Reality fans who tune into see OWN’s new series “Love in the City” may think they’re getting the same old thing with four new faces, but Kiya Wright, Tiffany Jones, Bershan Shaw and Chenoa Maxwell are offering something new.
The ladies don’t even like for their show to be described as “reality.” It’s a docu-series, and it’s about real-life friends, not women who were lumped together by producers who may be seeking drama or friction.
“We’re all real friends. We’ve been friends for 15, 20 years. We know each other and knowing each other, we know how to speak to one another,” Tiffany explained to Sister 2 Sister.
That doesn’t mean that the four professional, strong-willed women never disagree or argue, but “there is a resolution,” said Tiffany.
“We fight and we resolve it,” said Bershan.
The ladies met through celebrity hairstylist Kiyah, who realized her life was worthy of TV and had few qualms about sharing it with the world.
“I don’t think I’m really private. It wasn’t that hard for me,” she said about the decision to televise her life.
Tiffany and fellow breast cancer survivor Bershan used to be private people, but after facing the deadly disease and beating it, they’re ready to share their stories with the world.
“We’re opening up our lives and our experiences and our stories to help women learn, to teach them. You don’t have to live in fear, whether you’re going through marital problems, whether you’re going through cancer. You can do it. It’s okay,” Bershan said.
The show has been compared to HBO’s scripted hit, “Sex in the City,” but unlike those four New Yorkers who were all unmarried when the show premiered, the “Love in the City” women aren’t all single.
Kiyah and Tiffany are in relationships and Chenoa is the wife of the group. While some reality show stars seem to have perfect marriages at first before the truth is revealed, Chenoa is open and honest about her marital struggles from the beginning. That authenticity may be just the thing to draw and hook viewers.
“When you reach a certain place in your life, you start to realize that the only choice you have is to really live for you and whatever your truth is, you have to be comfortable with that. I don’t condone a lot of negativity. I don’t mean to tell people how to live. I will defend living it limitlessly. When you live in your truth, that’s where your freedom lives,” Chenoa said.
Many reality stars who joined casts with friends in tow, have found that their relationships couldn’t survive the test that comes with having every comment repeated on TV over and over for the world to hear, interpret and scrutinize, but the docu-series’ stars want to show viewers how real friends roll.
“We speak to each other from a place of love,” said Tiffany. I” think it’s important to show women that you can friendships where you can be yourself in the friendship and your friends accept you and love you for who you are.”
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