Archive for the ‘Week in Review’ Category

It has been a rough week for Black folks in reality TV. Then again, since Black people are usually cast as angry, crazy, or singers, (or all flippin’ three!) maybe every week is a bad week.Or maybe I’m being hyper sensitive. All possibilities. I’m not ruling anything out.

Thar’ be spoilers ahead, so if you’re not caught up on your sub-par TV, it’s best to skip this post.

  • The Amazing Race: It was a good attempt, Ron and Tony, my strong, orange-clad brothas. I don’t see how this happened. They were in first place. They were wearing mesh shirts, they had advanced degrees, one of them even carried a compass. Everything was going smoothly. Then they fell apart, falling from first to last place. So long only Black people on the show. Interesting trend alert: How many times have Black partners been eliminated first on Amazing Race? I can think of 3 offhand. I’d argue that maybe we’ve just had bad luck in this game, but we’ve won, and come close (stupid piss break!) Hmm. Someone sleuth this!
  • Survivor: Let’s talk about NaOnka (see the pic above). First, I hope your name means something pretty because it sounds like the noise a cell phone makes when you drop it in the toilet. Second, I can’t believe you are a teacher, let alone a PE teacher where building self-esteem and offering encouragement is absolutely vital. You are constantly hating on the girl with one leg. Not only is she just as fast and strong as you, but she’s managing to complain a lot less…and I’m willing to bet she has sand wedged between her leg and the prosthetic. Third: Stop with the anger! We don’t know your backstory, we don’t know why you’re so upset and touchy. All America sees is that you are a loose cannon with a loud mouth. And CBS is just eating this up, with videos on their site to prove it (see:,  “NaOnka is Crazy,” and “NaOnka Is Out of Control,” both quotes from her castmates. ) Survivor is one of the few reality shows where, “I’m not here to make friends,” doesn’t really work. At the end of the game, people have to like or at least respect you enough to give you a million bucks. If acting a fool, stealing socks and cat-fighting over an idol clue is her game plan, it’s not exactly a good one. She makes for “good” television and controversy, but she’s shooting herself in the foot while setting us (Black people) back a few years.
  • The Apprentice: I don’t blame Liza for wanting to call out her team for throwing her under the bus. I also don’t blame her for calling her teammate a bitch. I just think it sucks that the rest of her team now has a vendetta against her for it. They can’t come up with strong reasons for her to go, but they all want her gone. I’d almost respect them more if they just said, “Ya know what? That lady with the fierce braids intimidates me and challenges my long-held assumptions about Black people and I want her gone.” A little honesty would help everyone sleep at night. Meanwhile, at least Gene was out of the fray this week. Good old Gene, he looks like my Dad and stays out of the way. Keep your head down Gene and I’ll see you in the finals…or at least a few more episodes.

Image: http://www.mamapop.com/

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Because it’s hard to keep up with a 24 hour medium, just ask CNN.

The Next Iron Chef
Food Network’s newest competition reality show pits 8 nationally renowned chefs against each other to see who can stand Alton Brown the longest. (Seriously that guy made a living on being everyone’s annoying third wheel friend.) It’s fun to watch because the people are dynamic, funny and genuinely amazing artists. I prefer it to Top Chef because there are few if any poor dishes. Nothing is disgusting, it’s just not as delicious.

Two Dudes Catering
Another Food Network show. I ran out of groceries this week and it shows. This one is exactly what it sounds like. A documentary reality show about two scruffy California guys running their own catering outfit. Their food is classic, clean, comforting. I wanted to eat the crab bake off the screen.

The Next Great American Band
I understand that when something works, you should follow a formula. If American Idol features a critical musician judge, an adorable female judge and a blunt foreign judge, then other shows will follow suit. NGAB takes the imitation to the next level, and it’s starting to show. The “tough” Australian record producer judge Ian Dickson (pictured) is abrasive, annoying and generally unhelpful. And Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznick is apparently only good for flicking the whisps of hair out of his eyes.

The hack judges aside, the music is actually good. The very young (a metal band comprised of 13-year-olds made it through to the next round) the old & jaded, and the obscure came out in full force. The diversity is refreshing. I’m concerned Simon Fuller (same producer as Idol) will stifle this creativity and make the qualifying bands perform Whitney Houston songs, or something as lame and crack-laden. Here’s to hoping.

What’s coming next week? Season finale of Tori & Dean: Inn Love, finding the next creepy pale guy on Phenomenon, and the Scrubs final season premiere. Set your Tivos to stun!

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