If you’re looking for the smartest, freshest, funniest comedy on TV, look no further than HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show. As great as Seasons 1 and 2 were, Season 3 is actually even better.
For three seasons we’ve been following the “end of the world” storyline, wondering what happened and who’s watching the women as they hilariously struggle to survive. Well, the surprising answers to all those questions play a major role in Season 3. Creator, writer, star Robin Thede spoke with The Root about what fans can expect from the new season, the bond with her fellow cast members and what sketch’s reaction she’s most surprised by.
Before viewers dive into Season 3, Thede suggests they go back and rewatch the first two seasons so they can take full advantage of all the Easter eggs and hints that have been planted.
“If you look back at Seasons 1 and 2, which I highly recommend people do before they watch the season, you will then notice things in Season 3 right away,” she said. “I can’t wait to break this down after the season airs, because there’s actually a lot of layers to what we’ve been planning for the last three years.”
It was always the plan to have this overarching storyline run through the series. The former host of The Rundown knew she would need something special to make the show undeniable. However, as big a role as the “end of the world” interstitials play, A Black Lady Sketch Show wouldn’t be the comedy masterclass it is without having all the elements blend together perfectly.
“I knew I couldn’t just make a sketch show. I knew that in order to stand out and be a sketch show with all Black women, we were going to have to do more,” Thede said. “For me it was always about creating a grounded sketch show that has narrative storylines, fully realized characters, but in a magical reality. I knew that there was going to be a world where we could play a variety of characters, but that world was going to have a throughline that made sense why we were doing all of these things and playing all of these characters.”
Finding out that everything has been connected all along adds another brilliant layer to an already clever show. Because the comedy is made by Black women, for Black women, the jokes are familiar and authentic, but they’re also never predictable. What sets the sketches here apart from other comedy shows is that they’re layered.
Just when you think you know where things are going, you’re met with a wildly ridiculous punchline that somehow makes everything even funnier. Of course, if it weren’t for the flawless chemistry of cast members Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Skye Townsend, viewers wouldn’t be able to accept the insane shenanigans these women effortlessly deliver.
“This cast in Season 3 with Skye, Gabrielle, Ashley and myself, we’re just unstoppable. It was really instant chemistry,” she said. “It’s like walking into the Black Lady Courtroom. You see each other and you’re like, ‘Yes we’re here!’ We have never had weirdness in the cast. When we walk on set, no matter what’s going on, if a wig’s on crazy or the day is running late, when we see each other, we’re locked and we’re in it.”
And speaking of the Black Lady Courtroom aka “Courtroom Kiki,” it’s the sketch that Thede says she was most surprised by. She never expected it to become the phenomenon that it is. “That shit took off in a way…it has become a cultural touchstone, this is what people are telling me,” she said. On women telling her about their celebrations in “Black Lady Offices,” she added, “To me it personifies the joy we feel when we see each other and we’re not supposed to be there. And it was also a celebration of Black professional women, which we never get to see. That took off in a way I did not anticipate.”
A Black Lady Sketch Show airs Fridays at 11/10c on HBO and is also available on HBO Max.