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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

'Smoke and Mirrors' throws shade on the single life

  • Screen shot/"Smoke and Mirrors"
Now here's a refreshing take on relationships from a male point-of-view. Atlanta indie filmmaker and documentarian Artemus Jenkins is co-creator of a web series titled "Smoke and Mirrors," which offers a comical look at the travails of a single male reentering the dating scene.

Jenkins narrates and stars in the series as Sonny "Dixon" Richard, a filmmaker whose live-in girlfriend moves out, and on, leaving him behind to navigate the single life again. In the latest episode (below), Sonny goes on a series of comical dates after seeking advice from friend and Atlanta tattoo/visual artist Miya Bailey, who plays himself in the cameo appearance. Jenkins and Bailey also collaborated on the production and 2012 independent release of Color Outside the Lines, a documentary tracing the legacy of African-American tattoo artists.

Earlier this year, Jenkins directed the web docu-series "P.O.P. (Power of Pussy)," which took viewers behind the scenes of Atlanta strip club Magic City through raw and revealing interviews with the club's entertainers. One of those real-life interviewees, Cali, plays Sonny's ex-girlfriend in "Smoke and Mirrors." Co-created and written by KarynRose Bruyning, the show is also representative of a new wave of smart, black, web-based sitcoms - which play against stereotype - coming out in the wake of creator Issa Rae's runaway web hit "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl."

Here's the full premise behind the show:

Too often in love, people are not straight shooters. Enough of the time people don't simply lay their cards on the table and let the other make an educated decision. With no "carfax" you are left to take people based on what's in front of you but that's not always their real selves. It's an optical illusion. "Smoke and Mirrors" is a humorous look at the life of newly single, filmmaker Sonny "Dixon" Richard, who must reacclimate himself to the complexities of male and female relationships, just when he thought he had it all figured out.

Since his approach to single doesn't seem to be working out, Dixon figures he has nothing to lose by trying something new, but will it yield the desired result?

It's cool to see relationship drama from a male p.o.v., especially considering how often it's portrayed from the opposite gender's perspective. There's even a twist on the selfish lover trope in ep. three when Sonny is practically victimized in bed. If you dig the new ep., do yourself a favor and hit the jump to catch up on episodes 1-4.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

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