Coffee Rhetoric: tv
Showing posts with label tv. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tv. Show all posts

February 18, 2015

#BanBossy: Why Critics Need to ‘Lean Out’ of Jessica Williams’ Business

In case you haven’t been following along, The Daily Show host and political satirist Jon Stewart recently announced that he’s leaving his chair later this year, after 16 years of acerbically skewering the donkeyish behavior of the conservative media, politicians and pop-culture, much to the dismay of viewers. Comedy Central said the network plans to continue on without Stewart, prompting many fans to speculate on who’d replace him.
Many names have been jockeyed about (Samantha Bee, John Oliver—who already has a pretty cushy gig on HBO—and even Aisha Tyler), but the one that landed at the top of the heap was that of 25-year-old actress and comedienne Jessica Williams, who has been knocking it out of the ballpark for the past year or so as a correspondent; unabashedly tackling hot-button issues like street harassmentsexual assaultraceracial profilingthe politics of Black hair and inter-political relationships.

December 06, 2011

Love Rain...


I fancy myself a pop-culture pundit of sorts and so am not ashamed to admit that this includes my succumbing to the Reality TV/Celebreality machine. Likewise, I also try to stay abreast of social media buzz and peep what blogs, cyber-mags, and social networking forums are on about. The two mediums seem to go hand-in-hand, particularly when the "Black Twitter" collective is concerned. Black tweeters bring the LOLz and they come, guns blazing, when skewering Black celebrities for some foolish infraction. Black politicians, especially of the Conservative-Republican variety, aren't above Twitter reproach either... (Herman Cain-kabob anyone?).

Perhaps the best, below-the-belt barbs and Twitter hash-tags come during the hours reality shows such as Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Braxtons, Basketbell Wives, Love & Hip Hop and shows of that ilk are on. Some of the more snarky Black tweeters hit their mark with their quips during some of the more ridiculous, off-the-cuff scenes. Then there're those who incite the rest of us to chorus and ask "Huh?" after they’ve tweeted something... well... dumb or misguided.
Per usual, folks did not disappoint during Love & Hip Hop, which was followed up by the premiere of T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, VH-1's latest reality offering, which documents the lives of rapper T.I. (fresh from a second prison stint) and his long suffering girlfriend-turned-wife Tiny, of Xscape and BET's Tiny & Toya fame.

Surprisingly, Black women on Twitter seemed to saturate their chonies with crème-de-la-lady leche and began espousing the virtues of  true  love during some of the more pivotal scenes on Love & Hip Hop (when rapper Jim Jones finally implored his  mother to stop antagonizing his embattled and always battling lady-in-waiting, Chrissy Lampkin. Jones later pledged his undying affection for Chrissy by placating her o’er top of a roof for a Moroccan inspired dinner with all the decorative fixings). T.I's - (who makes it known under no uncertain terms, that he wears the pants and bankrolls day-to-day operations in his relationship with Tiny) - obvious loyalty to his blended family and wife is undeniable. In fact, seeing it played out on TV caused a collective genital quake across Twitter however; the relationship has been fraught with well-documented legal troubles and alleged cheating. But this did not stop some women from christening Jim and T.I.'s dysfunctional relationships with their women as the blueprint for Black love. I’d be willing to wager that some of these admirers of dysfunctional love, were some of the same detractors of single-motherhood who suggested single moms should aspire to be like Beyonce and Jay Z, shortly after her pregnancy announcement. They lashed out, calling all Snarky McSnarksteins jealous haters who can't get a man or sustain a relationship ...  ...  ...  OK.

One writer for the popular online publication, Clutch Magazine, posted a whole article citing these two televised relationships as heartfelt and wrote:

"Say what you will about Tiny and T.I.’s hoodrich love, but theirs is the type of relationship many long for: Loving, affectionate, fun, respectful, and supportive. Just like Jim and Chrissy, watching T.I. and Tiny interact on screen made it clear that they are genuinely in love and they want the world to know."  

Much to the chagrin of some commenters, who cyber side-eyed the piece... 

"T.I and Jim Jones… you have to be kidding!  What I don’t understand is this constant need to look to celelbrities [sic] as role models. I mean I really don’t understand it. I would like to hope these old a$$ men would want to settle down. T.I with all those d@mn kids! Jim jones and Dipset with the way the [sic] talk about women…"

Listen, while no one deserves to be crucified for their past and everyone has the right to err, love, and be loved; Why is it that some in our community put these dysfunctional "ride or die" relationships on a pedestal (especially when a man of questionable character is at the helm, trying to overcompensate for having put  his paramour or wife through years of hell), yet will belittle others (usually when a woman *read unwed baby mama* is the crux of the conversation)? While it's undoubtedly love that they're feeling, it just isn't the standard for Black Love like some people are trying to suggest. Relationships riddled with drama may work for some, but doesn't for everyone else, and if that makes me sound like a bitter, single, jealous hag then... that's the ignoramus, narrow view of a naysayer. 

This comment from the aforementioned online magazine sums it up: “You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife, but you can turn a drug dealer into a husband?” Well, I guess you should ask Beyonce and Tiny.  Apparently thugs can grow into men, probably an exception and not a rule though. While it’s cute, sweet, and seems genuine, don’t get wrapped up in the love and hip-hop thinking it could be you."




December 01, 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole...


The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.  Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next.  –Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

VH-1 is widely known as a repository for "celebreality" and all the foolery that we've come to associate with that particular sub-genre of “reality” entertainment.  In fact, someone on Twitter joked that it was like the “National Geographic for sassy Black women.”

The network is undoubtedly at the top of the trash heap with its sports and Hip-Hop centered series, detailing the lives of the wives/ex-wives/girlfriends/groupies/bed-warmers/long-term fiancées of athletes and rappers who fund the lavish lifestyles of women (most of whom are women of color) who present demeanor of sexy-street toughness dipped in the finest linens and jewels.  It’s not difficult to see beyond the impeccably lacquered lips and sky-high $1,000 Christian Louboutin heels, because more often than not these women deliver the goods when it comes to the ratings game. Whether they’re screeching vulgarities at one another across a table at some posh restaurant, throwing drinks, or clawing at one another’s weaves, these women of dubious status and leisure draw in millions of viewers and become hash tagged on Twitter before the hour is even up.  The allure of these quasi-reality shows present a weird dichotomy of love and loathing… they’re guilty a pleasure viewers love to pontificate about or skewer on social networking forums (the skewering especially done by folks who like to feign as if they never watch).

Shows like Basketball Wives and Love  & Hip Hop generate an interesting discourse about the portrayal of Black women on reality shows across the blogosphere and among social media journalists. The word buffoonery gets tossed around a lot, as does the Angry Black Woman meme. 
Each week there is some sort of online poll asking viewers if the (insert reality fight here) make Black women look bad.  Somehow, whenever NeNe Leakes of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives… franchise engages in a verbal meltdown with a fellow cast mate or Tami Roman of the Basketball Wives: Miami cast punches someone in the teeth, all Black women in the United States of America are held accountable for that behavior.  We’re prodded to explore why Black women act like foolios on network TV, for a check.  However, there was little tsk-tsking after the group of mega-wealthy Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (all of whom are Caucasian) imploded during  a game-night  hosted at the home of a cast member, where sisters Kyle and Kim (who happen to be Paris Hilton’s aunts), verbally smacked down newcomer Brandi Glanville, calling her a “ho” and a “slut pig.” Daytime talks show hosts and Bloggers chuckled about it and called the finger-jabbing duo feisty… they ate it up in fact. White women in general weren’t taken to task as an entire group, for the brash televised behavior of a few. Unless obvious ethnic stereotypes are somehow thrown into the mix, as was the case with VH-1’s Mob Wives, (where the group was asked if they considered their aggressive behavior and mafia ties to be offensive to all Italians), they rarely ever are.

Needless to say, VH-1 is taking viewers to the brink of nonsense again with their new offering, Baseball Wives, which premiered this past Wednesday night.  This particular group is predominantly comprised of White women. The gravelly voiced, ex-stripper wife of one retired player said, “We are not like Basketball Wives, we are classy.”  This claim is debatable considering the legacy of VH-1’s sports wives series and that said ex-stripper wife is already mired in controversy for reportedly menacing a fellow cast member with a 12-inch dildo during a taping.

If anyone bothers to watch Baseball Wives (if only for the dildo incident), I’ll be interested to know how these women’s behavior will be received and if they’ll be accused of making the entire population of White women look bad, or whether the entire population of White women will shoulder the burden of the Baseball Wives’ behavior.   Just a reversal of thought .


May 14, 2008

Sensual Seduction

Tyra Banks's best and most rational lace front wig had a major pow-wow with her, and this time she finally listened... for Whitney Thompson, deemed the 'plus size' model contender for cycle 10 of America's Next Top Model, not only made it abroad (to Rome, Italy during the competition's final round), but she clawed and argued her way to the top three (in all her annoying glory), eventually becoming one of the final two before being crowned this year's winner by the model competition franchise.
While Whitney wasn't my favorite personality on the show this season, she has definitely set a precedent in a culture seemingly afraid and dismayed by a little extra flesh and sexy softness. The thickness prevailed.
It took 10 seasons, but voluptuosity finally triumphed. Most of the aspiring contenders of sensual body, seem to never make it to the top five let alone become one of the contenders that eventually get to travel to an exotic locale, let alone to the final two. The prelude to Whitney's triumphant moment included her sashaying down the runway, in a dress designed by Donatella VERSACE (unheard of!), putting her skinny, stiff competitor with the robotronic gait and thick Hawaiian pidgeon accent, to shame.
Is the world ready for a voluptuous woman to be America's NEXT top model? Probably not considering any frame that's above a size 6 is considered obese and unhealthy. I assure you however, that there's certainly nothing wrong with a shapely, healthy, active, and Fellini-esque frame bouncing its way into the psyche and hearts of a diet-conscious American public. It definitely encourages this cult of personality to open up its notion of what it considers as beautiful and sexy. While encouraging and inspiring young girls, hating themselves for not having Paris Hilton's flat pancake ass, Victoria Beckham's barely there silhouette, or Thandie Newton's prominent collar bone. The young girls living on 300 calories a day, killing themselves to look trollish and emaciated in order to fit into a pair of skinny jeans.
Whitney's winning moment dictates that it's okay (despite this latest study)- to be fleshy, sensual, and YES, active and healthy! That accepting and appreciating a comely frame is NOT advocating an unhealthy lifestyle full of saturated and trans fat and fast foods, as some people may suggest or are being led to believe. Because a healthy, fit, and sound body comes in a variety of forms. And, psst... a skinny body is not always the picture of perfect health. After Whitney's glorious moment, Tyra exclaimed, "The correct term is FULL FIGURED model, not PLUS SIZE" to which former model and panel judge, Paulina Poriskova answered, "It's not full figured or plus size. It's just beautiful!" And kiddies, it's not just THE FACE, but the whole package in its entirety. Because as Whitney opined, I too, also know the annoyance of a backhanded but well meaning comment ... "Oh you have such a pretty/striking face..." Now let's hope Whitney doesn't somehow, find herself on a season of Celebrity Fit Club, screaming hungrily and angrily at the judges when they chastise her for not meeting her weight goal.

September 08, 2007

Ummmmm....

It's about 9AM. Do you know what your small, wide eyed, and impressionable child is up to? I'm scared. I'm gonna go rock back and forth in a corner now. Or, I can just go ahead and learn how to do "The Harry." Methinks I just spied me some potential future video vixens.
P.S. Did that kid in the back, just do the brokedown robot?? Fascinating!

August 04, 2007

Fifteen Additional Minutes

So, I mentioned in a previous post that I got interviewed by Fox 61 News reporter Rick Hancock. Well, the segment is upon the web and I was conflicted about posting the link, because quite simply I'm a narcissist and my own worst critic. I always find something to pick apart and criticize, especially when it comes to pictures and such. In any event, you all (interested parties) probably have some semblance of an idea about how I feel about how I look and sound on camera. *ahem* I will admit that it is not as bad as I initially thought It'd be. I don't think I sound special like I feared. I do sound like I'm from Orange County or some such place, however. Not cool. Anyway, there's no hiding. The segment and podcast are up on the Fox 61 News site for the masses to see and therefore easily Googleable for anyone nosy enough to go through the trouble... so no amount of dragging my feet will keep my short interview from being seen. You all see my big mug plastered on here all the time, not to mention I promised I would link it. I'm a man of my word, so let me save your Google hand the trouble and offer up the goods. The podcast can also be found on the same site
Enjoy.

August 02, 2007

Fifteen Minutes

This humble blogger was interviewed by Fox News (Channel 61 here in Hartford, CT) yesterday afternoon. I think it went well. I hope. Rick Hancock (the journalist who interviewed me) was very pleasant and asked some insightful questions. I was even lit by one of those tv light thingies and mic'ed. I blotted a about ten minutes before they arrived, so I don't think I was too shiny. The segment airs tomorrow night. If I don't sound too toolish or look super heiferish in stature (I wore all black) I'll link the segment and podcast here on this blog. In the meantime, I'm trying to cool off. It's a million degrees outside and my skin is burning from the sun's impact.

June 12, 2007

That's Art

I'm an avid Sopranos fan. I've followed the series from day one, and have been watching the last 2 or 3 seasons on DVD because I got rid of my digital cable some time ago. I've always maintained that the series's creator, David Chase is an excellent writer. I've never watched a story about a group of wise guys unfold quite this way. The characters are complex and multilayered. The series is almost operatic. Tony Soprano... a dark character... husband, father, mafia chief, sociopath. One of the most compelling characters to cross television screens in a looong time. Perhaps this is why fans were livid, when the series ended the way it did. David Chase had people on the edge of their seats with the finale, only to end it abruptly, without the bang (or carnage) fans were hoping for. He left it open ended... Tony and his immediate family (wife Carmela and son A.J.) at a diner, sharing a basket of onion rings to the tune of Journey's Don't Stop Believing, only to have tv screens all across America suddenly go black after daughter Meadow opens the door to the diner, causing people to think their Tivos or cable had blinked out suddenly. But no. This is the way the series ended. The show that blew popular culture away with its irresistible cast of characters. The fact that David Chase wrote the last episode the way he did, staying true to his artistic integrity rather than placate fans, and then going on vacation to France, but not before telling HBO brass to basically suck it, because he refuses to field questions from press regarding his conclusion or explain why he opted to end the Sopranos this way, is undoubtedly the mark of a great writer and artist. The fact that we are still bemused and discussing it illustrates that the man truly knows what he's doing, and may, quite possibly, have something more up his sleeve. We live in a culture where trends spawn mediocrity. Music, movies, sitcoms, and network series follow the same formulaic recipe and just aren't that interesting or newsworthy. I commend David Chase for following the recipe that best suits art and creativity. From a writer's perspective, I think his ending was nothing short of avante-garde.
** Read today's NYTimes article for more on The Sopranos

August 30, 2006

The Revolution To be Televised??

This season, Survivor has opted to venture into some controversial territory. In the same way no one likes to acknowledge the line of demarcation separating the classes in this country, people tend to be just as reluctant to discuss the politics and complexities of race in America. Survivor has decided to split teams up by race- (Latin-American, Asian-American, Caucasian, and Black)- to compete with one another. Eventually, as the contestants are whittled down, they’ll become one, multicultural unit, until the final one triumphs. Different groups are up in arms about the way the teams will be presented this season, and have demanded that CBS scrap the idea. Of course they aren’t going to. Survivor spokeswhores have responded that they feel the idea is a good "social exercise" and how they concocted the idea, after numerous complaints that the show just wasn’t culturally diverse enough. Is this, in fact, a social exercise, or a sick way to regain victory in the prime-time ratings war? Are CBS and the creators of Survivor using the most controversial study to gain viewers? Are they fostering bigotry for their own interests, with this new game’s strategy? Moreover, is it right? That remains to be seen when the season premieres. As much of a pop-culture junky as I am, I think I will pass on this show. I’ve never been a Survivor fan to begin with, and I refuse to feed into this sort of hype. I’ll stay faithful to Flavor of Love.