Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Isn't this ironic?

Remember when Oprah, opened The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa? I remember thinking, Wow! Oprah's opening a school...In South Africa? Isn't she from Mississippi? What about opening an American school? Oprah's response to that very question was:

"Say what you will about the American educational system — it does work. ... If you are a child in the United States, you can get an education. ... I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn't there. ... If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod, sneakers, or some money. In South Africa, they don't ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school."

I hate general comments like this. Not ALL kids only want iPods, sneakers or money. Some do want an education. And how does Oprah know that those kids don't need sneakers? I mean, maybe they outgrew the pair they had. Maybe they needed money to keep the lights on at home. *Sigh*

Anyway, that was not where I was trying to go with this. I found a soapbox to preach on and I seem to have gotten off track. There has been another incident at the Leadership Academy. Seven girls were suspended for sexual harassment and their parents received a letter that included the following:

"You have been found guilty of physical contact of a sexual nature with another pupil on campus, harassment, bullying other girls on campus and of being dishonest by not telling investigators the whole truth."

See? See? Okay, I am in no way happy about this or condoning this sort of behavior, but this proves that there's always something going on. You can travel to South Africa, Antarctica, France, Bed-Stuy, or the West Side and you will find something that "kids" do that will make you shake your head in disgust. Now what, Oprah?

Monday, March 23, 2009

What happened to the Black T.V. Family?

The Game. Everybody Hates Chris. House of Payne. Meet the Browns. These are the only Black sitcoms on television right now and House of Payne and Meet the Browns are shown on cable (reruns of House of Payne are shown on My 9). Of these four Black shows only two of them involve a traditional family with two parents and their children. Let me say that I applaud shows that show the friendships between singles in the city and those that focus on single parents making a living for their children. But... I liked The Cosby Show and I'm proud of that. I think we have gotten so caught up in making sure everyone is represented, that the Black family has been left out.

I applaud Everybody Hates Chris because it shows two hardworking parents, Rochelle and Julius, taking care of their children, Chris, Drew, and Tonya. Their children go to school to get an education and their father works two jobs to make sure they have more than enough to get by. Rochelle always goes to bat for her children while always keeping them in line. There's always a message that isn't shoved down your throat and is delivered with humor. They deserve an Emmy or a Golden Globe. At least an honorable mention.

And then we have Tyler Perry's House of Payne. A family of four, C.J., Janine, Malik, and Jazmine, is forced to move in with their aunt and uncle after Janine burns down the family's house to collect the insurance money. Besides the fact that this show is very mildly amusing at its best and unbelievably not funny at its worst (which is usually the case), Janine burns down the house because she has put the family in dept because of her crack addiction. Crack, as in cocaine, as in drugs, as in she has a serious drug problem. Now usually a drug problem is a very special episode of a sitcom followed by a public service announcement delivered by the cast at the end of the show. But not House of Payne, its main storyline revolves around the drug use and eventual rehabilitation of a wife and mother of two. The rest of the family slowly moves on, but not without jokes at her expense and occasional tripsto the crack house. However, if the show were funny this would be a guilty pleasure, but since it's not I have the pleasure of complaining about it.

I, like most people, watch television and hope for a glimpse of myself. I grew up with two parents, neither of whom were on drugs, so I admit to hoping to watch a family somewhat like mine. This is why I love Everybody Hates Chris. As for House of Payne, well don't take my word for it, it comes on TBS on Wednesdays at 8pm and on My 9 on Mondays-Fridays at 7:00pm and 7:30pm, so watch for yourself. But don't blame me when you find yourself getting restless and doing something more interesting, like watching paint dry.

And in an update on the Queen Pen/Rocsi altercation: apparently Rocsi had been sleeping with Premier Michael Misick. Misick is married to actress LisaRaye. LisaRaye and Queen Pen are friends, so I guess Queen Pen took it upon herself to deal out justice. Good for you Queen Pen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mary J. Blige in the new Tyler Perry Film

So apparently Mary J. Blige is playing the lead role in Tyler Perry's film adaptation of his play, I Can Do Bad By Myself. I love Mary J. Blige's music. I have all her albums (well except the travesty that is Love & Life, but we'll pretend that one doesn't exist) and as a singer she can make you go through a range of emotions. Hopefully she will get an acting coach and try to bring all of that emotion to the big screen. Hopefully. When I heard the news I got all panicky inside and thought about Mary's past experiences as an actress. I can only pray that she has evolved since 2001's Prison Song and that one episode of the Jamie Foxx show. But since I don't believe in putting people in boxes and I do believe in people being multi-talented, I'll just say we'll see. Perhaps her acting talents have come a long way. Much like Beyonce's. (Anyone remember Carmen Jones: A Hip Hopera?)

In keeping with the BET updates, I can gleefully report that Rocsi from 106 & Park was hit with a drink (glass included) by the rapper Queen Pen. Unfortunately that has not stopped her from continuing to contaminate my television, but you take what you can get...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Think I'm Allergic To BET!

BET has reality shows. Bad reality shows. Why? Because everyone else does it. BET takes shows that are already on the air and just adds chocolate. Don't believe me? Here are a few examples.

MTV had Laguna Beach, then a few years later BET came out with Baldwin Hills. It's bad enough that we have to listen to the scripted whines of spoiled rich kids, but Baldwin Hills is a bad scripted version of that show, with their over the top dramatics and the forgetting of their lines (yeah we can tell) it's a little much.

American Idol becomes the biggest T.V show in history and BET launches Sunday Best, a search for the next gospel singer. Puh-lease.

BET also produced College Hill, a Real World meets A Different World college reality show. Now, please don't get me wrong, I love Black shows, it's just that the shows BET comes out with manages to make my people look so bad. College Hill, manages to cast a negative light on young people in college. All they do is party, hook up, and fight with one another, all the while missing classes and midterms.

Let's test the theory again: 106 & Park. Take MTV's TRL add black people. This show was actually not bad, but because it's BET, of course they messed it up. I can say that I honestly used to be a fan of the show, when it was hosted by Free and AJ. Now Terrence J. and Rocsi (what is a Rocsi anyway?) only make me sick to my stomach. Apparently Free and AJ felt they deserved a contract (because God forbid they wanted a secure career future) BET refused, so they left the show. Now we're left with Terrence J. hopping around the stage, calling everyone "his boy" and Rocsi proclaiming that "this joint right here, is where it's at", while she gets into drunken altercations with rappers. Yeah, it bothers me more than a little.

Then there are the 12,000 awards shows they have. The BET Awards, The BET Honors, The Hip Hop Awards, The Celebration of Gospel, The BETJ Virtual Awards. (Huh?) It seems like everytime I turn around there are more people getting awards for nothing. Yeah I said it.

Last but not least, the Blackbuster Movies, which always seem to be Friday, Next Friday, The Friday After Next, or Soul Plane. And we wonder why the literacy rate is down. Thanks BET.