WATCH: Bros Before Hos – Full Pilot Episode
Here’s the full pilot for the show, Bros Before Hos, that was teased in a very well produced trailer last month.
The potential series is being spearheaded by the creator and writer Benjamin Cory Jones with help from director Anthony Hemingway (Red Tails) and a producing assist by Lena Waithe (Dear White People).
The pilot stars Kevin Philips (Pride, Red Tails), Dijon Talton (Glee) and Americo “Tuffy” Questell.
Pretty much all of the answers to my previous questions were given in the video itself (with extra information provided on the show’s official website). This will not be a feature film or a web series. Their intention is to get this show picked up by a network (or streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, I’m sure).
BROS BEFORE HOS is a television pilot presentation about what it’s like to fall in love in this crazy world we live in now. The series is a semi-autobiographical comedy about three brothers, two straight, one gay, each dealing with modern-day issues in Los Angeles while trying to find love, but screwing shit up along the way.
Here’s my favorite bit of text on their website:
WHY NOT TURN THIS INTO A WEB SERIES?
Because we want to reach the widest audience possible in order to show the wit and complexities of people of color and people within the LGBT community. Remember when you could turn on your TV and see characters and situations that reminded you of your experiences? So do we. Which is why we want this to be on mainstream television. No shade to web series, though.
I love it. This is real. This guy Benjamin Cory Jones ain’t playing around. Networks aren’t picking up web series and he knows this. Oh sure, a handful of web series, out of the thousands produced, have gone to series or have received development deals. But where are those shows now? Either still in Development Hell, they’re Cancelled altogether or they’re back on YouTube. It was reported that Awkward Black Girl’s Issa Rae received network deals with ABC and HBO, but years later I have yet to see a single episode or even a sizzle trailer for any of her shows: Development Hell.
[Editor’s Note: Yes, there are exceptions like Children’s Hospital, Drunk History, Sanctuary and Broad City. For the most part, though, its very hard to get a web series “picked up” unless the series already has millions of views or a major celebrity attached, as was the case with “The Annoying Orange” and Lisa Kudrow’s “Web Therapy.”]
This team wants the real deal. That network guap.
After viewing the slick 11-minute pilot, I must say that I was very impressed and I can see why they decided to avoid wasting their time (and money) making free content for the digital space.
The show looks and sounds great…and so do the actors. Everyone pops on-screen and delivers solid performances.
Its rare that you see black filmmakers (regardless of sexuality) attempt witty dialogue in a comedy. Usually there’s just a foul mouth male character who yells a lot and we’re expected to laugh. Benjamin Cory Jones actually attempts to build character and chemistry with his actors in the short amount of time he has them on-screen.
This leads into my overall praise that the pilot (and possibly the intent for the series) doesn’t go for stereotypes or predictable character dynamics.
Examples: The gay character is not closeted. His brothers are not angry homophobes. The ambiguously gay male character turns out is not actually a secretly down-low athlete. The divorced black couple are not at each others’ throats and arguing over child support. The black man actually plays hard to get towards the advances of the aggressive, cute white woman.
Who knows how things will actually play out if the show is picked up for a series order, but at the very least the pilot demonstrates a desire for staying away from those cliches and tropes.
The only negative complaint I have about this pilot is not much of a unique story is presented besides the fact that these are extremely close black biological brothers who are totally comfortable with the fact that one of them is openly gay.
True, the team only had 11-minutes to set up the characters and situation, but in the past we’ve posted indie short films on this website that have told far more complete, expansive, world-building stories in 10-mintues or less.
Also, my experience with viewing pilots is this is the time where the producers demonstrate to potential studios and buyers the multitude of storylines that can be told based on the premise. The pilot usually “sets up” tons of interesting future dilemmas and episodes for the full series.
Okay, these 3 brothers have dating issues…what else is going on with them? Not much, according to this pilot. Why should we care if they successfully date? Because they’re attractive, progressive black people who aren’t stereotypes? We need better reasons. Show us more of the flaws that makes these super attractive, seemingly well-paid people (living comfortably in Los Angeles) perpetually single in the first place.
Every character presented seems perfect in every way…except when it comes to dating. In my experience, personal flaws are a major factor when it comes to difficulties in dating.
That’s not to say that Benjamin Cory Jones is not already prepared for this with a binder full pre-written treatments for future episodes and story arcs. It just would have been nice to see a bit more established here in the pilot to get me eager to see more.
Outside of that, the spec is great. The directing, production value, well photographed visuals and high quality graphics makes this a great calling card for the entire team. We need much more creative content at this level of excellence in the world of Black and LGBT film and television.
Remember though, this show is not picked up yet so there will be no continuation of the story unless that happens. As they state on the website, they need you to “MAKE NOISE. Share the pilot presentation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and send the link to your favorite bloggers. Studios and networks start to pay attention when the audience demands better entertainment.”
After watching the pilot, tell us your thoughts below. The producers are watching these pages and looking for feedback.
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