Sure, Shea may be a bit biased, since she and Stacey Dash and LisaRaye McCoy star as three best friends who have different goals and philosophies when it comes to dating” in Atlanta (yes, ladies there are plenty of straight men in the A!). But Shea, who plays April Goldberg-Jenkins, a 20-something-year-old whose “perfect marriage” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, says “Single Ladies” offers relatable LOL and “no he didn’t” moments.
Shea, the only White female lead on the show, dishes with us about her character, April, the men of “Single Ladies,” and the female friendships.
ESSENCE.com: With a lot of reality shows focusing on dysfunctional female relationships, why is it necessary to have this type of girlfriends show now?
CHARITY SHEA: I think the most important thing in life is relationships. I think that feeds us almost like food. At the heart, people just love relationships, if it’s between girlfriends, if it’s between men; you know different ideas on relationships and the different things that people want out of relationships. All of that is very interesting and fun to watch.
ESSENCE.com: Tell us more about the friendship between your character, April, and her friendship with Val (Stacey Dash) and Keisha (LisaRaye).
SHEA: What’s great is that all of our characters are vastly different and we are all very specific. We want different things and have different ideas on relationships and what we want. Val believes in happily after and love; Keisha is a former video girl, so she wants to make her own money and she doesn’t really believe in marriage; and the character April has what Val wants and she’s throwing it all away and doesn’t seem to care.
So, through our differences we are three best friends who love each other to death. Whether right or wrong, we have each other’s back and we’re there for each other. And I think the relationship between the three is so cute and it’s lovely. They’re really, really great friends and they’re there for each other.
ESSENCE.com: Speaking of having the type of relationship that Val wants, April has been married for seven years to Darryl, an Ivy league-educated brother who has been working as an investment banker. By all outward appearances, their relationship seems to be perfect…
SHEA: April married Darryl when she was really young, and I think she kind of thought he was her Prince Charming and thought this was it, this is the end-all. She moved right out of her parents’ house right into Darryl’s house, and everything went his way; how she looked, where they vacationed, what they would eat, where they would go — because she was so young. She had what she thought what was the perfect guy and the ideal relationship.
What’s great about Darryl is that you’re going to see a whole other side of him that you are going to understand, but you’re going to dislike. Darryl isn’t quite the guy we all think he is, but then I think we realize that sometimes when you get a broken heart you become angry and you do things that you normally wouldn’t do.
ESSENCE.com: The show is about finding love in Atlanta, a city that has the stigma of being home to a lot of men on the down low. Is this a topic addressed on the show?
SHEA: It is not a focus on our show. I think that there is a lot that we touch on but it’s definitely not a focus. There are some gay guys, but it’s not put out like that. It’s clear who is gay and who is not. I’m sure, eventually, that will come up — and I think that it’s a possibility because that can happen. It hasn’t happened as far as I know.
ESSENCE.com: What do the characters on the show really want in their intimate relationships?
SHEA: See, that’s what’s great about this show because it asks that essential question: What do women really want in a relationship? I think it would shock everyone to know that not everybody wants that knight in shining armor, happily-ever-after ending that we all were raised on. Women feel differently nowadays. Some of them want that one guy and some of us don’t want to get married and want to date and have fun. That’s what this show kind of proves.
Be sure to check out our weekly “Single Ladies” recaps.