Tag Archives: tv

The Racialicious Roundtable For Flash Forward 1.6

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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What’s the bigger piece of sci-fi: that everybody on the planet can be knocked the you-know-what out at once, or that an imprecise recitation of Schroedinger’s Cat can work as a pick-up line?…

… No, really, let me know. If the latter is even close to plausible, I’ve still got the monologue on my DVR so I can transcribe it. Meantime, let’s see what the Table thought of “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.”

SUPER CHO + JETT JACKSON TEAM-UP HOUR! Demetri is like Midas on this show. But it already looks like he’s starting to burn out, no?

Mahsino: Like I said in our first roundtable for this: Demetri’s back must be tired from all this show carrying he’s doing. Yeah Stan and Al are lightening the load, but still… I’m just hoping his “murder file” was just a cover up for witness protection and he’s in a short coma during April 29. Yeah, it would be really convenient, but I’ll take it.
Diana: I like the Demetri/Jett Jackson pairing much better than Demetri/Shakespeare. Mahsino, I’m with you. I’m hoping his lack of a flashforward and his murder can be explained by something else.
jen*: Great to see them together, and any pairing with Fiennes is gonna suck in comparison to one with Jett Jackson – from jump. I liked the ~Blue Hand~ exposition without our British buddy, but I’d love for Cho to get a revelation of his own – maybe some way to change his “destiny”? Continue reading

Black Hulu: Creating a Home for Independent Black Video

by Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, originally published at Televisual

When new technologies emerge a host of new companies tend to sprout up. Tons of independent radio stations catering to diverse interests before 1970s-style deregulation. Digital technology brought dozens of new channels to television; that same technology fostered numerous production companies making independent TV and films. Now the drive to create original web video — a trend that dates back to the late 1990s, but has gained new steam with broadband and YouTube post-2006 — has attracted  new voices previously unheard. We have corporately produced web series, but also black web series and series made with virtually no budget at all.

Well, that’s great. But how do you distribute and promote all these shows and videos? Anyone can create a video, but if, like my YouTube videos, nobody sees them, then there isn’t much a point. Sure, decently endowed websites now fund and promote web shows. But what about black content, in many cases prone to smaller audiences?

Enter the sites pictured above. Entrepreneurs, keen to the problem of distribution, have created sites where folks looking for black content can go. Surprisingly it looks like all these sites are coming out around the same time — now.  As noted in my article in The Root, BET.com is just now getting into the market for original web shows; there’s been a lack of visibility from major black media companies. In my interviews I found numerous black producers didn’t know of the other black shows debuting online. Continue reading

In Sylar They Trust: The Racialicious Roundtable vs. Heroes & the Fall TV Season

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Heroes begins its’ fourth season Monday night in the throes of identity crises on- and off-screen: the show’s name doesn’t really fit anymore – almost none of the titular core cast wants to be “special” anymore, let alone superheroic – and its’ most important plotline centers around Sylar, a brain-scrambled villain.

elecsy1Previously, of course, the Big Bad was brainwashed into assuming the identity of Nathan, and subsequently assuming control of a federally-funded successor to Primatech, headed by Noah. In a rare bit of storytelling elegance, this set-up isn’t too far removed from the future Hiro encountered in Season One’s classic “Five Years Gone” episode. The upshot of this figures to be more time watching Adrian Pasdar and Zachary Quinto play opposite/with each other as SyNate.

Otherwise, there’s not much heroism going on: Matt Sr. is not just dealing with the psychic residue of Sylar, but guilt over his role in covering up Nathan’s death. Peter, Claire, Noah and Angela, we’ve been told throughout the summer, are “trying to get back to normal life” – but nobody’s asking for them to be those people again; only for them to have grown beyond that point, and aside from Noah and Angela, we haven’t gotten that consistent character development.

The poster child for the series’ stagnant development, Hiro, might fare better, albeit because his character will be forced to deal with his power threatening his health. Hiro, along with Ando, will reportedly be trying “to help people” back in Japan as the season opens. What, Noah and “Nate” couldn’t spring for Mohinder to run a few tests? (Also, anybody else concerned at the lack of Mo in the preview clips so far? That can’t be a good sign.)

Continue reading

stephanie jacobsen in melrose place

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

If you’ve been watching the tube, you probably know that there are no new ideas out there. Thus, there’s a new version of Melrose Place coming to the CW this fall. Starting next week, actually. It’s the return of 1990s trash TV!

It’s worth noting that Stephanie Jacobsen is in the cast as “Lauren Yung,” a medical student who must come up with a creative way to pay her tuition. You might recognize her from the feature-length Battlestar Galactica installment Razor or her brief stint on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I’ve seen the pilot of this new Melrose Place, and it’s pretty much everything you’d expect. Hey, it’s not like the old show was high quality television either. Oh, and the “creative way” Lauren comes up with to pay the med school bills? Just watch the promo above. Yup. Melrose Place.

Wait, the Asian girl is the both an overachieving med student and a prostitute?

Are You a Credit to Your Race?

by Guest Contributor Tami, originally published at What Tami Said

As last week’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” post has played out here and on What Tami Said and Racialicious (where it was crossposted), I have been thinking about what it means to represent the black race and how black people act as ambassadors to the mainstream world. There is this tendency, from which I am not immune, to feel embarrassed by and to make excuses for black folks who behave badly, or rather, act in a way contrary to a certain set of values and accepted norms. There is a real reason for this compulsion: Black people and other people of color are often unfairly judged as group by the mainstream. In other words, the actions of one equal the actions of all. And so, many of us, learn from the time we are children to mind ourselves around white folks–to not do anything that brings discredit to black people and, ideally, to live life with the goal of uplifting the race through our actions. Admittedly, this idea of being a proxy for the entire race has been tied to excellence and achievement–both wonderful things. But, ultimately, this way of thinking is a tyranny and a perpetuation of race bias.

Whose standards are these?

I am the middle-class child of two degreed educators. I grew up in the suburbs in a mixed-race neighborhood. I attended Gifted and Talented classes on Saturdays and academic camps in the summer. My family was a member of Jack & Jill. My mother is a Link. Both parents were involved in black Greek organizations. We had all the markers of a middle, upper-middle-class African American family. I grew up in the Midwest, but my father is the son of Mississippi farmers (grew up during Jim Crow) and my mom is the daughter of a steelworker and housewife, who both immigrated to Indiana’s rust belt from the South. All of these influences made me who I am today, which is a Midwestern, suburban, secular, progressive, married woman. Of course, there are myriad other things that impact who I am and how I believe I should live my life. And so it is with all human beings–we are all the product of many influences, including race, but also class, gender, sexuality, region, age and on and on. So, who will be the judge of acceptable black behavior? Should we judge by the values of my rural, black friends? My urban ones? My gay friends? My straight ones? My Southern friends? My Northern ones? My conservative friends? My liberal ones?  My college-educated friends? My high-school educated ones? My religious friends (and is that Christian, Muslim, B’Hai?)? My secular ones? We are not a monolith. That society judges us as one is an example of race bias–a bias we perpetuate and acquiesce to every time we ask a black person to follow a nebulous set of values for the sake of the race. Continue reading

Germany’s Next Top Model and the Psychology of Privilege [The Germany Files]

by Guest Contributors Carolina Asuquo-Brown and Elisabeth Schäfer-Wünsche

Heidi Klum may have never exactly been a catwalk super model like fellow German Claudia Schiffer, but she is definitely one of the country’s most savvy business women and biggest advertising stars.

In Germany, Heidi’s face sells sweets, shoes, fast food and almost every other product you could come up with. But her biggest media success so far has definitely been to follow Tyra Banks’ footsteps and host a show called “Germany’s Next Top Model,” a show that in most respects is the exact copy of its big sister “America’s Next Top Model.” We all know the story: Young hopefuls from all parts of the country flock to Heidi’s castings (conducted strict governess style), strut their stuff on the catwalk and undergo various photo shots and challenges before, in the end, one young woman is crowned the next Heidi.

One thing that is strikingly different though is the ethnic make-up (no pun intended) of the contestants. Though a look at any shopping-mall or classroom will suggest that Germany is an ethnically quite diverse nation, up to season 3 (this summer) no brown face made it to the final stages of the show. In last year’s show, a girl with a Brazilian mother came fifth. But it was not until the 2009 season, that Sara Nuru, Bavarian-born with Ethiopian roots, did not only crash the Top 10 ranks but also won the contest.

Interestingly enough, another hugely popular German TV format (also adapted from a US show, namely from “American Idol”) is well known to draw its contestants mainly from Germany’s migrant population. It has consequently elicited quite a number of vitriolic remarks from the media, branding it Germany’s “Migrant Idol.” But most Germans (at least those who admit to watching the show, as it is considered quite a bit of a guilty pleasure that most intellectually demanding German TV viewers deny watching), for 5 consecutive seasons have happily been going along with the highly diverse crowd of aspiring Idols.
Things seem to be a bit different though, when it comes to reactions to Sara Nuru’s victory and to modeling, a business that is almost solely based on looks: features, hair, body and the iconography created around those attributes.

Based on comments from German online communities, it seems that the majority of participants in those virtual discussions happily accepted the fact that the arguably prettiest contestant won, some voicing that they especially appreciated the fact that a not stereotypically German looking girl made it.

Of those that did not agree, only few were blatantly racist, but quite a few more flaunted an only slightly more subtle racism. Continue reading

What’s worse: Real Housewives of Atlanta or race-based criticism of it?

by Guest Contributor Tami, originally published What Tami Said

My blogsister Professor Tracey has me thinking about “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Yesterday, on Aunt Jemima’s Revenge, Tracey asked whether the hit Bravo show was “a guilty pleasure or embarrassing as hell for black folks, particularly women.” And so, as a regular watcher of the show, I pondered the lightning rods that the Hotlanta housewives have become.

Yeah, I watch RHOA. It’s shamelessly trashy, quite obviously scripted, drama-filled reality TV. But after a week of working and thinking and stressing and getting caught up in our country’s all-too-real political drama, sometimes I want to rest my brain by consuming something simple, indulgent and without value. “Real Housewives” is like a Hostess cupcake for my gray matter.

To be sure, the women on RHOA are no role models. They are alternately bullying, narcissistic, back-stabbing, money-grubbing, cliquey, disloyal, arrogant, self-involved, willfully ignorant, poorly spoken, wasteful and tackily nouveau riche. The show features street fights, wig tugging, name dropping, pole dancing, sugar daddy-funded goodies, “baller” fetishizing, vanity business projects, cattiness, loud arguments in nice restaurants (and nice offices..and nice homes), and whole lot of “flossing” and faux importance. Whether editing or reality is to blame, the women read like gross caricatures of the bourgie set, garnished with a little Jerry Springer.

But here’s the thing: These traits are not solely the hallmark of the black housewives of Atlanta. Reality shows are cast and scripted for drama, and the “Real Housewives” franchise serves up plenty of it with each and every season. So I find it curious that these five, black women are singled out as egregiously off-the-hook. Oh, I’m not saying that the white Real Housewives don’t catch hell. Half the thrill of watching all the RH series is snarking on the excess and ignorance afterwards. My problem is HOW the Atlanta wives are criticized. Continue reading

The Jeffersons’ Transgender Episode

By Guest Contributor Monica, originally published at TransGriot

The episode entitled ‘Just A Friend’ from the fourth season of ‘The Jeffersons’ was groundbreaking in many respects. It was the first time that an African descended transwoman character was shown on TV who didn’t fit the stereotypes we all know and loathe.

It was also broadcast in 1977.

While I didn’t care for the part where George tried to pass off Leroy as Edie, for the most part the episode is on point. You also have to remember at the time ‘The Jeffersons’ was a Top 10 rated show that many African-American homes watched.

So if they weren’t aware of the trans issue affecting African descended people, they were after that broadcast.