BET’s Situationships is taking the digital world by storm with it’s canny appeal and ability to tap into the true dating life of a millennial.
Already in it’s second season, it follows the life of 8 people from New York City who navigate the stressful world of dating but with a catch- there are no strings attached in terms of titles for their partners. Hence, not being in a relationship but rather, a situationship.
Cylla Senii, the show’s creator, is a rising star in the TV and Film industry. Not limited to just one role in production, she also writes, directs and plays Melody on the show!
We sat down and dived into her juggling multiple hats, the inspiration behind Situationships and what else we can expect in the near future.
1. When did your love for TV & film begin?
My love for TV and Film began at a very young age. I always loved telling stories, and my family used to call me a “tv baby” because I would always try to stay up late and watch whatever my family was watching late at night. I used to draw a lot of cartoons and write comic strips when I was little too, and I’d often tell my family that I wanted to act or direct when I was older. As I grew up, I got involved in a lot of theater programs while in school, made a few short films in college, and then started working on set and creating my own content after I graduated.
2. 2. Your show Situationships is on BET.com, tell us about the show and how did you go about developing the characters?
Sure, I’m super excited to talk about the show! Situationships is a show about the twists and turns of millennial dating. It highlights how there can be a lot of confusion and lack of communication when it comes to dating for young adults, and that’s where the show lives – in the gray area of dating. It’s a dramedy that highlights a lot of the fun moments of dating along with the messy, wild areas as well!
When developing the characters, I really wanted to make sure that the show was very relatable, so that people could feel connected with the characters and feel like they knew them or that they knew someone like that. When you watch the show, you’ll see a variety of different characters that coincide with the type of people that fall prey to a situationship, like the good girl or guy, the player, the femme fatale, the side guy, and a lot more! It was also very important for me to work with an extremely talented cast that was also very diverse. It’s so important for me to showcase different people, nationalities, ethnicities, and sexualities – particularly of minorities – since we are often marginalized in the tv and film industries.
3. What made you want to create a show like this in general? Is it similar to your dating life?
The idea sprung up after talking with friends about our dating lives a few years ago. We were sharing some of the funniest stories to the point where I was like this is comedy and would make for a perfect show. It’s definitely not based on anyone’s life or mine (I’m not in a situationship at all lol), but it is a reflection of how a lot of millennials are dating currently. I also love romantic comedies, so this is definitely my spin on what that would look like.
4. On Situationships, you wear multiple hats, directing, producing, writing and acting! Whew! How difficult is it to handle all of this at once and still make the show stay on target?
I’m really heavy on planning, pre-production, and having an amazing team! I think once you have the right people around you who are also willing to collaborate and build something together that you’re all passionate about, beautiful things can happen! I definitely enjoy wearing different hats, and I’m really good at managing the production process. Also, my team is phenomenal, and their support definitely helped me throughout the entire process!
5. Some have compared it to HBO’s Insecure, what would you say to that? How is it different?
First, thanks for the compliment! I am a HUGE fan of Issa Rae’s work, so that means a lot. Also, I would say that Situationships is different, because it’s honing in on the nuances of dating as a millennial among a variety of different people, ethnicities, and backgrounds. I’d consider it more of a millennial “Sex & The City.”
6. What was the process like getting the show onto BET.com? Was that your first choice?
The process involved a lot of learning on my part, and I’m very grateful for the amazing opportunity! From the start of making Situationships, I wanted it to go on a network, and BET was always a place that I thought the show could be an amazing fit for. I’m really happy that it actually happened!
7. What can we expect in the next season of Situationships?
For the next season, you can continue to expect the show to grow and flourish, for the characters to continue to develop and become even more complex, and of course, the situationships will continue to be very complicated, messy, and relatable.
8. Are there any other projects you’re working on?
Situationships airs Wednesdays at 11/10c on BET.com: : www.bet.com/situationships