The Racialicious Entertainment Roundup 1.12-18.13

By Arturo R. García, Kendra James, and Joseph Lamour

Samuel L. Jackson (l) and Quentin Tarantino. Photo via Film Buff Online.

Golden Globe Awards: I didn’t enjoy my Django Unchained viewing experience. Just putting that out there before I admit that, while I generally find Quentin Tarantino to be in extremely poor taste, I think he’s a great screenwriter. Reading his screenplays for Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown (two movies I don’t actually enjoy watching) were a much-needed respite in the first film class I took in high school. While I haven’t read the screenplay for Django yet, I don’t doubt it’s any less well written than his others and, for that reason, I didn’t have any problem with him winning the Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay last week …

… until he went backstage and pulled a Typical Tarantino, dropping the N-word 30 seconds into his press conference much to the discomfort of every other sensible person in the room.

Mr. Jackson, come get your boy.–KJ

Google Ditches The ‘Make Me Asian’ App: Good news on the tech front–an app enabling users to look “Asian” has been taken out of the Google Play store, thanks in large part to online activism: a petition on Change.org drew more than 8,000 signatures and the #makemeracist hashtag gained traction on Twitter.

“I am deeply thankful to those who realized the danger of these stereotypes entering the mainstream and spoke out against this app,” said Peter Chin, the pastor who put together the petition. “But I am also appreciative of Google, who listened to our concerns and acted accordingly.”–AG

Deception: The second high-profile drama to feature a female African American lead (after Scandal) premiered on NBC on January 7th–but I honestly never heard about it ’til now, which is a bad sign. Also a bad sign: the fact that one would cast the (admittedly, gorgeous) family of Vivian Bowers, the rich and famous heiress and murder victim, and only allow Victor Garber to react to the death on-camera.

Meagan Good and her impeccable hair situation play Joanna Locasto, Vivian’s best friend and now undercover investigator. The cast’s acting seems to be more on-point in the second episode, so let’s hope Good can help Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson usher in a new casting way of life. Good had a lengthy arc on Californication, where she played a hip-hop hook songstress and seductress (try and say that three times fast), so I like seeing her in a different light. I always get nervous about shows like this because, unless the murder is solved at the end of this season, it’s going to play like The Red Herring Show until it gets cancelled. Even though it was eventually un-cancelled, look what happened to The Killing…and how boring it ended up being.–JL

The New Normal: NeNe Leakes‘ character makes a joke about being a featured actress on Girls. Anyone who doesn’t get the irony in an other-people-may-be-being-bigots joke on this show should read this article, or this one, or this one. Coincidentally, NeNe is saying that to Andrew Rannells, who is also on Girls. Like an irony whirlpool, folks.–JL

The Carrie Diaries: Complete with multi-culti cast. (Look! It can be done.) As the younger version of Carrie Bradshaw, AnnaSophia Robb, is obviously reminiscent of Sarah Jessica Parker; “The Miranda,” Jill Thompson (Ellen Wong), is Asian-American; “the Charlotte,” Walt Reynolds (Brendan Dooling), is a gay man. The nemesis of the show is played by a Latina, Chloe Bridges. And let me just say that seeing Martha Jones herself, Freema Ageyman, play the life of the party would be enough to make me watch. The premiere, to me, hit all the right notes. It references Sex and the City without screaming it at you: for instance, the saucy jokes the show was known for. There’s a reference to a teen’s first time which equates it to “trying to stick a hot dog into a keyhole,” which is just crude enough to fit in the show’s style of humor and still be okay on the CW–although I’m surprised it is! As a gay man, I have to say that the hot-dog joke invigorates the great hope that this show is going to be the kind of SATC-fabulous that Girls tries so hard to be. In the title role, Robb proves to be excellent at imitating Sarah Jessica Parker’s mannerisms. Even her voice has SJP’s gravelly, sardonic tone.–JL

Chew: John Layman’s series, published by Image Comics, is about Asian American police detective Tony Chu. Tony happens to be cursed with a unique superpower: he’s a food psychic. Basically, he spends a lot of time chewing on dead bodies in order to figure out how they died.

A Showtime series had been rumored awhile back, and a recent interview reveals not only that it’s still in development, but that that the creators seem to be committed to avoiding the whitewashing that so often happens when our favorite things get adapted.–KP

I asked one of our panelists, who will remain nameless, how old they were when this video dropped:

They said they were five.

Yes, Kris Kross is back–at least, for one night only. The boys–now in their thirties–are taking part in a So So Def Records reunion show next month, along with Da Brat, Jagged Edge, and label head Jermaine Dupri. If it does well enough, I’m guessing we’ll see some sort of tour before the year’s out.

No word yet if Chris & Chris will go as far as rocking their gear backwards again–it’s kinda gotta happen, right?–but here’s how they look these days. Just curious, Racializens: Are you up for this, or would you rather miss this bus?–AG

  • Shazza

    That review of ‘The Carrie Diaries’ sounds interesting but I never watched ‘Sex & the City’. Is it required viewing?

    • JosephLamour

      Not at all. It’s kind of like watching something that gives nods to something for more seasoned viewers, but doesn’t affect the plot at all for newcomers.