Inside Natural: Cylla Senii on “Situationships”


SWS Cast Photo

Social media platforms were created to better connect us with one another but lately, it seems the better connected we become, the worse off our relationships are getting. In the new “Netflix and Chill” and “swipe left” on Tinder era, more and more couples are finding themselves in a situationship– a mock relationship that brings all the benefits of being in a relationship, but withholds the security of monogamy and a title.

Situationships have become so common place that last year Cylla Senii was inspired to create a web series focusing on the pseudo relationships. The popular YouTube sensation , “Situationships” is a fresh, new take on what the dating landscape is like for today’s millennial generation. It highlights eight young people in NYC who find themselves dating, hooking up, and catching feelings for other people but ultimately having no title with their partners.

Filmed in areas throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, the show, which premiered in the spring, follows characters:

Melody – the good girl who never seems to get it right in her dating life
Damian – the player who oozes confidence and never settles down
Jasmyn – the independent female who has no time for a boyfriend
Adrian – the guy-next-door who is always in the friend zone
Robyn – the sexy maneater who plays the guys and gets what she wants
Tarryn – the side guy who is happy with no commitments
Alyssa – the single female who tries too hard and goes to crazy extremes
Jaden – the perfect ideal boyfriend who is filled with mystery.

We chatted with Cylla, the web series creator, executive producer and actress on her show.

 

On her background:
I have always had a passion for working in film and entertainment, so creating my own show was something that means a lot to me and makes me excited. This is my first web series that I have created myself, and since I was young, I was always participating in plays or taking theater classes. As I’ve gotten older, I have worked on commercials, shorts, web series, plays, and features. This is something that I’ve always aspired to do since I was a child. Aside from my film and acting career, I have also worked in advertising, journalism, and production at major companies like BBDO, Bobbcat Films, Disney, and CBS to name a few.

 

On her inspiration for the web series:
The inspiration behind “Situationships” came from personal experiences that have been exaggerated as well as experiences from those of my friends and their friends. The first episode is actually a true story that happened in NYC to someone I knew closely, and from that moment on, I knew that this would make an amazing show since it’s so relatable.

The show is meant to spark a conversation on how technology, social media, lack of communication, and lack of commitment can affect relationships in today’s society, and I wanted to use it as a vehicle to highlight young talent and filmmakers while promoting diversity for underrepresented demographics on screen.

 

“Netflix and Chill” and pseudo-relationships are well talked about topics. What new point of view does your web series present to audiences?

The new point of view for this web series is that you finally have a show that is created for young people and made by young people who understand their demographic best. It’s meant to feel as realistic as possible, and I think that’s something that makes this show so relatable, different, and down-to-earth.

 

What are your personal thoughts on situationships and female sexuality? What advice would you give women who end up in these pseudo-relationships?

I would say – do you! If it’s something that you enjoy and both parties are fine with that, that’s okay. But I also would say, don’t be fooled either. If you actually do want something more, don’t be afraid to talk to the other person about it, because at least you’ll have your answer and won’t be wasting more time.. days… or years. 😉

 

On what to expect from the show:
As you keep watching the show, you will see the characters continue to develop and make their choice if a situationship is right for them or if they rather not participate. All of the episodes have already been filmed for season one, so they are in the range of 6-15 minutes each. We are definitely considering making our episodes longer since our audience has asked us for that. My hopes for the series is for our viewership and following to keep growing and eventually expand to even larger platforms to reach our audience.

 

On the diversity of the cast:
Originally, I considered only casting the characters for one demographic, but when we held our casting, we got a huge response. We received over 4,000 submissions for this web series, and the actors were all diverse. Since the show seemed to relate to so many different types of people, we decided to go with a blind casting and only went with the best actor whose performance was perfect for the role.

 

On challenges in creating “Situationships”:
It definitely isn’t easy to create a web series or any production. I led a team of 50 people to create the show, and I guess the biggest challenges were the pre-production aspect and then the constant promotion of the show to gain a following.

 

I love your theme song “Situationships” by Verse Simmonds. Is he involved in the web series? What about the other music used on the show—are they original songs created for the web series? 

So glad to hear that! We were actually contacted by his A&R representative to use his song in our show, and we absolutely LOVE his song! It’s so perfect for the show. All of the other songs are from original artists who we reached out to since we enjoyed their music. When picking selections, we went for music that worked well with a certain mood we were aiming for and selections ranged from Pop, Hip Hop, and R&B.

 

In the short time you show has aired you’ve gained nearly 1K subscribers and 150K collective views. What do you attribute to that success?

My amazing cast of actors, my amazing production team, and my amazing marketing team for helping to create a sustaining buzz for “Situationships”.

Viewers can tune into “Situationships” by subscribing and following the show’s social accounts for the latest episode premiere updates.

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Highlighting the journey of Black women as they create spaces and elevate Black culture.

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