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Be YOURSELF Ladies

In Communication, Griot, Self Improvement, TV Shows on February 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

be yourself ladiesAre you watching BEING MARY JANE? As much as I like a good drama scene, I am so very glad I am not Being Mary Jane at this point and time in my life. The whole ‘doing the-dirty-dance with a sexy married man’ whose being portrayed by Omari Hardwick is not a scenario that I’ve personally been in.  However, Gabrielle Union makes it look so very succulently good. Free-Sprited Realest

Now, I’m no advocate for extramarital affairs, nor am I relishing in the fact that the extramarital affair is the basis for the steamy romance that is at the very core of the principle vixens life, because, well… it’s pretty repetitive stuff. I mean, isn’t this the same basis for the steamy romance work on SCANDAL, or in your co-workers personal life, or in the infidelity details of any number of US Congressional members, that have been caught cheating in the last so many months?

The Cultural Question

But why? Why are Olivia Pope and Mary Jane two black women glorifying this type of behavior? I mean, just when I think it’s time to stand and do the wave with my sisters I realize that we’ll be doing the wave to the triumph of a successful black woman breaking through glass ceilings just to land in the lap of another successful woman’s man. Why? That was not on my bullet-list of celebratory moments in the history of African American women.

Free-Spirited Realist

Thank God I snapped out of that – quickly – and came to my senses! This moment-in-time is not about “the rise of black women in power” on television or anywhere else. That is not what’s winning over neilson ratings, however, it does have everything to do with a relative and steamy storyline – hands down.

Cultural values- cultural schmalues! That all goes out of the window when advertising dollars come in. I learned early on in this business that you can’t have it all. You can either have role diversity and visual representation, or you can have cultural morals that propel (ie..pigeonhole) you to re-occurring guest roles whenever the demand for a “black traditional role model” comes up in storyline.

Oh wait! That’s exactly what Hollywood has been doing for decades. And while I am indeed a COSBY SHOW fan, I don’t know when the next COSBY SHOW-like script will be coming along and in the meantime pending minority talent is aging — we can’t have that.

BEING MARY JANE — gives us exactly what we have been crying about – role diversity. It showed up looking a lot like HBO’s GIRLS, with all of its inclusively rich story lines and platonic love leiaisons but in fact, the story is being told via a largely minority cast. To be honest, this show could be a success with any race of cast at the helms- however, having an African American family as its principle centerpiece speaks volumes about the evolution of Hollywood.

Gabrielle Union and Keri Washington are doing an outstanding job at representing successful black women who are at-the-top-of-their-game on mainstream television during primetime hours. The  view may  not always be pretty, but it sure does bring in the figures. The numbers win every time. Don’t fight it. Learn from it, use it as a teaching tool – if you will,  and by all means, be you and celebrate the view. Ooo! I’m loving it.

blu corset-divider

Move over 007, there’s a leading woman in town She’s playing a mans game driving counter parts insane & the woman is brown.

She doesn’t fit the mold of just any woman – she’s a woman hard at her game. She’s a style variation of Olivia Pope and the sharp-edged Mary Jane.

SCANDAL comes on the ABC network and BEING MARY JANE airs on BET,
I’m Qui
saying Be YOURSELF Ladies – it’s good to see a girl like you & me on  tv.

Be strong and be sexy – Walk tall, with a purposeful sway. Don’t be scared, be witty and prepared, then let your femininity rule the day. Hey!

I’ll see you in the boardroom.

BLACK TV Sitcom Stuff Pt.2

In News on May 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Entertainment Weekly pressed a great read
that Qui Entertainment couldn’t refuse to transcribe & feed::

“The Rise & Fall and Rise Again of Black TV”

Entertainment Weekly — Part 2. Let’s Stay Together debuted in January to 4.4 million viewers, and Perry’s shows consistently hover near the 3 million mark. Even the competition has taken notice of The Game’s blockbuster debut: “Those numbers were wildly impressive to everybody,” says Michael Wright, TBS’ head of programming. “We’ve done really, really well with Tyler’s shows, but [The Game] surpassed even Tyler’s ratings. That premiere number should’ve made everyone think, “that’s a rating anyone would be happy to have.'”

So far, the broadcast networks have yet to act on the trend. While ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW have made progress the past few seasons when it comes to casting diverse ensembles, the selection of shows in the pipeline for this fall once again lacks series with predominantly African American (or Latino or Asian) casts. “The world on television should look like the world I see when I walk outside my door,” says Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, developing of the fall season’s strongest contenders with a black lead, ABC’s Damage Control starring Kerry Washington as PR guru. And Queen Latifah, who starred for five seasons on Fox’s Living Single, sees African-American series as a way to represent a point of view sorely missing on television: “People live in bubbles and they perpetuate racism and classism. There’s still plenty of places they can go [on TV] that are as un-diverse as they could possibly be,” says the Ladies producer. “It’s just something that’s going to be a continuing fight, to try to keep making these things happen.”

Regardless of why the networks program for black audiences, viewers are clearly hungry for these shows: Not only are the few shoes doing well, reruns of long-cancelled series like My Wife and Kids and Everybody Hates Chris still top cable charts among African-American viewers. Says Charlie Jordan Brookins, senior vice president of programming for BET: “We’re not necessarily trying to say this is the new frontier. We'[re trying to super-serve an audience who has been underserved.” Adds Malcolm-Jamal Warner, “The black viewership is important. Black shows do make money. It seems like a no brainer.

[Entertainment Weekly Columnist: Jennifer Armstrong; Additional reporting by Archana Ram and Tim Stack]

How do you feel about BLACK TV?
I rather dig
those multi-ethnic gigs
that are reflective of you and me.

Who am I,
I am Qui
and I’m duly watching BLACK TV.
Oui! Oui!
Join Me.

BLACK TV Sitcom Stuff Pt. 1

In Griot, News, Self Improvement, TV Shows on May 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Recently I read a great article in Entertainment Weekly called:

“The Rise & Fall and Rise Again of Black TV”

Such a befitting title. Isn’t it? So good, I had to re-type it for peeps that don’t receive the monthly magazine in print. READING is fundamental and KNOWLEDGE is golden::

Entertainment Weekly — Two years ago broadcast TV officially got out of the African-American sitcom business. The CW canceled the long-running Girlfriends in 2008, and the following year it yanked both Everybody Hates Chris and The Girlfriends spin off, The Game— also known as the last two successful black-eccentric shows on network television. ••►But today something is saving black TV from becoming as outmoded as Bill Cosby’s acrylic sweaters: basic cable, where scripted programming is experiencing explosive growth. In January, BET revived The Game to a record-breaking 7.7 million viewers–which is three times the audience it got on The CW and, in fact, twice the size of anything on the teen-skewing network now. (Sorry Gossip Girl.) The success of The Game and BET’s Queen Latifah produced romantic comedy Let’s Stay Together, which also premiered in January, has spurred the network to develop Reed Between the Lines, a new fall sitcom starring Girlfriends Tracy Ellis Ross and The Cosby’s Show’s Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Meanwhile, VH1 has joined up with Queen Latifah, who will be exec-producing its new dramedy Single Ladies (debuting in May 30), starring Clueless’ Stacy Dash.

In reality, this new generation of African-American-focused scripted TV can be traced to TBS’ success in 2007 when it acquired House of Payne from the proven brand of Tyler Perry. (Some 222 episodes later, the network recently announced it would be ending Payne but staying in the Perry business with For Better or Worse, an adaptation of his film Why Did I Get Married?) The reason for the big ratings and latest development rush is simple: pent-up demand. “I’ve had plenty of people say to me that it’s great to see something on TV that represents them”, says Jacque Edmonds-Cofer, exec producer of Let’s Stay Together”. “It’s also important for people to see that every African American woman is not a Real Housewife”. Adds VH1’s exec VP of original programming, Jeff Olde, “I think our shows should reflect the country we’re living in– go, Barack and Michelle! We’re thrilled that we have a large number of African-American women who watch us, and quite frankly, we’re always looking for new stories to tell.

Both BET and VH1 set their programming in response to direct viewer demands. BET first ran The Game in reruns, which sparked an onslaught of fans begging for the network to revive the show. VH1 initially shot Single Ladies as a TV movie, but market testing on the project garnered a “crazy ridiculous response,” Olde says. “[The marketers] SAID, ‘Not only do they want you to make this a series but the audience will actually be mad at you if they don’t see where these characters go next’.”

The ratings for the black-centric shows that have already premiered bear this out.

This concludes Part 1.and wouldn’t you know,
you don’t want to miss the conclusion — because it’s good to go…