Category Archives: Entertainment

The Acclaimed Web Series Black Folks Don’t Returns for a Third Season

 

 

Black Folks Don’t (BFD) is back for a third season–this time tackling environmentalism. The series, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, explores the myth and reality of things black people allegedly don’t do. This time around BFD will explore feminism, NRA membership, plastic surgery and more. Racialicious alumna Andrea Plaid is part of the BFD season three team, so you know it’s bound to be good!

The Walking Dead Recap: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”

 

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By Jeannie Chan

Previously on TWD, we’re reminded of why the Governor hates Michonne with such a fiery passion. We begin the mid-season finale with the Governor holding court in his new camp. He’s giving his new family his Braveheart speech and tells them that he has leverage and will use them to get access to the prison. No one will have to die if his plan goes well. Yeah, right.

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The Scandal Mid-Season Finale Prediction Thread

By Arturo R. García

We’re scared to look, too, Liv.

Since we didn’t have a first-run episode of Scandal last week — something about a holiday? — this is a good time to stop and cast our best guesses for this coming Thursday’s mid-season finale. A few questions to get us started, based on our last visit with our group of antiheroes and villains:

  • We got the first glimpse of the reunion between Olivia and Mrs. Pope. Will we finally get to hear what she could have done to “merit” being thrown in a secret underground prison — by her husband?
  • Cyrus’ plan to offer up James as bait for a scandal seems to have worked too well. Even if James didn’t fall into the arms of Daniel Langston, what’s the fallout likely to be? And how much does Sally know about her husband’s activities?
  • Quinn earned her burn notice less than a week after becoming a spy. Worst of all, now she’s apparently going to be on the wrong end of a Huck interrogation. What’s the odds Charlie intercedes and sets up a fight for the soul of “Robin”?
  • To the chagrin of most of America, Fitz made his biggest pitch yet for keeping Olivia — her own White Hat House out in the boonies. Problem for him is, Mellie knows (if not about the house, then about their latest tryst). How willing is Mellie to upend his re-election bid by arranging for Olivia to join the team?
  • Who’s the clubhouse favorite for the death pool this season? My money’s still on Harrison, given the sudden amount of attention he’s been getting, with Jake a close second; somebody will have to “pay a price” for all this B613 business.

Racializens, the floor is yours. How do you see this show taking us into the winter break?

Why Orange is Not The New Black

By Guest Contributor Kimberly Bernita Ross

The prison comedy-drama, Orange is The New Black (OITNB), is projected to trump House of Cards in viewership by the end of the year, giving it the distinction of being Netflix’s most-watched original series. The show is an adaptation of Piper Kerman’s memoir by the same name, which recounts her time in prison after being convicted for drug smuggling and money laundering a decade after the offense. Actress Taylor Schilling plays Piper in the series, depicting the sometimes-comical angst that the White upper-middle class, 30-something feels, upon entering what in real life was Danbury Federal Prison in Connecticut.

OITNB joins the ranks of other popular women in prison TV and film productions like Bad Girls, Stranger Inside and Prisoner: Cell Block H. All of these shows and films touch upon relevant issues facing real women in prison, such as a lack of physical and mental healthcare, sexual assault and separation from children; yet they also draw on some of the more sensationalized themes of an earlier generation of women-in-prison (WIP) exploitation films first popularized in the late 1960s and 70s. While OITNB is a significant departure from the B- Movie, WIP film subgenre, the show still relies on subjects of female subjugation, violence, and lesbian sex, themes heavily prevalent in WIP films. And just as WIP movies often cross into revolutionary plots and sometimes Blaxploitation motifs, OITNB delves into the stories of Black and Afro-Latina women in prison. Comparing the women-in-prison film genre with OITNB is a ripe opportunity to analyze changing representations of sexual orientation, gender and race on screen.

There is a dearth of critical examination within portrayals of race and the criminal justice system. Black and Latina women’s plot lines predictably include criminal women from the “menacing urban underclass” without much nuance or context. Writers rarely, if ever, analyze the racialized society that has created the prison industrial complex in which these women find themselves entangled. Jenji Kohen, creator of the show, has been quoted as saying she used the WASP character, fashioned after Piper Kerman, as a ploy to pitch the series to different networks—a sort of subterfuge to tell other stories that the industry is reluctant to touch. The White woman lens as a means of telling the stories of women of color has been a scheme in Hollywood for a long time, and is an oft-criticized element of OITNB. At the same time, much of the show’s appeal rests on this juxtaposition of race and class and the laughable observations of an ignorant Piper. While the stories of real women of color are still held hostage by Hollywood stratagem, OITNB has developed Black and Latino characters that differ from the static, underdeveloped roles of the WIP film subgenre. But how much has really changed?

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Open Thread: Scandal S03 E08: ‘Vermont is for Lovers, Too’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) indulge in a shared future for one night.

Score this round for the (relatively) good guys.

In the last episode before the winter finale, we saw the pieces begin to move. While Olivia and Fitz’s dalliance in the house revealed just how far Fitz’s obsession flame went — not to mention how badly he seems to want out of politics — the duo also came to an understanding, if not an outright alliance. Each would do what they had to do to unravel Eli and B613.

And now the wildest card of all has landed on Olivia’s doorstep.
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Open Thread: The Walking Dead 4.7 “Dead Weight”

 

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By Jeannie Chan

Last week, we were (at least, I was) manipulated into thinking that the Governor had become a new man. The RT’ers spent all of the last episode nervously waiting for the Governor to crack and go off on another murderous rampage. But it didn’t happen. This week, we pick up right where we left off with Martinez staring at him down the barrel of a gun. By the end of the episode, we catch up to Team Prison’s timeline with the Governor standing outside. But first, let’s talk about all the crazy things that happened in between. Let’s get the ball rolling on this open thread!

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Open Thread: The American Music Awards

Jennifer Lopez performs at the 2013 American Music Awards

Pitbull hosted, 39 year old rap star of my childhood Nelly proclaimed his love for 19 and 21 year old girls while performing Ride Wit’ Me, TLC continued to make me sad by insisting on continuing to perform sans Left Eye, and Jennifer Lopez gave a killer Celia Cruz tribute, but the American Music Awards were still plagued with overt racism, troubling moments, and a grim glimpse into what this year’s Grammys are going to look like.

The show opened with this gem of a performance from Katy Perry:


A quick check with Twitter confirmed that I was indeed seeing what I thought I was seeing (Katy Perry performing a song that has nothing to do with Japan, it’s people or their culture, while wearing a kimono and possible yellow face surrounded by others doing the same? Check.) and that it was, yes, as problematic as I thought it was. Unfortunate, but not entirely unsurprising given the legacy handed down by other pop artists like our friend Gwen Stefani.

The shtick is doubly creepy when you consider how Perry’s supposed love of Japanese people manifested itself during an interview on the Jimmy Kimmel show back in 2012:

“I am obsessed with Japanese people, I love everything about them and they are so wonderful as human beings. I’m so obsessed I want to skin you and wear you like Versace.”

By any means necessary, eh Katy?

The second biggest “Yikes.” of the night came when Macklemore beat out a slew of Black artists in the favourite rap/hip-hop album category and proceeded to make a Very Special Comment about Martin Luther King Jr., Trayvon Martin and racial profiling. A comment that I might have found more sincere had he mentioned the names or cases of any of the numerous other cases since Trayvon Martin’s; Renisha McBride, perchance?

It may have also been more meaningful coming out of the mouths of one of the other nominees in the category (Kendrick Lemar or Jay-Z), but that could just be my own cynicism. In a year filled with the Macklemores, Lordes, Justin Timberlakes (he picked up two televised AMA wins), and Robin Thickes of the world it looks like Black artists will have to continue fighting for wins in the hip-hop, rap, and RnB categories as we move into Grammy season.

I tuned in and out of the show (because 11pm is late for anything to be ending, I just started a Charmed rewatch on Netflix, and it’s not like these are the Oscar Awards of music or anything), so I invite y’all to discuss  anything I may have missed (and/or the sad state of popular music) in the comments below.