discussed if Bro code is a real thing in male friendships:
Thomas Jones: There’s “bro code” just like there’s “sister code.” It’s about making sure that at the end of the day, we’re trying to protect our brother. Emotionally, physically. However, we can protect him. I do think this show will give women an inside look at how we maneuver. A lot of the issues between men and women is that women think men don’t open up. And since we may not have honest conversations with them, they think we don’t have them with each other. We do. We have way more honest conversations with each other than women would believe.
The series is produced in partnership with Eric C. Rhone and Cedric The Entertainer A Bird & A Bear Entertainment and LaRay (The show’s creator), and Jones’ Midnight Train Productions.
“Johnson” premieres Sunday, August 1st, with back-to-back episodes starting at 8 pm EST on Bounce. You can also catch it the following day on the “Brown Sugar” app.