Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Black and Gold and Reality

Navigating through new technology that arrived on the marketplace during my treatment has left me to ponder Black folks and the little gold man named Oscar.#thebestandthewhitest

Will a Black man or woman win one of these for playing a doctor, lawyer or teacher in ANY film release?  If so, will it be a major or supporting character?  Will I live to see this?  Or will I be alive but too old to understand what is going on?

Of course, the main talk on the Black blogs this weekend is the passing of VH1 reality star Ahmad Givens and MO Nique's being blacklisted by Hollywood after getting her gold statue.  Some say she's wrong for not playing ball, while others want to blame Oprah or Lee Daniels for not defending her.  I'm with the group that says the system is flawed but it may be too late to change.

As a lover of blaxploitation films, I wish that Vonetta McGee, Rosalind Cash, or Thalmus Rasulala had received Oscar nominations before transitioning.  There may have been other quality performances during that period but one has to admit that this period gave many decent actors exposure.  But the timing was perfect for change.  It was after the Civil Rights era and the majority of these films made money - whether the actor was bad or good.

Which brings me to 2015.  A wild mix of bad and good Black actors are making damn good money for studios and there are more independent Black filmmakers who are moving around the system.  Some are even successful.  So why MO Nique get respect?  Here are some facts:
  • Many who promote a brand usually do so on their dime, then wait for the returns.  Hollywood is no different than any other industry in that respect.
  • Blacks always have to go the extra mile to prove they mean business.  Even when I worked in the clerical pool, people underestimated my skills before reading test scores or watching me in action.  So think about doctors and professionals in corporate America.  Sad but true.
  • Reality shows are doing a number on how America sees Blacks.  While people either love or hate NeNe, the large number of reality shows that show Blacks partciipating in gratuitous violence, blatant ignorance, or sexual promiscuity seems to be never-ending.  Many actors have complained that studios make serious money because the talent is cheap and the more outrageous, the more popular.  Question is, who really pays in the end?  I'm forecasting a Bamboozled moment when somebody is going to go off and it won't be pretty.
Here's my opinion -
  • MO Nique's husband is killing her career and here's one first-person account about Mr. MO Nique.
  • MO Nique was never that great of an actress.  Can you say The Parkers?
  • Monique (as she humbles) may want to look into a second career.  She's looking better these days so maybe a reinvention as a former big girl approaching middle age who got healthy and can help others do the same.  Maybe a cosmetic line.  Whatever the venture, leave the husband ou of it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

RIP Gary Owens

Not the mediocre White comedian that loves to star in Black movies and does stand-up.  If you're old enough to remember the original Gong Show, then you know that Chuck Barris was not the original host.  Velvety-voiced Gary Owens was a voiceover and hosting veteran whose credits include Laugh-In and other crazy game shows from the 70s.  Read more about his life and career. (Variety) 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wayback Wednesdays... Loose Ends

What can I say?  Underrated.  Didn't last as long as I would have liked.  And nice to see a regular brown girl in the lead who can sing.

Seriously.  No disrespect to N'Dea Davenport and others who are pretty and can blow.  I can remember seeing Loose End videos and I was happy that Jane, the female lead, had a pretty voice and was dark and big.  She worked those outfits in her own way without becoming a caricature or diva (yes, I hate that word...JUST SING).

Anyway, as I type I am crying inside for Bobbi Kristina.  It seems like it was only five or ten years ago when we all saw her inside Whitney's 'I'm Every Woman' video.  Poor baby never had a chance.  May she rest wherever He decides to take her.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Honoring Black History Month on Digital TV

Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing St. Louis Blues on the Movies! Channel.  This black and white stars Nat King Cole as an aspiring singer and songwriter who is torn between making money in secular music and following in the footsteps of his preacher father.  I won't give away much more but stirring the pot in a oh-so-sexy fashion is Eartha Kitt, who also has a unique relationship with Ruby Dee (Cole's main boo).

If the selection at the above link doesn't whet your appetite, there is also the Bounce network, The Turner Network, and possibly Lifetime. In the meantime....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wayback Wednesday - Peanut Butter (Long Version)

Haven't heard anything from these folks as of recent but it brings back memories!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Missing My 80s Sitcoms...Thanks Time Warner!

Over the weekend, I had my popcorn ready to get into some real nostalgia, even though I finally got my digital TV situation under control and can now see Bounce TV.  My cable listing showed that Gimme a Break was coming on TV One...twice in one evening.

Right after the What's Happening reruns went off, I waited to see my Nell it is....damn, on comes the Good Times theme song.  I've seen enough of Jimmie Walker to last a lifetime!

For those who may not remember this was a sitcom before Cosby but broke down stereotypes in its own way.  The late Nell Carter played a sassy maid to Dolph Lungren (who passed in the middle of the series' run) and his three daughters in suburbia. 

While she was overweight and mostly less than glamorous (but she did try from time to time), that character was more real than the Jeffersons' Florence Johnston.  Instead of comebacks, she gave the family real advice when the time called for it and seemed to have a little more heart than most domestic technician (Mrs. Garrett from "Diff'rent Strokes/Facts of Life is a close tie).

Here is an episode with the late Whitney Houston during her modeling days. Hopefully TV One will get it together by this weekend.