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‘Are hoes really winning?’: New series Á LA CARTE explores the trappings of Black millennial dating

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 08: Cast and crew attend the screening for "A La Carte" at Harmony Gold Theater on June 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo courtesy of producers)

“Maybe I should be a hoe.”

This is what the beautifully flawed protagonist Mahogany Rose, (played by Amanda Frezar), ends up pondering out loud to her best friend in the pilot episode of the upcoming new series Á LA CARTE.

And if we’re honest, during a time when celebrities like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion seem to be using their overt sexuality to gain success, a lot of young women have probably found themselves wondering the same thing.

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The show is the brainchild of entertainment publicist and first-time screenwriter, Breanna Hogan. And although this certainly isn’t the first series to tackle the trickiness of dating in the modern world, Hogan somehow manages to find a way to make this project feel fresh, sexy, and undeniably Black.

According to the producers, “Á LA CARTE is an original scripted dramedy [drama + comedy] about the misadventures of the black millennial dating experience and one girl’s journey to the last place she ever thought she would end up… on the side. “

And as the synopsis suggests, after one bad date too many, self-proclaimed good girl Mahogany, finds herself wondering if it’s time to end her love drought and take some notes from all the Instagram models and “side chicks” who seem to be winning all over her social media feeds.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 08: Actress Amanda Frezar attends the screening for “A La Carte” at Harmony Gold Theater on June 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

“This is based on true events. It’s based on a situation I was in and I should never have been in,” Hogan admitted Saturday, during a post-screening Q&A at the Harmony Gold Theater in Los Angeles.

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“I started off like Mahogany with all these standards…. but then you find yourself looking at the dating scene and it’s trash. And it starts to feel like the women with looser or no morals are getting farther in life, and you think, ‘maybe we should switch it up a bit.'”

The showrunner then got really candid about a personal dating situation, where she quite unexpectedly, found herself being a side-chick, and then being forced to confront all the assumptions she’d previously made about women who play those roles in men’s lives.

“I was so far away from myself I couldn’t recognize myself. It was so out of character,” she continued. “At the lowest point, I remember not wishing that feeling on my worst enemy.

The Howard University graduate went on to explain that once she was able to regain her independence, she was shocked to find out that quite a few Black women find themselves in the same predicament.

“When I got out of it, like just talking to some friends that are girls, who I know are in similar situations, I was like, ‘Oh, this is like a thing!’ And just seeing how common it was made me want to tell this story.”

Given what inspired the show, it seems fitting that the pilot, entitled, “Hoes are winning” jumps right into Mahogany and her colorful cast of friends, having funny (but also incredibly intelligent) debates about what role pro-hoe sensibilities have in shaping our new cultural norms.

The fact that the series is not only written, but in large part produced by Black women, undeniably makes a huge difference. As a result, there’s an authenticity to the narrative that audiences will not only find refreshing, but may also incite a few rigorous discussions amongst viewers as well.

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In addition to Amanda Frezar, Á LA CARTE stars reality TV personality and influencer KendallKyndall (BET’s “Games People Play”), Adriyan Rae (Hulu’s “Light As A Feather”), La’Myia Good (“The Wood”), Moritz Williams from the multi-Daytime Emmy Award-winning digital series “Giants”, newcomers  Choni Francis, Ariel Brown and Juan Gil, and guest starring Chauncey Jenkins (BET’s “Boomerang”).

The pilot was independently produced by Black-owned production company, Prodigi Arts and directed by Screen Actors Guild Award-winning actor, Dijon Talton. Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Eric Bellinger served as the music supervisor.

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