Why you should care

Because this is the next comedy Web series you should be watching.

Two guys. One woman. And none of them are sleeping with each other. It’s the world’s worst threesome, the perfect setup for the kind of chronically poor decision-making that makes for great comedy.

One part Malcolm and Eddie, one part Two and Half Men (with a touch of Living Single thrown in for good measure), THAT GUY is told from the vantage point of a single camcorder alternating between the burly and bearded Judah (Jeremy McBryde); his short-tempered roomie, Mike (Will Catlett); and their wayward homegirl Dionne (Jeanine Daniels), who can’t resist dropping by their place at the most inopportune times.

What sets this show apart from most black sitcom offerings is that it doesn’t play to a multi-generational audience.

We don’t know what they do for a living, how long they’ve been friends, or even how they met in the first place. But it’s clear that despite the highly comical dilemmas they face each season — or how much they get on each other’s nerves — the trio in this three-way friendship can’t quit each other.

Now in its second season, THAT GUY is just one of seven offerings from Black & Sexy TV, a fleet of Youtube-based Web series produced by director Dennis Dortch (A Good Day to Be Black and Sexy), Numa Perrier and Daniels, who created the show. HBO recently signed a deal with Dortch and Perrier to develop their Web series, The Couple.

Given all that buzz, THAT GUY, which debuted in late 2012, seems like the channel’s sleeping giant is more than overdue for a wake-up call.

What sets this show apart from most black sitcom offerings is that it doesn’t play to a multi-generational audience. No elder figures nor parents. This is TV strictly by and for the millennial set. Like Showtime’s Californication, it’s all about the misfires that take place in an anything-goes universe.

We follow Judah through the aftermath of a breakup with his baby mama — due to his own infidelity. Mike, semi-jobless with an anger problem, has been working the same gig since high school. He doesn’t have a car in Los Angeles (might as well a slap a handicapped sticker on him) and frequently seeks solace with his ex, who can’t seem to leave him alone, either. Then there’s the perpetually single Dionne, who often abuses her key to Judah and Mike’s place, and usually ends up damaging the pair’s romantic relationships as a consequence.

It’s like watching unedited outtakes from a real-life gag reel.

There’s no laugh track to smooth over the awkward pauses and intermittent misogyny. The writing is rich with one-liners that reference everything from Star Trek to Family Guy. The snappy, “among friends” dialogue provides the surface humor, but it’s the irony found in can’t-win situations that will keep you watching. Judah convinces his ex, Stacy, to dump her nice guy and give him another shot. He even leaves a drunken voicemail proclaiming his undying love for her — but the message is really meant for the mother of his child.

Daniels’ introspective writing, coupled with strong performances by all three stars, gives each episode a reality TV feel. It’s like watching unedited outtakes from a real-life gag reel.

THAT GUY gives us a glimpse into a Simpsons kind of single-people world where no one evolves personally, though the situations and couch-surfing guests shift. And that, particularly when it comes to men (and women) in life and in love, is as real as it gets.

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