Real Life vs Fiction: Faces of a Villain

Recently, I’ve been watching a thoroughly enjoyable crime drama. There’s always quite a number of them floating around: cop shows, superhero movies, episodic thrillers and the like. However, when it is really riveting – I’m reminded of the crucial aspect which makes them work.

A story with only an awesome protagonist lacks the essential element of a solid drama. Good art requires having an antagonist who’s a capable match with strengths similar to the hero, but riven with his or her own demons. Otherwise, we’re bored by the exploits of a leading man easily able to defeat his challenger.

I’ve seen my share of shows where the focus concentrates too much on the internal struggles of the hero. I believe that mostly works for a good book.

In a movie, if the only battle a hero has is against emotional despair, anguish, then recovery, essentially in a vacuum – well, to me, that’s not enough. That is why Superman Returns was a flop. Yes, it made decent box office bank, but it was not a good film. Superman’s most debilitating enemy was a rock, and a bit of emotional distress. The problem with film were: a lead actor who didn’t have the chops to pull off the emotional aspect, and a movie which couldn’t decide whether to be a cartoon, semi-serious comedy or both. And that’s not a good mix for a superhero like Superman if it’s not done well.

Here’s my list of villains that come to mind, whenever the show is sufficiently entertaining:

1 – The anarchist – He brings chaos from the jump, because he is chaos. Like Batman‘s Joker, sometimes his background – revealing the depths of a childhood trauma that made him what he – is told. In most cases, all we see is a character without a past, just a full-tilt off-the-walls bad guy. There maybe times, when he’s dying, he finally divulges who he really is. This happens when the writer(s) attempts to plug plot holes or present comforting resolutions.

Overall, this is a character who’s basically in it for the thrill of disaster and destruction. There is no other reason for it. He may provide excuses, but that’s because he likes the sound of his own voice. He doesn’t believe a word he says. And he’s the ultimate nightmare for the hero, because he’s unpredictable and doesn’t live by a rule book.

In real life, he’s the guy who blows down or shoots up places that are open to the public. Sometimes he leaves a bizarre manifesto, sometimes he offs himself after executing his evil deeds without a word. His true goal is infamy. And thanks to our media, he achieves it, with many copy cats ensuing.

2 – The disabled, disfigured, underestimated guy – The best villain I’ve seen in a while was the character, Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint, in The Usual Suspects. This film had the feel of a classic Albert Hitchcock movie or Agatha Christie novel. This bad guy hides in plain sight and you never consider him one, because his disability disarms you. Everyone treats him like a less-than and as a character we regard him as such. Yet, he’s hiding a cunning mind beneath the simpleton’s facade.

Update:

Shakespeare had fun with writing about King Richard III, an English monarch, one of the best known historical villains of all time. He wrote about a man who preceded him by 100 years, but that didn’t stop him from speculating about his morals, motives and machinations. There is hardly a movie I haven’t seen about this man. At one place I worked at, I recommended a co-worked watch any Richard III film to get an idea of the mindset of the people around us. She laughed at how accurate it was. Hey, people do not change.

Recently, the remains of King Richard III have been located, by the Richard III Society – who are also trying to reform his image. Yes, that’s the problem with bad guys, they’ve just misunderstood. They had to commit their deeds for the greater good. It’s all justifiable. Hmmm.

3 – The well-meaning scientist or professor who takes his theories a little too far. He meant well, but starts to develop a  messianic zeal to wipe the planet free of human beings in order to save it. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s hard to separate the nut job environmentalists making these kind of pronouncements – the human population  should be whittled down to 500 million, by any means – with the bad-guys scientists in Hollywood films. Spiderman (2012) had one of these characters.

One cannot blame doomsday preppers for their anxiety when supposedly sane, rational and well known scientists are making ending-the-human-species-is-good-for-the-earth kind of statements. We are animals, no different from the insects and mammals that are here. We are no worse or better than them in affecting the environment or the earth. People who talk about wiping off most human beings from the planet should just jump off the highest bridge they can find.

4 – The alpha male – He’s the perfect top flight above reproach male – as seen in the classic The Manchurian Candidate (1962). On the outside, he’s guileless: the man everyone respects, loves and adores. In reality, he’s been turned inside out. He’s often portrayed as a predictable and unassuming character, because he’s the first guy we often see in a film, but he’s a little too smooth and slick to believe.

Overall, we enjoy seeing that he is as corrupt as we initially suspected. The above reproach guy is the one we never liked that much in the first place.

5 – The beta male – He’s the disrespected sidekick to the alpha male. He feels he’s been hiding his true self while laboring in the shadow of the top dog male. He covets everything the alpha has: women, power, respect or fear and an almost extreme level of worship for his incredible prowess. In some stories, he wants the same woman, or women, of the alpha male. In the animal kingdom this happens all the time: the alpha male always has to keep the beta males in check or they will take his “throne.”

Good writing can make these story lines the best of all.

6 – The femme fatale – She does it because she’s bored, like Catwoman. She’s aroused by the pandemonium she causes, which serves to distract others from her real goals. She enjoys the havoc, but there’s no epic story here. She’s initially introduced as this retiring, shy, church mouse kind of person, when an earth-shattering event transforms her into a “dangerous”, sex-hungry, man-eating type of woman.

As is often the case, since men write this character, they show that they haven’t a clue as to how the female mind works. Rarely, are they accurate. But when done well, by the right actress, she can be fun and amusing to watch. Would be interesting if someone came up with a completely believable malevolent female villain. Although it was a comedy, The Devil Wears Pravda came close to how some women operate.

7 – The bent bastard – I was watching a British program, Line of Duty, and I grew to like this epithet. I heard it over and over again. At first, I wasn’t certain by what they meant. Then I realized it was a rather clean and clear expression of contempt. They meant someone corrupt, easily bought, with no morals or scruples. This is not a complicated villain with a higher calling or any of the other aspects we find in a typical one. He is the embodiment of the “good man” who stays silent, and does nothing, in the face of evil.

His sole objective is to get more by taking short cuts: shave the edges to make things go smoother, skim a little off the top. He has no ethics, so he’s easy to bribe and buy off. This character is a small time thief who usually ends up in trouble reaching far over his head.

What makes him a mark in the first place is that he’s a cop or a “good guy” who bends the line one time too many. His firm “rule of law” is a wet noodle. Eventually, his luck starts to run out, because he lets greed take over, unless the writer(s) decide to redeem him.

This was the case with The Shield, but I didn’t watch enough of it to see how far the writers went with the main character crossing the line into corruption. I suspected he went far enough at times.

8 – The antagonist – He’s the spiritual twin of the hero, in that he has an inflexible, unyielding moral code. He feel he’s too good for the world and must fix its flaws. He’s a highly intelligent and logical man, but he’s the worst kind of extremist. He rigidly abides by his own rule book, which leads to devastating consequences for everyone. He’s not someone satisfied with half-measures.

And he is truly the worst of the lot, yet an exquisite match for the hero. Think of  Professor Moriarty for Sherlock Holmes.

The hero is the one who has learned to accept the world as it is. The antagonist is the one who cannot. Hence, the eternal conflict between good and evil.

Ancient Parables

The original source of heroes and anti-heroes have their roots in ancient literature or religious documents. Our modern day superheroes are re-imagined demigods.

People have always hungered for a savior….

Update

Does anyone care to speculate which character-type Christopher Dorner would fall under?

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Open Forum: The Floor is Yours – Olympics, National News, etc.

I’ll come back later and write more…

I sense folks want to talk about many different subjects.

Links as usual are welcome.

Feel free.

Happy Sunday. 😀

***

Added: Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympics

Apparently, U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney didn’t win a gold medal. Hence the scowl. Check the tumblr site satirizing her. Wee bit funny.

So, who is Lolo Jones and what was the hype all about?

The media has 2 memes: their chosen “winners” – the Maria Sharapova types, and then there are others who have to prove themselves and win a la Gabby Douglas. One gets the money upfront for having a certain “look”, the other has to break world records to get some cheddar.

Douglas was part of a US Olympic squad that hadn’t won a gold since 1996. She won gold in the all-around, becoming the first gymnast in American history to win the gold medal in both the team and all-around.

She had to earn it first to get the fame and money, but you know how it is. It’s alright though.

She has the best attitude.

Grabbed this image from – blackyouthproject.com – hope they don’t mind.

… And is the Olympics over with yet? Seems endless at this point. Should be a couple of sports, not judged by people, but scored by time and points only. Would be over within 3 days or less.

Serena and Venus Williams Continue to Break Records

No surprise there. They play tennis so fierce, they make it look easy. Soon they’ll have enough medals, trophies and awards to fill a museum.

They have four gold medals each, more than any other tennis player in Olympic history. If they can come back and get more, no one else will ever touch their record(s).

You go girls.

Message For Black Girls and Women

Get out of Blackistan. You cannot succeed or achieve your dreams surrounded by toxic people. The only folks you need are familial or reliable Gladiators. Serena and Venus had a Gladiator in their dad. I hope the people around Gabby Douglas step up and fill in that role. Young black women need more protection from the vampires out there. She, and others like herself, still need more time to mature before they get exposed to the “real world.” She’s just a teen, not a young adult. There’s a time and place for the interviews, social media and  face-time with the blood and soul suckers.

To become successful, join the mainstream, and find a safe haven. That means integrating with the rest of society. Social, environment and emotional segregation is a dead-end.

Focus. Don’t let the haters distract you, or you wont be able to get the gold. In this case, literally. I think a number of US failed just because of the distractions. Part of the battle will always be mental.

Your mind must go there first, before your body follows.

Don’t be afraid to dream big. And don’t tell certain people your plans – unless you are looking to be talked out of it.

Sometimes it’s best to do your thing and not talk about it first (or at all). It’s like waiting for permission. You shouldn’t give that kind of control of your life to anyone. They don’t deserve it.

Spike the ball. It’s okay to gloat once you’ve done your thing. Bragging is the best revenge. Yes?

Humility has it’s time and place. Sometimes you need to rub it in people’s faces just how awesome you are.

 

Serena Celebrates – got this image from – ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com. Hope they don’t mind.
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Media Watch: Korean Dramas – How the Media Creates or Changes Perceptions

Language Skills

I started watching these shows, since Hulu added this category. What’s interesting to me, is that I’m beginning to understand what the characters are saying in Korean. Words are floating around in my head, because they’re repeated so often. I can read a few words in some languages, but I’ve never picked up a language as fast as this one. I’ve always viewed myself as foreign language impaired. I’ve had Spanish in school. I’ve listened to Spanish for years, and I still cannot make heads or tails out of most of it.

In the Korean Dramas, the people speak slow enough that I can tie the English subtitles to the spoken words. The dialogue isn’t complex, very long or involved. On occasion, some characters that supposedly spent time in the US, or are Americans, make a determined effort speak to English. Although badly. Nearly everyone mumbles words they need to enunciate.

Media Image is Everything

Since watching these programs, I’ve come to realize that they aren’t made just for a Korean audience. They are created with an awareness that the rest of the world will be paying attention.

These shows have given me a different impression of Koreans, as opposed to the ones I’ve been acquainted with here in the USA. Do I see the portrayals as realistic? I don’t think that’s the point of the programs. Whatever images there have been of Korean men, have been modified, if not overhauled, by these shows.

According to a Washington Post article (from 2006), the success of the revamped or enhanced image of Korean men have done the following:

In recent years, the wild success of male celebrities from South Korea — sensitive men but totally ripped — has redefined what Asian women wantGone are the martial arts movie heroes and the stereotypical macho men of mainstream Asian television.

…Yoshimura signed up last year with Rakuen Korea, a Japanese-Korean matchmaking service, to find her own Korean bachelor. And she is hardly alone. More than 6,400 female clients have signed up with the company…

In part, the new allure of Korean men can be traced to a larger phenomenon known as the “Korean Wave”…

…the number of foreign tourists traveling to South Korea leapt from 2.8 million in 2003 to 3.7 million in 2004. The bulk of the growth, South Korean tourism officials say, stemmed from Korean Wave-loving Asian women. Partial statistics for 2005 indicate the feminine tide has not yet let up.

For the South Koreanswho have long suffered discrimination in Japan and who have hardly been known as sex symbolsit all comes as something of a shock.

Entertainment industry leaders in Seoul credit the phenomenon to good marketing coupled with an uncanny response throughout Asia to the expressive nature of the South Koreans — long dubbed the Italians of Asia. A hearty diet and two years of forced military duty, industry leaders and fans insist, have also made young South Korean men among the buffest in Asia. Most important, however, has been the South Korean entertainment industry’s perfection of the strong, silent type on screen — typically rich, kind men with coincidentally striking looks and a tendency to shower women with unconditional love….

Throughout Asia and other countries, women are watching TV shows and movies to such an extent that they have become enamored of the fictional representation of a specific group of men. So here we have proof that there is a direct connection between a positive image of a group and the corresponding response to it.

What Some of the Guys Look Like

I find some of the Korean male actors smoking hot, some cute and others moderately good looking. Although I find the “fashion” on the shows rather odd looking, but hey, I congratulate men who aren’t afraid of being edgy.

Cha Seung Won

Cha Seung Won: He's able to look so different each time.
Jung Gyu Woon: I have yet to see a show where he doesn't end up fighting.

 

Kim Sung Soo: Love those lips. Puts my dirty mind into overdrive.

 

Kang Ji Hwan
Kang Ji Hwan: I love his nose.

 

Positive propaganda: is enhancing imagery to increase the desirability of a group.

The entertainment industry, basically the media, alone is responsible for the complete overhaul of the image of Korean men, so much so it has made the men hot commodities for the women who travel the country looking for one as a husband. It’s overturned reality and made such an indelible impression on women just from watching Korean Dramas.

In case you ever wonder why black women have negative, degrading stereotypical images, always remember to thank Hollywood and our media. Think about it the next time you think it’s important to embrace the “othering” of black women with those “keeping it real” negative images.

If anyone really wants to improve the desirability, popularity and increase of desire for black women: the best looking have to be highlighted, the most sophisticated has to be highlighted and the most engaging, lively and lovely ones have to be embraced.

Otherwise, we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot.

So, think about who you are embracing if the only thing they highlight about black women is constantly negative or off-putting. Those people aren’t doing you any favors. They’re deliberately sabotaging you.

****

Update: Korean Men Marriage Rates

I was asked to provide some data, so I dug up some stats. If they seem funky to anyone, please put up the correct numbers.

Throughout the world, more males than females are born. This imbalance is natural. However, in Asian countries it is exasperated by female reduction from sex selection in the womb (abortion), export adoption of girls, and other extreme methods. The result is a population of males outnumbering females. Based on the gender imbalance in Korea, social changes, population movement to urban areas, there are more men than women available and interested in marriage.

So, whom do Korean men marry? Funny enough, it turns out they marry all women. Although black women are a miniscule portion of the population in Korea, there are likely marriages between the two. With the USA having 1.3 plus million Koreans, it turns out that they are the East Asian men black women are most likely to marry. Certainly not in significant numbers overall, but it does happens.

And I’m just as surprised as y’all are by that information.

In 2005, 14% of all marriages in South Korea were marriages to foreigners (about 26,000 marriages); most were Korean men marrying other Asians. Government figures show the number of Koreans marrying foreign spouses increased from 4,710 in 1990 to 33,300 in 2009. And numbers are expected to continue rising. More than 100,000 women among South Korea’s 1.2-million foreign population are estimated to be foreign brides.

Bonus

YouTube link: the marriage between a Korean man and an African American woman. The wedding is awesome; sexy and sweet too.

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Black Women: Why is the Wall Street Journal, and the media, still talking about our marriage prospects?

I liked this comment by Daphne so much, I made it a separate post. Check out the following.

Regarding the WSJ* article making the rounds:

I found it bizarre that this was in the The Wall Street Journal*, just like I thought it was bizarre there was a similar article about black women in The Economist** several months (maybe a year?) ago. To me, it reeks of “let us observe these strange creatures known as black women,” similar to zoo animals.

Plus, the author’s subtext is disturbing: more black women should marry out, to potentially improve the rates of black marriage. To me, marriage is a non-sequitur in this context, particularly given that some serious cultural issues aren’t magically repaired by marriage (i.e. ability and desire to provide, being an effective father, knowing HOW to maintain a relationship). I mean, I’d hate for a black woman to have her black man propose primarily because he’s afraid of her being taken off the market rather than….wait for it, actually wanting to be married and prepared for that stage. Not to mention how unfair it is for a non-black man to be a consolation prize because a black man isn’t available or willing to marry. But hey….as long as they’re married, I guess.

I get the supply/demand, economics side of it: more black women date out, fewer are available to black men, black men step up their game. Which is fine, for future generations, I suppose. But for the women NOW who want the best partner for them, it’s entirely possible that even willing black men aren’t the best partners because of the aforementioned cultural issues.

I also give the side-eye to any author who misuses statistics, which the WSJ author did in a major way. That 70% of unmarried black women? Includes widows and the divorced. It is also includes age 15 and up. You would think a law professor would either dig a little deeper with the stats or be more more precise in using them.

Now, I’m not denying cultural differences between whites and blacks with the marriage rate. But it’s certainly convenient for these article to throw out that 70%, as if nobody wants da po’ black woman. Not to mention using the quotes of THREE black women as representative of the majority. And when you correct for college education, the marriage disparity between black and white women is significantly smaller.

Thank you for the contribution and sparking this post, Daphne. 🙂

GoldenAh:

That article does have an air of “What can we do about these black women no one wants?”, right? 😀

As far back as the 1990s, perhaps even earlier, the NY Times periodically ran articles about the large number of college educated unmarried black women without children along with the high rate of out-of-wedlock births of single black women.

The angle changes somewhat, but it still has the familiar reek of: Black women’s relationships are a problem for society. Although I suspect they really mean, Black women’s existence is a problem for society.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Breaking It Down

You did a terrific job of nailing what’s wrong with the WSJ article. It’s not doing us any favors, but it wasn’t meant to anyway. This article insults a number of people, but the main recipients are black women and white men.

Imagine if there was a shortage of marriageable partners for white men, and black women were offered up as the last choice, second rate hope for them, because it would improve their group’s prospects with other, or the same race of, women? Even though they purportedly have a white woman shortage.

Say, what kind of logic is that?

  1. Logic that reinforces a negative image of black women. So, no surprise a black man wrote that article for a major newspaper that reaches around the world. Anything for a couple of dollars to denigrate black women is not a hard task for some black men. Regardless of how well meaning he thinks is.
  2. The logic is to continue presenting black women as racially, socially and bizarrely backward thinking: we’re worried about our HAIR, the complexions of our children, and our inability to be comfortable with non-black men. Oh, what superficial, silly, non-normal, non-female creatures we are. We are still “othering” ourselves. Those selected black women presents an image of people living in a self-imposed prison who lack any sense to free themselves of it.
  3. The logic used is a sneaky backhanded method of blaming black women for the lower rate of black marriage compared to other racial groups. The author cannot directly say that black women must do the asking, since to a mainstream audience it would be outside the norm and viewed as ridiculous. Instead, he indirectly makes the case for marrying non-black men, again like we could make them marry us somehow, to prompt black men into asking.

The key ingredient missing from the entire WSJ article is, What makes a black woman happy? What would make her feel good? What are the ways to approach her if she appears socially remote? Examples of their femininity, their normalcy, or exotic allure, would be enticing to the non-black  men reading the WSJ to look at black women positively. It would peal away at least one thin layer of separation between black women and non-black men.

However, making black women attractive, approachable and normal was not the intention of the article.

As you’ve noted, Daphne, the actual  purpose is: How do we eventually get black men to do X, Y, and Z? Because it always has to be about them, beginning, middle and ending. People need to let that go and forget about closing the barn door.  The horse that ran out is now a great-great-grand mare to her offspring. Black men cannot be cajoled, conned or bribed into marrying black women, especially when they have no desire or interest to do so.

Black women have to be happy on their own terms.  I’d respect the mainstream media if there were more articles pertaining to black women, without the insincere hand-wringing, making their own decision to integrate intimately with non-black men: by working with, making friends with, dating and marrying them. And solely for their own benefit.

 


 

* The Wall Street Journal – An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage

** The Economist Article – Print Edition – Sex and the single black woman

** The Economist Article – Blog – The unintended consequences of mass incarceration

 

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**Updated** Black Actress Media Watch: Shows With Black Women

I’ve been meaning to do this list for a while. These are shows in which a black actress gets to say more than two or three words a scene. Oh, and yes, some are mixed, a few are foreign born, etc. etc.

The TV programs aren’t listed in any particular order.

Eureka

Salli Richardson-Whitfield

A town full of geniuses, where weird things happen. I started watching it two seasons ago, I stopped because the character Fargo got on my nerves. It got really interesting this past season, as it finally developed beyond near-miss awkward on the relationship between Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield).

She plays a nice, smart, easy going woman. Not only that, her character is central to the show. If I’d known about this program I would have watched it from day one. I always thought she’d be hidden away. Nope. They put her front and center. Props to the creators of Eureka.

Vampire Diaries

About two vampires in love with the same woman who looks exactly like her vampire ancestor. That’s all. Nothing more. Although there’s a smoking hot guy on the show who plays a werewolf, Mason Lockwood (Taylor Kinney). Pant. Drool. (Damn, they just recently killed him off.)

Woof. Woof.

The tiniest black woman on television is on this show. Her name is Katerina Graham. She plays a “witch” (insert eyeroll here) on the show. She’s so petite, the other little girls look like Amazons next to her. She sorta reminds me of Stacy Dash.

katerina graham

Detroit 187

This is a new program. It has a very strong Homicide, Hill Street Blues and other cop dramas, aura to it. Does it really take place in Detroit? Dunno. But wherever they’re filming, everything looks authentic. I’ve never watched the Sopranos, but the lead actor is Michael Imperioli, who I saw in a guest role as a Detective on Law & Order.

I like this show. The boss of the detectives is Lieutenant Maureen Mason, played by Aisha Hinds, who I last saw on the dreadful, waste of brain cells show Dollhouse (yes, I watched every episode to the bitter end). She didn’t have much to say on that show, but I admire her “look.” She does the baldie quite well.

aisha hinds

Law & Order: Los Angeles

I am a Law & Order fan girl. I am someone who can watch the first few minutes and know whether I’ve seen the show before or not. I’ve watched every single L&O and L&O: SVU episode. The only shows I’ve missed are the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episodes without crazy Vincent D’Onofrio as Det. Goren. He was as fun to watch as the psychos he badgered.

I was pleased to see Regina Hall as a District Attorney Assistant. They’ve already moved one actress off the show, and the DAAs don’t hang around for long. But it’s still nice to see her play a straight role. In case you don’t know her, if you’ve ever watched the Scary Movie parodies – that was her with the ditzy blonde (Anna Faris). They had nice synergy on screen. 😀

regina hall

Bones

I remember Tamara Taylor as the woman from Party of Five (never watched the show, but the ads for it were memorable). The main characters are a woman with a goofy voice Dr. Brennan (Emily Deschanel) who’s supposed to be a “genius” and Angel (David Boreanaz) as Special Agent Seeley Booth. I enjoy the program for its humor and I like mysteries.

Tamara Taylor plays Dr. Camille Saroyan, who is the boss of the scientific investigative group (sorta like a CSI / CSU). She also plays a nice, smart, well dressed, professional woman at work. I like her character a great deal, and during the first year she and Angel used to knock boots. Alas, that didn’t last long. She’s been man-starved ever since. I get irked when a show lets all the unattractive women have a man, and the beautiful black woman has nobody. Spare me.

Tamara Taylor

Chase

This is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, so every week expect something to blow up and many people to die a gruesome death. The lead woman is a Becky The Vampire Slayer type. What do I mean by that? Ever since that show, nearly every tiny, little, rail thin blond / brunette / Asian (see new Nikita)/ Latina can fight a muscular guy nearly twice her size and beat him. She can ever buck him off her of her, when he’s sitting on her and she’s flat on her back. It’s funny, because male characters will be beat using the same method of fighting, and their combatant is an even match in size.

My Dad says I have to remember to suspend disbelief when I watch these shows: I think I also need to be drunk or high.

Anyways, it’s a new show, and the cast includes Rose Rollins. The men are easy on the eyes, especially big blond buff Cole Hauser.

rose rollins

Castle

This show has been on for a while, third season already. It has the Captain from Firefly. The “Brown Coats” know who I’m talking about. He’s gained a lot of weight on this show. Dude is getting wide. The girl who plays his daughter is so pretty. I love red heads.

I like Castle. Nice cast. Very amusing. Tamala Jones plays the medical examiner. Nice to see her in a steady role.

Tamala Jones

Warehouse 13

CCH Pounder

This show features the venerable C.C.H. Pounder as Mrs. Irene Frederic. She’s not there every week, but I believe her character is integral. She has a special link to Warehouse 13. One of the main characters of the show is the mysterious Leena, played by Genelle Williams.

I like the show. It’s sci-fi.

genelle williams

Fringe

I’ll admit, she wasn’t given much to say, or do, in the first season. Yet, Astrid (played by Jasika Nicole) has been in every episode since the first. Love her hair. I think I love the Alter-Astrid more. Having her do those probability calculations is rather awesome. Nice to see a woman doing mathematics so quickly.

Jasika Nicole

Dexter

Apparently, this show is still on. I stopped watching it around season 2 or season 3. Mindless gore gets boring after a while. I’ll probably catch up via DVD later on. The boss of the police squad is the very very ambitious Lt. Maria Laguerta, played by Lauren Vélez. I will say I missed the angry black guy who was her best buddy. There’s one season where she gets rid of a competitor in the most devious way…. Unbelievably good.

lauren velez

Hawthorne, R.N.

Outside of a few YouTube clips, I haven’t seen the entire show yet. I will. I love to catch up to cable shows on DVD. This show, as nearly everyone knows is produced by and stars Mrs. Jada Pinkett Smith. You go on with your bad self, Mrs. Smith.

Mrs. Jada Pinkett Smith

Private Practice

Why do some shows start off boring, and then dive right into overwrought? I’ve missed a few seasons. This show is … I keep looking for someone to like. For some reason, the pilot aired with Merrin Dungey as Dr. Naomi Bennett. I think I know who should play Mrs. Obama in any future film. Actually, she should be the wife of Blair Underwood on The Event, but don’t get me started.

merrin dungey

Audra McDonald takes over, managing to look like the most miserable black woman in America, episode after episode. You try to like her, but one has to give into the dislike for her character. After all, that’s what the Shonda Rhimes wants. And dutifully, we shall obey.

audra mcdonald

Law & Order: SVU

Sometimes they even give her a story line: Tamara Tunie. She’s the medical examiner. I’ve noticed that for many years she wore her hair dead straight, then one day BANG! There were the curls. Lovely.

tamara tunie

Grey’s Anatomy

I hate this show, and all the characters on it. It’s been crap since they got rid of Isaiah Washington. Why are there ninetyelevenhundredthousand unattractive white women (I’ll make a half exception for two) on the show, and one barking hyena (you know, the one they used to call “The Nazi”) that’s supposed to be the only woman who can’t get or keep a man?

Buncha idiots. They should kill fire everyone and start fresh. I meant the writers, not the cast. Nevermind.

Chandra Wilson

Other Shows

Feel free to add any I may have missed from BBC, BBC America, and all the rest are welcome inclusions. I don’t watch cable shows until I get the DVDs or start with Netflix again.

** Updates **

Thanks for the feedback, ladies! I have a few more shows to add.

The Defenders

It is new this season on CBS, and it might not last long. It has the bubbly, smart and lively Jurnee Smollet as new associate Lisa Tyler. The show has Jim Belushi and  Jerry O’Connell. I like this program. They give a good amount of time to Ms. Smollet, and her character is shown a healthy amount of respect. Nice.

Jurnee Smollett

The Closer

I don’t know if I can fairly say that the black woman, Gina Ravera (as Detective Irene Daniels) on this show ever got  to say more than two or three words. From what I’ve researched, she’s no longer on the show. She was characterized as “difficult” and was dating the only black male officer on the show. ¿Por qué? Why?!

I thought she made a better couple with the latino officer, Detective Julio Sanchez played by Raymond Cruz. The romance with the black officer created lots of drama, interfering with their work. She became the black drama queen. Everyone else could have drama, but hers was unforgivable.

Anyways, I’m giving her a head nod.

Gina Ravera

Parenthood

Haven’t seen it yet. This show is on its 2nd season already! Wow. Out of the massive white cast there is: Joy Bryant as Jasmine Trussell, and Tina Lifford as her Mother, Renee Trussell.

According to Truth P.: “She plays Jasmine. A single mother who is co parenting and I believe is rekindling a romance with the white father of her child. (rolls eyes at the fact the couple isn’t married and at the fact the son is 5 and has just met his father.)”

joy bryant
Tina Lifford

Tina Lifford and Alfre Woodard could play sisters.

alfre woodard

Justified

I searched to see if it’s returning. We’ll see if it happens. Jazine reminded me of this program: “…for a hot sizzling minute there were sparks between Timothy Olyphant and Erica Tazel in the F/X series Justified. They never got together romantically, but the sexual tension and chemistry between them was palatable in one particular episode.” Yes, girl. Lots and lots of undercurrents in that scene. Whoo.

And we can see why, she’s pretty and cute.

erica tazel

Rookie Blue

Now, I’m someone who likes cop dramas. I didn’t check this out, because I thought it was going be a version of Becky The Vampire Slayer in Blue, a variation on a theme of which I find highly annoying. Another heads-up by Truth P.: “Euneka Okuma of the show “Rookie Blue”. She is a main character on the show AND there is also another black woman on the show named Melanie Nicholls King.”

Awesome.

Enuka Okuma
Melanie Nicholls King

True Blood

Still waiting to catch up by DVD. And thanks to Truth P. for reminding me of this program: “…Can’t forget about Rutina Wesley. She stars on the hit show True Blood.”

Gotta give a special shout-out to the producers of this show. I’ve read the books. There is not one black woman in any of the books who is a central character. So thank you very, very much for that addition. As we all know, when a black actress gets work, she puts her heart and soul into the role, ’cause she knows it may be a couple of years, before (and if) she gets work again.

Rutina Wesley

Undercovers

My bad for not even mentioning this one the first time. Special shout-out to Boris Kodjoe,  J.J. Abrams, and Josh Reims for even entertaining this concept.

I mean, let’s get real here. His character has a black wife. Y’all know for yourselves, if this show starred some of the other negroes out there, he wouldn’t push for a black actress. He’d get to play, I dunno, a Cuban or something, even if he’s the darkest negro on television, and would be truly eager to have a white actress as his wife. He’d pretend he has no power to push for a black actress to get a few guest starring roles, ’cause he doesn’t have that kind of power.

Or he’d be happy to be a star in a program, in which show after show includes other black male actors guest starring, his co-stars having past loves / entanglements / romances, but he’ll be satisfied as the only character without any relationships. At all.

gugu mbatha-raw

Law and Order: UK

Freema Agyeman

As mentioned by Tyco: “Law and Order UK is now airing on BBC America. It stars Freema Agyeman.”

Thanks to everyone for mentioning these programs!

And a special, special thanks to the producers, creators, and writers of these programs for giving us such wonderful, professional, smart, hardworking, attractive, and interesting character roles for black actresses.

😀

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Black Actress Media Watch: Flashpoint’s Olunike Adeliyi

Flashpoint has been on CBS for four years! Where have I been? I don’t own a TV, so I don’t keep up with all the new or existing programs. Since I have to shift through Fancast, Hulu and Netflix, it’s hard to know which shows are still running and which have been canceled.

I’ve actually found a real black actress (of West African ancestry) on a prime time show! Wow. That is amazing.

It is actress Olunike Adeliyi as Officer Leah Kerns. Her character comes across as rather normal. I love the fact she wears a short natural. She isn’t strident, loud, angry, obese, fat, cheeky, overly sexy, or in any way stereotypical. She’s down-to-earth and speaks well. I appreciate seeing a black character like her on a cop drama.

The show is produced by an army of people, but I’d like to thank them for adding a respectable, dignified, and mature woman of color to their program.

The very pretty Olunike Adeliyi

Can I tell you how cool it is to see a black female cop? I wanted to be a cop at one time until I realized I might be trigger happy. I think I would prefer to be a detective. I like solving puzzles.

According to IMDb she’s in only 6 episodes. Right now, these are the ones I happen to be watching. It is wonderful to see someone with her looks (yes, I went there) on TV. I see so many beige and question-mark race women on TV, I wonder what’s going on. They have the right to get work, but I don’t want anyone pretending that that is what black women look like. Okay?

Flashpoint had me confused at first. I knew it was filmed in Canada. I watched the skylight for the show, but I’ve yet to hear them mention that it’s Canada. They don’t specify the city. Maybe I’ve missed it. It still has a very NY feel to it. All the accents sound regional like Chicago and NY to me. Very broad and very deep.

The show moves very fast, and even though it seems to involve characters issues, they aren’t deep or integral to the storyline. It’s the protagonists (new distraught gun wielding person every week) who sets things in motion, and it is the job of the police to diffuse the situation and/or neutralize this person by any means necessary. They work hard try to understand the protagonist’s motivations, issues, trigger points, family ties, and only use deadly force as a last resort.

I like the show, and I will try to watch it for as long as Ms Adeliyi is on.

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If the Media Goes Away, Is That Such a Bad Thing?


According to the New York Times today:

Millions of households will lose television reception next week when about 1,000 broadcasters around the nation shut off their analog signals and complete their conversion to digital programming, federal officials say.

And my response is, “Yay!”


Intelligence Quotients may rise.

People will rediscover that they can have a social life.

Children may actually do their homework.

Parents may find time to talk to their kids.

Imagine the money saved on electricity.

Imagine the lowered stress levels; not watching the evening, “If It Bleeds, It Leads” nonsense.

Image the number of hours gained back in household productivity – all the time people thought they didn’t have mysteriously appears.

I got rid of my television set, and cable subscription years ago. I laughed at this article, and others.

So, we are supposed to be concerned, because a few million screens will go blank? And that’s a problem, because of what? Oh, I get it! We need to see more stereotypes, idiotic talk show rantings, insulting images, degrading displays of anti-social behavior and regard that as entertainment? Spare me.

The real fear the media has is that once television sets go black, people might actually get used to keeping that crapola out of their lives.

Try it.

Let the television set stay black.

Learn to live without it.

Stay unplugged.
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