5.19.2015

#LOL...I couldn't resist

Shonda Rhimes harnessed the power of social media to build a coalition of fans so mighty and passionate, conversations about Scandal became impossible to avoid. Even the most dependent social media users would discover an untapped well of willpower at the end of each week if they had the misfortune of missing a live episode. Facebook and Twitter were not safe spaces for those with night jobs or school-night social lives. Now, the conversation around Scandal is at a very low volume, if not muted. Gone are the enthusiastic, high-pitched OMG sessions about how Liv and Fitz had angry sex in the lap of the Lincoln Memorial or whatever insane thing happened that week. But those haven’t even been replaced with gripe sessions about how desperately the show needs a course correction. The engagement level has cratered. The thrill is gone.

The show can still rebound. The beauty of television as a storytelling medium is that there’s no blind alley the storytellers can’t back out of. Doing so is typically a lengthy, arduous process, but it can be done, and Rhimes has done it on numerous occasions. Revitalizing
Scandal next season will be trickier than rebooting one of Rhimes’ sexy hospital dramas, but it can be done. The first step in that process is to burn sage and recite Latin incantations until the evil spirit of B-613 has been completely exorcised.... (Source)

At its core, Scandal is a love story, but not the one the show has been dangling like a cat toy for four seasons. Scandal isn’t about the torrid, tumultuous love affair between Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant, no matter how hard “You Can’t Take Command” tries to suggest otherwise. Scandal is about another relationship: the forbidden love between Nonsense and Bullshit. Seems like just yesterday Nonsense was saying she had given up on love and had resolved to spend her days alone. “I’ll never find someone who understands me,” she said, and her girlfriends wanted to argue and reassure her, but even Nonsense makes the occasional valid point. Then, out of nowhere, here comes Bullshit on his motorcycle, radiating ego: six-pack abs, bedhead, and a lit American Spirit dangling from his pillowy lips just so. Nonsense and Bullshit locked eyes, triggering a soul connection that led them to the nearest by-the-hour motel. Nine months later, “Command” was born.

If there’s been an hour of television this year as cowardly, callow, and dissatisfying as “Command,” I missed it. The episode had one job, and one job only: to end the B-613 storyline that has marred the show possibly beyond repair. “Command” fails to do that. Rowan Pope has not been defeated, and B-613 has not been dismantled. The episode presents yet another false ending to the B-613 storyline, a false ending with no better or more interesting execution than any preceding it, but puts forth that false ending as if it’s of consequence when that’s clearly not true. Yet again, B-613 has been placed gently on a shelf so it can be retrieved at a moment’s notice, and as long as it’s unresolved definitively,
Scandal will never be good again. (Source)
*DIES*

5.05.2015

Telenovela Sisters: Azie Tesfai on #JanetheVirgin

Remember how I always said I didn't trust the CW? Despite the admittedly amazing season they've been having (Reign not included), I still don't trust the CW. I still feel they fucked over Maggie Q, Tiffany Hines, and Lyndie Greenwood (and even Bianca Lawson) on Nikita. They turned Iris West into a snorefest on The Flash.

I won't even bring up what they did to Kat Graham (and several other POC) on The Vampire DiariesThat's been covered extensively.

So instead we'll talk about Eritrean-Ethiopian actress and fashion designer Azie Tsefai.  Miss Tsefai portrays Detective Nadine Hansan, a recurring character on Jane the Virgin, the only show on the CW that's almost completely beyond reproach.

Here's my beef with the characterization of Nadine Hansan:

Issue #1 - She's recurring.  She plays the partner of Detective Michael Cordero (Brett Dier), who just so happens to be one-half of the OTP (as in him and the titular Jane).  We see her once every so many episodes, often for a few minutes.  It's so random when she shows up that you almost forget she's a part of the cast.

As beautiful and as talented as this woman is, I think she deserves more screen time and a more developed storyline of her own.

Issue #2 - She gets "used."  Here's what I mean.  Remember when I was analyzing Mandy Lang from The Following?  Near the end, I quoted Den of Geek, whose writer pointed out that Mandy - a fascinating, complicated character in her own right - was demoted to serve as a plot device for two other characters.  That happens to Black women a lot on TV.  We often don't get fleshed out; we get used.  We're often demoted from portraying actual people to merely serving as devices.

4.25.2015

Comedic Sisters: Antonia Thomas in #ScrotalRecall

Antonia Thomas as "Evie"
If Netflix really did release Scrotal Recall back in 2014, I don't know how I missed it.  Some folks believe the title is the very reason it passed so many of us by.  I think it's that the fact that BW/WM is a pretty dominant theme throughout the show (it's British after all).

I just spent this whole morning watching all six episodes of the first season and wondering when the hell we're getting the next one.  Antonia Thomas of Misfits fame stars as "Evie", part of a trio of BFFs who all live together until (I'm assuming) Evie gets engaged to Mal (Richard Thomson).  Evie is a sarcastic sweetheart; she's a photographer and graphic artist, and the most level-headed member of the main cast.

Evie's in love with Dylan, the central protagonist portrayed by actor/musician Johnny Flynn.  He's in love with her as well; their inability to get together is a running theme of the show.  That and the fact  Dylan generally sucks with women, but not in the cliched tortured, selfish, narcissistic "bad boy" kind of way.  Dylan is simply the living definition of awkward.  Think Frasier and Niles Crane in one body, younger, but without any of their wealth or pretentiousness - just their awkwardness.  Dylan's well-meaning but horridly misguided, socially clumsy, and he buckles very quickly under pressure.  It's quite charming, actually.

The show begins with Dylan being diagnosed with chlamydia.  His doctor tells him to call his sexual partners to let them know.  So Dylan...being Dylan...drafts a list in alphabetical order and starts from the top.  Thus, most of the story is told in flashback, with each episode focusing on a different woman he slept with.  He gets really drunk the night of Evie's engagement, and leaves messages for several ex-lovers.  Some call him back in various order, so the story is overall non-linear, spanning multiple years.

Black Girls' Night Out: Olivia Pope (#ScandalABC)


Let me begin by saying I'm ready for Scandal to be canceled.

This is a dual recap; last week aired Episode 4 x17 "I'm Just a Bill" , which confirmed that Franklin J. Russell (Brian J. White) is a B613 agent sent by Daddy Pope and assigned specifically to Olivia.  This marks second the second time Rowan has sent a man to sleep with his own daughter as part of their mission.  Just as I disliked Olivia gathering a bunch of "good ole white boys" to kill her father (who, when you think about it, originally just wanted her to stop sleeping with Fitz), I dislike this casual idea that a black father is - essentially - whoring his daughter out to his employees.

If you're a B613 agent, and as good as we're constantly told you are, you shouldn't have to sleep with a subject just to surveil them.  Jake initially did quite well by just bugging Liv's apartment and watching her from a distance (Fitz's idea).  Pursuing her romantically and sleeping with her (Rowan's idea) was unnecessary and accomplished nothing except to create an unwanted love triangle that has gone on for way too long.

4.21.2015

The problem with the Internet is.... (#OhHellNo)

...you surf long enough and you'll always find some shit you desperately wish you could unsee.




If I must suffer, so must everyone else.

4.20.2015

Political Sisters: Tyrus Byrd (#Parma)


Before we get into the juicier aspects of Ms. Byrd's story, can we just say congratulations?

And not just to Ms. Byrd herself, but to the citizens of Parma - rhymes with "karma" - Missouri who (I'm guessing) got fed enough to remove their old mayor of 37 years.  Congrats to each and every one of you who got out there and voted - couple that with Nigeria's recent historic election, you've got me feeling inspired.

Looks like Ferguson ain't the only one getting a leadership overhaul.  For those of you who haven't been paying attention to what's going on out in Parma, we need to get you caught up: