Okay, new scene. A Kori scene. I like Kori…he’s as flamin’ as a bag of hot Cheetos…but he’s funny. Let’s go, make me laugh.

Wait. Another new character, Damien Crawford?…Hmmm, okay let’s see…arm full of Star Tattoos…He’s definitely gay.

He’s holding auditions for dancers. Kori is one of these dancers waiting to perform and we find out that Damien Crawford just won three Grammy’s last week. Wait, when? The Grammy Awards are ALWAYS in late January/early February. No Shade’s “extended unrated edition DVD director’s cut” of Danielle walking to court showed us that it was actually at least late-Spring.

Ha! You see what I just did? Nitpicking’s fun!

Seriously though, what am I watching here?

Next we see the audition. Damien Crawford (Three Late-Spring Grammy Awards, yo) watches as about 8 dancers perform a well choreographed number. Including Kori.

This is another thing I like about this web series. The characters say they are something and you see them doing it. A character says he’s a dancer and you actually see him dancing. A character says he’s a painter, you see him painting. This is a visual medium. Its always better to see than to tell. Plus this makes them feel more like real people and less like exposition machines whose sole purpose is to spit out dialogue.

That was a cool little scene. I’m sure it took time to learn all those dance moves so I appreciate the effort put into this indie production.


Next scene, back to Danielle.

She’s still walking?!


I need Freefall actor Dante Simmons to say what I’m thinking:

Okay she’s headed home so I guess everything went well at court. I’m assuming that none of the wild sitcom-like antics went down that I predicted earlier. Le Sigh. If I ever write some No Shade fan-fiction, I’ll be sure to fill in those gaps.

So Danielle is sitting on a subway bench and – Oh Snap! Young Scrappy is sitting right next to here, waiting for the train as well.

Ohhhhhhhhh! Now I get it…one of those “we’re all connected” coincidences like the movie Crash. Sigh. Sean Anthony is really letting me down in this episode. This is almost as corny as the “two strangers accidentally bump into each other and later end up dating” scene that almost every student filmmaker writes at one point.

No seriously, this is kinda dumb. His meeting was canceled BEFORE she even got to court…which means he’s been waiting at the train station for hours cause nothing happens quickly in our court system, especially in NYC. Anyway, a kid is there selling candy and he asks Young Scrappy if he would like to buy some for Danielle. He obliges and uses this as an opportunity to to ask Danielle out for a lunch date.

Okay, I get it. Danielle’s accidental actions at the beginning of the day led to her meeting Young Scrappy and potentially finding a boyfriend. Small world. That’s cool in theory but it was not EARNED at all. The character didn’t have to work for it. The writer didn’t work for it. It just all happens with no conflict or buildup. What was her dilemma in this episode? Not to mention that the guy cast to play Young Scrappy is attractive and all that, but he’s def the weakest link in the acting chain so far of this season. His stiff “supposed-to-be-suave” line readings kinda took me out of the moment. I’m just saying. He needs some work.

I press play and Danielle’s walking again. Really?!

This show is officially retitled to: No Shade, All Cardio.


Later that evening, the gang gets together at an outside park table on Christopher Street to recap their day. Wait, what?

I’m recapping the recap of their day now? Its the end of the episode? Already? But…Nothing happened! It was all first act. No end of first act…no second act…no third act problem resolution? This is really the end of the episode?! Everything important we saw in Episode 08 could have happened in the first 2 minutes of a typical No Shade episode.

As good as this typically show is, writer/director Sean Anthony actually spit out a Filler Episode…in a web series?!


Okay, for all of you out there who just watched this show for the first time with this episode, I apologize. I promise you it’s been better than this. This “Trans-cending” script had to be due the night before filming and Sean Anthony just phoned it in to get the passing grade. I’mma chalk this one up as a one-time occurrence and hope that they rebound with the next installment.

Hmmm, I guess for the rest of the recap I’ll talk about the two characters that took a back seat this episode, Eric and Noel.

Eric shows up with a sore rump from rough sex and has to sit down veeeeerrrrry slooooooowwwwlllyyy. Get it, he’s the gay man who has anonymous sex a lot. The one character seen in EVERY black gay web series, television series and movie. Here’s to you, archetype. *Raises glass*

Noel is also at the table being the typical arrogant stuck-up dude he’s been from the beginning.

No seriously, this dude is the worst. That innocent guy act doesn’t fool me. Noel’s one of those attractive “I only date a certain type of perfect person” type dudes that is never satisfied no matter how many great guys he meets. He watches all of his friends around him casually date and be happy while blaming everyone else for his perpetual single status instead of looking within his own flawed self.

So yeah, Noel is pretty much exactly like me. *Drops head in shame*


 So that’s it, folks!

Real talk, this was a weaker episode but the show is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. Its a fun diversion that features the full spectrum of LGBT diversity. Even if the characters and their situations are not your cup of tea, I’d still recommend it based on the execution and attention to story details. 

There are some other issues with the show but the only major complaint I have is the show seems very directionless. Its not leading up to anything. Besides Danielle’s gender identity quest, there’s no overarching storyline to tie the season together really. Its almost like they need a community center to save with a massive fundraiser as Kori leads a group of dancers like this:

Bwahahahaha! Nah I’m just kidding……..but I’m serious though.

I believe in the beat, yo…I believe.


NEXT RECAP: Web Series -Freefall Episode 10 “Protection”


Cypher Avenue Rating: 3 of 5