'Harlem': Meagan Good and Jerrie Johnson on Representation of Real Situations in Prime Video Series (Exclusive)

Harlem is back for a second season. Created by Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver, the show follows a close friendship group of four successful Black women living and working in Harlem, New York. Starring Meagan Good as Camille, Jerrie Johnson as Tye, Grace Byers as Quinn, and Shoniqua Shandai as Angie, they rely on one another to get them through the ebbs and flows of life. Last season, Camille struggled while feeling stifled in her professional life, and makes a bold decision that may impact her in the short term with her colleagues and reputation. The season ended with her kissing her soon-to-be-married ex, Ian, who returns to their old neighborhood five years after their breakup.

Tye was thriving as a Black woman in tech, while exploring dating as an openly queer woman in the modern world. But when she begins to experience health issues as a result of her non-stop hustle, she receives a surprise visit while in the hospital that could put everything she's worked for in jeopardy. 

Ahead of the Season 2 premiere, PopCulture.com spoke with Good and Johnson on how their characters past catches up to them in the future. Watch the full video interview on our YouTube channel

PC: Congratulations on Season 2. We have been waiting, and you guys are definitely delivering. So Jerrie, I will start with you. Last season ended with the revelation that your character, Tye, was previously married to a man. This season we will see her have to reconcile with that while also moving forward with her dating woes, which is always very interesting to see. So how relevant do you think that storyline is with someone who has gone through such a transition within the LGBTQ-plus community?

JJ: Actually, since filming Season 1, I've met people who have been married or who are married to men. These are masculine or more masculine and androgynous performing women. One person I was kind of seeing, and then she was like, "Well, actually, it's funny that your story has this in it because I'm married." I was like, "You're married, ha, ha, ha." She was like, "No, for real." Her husband is queer, and they never really had a reason, I guess, to get divorced. But now it's coming up. I think they did it for whatever reasons they needed to do it when they were younger.

So I think that's a conversation that sometimes we don't have about life before or things that you had to do in certain places before you got to where you are. Marriage is a thing in a lot of places, and sometimes it can be a sharing of resources or a safety net. So I think to be able to open up the conversation where people can say... Because it is awkward, honestly. I don't think if I played that character or if that was out, that person would've told me so soon that she was married. Because it is an interesting thing, and then it becomes like, "Wait, hold on. But I thought you were..." But people can be more than one thing, and I think that's important to know.

PC: For you, Meagan, your character, Camille, we see her get into some mess last season with her ex, which really has a ripple effect on how her storyline goes this season. She also experienced a professional aha moment that we felt was funny and also something that was very relatable. So basically, Camille is confused and in a transitional period herself. So what type of rollercoaster can we expect from her this time around?

MG: Oh, man. Well, Camille is, she's growing. I think that she is discovering who she is, and she's discovering who she's not. I think she's learning that a lot of things that she thought about herself are a little bit different than what she expected. I really, really love about her journey is that she's doing it in a way where you're able to see her fail. You're able to see her make mistakes. You're able to see her take a moment and self-reflect and gain a certain self-awareness. So throughout the journey of this next season, she's figuring it out and not in the cleanest, easiest way, but she is.

So that was really fun for me to be able to explore the human behavior without judging the character and without saying, "Well, this is how it usually will go in any other movie or TV show." Saying like, "No, but this is probably which ways would've been made in real life, and now you got to figure out how to figure things out from that point."

Harlem Season 2 is currently airing via Prime Video, with episodes dropping on Wednesdays. See a clip from our interview with Meagan Good and Jerrie Johnson above and watch all of our full Harlem interviews on YouTube.