Chicagoan, writer, actor and Emmy-winner Lena Waithe is bringing the South Side to the small screen this winter. The trailer for her new drama series, The Chi, was released yesterday, and we’re even more excited to see the finished product. Damnit, now we have to get Showtime, don’t we?
With rapper-producer Common co-executive producing, the series follows six interconnected, working-class African-American Chicagoans on the city’s South Side. (The exact neighborhood is not specified.) Showtime describes the series as a “coming-of-age drama” whose characters remind us that “the human spirit is strong and hope never dies.” So, suffice it to say, The Chi looks like it’s going to tackle some heavy topics.
Luckily, weighty plots are in good hands with Waithe. The Columbia College grad’s emotional dexterity in TV writing earned her an Emmy for outstanding comedy writing on Master of None. She was the first African-American woman to win such honor. Plus, the series is written by a Chicago native and filmed here, too—hopefully that adds some authenticity to the series.
Check out the teaser, released yesterday, here:
Coincidentally, Waithe is speaking in Chicago tonight at Chicago Ideas Week event “A Seat at the Table: Finding Equal Footing through Storytelling,” which is sold out.
The Chi premieres on Showtime on January 7. But if you can’t wait until 2018, you can always catch Waithe on Master of None, which is streaming on Netflix.