Ever since I first heard about Hot Ghetto Mess, I've been intrigued. The new BET series courted some controversy from folks who felt it exploited black stereotypes, and at least two sponsors, State Farm Insurance and Home Depot, have pulled their ads. Both BET entertainment chief Reginald Hudlin and Jam Donaldson (creator of the HotGhettoMess.com site on which the new series is based) say the purpose of the series is to encourage people, in a humorous manner, to take a look at themselves and their communities and try to affect positive change. The series mixes user-submitted video clips with man-on-the-street interviews.
Speaking of change, the series is now called We Got to Do Better. The actual content of the show won't change, but the new title more clearly explains the intent of the series. I discovered this last night while trying to find Hot Ghetto Mess on my Tivo with no luck. The series, hosted by Charlie Murphy (Chappelle's Show) debuts tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:30 p.m.
(S04E05) "Wow... looks like the bottom of my Dustbuster." - Sean
Well there you go. Leary and Tolan still have plenty hidden up their sleeves. After last week's extremely sub-par episode, we came back with this one. That was one hell of an opening, huh? From Janet forgetting the baby in the parking lot to the tractor-trailer truck bowling right into it... just another Tommy Gavin nightmare. If anything though, this is just his way of manifesting his very real concerns for the safety of this still unnamed baby. Tommy has been sober for some time and it doesn't take a genius to see that Janet is going downhill fast. Is his new option really worth pursuing though?
Hot Ghetto Mess, a new series on BET based on the Web site HotGhettoMess.com, has already courted some controversy before its July 25 premiere.
The new series features user-submitted videos and street interviews meant to encourage viewers to change themselves and their communities for the better.
Or, it's a show that exploits stereotypes, and it's the reason both Home Depot and State Farm Insurance have asked to be dropped from the series.
BET is debuting its very first scripted series, a comedy about black slackers.
I think that means it's a comedy about black people who make slacks, but I'm not certain. I assume "black pantsers" sounds too close to "Black Panthers," and they didn't want anyone to confuse it with that particular organization.
Okay, the real story is that Somebodies is a new sitcom that will be taped in Atlanta, Georgia and will premiere sometime in October, though BET prez Reginald Hudlin said the network will wait until the major networks announce their fall lineups before a timeslot for Somebodies is chosen, which is a wise move for a smaller network like BET. The series is being executive produced by Pete Aronson and Warren Hutcherson of The Bernie Mac Show and will focus on a group of University of Georgia grads trying to decide what to do with their lives. How the ten episodes that have been ordered will develop from that point remains to be seen, but I maintain that the friends could easily go into business for themselves making slacks:
Does this really surprise anyone? Sanford and Son, Redd Foxx's sitcom from the 1970s, might be made into a feature film with Bernie Mac taking on the role of Fred Sanford popularized by the late Foxx. The film has been kicking around the studios for a few years now, and is currently at Sony. Nick Cannon is also slated to play Lamont Sanford, Fred's son.
I'm not a big fan of TV to movie adaptations, but I do recognize that sometimes they can work. The movie Charlie's Angels, which I found rather insipid, was at least based on three crime-fighting chicks, a concept that lends itself to a full-length movie. I'm just not sure how Sanford and Son could be stretched beyond half an hour, taking into consideration the show was essentially built around Foxx and his comedy. The show could have taken place in a bicycle repair shop and I don't think it would have made much difference. Unless some filmmaker out there has something truly amazing in mind for this flick, it seems better to just let it go.
I love reporting on the occasional political stuff: it's like tossing raw meat to a pack of wild dogs and watching them tear at each other. Now read this post and fight! Fight and bite, my polemic pooches!
Sorry, I shouldn't refer to my readers as "polemic pooches," that's not very nice. Anyway, here's the news:
The death penalty, not unlike abortion rights, is a polarizing topic, and advocates on both sides of the death penalty debate have strong feelings about a state's right to end the life of a human being.
In "Race to Execution," which airs on PBS' Independent Lens on March 27 at 10:00 p.m., the question as to whether race plays a role in death penalty convictions is made the center focus. One story deals with Madison Hobley, a Chicago man sentenced to death for allegedly setting a fire that killed seven people, including his wife and young child. The other story deals with Robert Tarver, accused of shooting a white general store owner in Alabama. In the end, one man is executed and the other is exonerated.
The documentary takes the stance that a person's race, and the overall race of the jury, does play a significant role in whether or not a person is sentenced to death. However, the two people behind the film, Rachel Lyon and Jim Lopes, are on both sides of the debate (Lopes supports the death penalty and Lyon does not). No single work can serve as the ultimate Truth on the death penalty, but "Race to Execution" does offer one angle that's worth considering for anyone interested in educating themselves about this issue, no matter what their belief happens to be.
(S02E12) In this review I mentioned that the character of Ms. Morello seemed to be switching from a dimwitted woman misinformed about black culture to your basic run-of-the-mill racist, and in this episode she wasn't much better, returning to a trip from Africa with a tiny bone for Chris he could put in his nose.
Now, if that's merely a choice on the part of the writers to have Ms. Morello completely oblivious to her own actions as a means of comic relief, that's their prerogative, but what I loved about her character from the early episodes is how she demonstrated that not all racism is blatant: sometimes you can have what seems like the best of intentions and still be completely wrong in your approach. Now, she's just another idiot.
Logo --the gay, lesbian bi-sexual and transgender network-- is taking the first steps toward continuing its short-lived series Noah's Arc as a feature film. The series, which focuses on Noah and Wade, two black gay screenwriters and their friends in Los Angeles, ended last year after its second season. The feature film, which will continue where the series left off, is still in the very early stages of development, but should hit theaters in 2008 according to Logo. This would be the first feature film developed by the new channel.
You can watch a full episode of the series here.
In honor of Black History Month, I've made a non-conclusive list of some programs and specials that are coming up to celebrate black history in America. I'll be adding more shows to future posts as information becomes available, probably as we get closer to February. If you know of any I've missed, let me know in the comments and I'll add them to my next post.
Last night I had to play detective. Seriously, I was like Encyclopedia "Mother-F'n" Brown. I was all, like, solvin' shtuff.
I'll explain: I was poking through ye olde Tivo seeing if there was anything on worth recording, and I noticed it had some reruns of Everybody Hates Chris listed on VH1. That's odd, since the show airs on the CW. I hopped on my computer and went to VH1's site, but there was no mention of it at all. If you look at the schedule, it lists "VH1 Special" from 8pm to 10:30pm on Saturday, January 20. Well, that "special" is five back-to-back episodes of Everybody Hates Chris according to both my Tivo and TV Guide. If you haven't seen the show, you should check it out, as it's one of the better sitcoms on television right now.
Also, fans take note: new episodes of the series return to the CW on January 22.
Mr. Stephen Colbert had a great run in 2005, when The Colbert Report debuted and took off like a mighty eagle... with a disturbingly dedicated fanbase. This past year somehow managed to top all that, making Colbert and his show absolute pop culture giants and easily one of the biggest hits of 2006. I've been a fan ever since I first saw the man many years ago on The Daily Show and Strangers With Candy, so I feel like I've seen his career positively explode before my very eyes. Ohh, my boy's all grown up.
Now now, let's move on to my list before I get even more sappy and awkwardly maternal (the fact that Colbert's over twenty years older than me does not help the strangeness). Here are the top nine Colbert Report moments of 2006!
If you happen to be an insomniac or someone who just wakes up really early, and you really enjoyed the animated series Mister T and The Super Globetrotters, then November is your month, Maynerd. The original Mister T cartoon, which I only vaguely remember and had something to do with T and his gang of gymnasts fighting bad guys, will follow the late seventies Super Globetrotters cartoon, a series in which the basketball wunderkinds would occasional develop super powers to battle the forces of evil. The shows will air on Cartoon Network at 5:00 a.m. starting November 5. I never did watch the Globetrotters, and any memories of Mister T has been replaced by Robert Smigel's "TV Funhouse" version. I guess that's not entirely a bad thing.
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