Tag Archives: Angela Bassett

The Racialicious TV Roundup: Sept. 10-14

By Guest Contributor Kendra James

“Kicking Television,” by Daniel Horacio Agostini, via Creative Commons.

Ah, Fall. Colorful leaves, riding boots, pumpkin spice lattes, and a brand-new season of television. After a summer break, the Racialicious Weekly TV Roundup is back!

A quick review: The Weekly TV Roundup exists because there are stories we want to share with you each week that we don’t necessarily have time to write about in length,. The three of us don’t watch everything, but this is where you’re likely to hear about shows from Dance Moms to Arrow to Downton Abbey. Think of it as your digest-sized compilation of race and pop culture on television.

This week the world is blessed with the premiere of two Ryan Murphy shows (oh joy), and we have a few newsbites to catch up with from the summer months, so without further ado …
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Chromatic Casting: The All-Female Expendables

By Arturo R. García

Film bloggers got a bit abuzz last week at reports that an all-female spinoff of the Expendables franchise was being developed, with “several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre” being contacted.

This being Hollywood, of course, don’t expect too much on the diversity front–heck, even seeing Jet Li as part of the crew in Sylvester Stallone’s original ensemble and Yu Nan and Terry Crews in the sequel–is about as good as we’re probably going to get in that series.

But here at Chromatic Casting, we know we can do better. And so we’ll give it a shot under the cut.

Keeping in mind that this series basically involves anthropomorphic tropes as characters, we won’t get too deep with the descriptions, but we’ll slot folks into some archetypal roles for the protagonist team, with the villains being a bit more fluid.
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Race + TV: NBC (And The Rest)–More Colorful!

By Guest Contributor Kendra James

If you’re a regular R reader, you’ve been noticing that quite a bit of the stuff on TV–and by “stuff,” I mean “how characters of color have been treated”– has given us the blues while we’re not giving side-eye to what’s on the tiny screen. It’s hard to be optimistic given everything, but dare I say that network television might be listening? It’s pilot season, and if you’ve been out of the loop and hadn’t heard about some of the more diverse bits of new casting, I’ve got you covered.

The news of Lucy Liu as Watson on CBS’ Elementary was the first of a few announcements that piqued my interest this spring. BBC’s Sherlock fandom went predictably ballistic over: first, the news of an American Sherlock Holmes story (forgetting en masse, I suppose, that House has existed for eight years now); then the casting of a female in the Watson role; finally. that the wardrobe department would dare put Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) in a scarf “so similar” to the BBC’s version’s. (you think I’m joking?)

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Chromatic Casting: Finding A Host For The 2012 Academy Awards

By Arturo R. García

It was almost enough to make you say, F-ck The Muppets.

No sooner did Eddie Murphy give up his shot at hosting the Academy Awards in a heart-warming display of solidarity with Bro – I mean, Brett – Ratner than an online campaign recommending Kermit The Frog and friends get the job pick up some steam.

The Muppets hosting The Oscars? The most interesting part of that pairing would be figuring out which half should feel more insulted.

But at least Muppets fans are coming at this from a place of honest – if at times overbearing (wokka wokka!) – enthusiasm. It’s been more disappointing to scan around other sites and see the same basic wishlist of prospective replacements:

  • Stephen Colbert/Tina Fey
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Somebody associated with Glee
  • Nobody at all
  • Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post also nominated a muppet, albeit one with his own talk show.
  • And one black person

With such a lack of creativity from normally creative people (Tracy Morgan? Oprah? Chris Rock?) you’d think Ratner was still doing the show! O-HOHOHOHO!

But seriously, folks. We here at The R can do better than that – especially since Rick Perry’s botched his audition last night. And our nominees are …
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Epic Fail Of The Week: DC Comics Drops The Ball On ‘The Wall’ in Suicide Squad

By Arturo R. García

The image above is the last page of DC Comics’ new Suicide Squad #1, which debuted yesterday. And to the chagrin of many fans thus far, the woman in the panel on the left is writer Adam Glass and penciller Marco Rudy’s “reimagined” take on Amanda Waller.

In her original incarnation, seen at right, the woman known as “The Wall” was notable not only for being a non-superpowered human with the confidence and cunning to stand up to the likes of Batman, but to be consistently presented as DC’s resident spymaster (she was frequently involved with prior incarnations of the Dirty Dozen-like Squad), but for being depicted as powerful without looking like the “superhuman ideal.”

The character has also emigrated onto other media platforms. CCH Pounder voiced an animated version of Waller in the Justice League Unlimited animated series; Pam Grier played her on television during the final season of Smallville; and earlier this year, Amanda Bassett stepped into the character for the movie Green Lantern. That said, Waller’s involvement as a “star” in the comics has primarily been restricted to espionage-type titles like Suicide Squad or Checkmate, where she was part of an ensemble. She’s never been called upon to carry a title on her own.

Which makes the decision to revamp the character – whether it was Glass and Rudy’s choice, or something dictated to them by DC head honchos Dan DiDio, Jim Lee and Geoff Johns – even more ill-considered than their decision to draw up a Suicide Girls-like character (seen at left) and call her Harley Quinn. What made Waller unique was that she really did look like a regular person – she just had enough of an iron will to maneuver herself into a position of power. For DC to seemingly transform her into one more skinny gal seems to be a particularly arbitrary choice in a company-wide relaunch that has already divided its’ existing fanbase. Or, if this move was made in order to entice new readers to give the new Squad a shot, then who does this company exactly want to attract? This guy?

Update: Glass was quoted by Bleeding Cool as saying, “Amanda Waller is not defined by her size but by her attitude and she still has plenty of that.” Which doesn’t explain the change at all, of course. Bleeding Cool also reported that Rudy has been replaced as the penciller for the series in favor of Federico Dellocchio.

Is Hollywood Pushing Black Actors to TV?

By Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, cross-posted from Televisual

The New York Times’ recent article on Hollywood’s “whiteout” about the lack of black nominees for the Oscars has caused some controversy, mainly for forgetting to mention Whoopi Goldberg. But there may be an unintended consequence to Hollywood’s race problem — if we concede there is a particularly recent one, which I’m not sure is true:

Are more A-list black actors moving to television?

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Chromatic Casting: David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman

By Arturo R. García

It was confirmed earlier this week that NBC is moving forward with the pilot episode for David E. Kelley’s much-discussed Wonder Woman revamp. Not only that, but the alleged script for the episode has leaked online.

So, using some reports on the script as a guide, let’s step back into remix mode and pick contenders for both the characters confirmed to appear, and some important members of Diana’s personal canon, assuming the show survives.

A note on the choices: this time around, I played it a little closer to the vest and went with actors more likely to be available. So, names like Maggie Q (Nikita), Rutina Wesley (True Blood) and D.B. Woodside (Hellcats) missed the cut.

That said, if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon, some of these picks might make you wish (again) he’d gotten to stick with the project.
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