Author: Kendra James

November 22, 2013 / / Television
November 22, 2013 / / Entertainment
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Angela Bassett, Jessica Lange, and Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Coven. If nothing else, the show is a master class from some of the grande dames of acting.

With Jordan St. John and Kendra James

My distaste for The Vampire Diaries and its selective racial memory are well documented. When I heard that The Vampire Diaries spinoff featuring the ancient ancient vampire family, The  Originals, would be set in one of the most racially complex and interesting locals in the American south, New Orleans, I did not have high hopes. I was more intrigued when it was announced that American Horror Story: Coven, the third season of the campy horror gorefest would also be taking up residence in New Orleans Garden District. Now that both shows have a couple eps of painful exposition and audience baiting twists and turns behind them Kendra and I are sitting down to see how both are handling history, witches and race in the Big Easy.

Editor’s Note: This was finished before the 11-20-13 episode of AHS: Coven, so we know now that, yes: Queenie did the right thing. Spoilers for  The Originals and American Horror Story: Coven to follow!

Read the Post Table For Two: American Horror Story: Coven and The Originals in Brief

November 18, 2013 / / Television

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In the previouslies, AMC takes us back to Woodbury and the Governor’s escalation towards becoming Michonne’s archnemesis. I had actually forgotten (and by that, I mean that I probably looked away the first time) that Michonne had stabbed the Governor’s daughter through the back of the head like that, and I had just started to forget the image of the Governor being stabbed in the eye, so I’d like to thank AMC for taking me back. We’re jumping back in time with this week’s episode to find out what the Governor has been up to this whole time.

(Full recap and spoilers after the cut!)

Read the Post The Walking Dead Recap 4.6 “Live Bait”

November 11, 2013 / / Television

 

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By Jeannie Chan

Previously, on TWD: the flu spreads rapidly throughout the prison and our favorite characters are in danger of dying. Hershel sent a team out to the veterinary college to get medicine and ended up most likely infected himself. Rick confronted Carol about killing Karen and David and told her she could not come back to the prison.

This week, we pick up right where Rick left off and open with a mesmerizing and haunting scene of him driving back to the prison. He keeps flexing his bandaged hand, probably still throbbing after the beating he gave Ty, and glancing over at the watch Carol gave him. How many things are you going to let haunt you for the rest of your life, Rick?

(Spoilers and full recap after the cut!)

Read the Post The Walking Dead Recap 4.5: “Internment”

November 8, 2013 / / Uncategorized

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Hosted by Jeannie Chan

I’m so glad to see such great comments posted to the open thread for last week’s episode. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from watching this show, it’s that there’s no such thing as an easy decision, let alone a right one. It’s clear that the camp is conflicted with Rick deciding for everyone and cast out Carol. And we’re all still wrestling with Carol’s decision to kill. Read on to see how Carly Mitchell, Kiki Smith, Nicole Norkin (our newest Roundtabler!) and I process everythang.

Read the Post The Walking Dead Roundtable 4.4: “Indifference”

November 4, 2013 / / Entertainment
November 4, 2013 / / Entertainment
Image via Vibe.com

By Kendra James

With the combined fire power of a few cute empire waists, boxy tops, and racial stereotypes, Kerry Washington became one of a handful of Black women to host Saturday Night Live in its 30+ year history. Given the recent controversy surrounding the lack of color in the SNL cast, its understandable that the show would be eager to face the topic head on. Asking Washington to host was a nice first step, but they seem content to stop there.

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Scrolling text in Kerry Washington’s SNL cold open, via Mashable

Sure, SNL addressed their lack of Black women directly in the cold open, but joking about the glaring absence really loses all effectiveness if you don’t take steps to fix it immediately after. Addressing your own racist casting practices as a joke makes you seem less like a writer’s room full of subversive humourist savants than it does a room full of white privileged writers. The screen caps above represent a joke that could only retain legs if at the end of the show they’d announced the addition of a full time Black female cast member.

Of course, after seeing the sketches Washington was thrown into –especially in the first half of the show– it’s probably worth wondering how well a Black woman would fare in this era of SNL. With a sketches that included a mouthy, angry Black girlfriend, a BAPs style Black ghetto girl, an Ugandan beauty queen who reeked of Eddie Murphy’s “what have you done for me lately” bit from Raw, and the best Angela Davis impression she could muster, Washington and the SNL writers were one weave joke away from a stereotypical Black woman full sweep.

Washington put her all into everything she was given (as did Jay Pharoah, who was in all but 2 sketches on Saturday night, “because,” said the writer’s room, “if they want Black people then, goddamnit, we are going to give them black people! Take that, critics.”) but surely there have been several other hosts from popular breakout television shows who’ve knocked their hosting nights out of the park without relying on racial humour to take them through. Jon Hamm comes to mind. Unfortunately, where someone like Jon Hamm seems to inspire new, original material, the SNL writers room looked at Kerry Washington and clearly decided that with the plethora of jokes people have been making about Black women for years, they already had all they needed.

The only sketch that seemed as if it had any input from a non white writer included the Angela Davis impression mentioned above. I really do wish my white friends would stop telling me to watch The Wire. But for the most part, I still have to disagree with Kenan Thompson’s recent comments about there being no Black female comedians who are ready for SNL. It’s the SNL writers who aren’t ready for Black women.

The rest of Saturday night’s sketches are underneath the cut. What do you think, readers?

Read the Post Open Thread: Kerry Washington hosts Saturday Night Live

November 1, 2013 / / Television

 

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Hosted by Jeannie Chan

Things seem to be picking up speed on The Walking Dead, to put it lightly. My own reaction to last week’s episode can be summed up as such: HOLY CRAP. Your trusty team of Roundtablers (Ken Hwynn, Carly Mitchell, Kiki Smith, and myself) help each other through some dramatic moments. And by that I mean: Carol.

  Read the Post The Walking Dead Roundtable 4.3 “Isolation”