Send Help, the coming-of-age dark comedy series from Insecure alum Jean Elie and writer, Mike Gauyo, is set to premiere on Thursday, Aug. 11.
This half-hour dramedy is coming to ALLBLK, AMC Networks’ streaming service for Black television and film, and follows Fritz Jean-Baptiste (Jean Elie), a first-generation Haitian American actor who is on top of the world since landing a starring role in a fictional hit TV show, This Can’t Be Us. Like many people in his position, Fritz’s success is not just his own. He is also the sole support system for his incredibly demanding family, who are all coping with a recent tragedy. Fritz finally feels like he has made it, and is able to help his loved ones until things come crashing down when he receives the call announcing that his show was canceled.
The seven-episode first season will unfold as Fritz deals with his show’s cancelation and how to keep his family afloat while he figures out how to start over in Hollywood. Through his journey, the show will also explore what it’s like to deal with imposter syndrome and balancing the pressures of family expectations, all while learning the importance of the community he builds through his friends, Patrick Cantave (Catfish Jean), Nicole Cooper (Courtney Taylor) and Sebastian “Simp” Gauyo (Amin Joseph).
“I am extremely excited to finally share this series with the world, as it’s been a labor of love for the last several years. As a first-generation Haitian American, I was honored to bring this, first of its kind, Haitian American story to the big screen,” Elie said in a press release. “I’m so grateful to the community of dedicated creators that are bringing Send Help to life. From the writer’s room, to the incredible cast, to everyone behind the scenes—we can’t wait to bring you along Fritz’s journey to figuring out how to get out of his own way.”
“The magic of telling diverse, nuanced, stories like Send Help is that it can be a very culturally specific show, while also touching on universal themes that everyone can relate to,” co-creator Gauyo added. “Jean and I are extremely proud of the show and the team that came together to create it…can’t wait for folks to watch.”
Aside from his breakout role as Issa Dee’s (Issa Rae) little brother Ahmal Dee on Insecure, Elie also has plenty of behind-the-scenes experience. He has worked as an assistant director, a production assistant, and a writer on various projects, and he is using all those skills to create, star in, and edit his own series. He is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and lead the Send Help team by example. “I am constantly building myself as a well-rounded creator so I could work with different people across the gamut,” Elie told Complex in a recent interview. “I’m not asking you to do something I wouldn’t do myself. And I know the work that comes with what it is I’m asking you and I know what’s possible. They know I know what I’m talking about and they know I’ve been through it.”
Additional cast for the show includes Snowfall’s Karina Bonnefil, Karen Obilom, Kimiko Singer, and Ana Bowen. Elie serves as executive producer through his Bassett House Pictures production arm, while Gauyo (a writer and story editor on Insecure’s fifth season), serves as executive producer through his Black Boy Writes Media production arm.
Check out the Send Help trailer above and tune in to the show on ALLBLK on Thursday, Aug. 11.