1 9 9 3 (USA)
21 x 30 minute episodes
This easygoing, low-key sitcom from ABC featured three black teenage buddies who hung out on a Harlem stoop (“the centre of the universe”), jived about sports and girls, and generally tried to figure out what life was all about.
Douglas St. Martin (Doug E. Doug) was the carefree centre of things, a hip 17-year-old in dreadlocks who lived with his parents and younger sister and was not as sure of himself as he looked.
Reggie (Flex Alexander) was the self-styled ladies’ man, and Malcolm (Shaun Baker) the impulsive, opportunistic one.
Just when their plans got bigger than their hip, oversized threads, the clouds of reality would appear in the form of Doug’s stern father, James (Sullivan Walker) and sensible mother, Marie (Lorraine Toussaint).
Meanwhile, Doug’s bookish 14-year-old sister Sharon (Yunoka Doyle) was kept busy fighting off the advances of pint-sized lothario Kwanzie (Jason Bose Smith).
Where I Live drew praise for its realistic characters and absence of the usual sitcom stereotypes. Despite disappointing ratings during the spring of 1993, fans (including Bill Cosby) persuaded ABC to give it a second chance in the fall.
By then, good-student Reggie had been accepted to a college and Doug, though no whiz at school, succumbed to family pressures and enrolled in a junior college. Only Malcolm stayed behind, dropping out of school and working as a stock clerk.
The show’s first season aired as part of ABC’s Friday night TGIF slot. The second season seemed to occur only because Bill Cosby – who went on to become a consultant on the series – rallied fans to help it get renewed.
Buried in a little-viewed Saturday-night time slot, the series died after just three more episodes.
Douglas St. Martin
Doug E. Doug
James St. Martin
Marie St. Martin
Sharon St. Martin
Jason Bose Smith