An East Dallas director and producer will launch the second season of his all-Black TV series on Amazon this week, with plenty of scenes from our neighborhood that people will recognize.

#Washed, short for “washed up,” follows a group of aging Millennials as they pursue their dreams. They’re too old to be dreamers, but they’re young enough to make those dreams a reality.

Two-time regional Emmy-Award winner and East Dallas neighbor Jerod Couch created the show and directed each half-hour episode. Nine episodes will begin streaming Wednesday on Amazon.

After the success of the first season, which won Dell’s Small but Mighty Contest, Couch began working on the second season at the end of 2018. After crowdfunding and writing, filming wrapped in 2019.

“We’ve produced one of the best seasons in an Indie series,” Couch said. “In the past, the barriers to entry were so great. Now, we took a small amount of money and created a show that could be on Netflix. I’m extremely proud of the cast and crew.”

The show features more than 30 Dallas-based filming locations, including some in our neighborhood. Most prominently featured is the Ross at Peak Thrift Store, which closed in 2019. The crew filmed there for four or five days in the summer. The building didn’t have air conditioning, and not even towels or makeup could hide the sweat, Couch said.

“The city is a character in and of itself,” Couch said. “I live here, so my inspiration is drawn from my surroundings. That’s what happened with the thrift store. I drove past the location and said, ‘That fits my character.’ We used the resources at our fingertips. We also wanted to prove that you can survive and thrive outside L.A. and New York. You can create great TV here.”

Other filming locations include alleyways near the thrift shop and Couch’s home in Old East Dallas, as well as the Butler Brothers Building and the now-defunct Don’t Tell Supper Club downtown.

In the second season, #Washed morphs from a narrative centered around one main character into an ensemble cast. Viewers will oscillate between four different worlds: the office, the game, Mya’s life and the club.

The show features an all-Black cast of 150 people, with all but two from Dallas. Efforts were made to tell diverse Black stories with a multitude of perspectives, personalities, motives and life experiences.

“Diversity isn’t only skin color,” Couch said. “Even being an all-Black cast, we have different types of people within one race with different likes, different backgrounds. I’m not one to say TV and film can change the world, but it can. If we can show someone on screen who is a Black exec, say a young adult sees that and thinks, ‘I can be in the C suite.’ That can be impactful.”


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.