With Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu butting heads in a bid for streaming dollars and viewers’ eyeballs, there have been many smaller streaming services seeking to target niche markets. There’s Acorn TV if you’re craving British fare, Shout! Factory TV if you’re looking for older cult hits, or Shudder if you’re in the mood to be scared. Well, now you can add a new contender called Brown Sugar into the mix, which is described by actress Pam Grier as “just like Netflix, only blacker.”
Launched by the Atlanta-based network Bounce TV, Brown Sugar’s catalog leans heavily on ’70s blaxploitation movies such as Foxy Brown, Dolemite, and Shaft. That’s badass, given that these aren’t flicks that are always readily available on the mainstream services like Netflix. And Brown Sugar is having a lot of fun playing up that focus with their funky launch trailer, which features Rick Ross, Pam Grier, and Fred Williamson. It isn’t embeddable at the moment, but give it a watch on the Brown Sugar website.
In addition to the website, you can download the Brown Sugar app to both phones and tablets via iTunes or Google Play. It’ll only cost you $3.99 a month, and there’s an initial trial period if you just wanna get the lay of the land (or you’ve got a very specific craving to watch Supa Fly immediately.)
One cool feature: Brown Sugar’s library of films is curated by theme, so you can find selections divided into categories such as “Jive Ass Turkeys,” “Foxy Mamas,” and “Good Cop, Bad Cop.” If nothing else, that’s a hell of a lot more entertaining than Netflix’s usual “Horror Films Featuring a Strong Female Lead and Set in Nova Scotia” nonsense. Give me “Foxy Mamas” any day.
Speaking to IndieWire, Pam Grier said, “These movies are entertaining and fun, but they were also empowering to the black community as they depicted African-Americans as strong leading characters and heroes for the first time.”
Ross added, “You can see the influence of these movies in every aspect of rap and hip-hop, in the music, the lyrics, the fashion and overall style — the Blaxploitation genre is where it all began.”
Check out Brown Sugar’s free trial this Thanksgiving, and pair your Turkey dinner with some Jive Turkeys. It’s what Foxy Brown would do.