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‘Saturdays’ = Chi-Town, Skating & Black Joy

Disney’s new series is here to break barrier’s and reshape television

The new coming-of-age comedy “Saturdays,” starring Daria Johns, Danielle Jalade and Peyton Basnight, is now streaming on the Disney Channel.

What happens when you mix three best friends, two crazy yet loving parents, Chi-town roller skating with a sprinkle of culture, music, and fun ALL on the best day of the week? You get the new Disney original show “Saturdays”!

“Saturdays” is a brand new coming-of-age comedy that focuses on 14-year-old Paris Johnson and her two best friends Simone and Ari. The three have a passion for skating at Saturdays, a local skating rink in Chicago. They form their very own skate crew called the We-B-Girlz, highlighting how they have the hottest moves in the whole city. The new series, executive produced by Marsai Martin, the youngest EP to date in Hollywood, has been in the making since 2021 and is now finally debuting to the world on March 24th!

Danielle Jalade, who plays leading lady Paris Johnson, states, “It feels… so surreal. I feel like even though, like you [Avery] said, almost two years later, I still feel the same amount of excitement… I don’t even know how to explain it, but it’s a feeling I feel like I’ll never be able to get over.” The entire cast expressed their excitement for the series’s release, stating how they  believe the audience will love it. “Man. This show. It’s different,” said Jermaine Harris who plays Paris’s brother London. “…In all aspects, from the storytelling, to who’s in it, to how we’re telling it, to how authentic and how real it is. It’s a 10 out of 10 all around.”

“Saturdays” is a show full of Black joy, Black love, and Black friendship. The show provides a positive representation of the culture, which can often be difficult to find on the screen for young age groups of today’s generation. Showrunner Norman Vance Jr. is a veteran in the industry, working on Black film and TV staples in the past such as “Girlfriends,” “Moesha,” Roll Bounce, Beauty Shop, and more. But “Saturdays” is one of a kind. “We really haven’t seen a show that dealt with kids, of that 12-15 age… it’s important to show a show of girls of that age, and tell a story about friendship…and talk about how they navigate that. And it doesn’t have to be super dramatic… . Black girls like to have fun too,” he stated.

The show is necessary for Black youth, providing positive representation. Daria Johns, who plays the role of Simone, shared, “I’m super excited for young Black girls to see us, and to see them or girls just like them, being represented on screen and on TV. I know that was a big thing for me growing up, and it’s crazy that I am on a show that Marsai Martin is producing, when I was inspired by her at such a young age and grew up with her. Like, she’s one of the main reasons I started acting! So for me to be an inspiration like that for young girls is gonna be awesome.”

And what would “Saturdays” be without the skating? The show takes place in one of the roller skating capital of the country–Chicago, Illinois. And the styles, the swag, and the moves infused in the show are heavily inspired and influenced by the staple JB Chicago skating culture. When preparing for the show, the cast had to strengthen their skating skills. But none of them knew for certain what they were walking into.  “I knew how to skate. I THOUGHT I knew how to skate… but that’s nothing when you go out to Chicago and see what they’re really doing and what we had to learn,” said Omar Gooding, who portrays the role of Paris’s father. He added, “… We first learned in L.A. everything had a certain place. They had a certain type of music, up and down, go this way, go that way, fall like this. When we got out there [Chicago], it was like, ‘Nah, let’s start from the basics. WHOOO it was a lot.”

Saturdays is a must watch with the makings of a modern day classic. Be sure to catch the show on the Disney Channel today, streaming the next day on Disney Plus. Check out one of the interviews with the cast below, and catch the rest on the True Star Media YouTube channel.

 

By Avery Kelley

True Star Media’s content is made possible thanks to donors like you. To support the voice and perspective of your youth, donate at elevate.truestarfoundation.org.

Written by Avery Kelley

just a girl from chi who creates things for a living!

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