'Girlfriends' is the Reason We Can Have Shows Like 'Black-ish' and 'Insecure'

girlfriends blackish reunion
GIRLFRIENDS, (from left): Jill Jones, Golden Brooks, Tracee Ellis Ross, Persia White, (Season 1), 2000-08. © Paramount Television

Before there was Insecure, there was Girlfriends, the original black female friendship goals television show.

11 years later and a reunion is in order, but unfortunately not in the form of a reboot/movie (at least not yet). Instead, Joan, Lynn, Toni, and Maya will return to our screens on a new episode of black-ish.

On Thursday, Tracee Ellis Ross tweeted a video of herself revealing the exciting news, saying, “we have an extra episode of black-ish! It’s a feminist episode, and I brought in some…back up…from some of my…girlfriends,” as she slowly turned the camera to dramatically reveal former Girlfriends co-stars Jill Marie Jones, Golden Brooks, and Persia White.

lively bralette

Soon after, Twitter erupted with black women rejoicing and reminiscing about what the show meant to them and how excited they were to see the Girlfriends ladies return to their screens. My friends and I were scrolling through Twitter ourselves when we heard about this long-overdue reunion. My best friend gasped loudly next to me and when we asked her what was wrong she screamed, “Girlfriends is back!” Even though we weren’t even teenagers by the time the last Girlfriends episode aired, we were all flooded with memories of watching funny, cool, sometimes bougie black women unapologetically living their best lives. These were the women we all once (and still do) aspire to be.

Looking around at my group of girlfriends, I’d always wondered if I’d end up as Lynn, the free-spirited couch-surfer; Maya, the hard-working young mom; Toni, the successful, confident diva; or Joan, the empathetic, reliable friend. As I got older, I saw myself in each one of these characters and ultimately decided I just wanted to have a solid group of girlfriends around me when I reached my 30s.

Although I didn’t understand all of the details of the lives of the four women while they navigated work, relationships, and their own friendships, I still appreciated the fact that I could turn on the tv and see women outside of my own matriarch who I could look up to. I can safely say that Girlfriends walked so Insecure could run. It was one of the first and only shows to depict positive, everyday images of black female friendship.

lively bralette

Many people like to refer to Girlfriends as the black version of Sex and The City, but it was so much more than that. Girlfriends wasn’t all glitz and glam, depicting some fun, unrealistic New York lifestyle (no offense to SATC). Girlfriends was real. Watching re-runs as I entered my 20s, I could see my mom, my aunt, my sisters, and eventually myself in just a few years in every character and in every episode.

Speaking with EW, Tracee Ellis Ross said,

Girlfriends ran for eight years and was important to so many people. Being able to merge black-ish and Girlfriends was surreal for me and so much fun. These are the women I grew up with and love deeply, and it was easy to tap back into the magic of our chemistry and how much we love each other. It was giggles on top of giggles on top of giggles.”

The highly-anticipated episode will air on Tuesday, October 8 at 9:30 p.m.


Why Every White Girl Needs to Watch ‘Girlfriends’

Jasmine Hardy
Jasmine Hardy is a writer based in California who is *slightly* obsessed with all things culture and entertainment. She spends an absurd amount of time watching tv shows, but justifies it with the fact that she decides to be productive and write about them. She also got to interview Laverne Cox once (subtle flex). You can read more random and equally cool facts about her on her website jasmine-hardy.com.