Tag: vh1

August 2, 2011 / / casting

Single Ladies

The dearth of good scripted shows with leads of color should be a concern on multiple fronts. While representation in front of the camera is important, all the jobs that occur behind the scenes (like writers, showrunners, camera staff, and crew) also are in desperate need of diversification. So, when I can, I like to give scripted shows a longer shot to impress me. I waited out all of Undercovers with no reward – so it was refreshing to see Single Ladies overcome an underwhelming pilot and come into its own early in the season. The show was just renewed for a second season, so Kendra Pettis and I decided to chat about why we keep tuning in on Monday nights.

Latoya: So first things first – Kendra, how did you get into Single Ladies? For me, it’s one of those times when my inner twelve year old made the decision. Just like I couldn’t not watch Mel B running around on It’s a Scary World, as soon as they said “series” and “Stacy Dash” I was there. And then they said Queen Latifah producing, and it’s a story about female friends, so I stayed.

Kendra: I’ll admit, it was the Stacy Dash x-factor me too. I was judging this show hard before it premiered, convincing myself that it couldn’t possibly be any good given the channel’s history with with WOC — I Love New York, anyone?– and I wasn’t even encouraged by the Queen’s involvement. But I wanted to watch because I wanted Stacy Dash to work. When I finally sat down two weeks late and watched the premiere I was pleasantly surprised– both by the story and that DB Woodside was once again on my television screen. Read the Post Quiet Addictions: Single Ladies on Vh1

November 29, 2010 / / Quoted
October 16, 2009 / / Uncategorized

by Latoya Peterson

Oh, readers.

Once again, my love of trashy TV has come back around to bite me in the ass.

Somehow, someway, I was skimming channels while folding laundry and accidentally got addicted to Rock of Love Bus, the third installment in Bret Michael’s increasingly hopeless dating life and some of the most ridiculous shenanigans I’ve ever seen aired. (Well, outside of Flavor of Love). Everything was over-the-top, including Bret’s fabulous hair extensions.

Here’s a fairly typical scene from Rock of Love Bus, involving all the necessary ingredients for a brawl – women with short tempers, alcohol, too much free time, and some argument that was too stupid to even attempt to summarize:

So it should go without saying that much of this cast ended up on VH1’s reform show, Charm School. Since Ashley was on it, I intended to watch the show. Just…later. When laundry piled up again. But lo and behold, that was not in the cards. By episode three, there was already mad race drama.

On Charm School, the aim of the show is to teach these wayward young people manners…or something. In reality, CS is more like a boarding school with the inmates/social terrorists running the asylum. Generally, the winner is the woman who can survive the Lord of the Flies style conditions without completely revealing her true colors.

It is worth mentioning that normally, Charm School runs show by show. So the first run was Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School, which was hosted by Mo’Nique. The second run was Rock of Love: Charm School, refereed by Sharon Osbourne.

This time, the predominantly black cast of Real Chance of Love (a show hovering close to the D-list being the spin-off of a spin-off) was matched with the predominantly white cast of Rock of Love Bus.

Ricki Lake was not ready.

The tensions started off quick with both teams sharing their distrust of each other:

After a few more altercations (including one where girls from the Rock of Love Bus locked Brittany Star in the bathroom and stuffed hot dogs under the door) the elimination ceremony takes place. The house was basically divided by show, and when one of the Real Chance of Love girls, Kiki, is sent home, all hell breaks loose and two other girls end up leaving the show out of frustration.

In the aftermath of this, Ricki Lake decides to ask a very pointed question: Did the contestants in the house think that Ashley was spared and Kiki was sent home because Ashley was white? Beybeybey and the other Real Chance of Love Girls answered in the affirmative. And here’s where things started to get interesting. Read the Post “I’m Not Racist…My Child Is Not White!” and Other Lessons from Charm School

October 26, 2007 / / Uncategorized

by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson

Okay – I’m starting to get bored with the extensive recaps. So, I’m going to leave that to the official MTV blog and just highlight a couple interesting notes from the show.

The Trouble Same Sex Reality Shows

I’m going to let Dan Savage speak on this one, because he nailed it a couple years back:

Sometimes the mail is sooooooooo depressing that I just want to think about other things.

Like Next. Last weekend I was stuck in a hotel room in Portland, Oregon, on account of a teensy, weensy hangover, and I caught a marathon of the MTV dating show. Here’s how the show works: One person—say, a boy—goes on a blind date with a girl. If the boy doesn’t like the girl, he says “Next!” and one of four other girls, all waiting on a bus, takes the first girl’s place. The rejected girl returns to the bus to be cruelly mocked by her rivals. The boy continues barking “Next!” until he finds a girl he likes. Sometimes there are five boys on the bus and a girl barks “Next!”, and every once in a while five gay boys are on the bus and another gay boy barks “Next!”

While the gay episodes demonstrate to MTV’s impressionable viewers that young gay people are really no different—they’re every bit as shallow, vapid, and crude as their straight counterparts—not one of the gay episodes really worked. Instead of anxiously waiting to see which of the five will be chosen, viewers of the gay installments of Next anxiously wait for the five boys on the bus to strip down and get it on. The gay boys on the Next bus aren’t rivals, MTV, they’re all potential matches, which makes the one guy who isn’t on the bus nearly irrelevant. In all three of the gay episodes I saw, the boys on the bus were more into each other than they were into the boy for whose affections they were supposedly competing; in gay Next, the boy who “won” a second date with the boy-who-wasn’t-on-the-bus declined, preferring to run off with one of the other guys on the bus.

Recreating the “five bitchy rivals” dynamic that makes the hetero episodes of Next so entertaining wouldn’t be that hard, MTV. Here’s all you need to do: Put five hairy bears on the bus that are only attracted to pretty twinks, and let them compete for the, er, hand of one pretty twink. Or five white guys that are only into Asian guys competing for an Asian guy. Or five tops and one bottom. Or five Log Cabin Republicans and one CPA. Take a little more care with the casting and preinterviews, MTV, and you’ll be able to solve Next’s gay problem. You’re welcome.

Dan Savage, July 5, 2006

MTV, Tila…why are we acting surprised when some of the non-butch, lipstick lesbians (who are attracted to other, non-butch, lipstick lesbians) start hooking up? You knew that was going to happen. And you’re on a reality show – which means you know at least half those people are lying about their motives/background/sexual orientation just to get on TV.

Snitching Clusterfuck

I personally can’t stand those fucking “Stop Snitching” tee shirts. Every time I see one, I have to forcibly restrain myself from lunging at the wearer and choking them out on the metro. However, while watching Domenico and Ashley screw over Brandi, Rebecca, and Steve, I was overcome with the urge to grab one of those shirts and add the phrase “on yourself.” Seriously, yo! It’s the oldest trick in the book. Domenico said nothing, and Steve snitched on himself. Brandi said nothing and Rebecca snitched on herself. If this was a scripted program, we could have at least got a laugh track. Or a “dun-dun-DUN!”

The Ellen Factor?

Everyone loves Dani. Seriously. From my friends to the commenters on the message boards, it seems like most of the support is behind Dani. According to societal standards, we should not be cheering on the futch as she is outside of society’s prescribed roles for lesbians. She isn’t porno ready. There are other girls who are using their T & A a lot more and accomplishing a lot less. So what is it about Dani? Why is she just so damn likeable?

“She kind of reminds me of Ellen DeGeneres,” commented my boyfriend during the last show.

It was as if someone hit me over the head with a squeaky hammer. She IS like Ellen. Is that why we like her? Has Ellen DeGeneres become the archetype for the acceptable butch? Is Ellen the original futch? Hopefully, someone a bit better versed in queer politics and theory can school me in the comments section… Read the Post Third Shot and I’m Starting to Feel It – Shot at Love Recap

April 27, 2007 / / Uncategorized

by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson

If Flavor Flav is the modern day “Steppin Fetchit,” Mo’Nique seems determined to end the minstrelsy.

In her new show, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School Mo’Nique desires to reverse the damage done to the girls while they were contestants on Flavor of Love by forcing them to reform. She employs the assistance of Mikki Taylor, the beauty & cover editor for Essence magazine, and Keith Lewis, director of two California beauty pageants and the director of a talent agency.

Now, initially, I was skeptical of the show’s concept. Mo’Nique was going on VH1 to teach the girls about etiquette? I love Mo’Nique – but I felt like it would quickly descend into the stereotypical “black woman telling it like it is” with her squawking outdated “sistah-isms” and her keeping it real in the neck popping, eye rolling kind of way.

[Note: This is not a reflection on Mo’Nique’s personality. Reality TV, as “unscripted” as it may be, still encourages everyone to act like they have lost their minds in order to create “good TV.” And if the characters fail to act up to their roles, creative editing is employed.]

However, I was happily surprised to find that this is not the case. (I still watched two full episodes before deciding to blog though.)

Already, the show has piqued my interest. The show seems invested in changing the girl’s attitudes about life and fame. In stark contrast to Flavor of Love, where the girls were encouraged to confront each other, Charm School intends to make the girls confront themselves. By forcing the girls through challenges that require both team building and competition, VH1 has managed to reveal some very interesting personality quirks in the contestants that were not revealed on Flavor of Love.

Race Watch!

During multiple points in the show, I almost choked to death on my sparkling water. There are major race issues in that household – and you almost don’t see them coming. Standouts from the first two episodes:

– Larissa (aka Bootz) gets confrontational from the jump, saying that she thinks Brooke (Pumpkin) was racist for spitting on New York. She quickly gets Shay (Buckeey – why the hell can’t Flav spell? He could spell alright the first season!) to join in on a thinly veiled reason to exert their dominance over Brooke. Brooke ends up in the bathroom in tears, with both Larissa and Shay holding on tight to their justification. Read the Post Racism, Conflict, Hypersexuality, and…Personal Development? Lessons from VH1’s “Charm School”

November 8, 2006 / / Uncategorized
October 2, 2006 / / Uncategorized