Millennials have a bad rap. We’ve been called lazy, entitled and so forth – but in reality, I think most of us are exhausted. We’re trying to wade our way through life using rules that rusted over a generation ago, and when we get stuck – which many of us do especially coming right out of college — things seem hopeless. We get angry, and perhaps we wallow and sink into what we feel is the injustice of it all. After all, it isn’t as if we haven’t done the work.
In his brutally honest and witty debut web series, A Whole New Irving, LA-based producer-director Terry Dawson examines the post-grad struggle from the perspective of a Black young man. Irving (Chase Anthony) is a recent grad who is submerged in debt and barely holding on to his job at a local health food store in Venice Beach. He lives every day trying not to let the bitterness and angst that he feels consume him.
Today more than any other time in history, what we do seems to define who we are. Not having a tangible goal to hold on to as a young, educated person can feel horrible, and those feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness can seep into every aspect of your being. Stretching away from the monotony of Irving’s day to day life, A Whole New Irving explores how Irving’s present circumstances affect both his mental health and spiritual well being. “Irving was crafted to be a portrait of a young black dude we haven’t seen before–he’s not a rapper, baller, or a thug, but a college educated millennial ‘average joe,'” Dawson explained. “His ‘normalcy’ is what makes him so relatable and realistic, similarly to Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl.”
More than anything, A Whole New Irving shows that life can and will come at you fast, and it’s OK to be pissed off, but there is also no shame in asking for help — something Black men haven’t been allowed to do historically.
A Whole New Irving premiered June 16th. Four out of the ten episodes slated for Season 1 have already debuted. Fundraising is currently underway to complete production on the final 6 episodes. Watch the first episode below.
Aramide A Tinubu is a film critic and entertainment writer. As a journalist, her work has been published in EBONY, JET, ESSENCE, Bustle, The Daily Mail, IndieWire and Blavity. She wrote her Master’s thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can find her reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightrami