Tampa Baes Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew
It’s been a minute, but Cuppie is back in Tampa. After spending some time in Orlando, she’s ready to return to the thriving lesbian “it crowd” in the Southwest Florida city, and most of them are ready to welcome her back with open arms. It might come as a surprise, but Tampa is home to a surprisingly hopping LGBTQ community, as well as some great beaches and nightlife, all enjoyed by these women. There are 12 women in this group of “baes”, including nurses, makeup artists, bartenders, and realtors. Within the first few minutes, we meet Haley and Brianna, a couple and the so-called “queen bees” of the scene, and Summer and Marissa, the other “it couple”.
Things can get tense when it comes to alliances in the group, though peacekeepers like Shiva and Mel try to get along with everyone. They all come together for a Y2K themed birthday party, Cuppie’s first real reunion with the whole group, and by the end of the night, drama predictably ensues. In the season ahead, we’ll meet families, get a glimpse of emotional moments involving coming out, religion, and identity, and even have brushes with the law! With Shiva catching feelings for the uninterested Cuppie and other women vying for a coveted spot in the social hierarchy, things are just getting started for these Tampa Baes.
Tampa Baes has the right ingredients for solid reality television; a surprisingly entertaining setting (Tampa, Florida?!), a drama-loving cast, and a refreshing spotlight on an oft-overlooked community. Unfortunately, however, the show doesn’t really know how to let go and have fun, and it also can’t quite figure out what to do with its massive cast. Drama is created where it doesn’t necessarily make sense, and it never feels intense enough to produce entertaining conflict. Tampa Baes wants us to believe that multiple grown women are vying for “queen bee” status, but it seems like there are only a couple who actually care about this kind of stuff. This warring of the two “it” couples is played up big time in interviews, but when we actually see them in action, there isn’t much there. This is the case for much of the show’s supposed conflicts.
There’s totally something compelling about setting the series in Tampa, the frequently forgotten Floridian gulf coast city with a hopping LGBTQ scene and many a nightclub and solid beach. (I’m from Orlando and even I forget Tampa exists sometimes). Unfortunately, Tampa Baes fails to showcase the diversity that is present in the city, instead filling its cast with mostly light-skinned, thin, cisgender women. The series makes a big deal of discussing just how many different kinds of people live in Tampa, but it’s not interested in showing us. Tampa Baes is watchable enough, but I can’t help but wish it showcased a wider range of individuals within the Florida city’s LGBTQ community.