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What Its Like Navigating Through Your 'Twenties'
March 4, 2020  | By David Hinckley

If an hour-long TV show these days can mostly be funny, there's no reason a half-hour show can't be mostly serious.

Twenties, which premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on BET, incorporates a lot of laughter into the story of three women in their 20s who are trying to find a path at a time when women no longer have just two or three options.

Fittingly, Twenties confirms that half-hour shows also no longer have just two or three options.

It's not new that Twenties deals with serious subjects because most sitcoms do. It's how the show approaches those subjects, with an underlying drive that suggests the writers are more interested in where all this could go than in the laughs they can mine along the way.

Jonica "JoJo" T. Gibbs (top) plays Hattie, a 24-year-old woman who has just been evicted from her Los Angeles apartment because she was late with the rent one time too many.

Rent is an issue when you can't move back home, and you don't have a job. Did we mention her car is on the brink of breaking down for good?

Hattie wants to write for television, a field where, theoretically, there should be a whole lot of jobs these days. That doesn't make getting the first one easy.

What she has on her side are two close friends, Marie (Christina Elmore, top) and Nia (Gabrielle Graham, top). It's always good to have close friends when you need a place to crash because even though Hattie defiantly sat outside her old apartment building in a chair after she was evicted, that's not a long-term plan.

Nia, a former child actress, wants to get back into the game. She and Hattie also share the familiar dilemma in your twenties of trying to find a relationship, although Nia is straight, and Hattie is gay.

This gets further complicated and amusing because Hattie apparently has a habit of dating women who may or may not be bisexual – like her current flame, Lorraine (Sheria Irving).

Marie is married to Chuck (Jevon McFerrin), and naturally, for TV purposes, things aren't quite as storybook as they might appear to most outsiders.

Since the three girlfriends share pretty much everything, this also opens the gates for regular rounds of trash talk.

The first-season plotline kicks into gear when Hattie meets Ida B. (Sophina Brown), star of the kind of TV show Hattie would like to write for. Turns out Hattie and Ida B.'s show has some awkward social media history, but Ida B. likes Hattie's directness, so she gives Hattie what could turn into her break.

When Hattie calls her Mom with this good news, Mom says she wishes Hattie had gotten a job instead with Power which shows good taste, but poor judgment. And reminds us Twenties never neglects the comedy element.

Gibbs, a rookie herself in the acting game, provides a solid anchor here. Elmore and Graham complement her well, and while Twenties isn't a whole new radical idea in TV drama, it's a well-paced, cleverly written story about people we want to do well, even when we suspect they sometimes won't.

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