Tatyana Ali is back and joining forces with B.E.T.com for “BUPPIES”
By Brandon I. Brooks
Sentinel Entertainment Editor
Tatyana Ali stars and produced the new highly anticipated web series “BUPPIES” (Black Urban Professionals), which is set to premiere on www.BET.com in late November (November, 24 2009).
Tatyana Ali along with her sister Anastasia started HazraH Entertainment which is a production company named after Ali’s grandmother. The newly formed production company has been around for about two years and the web series “BUPPIES,” is the first major project to launch.
“It’s really an open space, it’s brand new and brand new territory,” Ali shared with the Sentinel. “People are really trying figure out how to do it and how to use the internet to get shows up there. There have been a few web series in the past but this is the first all black web series.”
The show “BUPPIES”, was actually brought to Tatyana Ali’s attention by a writer who went to college with Tatyana at Harvard University. Her college friend wrote the series a few years back and when he originally wrote the series, it was for television and from the very beginning, the character that Tatyana Ali plays “Quinci Allen,” the writer had Tatyana in mind to play.
As far as how the show got momentum to begin production, Tatyana shared with the Sentinel that, “We are all out here. We are young aspiring producers and writers and directors, aspiring talents and we were out there trying to do the traditional avenues of getting our project out there. And one day we kind of all looked at each other and were like why aren’t we just doing this ourselves. Pulling our resources together.”
The amazing thing about doing a web broadcast is what it takes to fund it is dramatically different from what it would take to fund a television show or a film. The web broadcast was something that Tatyana and her sister Anastasia could finance. They actually financed the series, got it into production and brought the project to B.E.T.
“BUPPIES,” centers on the misadventures of a dysfunctional crew of black, upwardly mobile quarter-lifers, desperately mining for the meaning of life in black Hollywood’s social wasteland.
Tatyana stars as “Quinci Allen,” someone who grew up in the spotlight as her father is “Charlemagne Allen,” and he is sort of a fictitious Sydney Poitier type of character, a black actor that people really respect and love so they follow his family and followed her all her life. So she Tatyana Ali’s character “Quinci,” is very use to the spotlight so she decides to become a publicist to sort of take advantage of that because it is the world she knows.
What you find out in the course of these ten web episodes is her father “Charlemagne” has passed away. Around the same time “Quinci’s” fiancÅ½’ who is a famous N.B.A. player, they had a public engagement and he then turns around and very publicly dumps her. “Quinci” is left alone in the world or so she thinks because she has a group of friends who in the end prove to be her family.
This provocative and ironic series chronicles the relationship dramas of “Quinci’s” dysfunctional, but virtually inseparable friends as they navigate the perks and pitfalls faced by LA’s young black power elite.
Much like her character in the web series Tatyana Ali in real-life leans on her family in as her two sisters Anastasia and Kimberley are her support and crutch. These three beautiful black women are focused on giving back and they are role models for not just black women but women and men of any race.
The Sentinel asked Tatyana to share what advice she would give to young individuals trying to make a way in Hollywood. Ali shared with the Sentinel, “To not be afraid. To be yourself and what that means, is you don’t have to fit. Whether you are behind the scenes or in front of it people will always want to put you in roles that they are comfortable with.” It’s up to us as individual to make a statement and be who we are and not be forced to play a role or position we are uncomfortable with.
New episodes of “BUPPIES,” can be seen weekly on www.bet.com staring Tuesday November 24, and archived episodes will be available daily for viewing. For more information on “BUPPIES,” please visit www.bet.com/buppies.