By Arturo R. García
If you saw Part I yesterday, you saw that the Black Panel, traditionally held on Saturdays, had made its’ way to the Friday morning line-up. Luckily, more panels have stepped up to fill the POC void on Saturday, and Sunday looks to be book-ended by some interesting stuff. Not that we’re too biased. The line-up is under the cut.
by Latoya Peterson
Much is afoot in Hollywood.
According to Vulture, Mindy Kaling’s future on The Office is uncertain. Kaling is both talent and a writer-director; while she may remain in her onstage role, it is unclear whether she will continue to write for the show. In the meantime, Kaling is staying busy with other film roles, her book project (pictured above) and attempting to woo Rainn Wilson toward an Orson Wells biopic by promising blackface. (Joke explained here.)
HBO believes in Treme – it’s been renewed for a third season.
NBC has cancelled Outsourced and the Event. Since Undercovers was also cancelled, what does this mean for NBC’s “More Colorful” promotion? And how will this impact their perception of minority fronted shows?
Stacy Dash returns to the small screen in the Queen Latifah-produced romantic comedy scripted series Single Ladies. She is joined by Lisa Raye, and Charity Shea as the token white friend. Mixed Media Watch ahead: Shea’s character is in a relationship with a black man – and all is not what it seems.
Hosted by Arturo R. García
So, three weeks in, Nikita’s ratings performance isn’t exactly inspiring: according to Spoiler TV, the show finished last in its’ time slot, last in the 18-49 demographic, and last among CW shows for its’ time slot. Yikes.
Worst yet, “Kill Jill” wasn’t as clever as its’ title would have you think. While it did sort of try to address one of the more logical questions about shows like these – why wouldn’t Nikita just go public with the goods on Division? – mostly the episode had the feel of wheels spinning in place. There’s a bunch of set pieces developing, and they’re threatening to bog the show down if the creative team isn’t careful. Let’s see what the Roundtable thinks.
Hosted by Arturo R. García
In one sense, “2.0” kicked off what’s sure to become one of the show’s major plot points: Who’s really running Alex’s agenda? The episode veered back and forth between showing her being rescued and cleaned up by Nikita in preparation for infiltrating Division and, in the present, getting rushed into – ahem – service while the department tries to protect a smarmy former despot.
Sure, right now Alex is firmly in Nikita’s corners for reasons not-quite-known, but with Michael once again “getting too close” to the rookie agent, there’s sure to be a triangle of some sort developing in the weeks to come. Which still might mean bad news for Maggie Q’s title character, but in the meantime, at least she still gets to shoot people – seeing her blast a fool into the wall was fun – and crack a joke here and there. But not all the Table members are as high on the show anymore …
Hosted by Arturo R. García
We’re baaaaack! And kicking off our look at the season’s new TV offerings – well, the ones that at least promise to highlight POC – with the CW’s Nikita, the latest iteration of Luc Besson’s femme-fatale franchise. In talking about this show awhile back, I expressed some weariness over the backstory for Lyndsy Fonseca’s character, Alex, being recruited specifically for being a pretty white girl. But as you’ll see below, what we’ve gotten so far actually has some more layers than that.
The story plays out more like an update of the Nikita mythos than a straight-up reboot: there’s still the requisite morally-ambiguous Covert Government Agency, and the Conflicted Spy-Runner (Shane West). But the most pleasant surprise of the first episode was seeing that Nikita (Maggie Q) wasn’t around just to give the show a pretty poster, but will actually be treated like an integral part of the story. Indeed, the show makes good use of Q’s Hong Kong action-flick sensibilities, and gives us just enough of her back-story to lend the character some depth. But Nikita’s debut hour actually delivers some more nice touches besides that.
By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
Thanks to Racialicious reader Tomas for tipping us off to this: this May, Dynamite Entertainment’s Green Hornet comic-book line will focus on the titular hero’s companion in Kato: Way Of The Ninja. The Kato character has been part of Hornet canon since the character’s beginnings in the radio era, but his most memorable incarnation came in the 1960s, when he was played by Bruce Lee. Even there, though, Lee’s character had to play second banana. Ninja writer Jai Nitz told Newsarama that in the comics, Kato is played more as the Hornet’s equal, and this particular mini-series will take him places the Hornet can’t go.
Nitz also said the story will focus on Kato’s somewhat-forced racial ambiguity:
The first actor to play Kato on the Green Hornet radio program was a Japanese actor named Raymond Hayashi, and Kato was explicitly referred to as “Japanese”. Then Kato was ambiguously changed to Filipino as American/Japanese relations deteriorated in the face of World War II (remember, Pearl Harbor wasn’t the first blow struck in the escalation to WWII, it was the last). Then after Pearl Harbor Kato was explicitly Filipino (and you have to remember the closeness of the Philippines and the US at the time to understand why). Whew. All that said, [Green Hornet: Year One writer] Matt Wagner sets Kato as a Japanese soldier that becomes disillusioned with how the Japanese conduct themselves during the war with mainland China. But, like the real-life radio dilemma, Kato hides his identity, in our story as Korean, when he and [the Green Hornet] return to the States due to the tensions with Japan.