Strange, subversive, and surreal, this sketch show isn't laugh-out-loud hilarious every second, but it's so dazzlingly original that even when it's not, it's still a joy to watch. Its bona fides may make viewers fear they're about to get a blast of overly earnest comedy: Comedy's first all-black and all-female writer's room crafts the jokes, the sketches are directed by a black female director (Dime Davis, Boomerang), and the main cast is made up entirely of black women. But instead of skewing preachy, the show leans brilliant and bizarre instead, taking us to places we've never been before: a support group for bad bitches, a Motown revue in which a singer goes rogue, a drag "Basic Ball" in which average women are celebrated ("She's doing errands!" enthuses emcee Caldwell Tidicue, aka "Bob the Drag Queen." "She has all her receipts!").
Speaking of Tidicue, another great thing about A Black Lady Sketch Show is the absolute bananas parade of guest stars: Angela Bassett, the fierce leader of the Bad Bitches, Patti Labelle, David Alan Grier, Kelly Rowland. As they and the regular cast race wildly through topics like Fenty highlighter, cocoa butter lotion, the Britney Spears cover of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative," writing love poetry to Cornell Woolrich, it quickly becomes apparent that not only is this show speaking loudly and specifically to an oft-ignored segment of comedy fans, it's illuminating a whole new set of truths. It's about time.