Media Watch: Black Actress Update – Has Hollywood Been Good to Them Lately?

Last post of the year. So, Happy New Year. Have a prosperous 2013, and many more.

Let’s get down to business. I’ve compiled all the shows that I noticed have black women (two black parents or not) as main characters or otherwise.

Always feel free to add shows / movies I may have missed … I’ll update this post over time.

Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington – image from celebritynetworth.com

Scandal – Kerry Washington, Columbus Short

Update: The NY Times has discovered the historical nature of this show: “Scandal on ABC – breaking barriers“.

Update: Faith (actsoffaithblog.com) has written a very compelling and incredibly insightful post about the show. This is in regards to Star Jones trying to dictate via twitter to Shonda Rhimes (executive producer / writer / et al)   who she wants Olivia Pope to be partnered with.

Did I happen to mention that the analysis is awesome? Please, check it out:

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Apparently, for the first time in eons a black woman (with two black parents) had a show of her own on network television. I love soaps. I love the drama. The crazier the better. This show moves much faster than I expected. And what beats the most powerful man in the world being “wide open” for a black woman? Very stimulating. 😀

I was initially worried that Shonda Rhimes was going to bury her main character, Olivia Pope, behind all those “special” white women on the show. She did not, and does not, do that. What I love most about this character is that she is: petite, elegant, beautiful, smart and vulnerable. Yeah, she’s not superwoman. She cries, but when she’s ready – her mind gets to work and she runs a superb game. I love any show that brings on a woman as a “fixer”, but not someone physically pushing her weight around, cursing and screaming at anyone, or doing anything stereotypical. Not an eye roll, neck twist, lip smack, or hand-on-the-hip in sight.

It’s a fine line, presenting a black woman with this amount of complexity, but this show rides it nicely. And I like that with this character, there’s much more to learn about her. Every couple of episodes peels back another layer to that mysterious onion. Wonderful.

So, I want to thank you, Shonda Rhimes for making this show, and letting the world revolve around Ms Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington).

I like Columbus Short‘s character, Harrison Wright, as well. I’ve seen him in a few movies. I like the way he speaks, his careful delivery of lines. He really looks like one of the few actors who enjoys himself and gets immersed in his role. I think what I’m trying to say is, I can’t recall if he’s ever played a thug. He seems able to avoid falling into stereotypical “black guy” roles most other black actors get by default.

Maybe, unlike the others, he’s found a way to move beyond those roles….

Aunjanue Ellis - image from blackfilm.com/read/2012/09/aunjanue-ellis-tapped-to-co-lead-new-amc-legal-drama-series/
Aunjanue Ellis – image from blackfilm.com

NCIS: Los Angeles – Aunjanue Ellis, LL Cool J

Low and behold on NCIS: Los Angeles they found out that LL Cool J‘s character Sam Hanna is married and a father! Not only that! She’s a real two black parent black woman! I am shocked. Shocked! I tell you. Usually, when a brown skinned actor like LL is cast with a woman, she’s skim milk black with a teaspoon of chocolate.

She’s darker than him!!! Sorry, but the credo with color casting in the media is always a black guy who’s charcoal and a woman who looks half white. It’s racism against dark-skinned black women and lighter complexioned black men. So, it was nice to see something different for a change.

And the plot of the show? I don’t know. I had stopped watching NCIS: Los Angeles, because I was getting tired of all the other characters having a life whilst LL Cool J did not. I will have to catch up to the season. All I know is that Sam Hanna’s wife, played by Aunjanue Ellis,  is an undercover agent going by the name of Quinn. From what I see, I like how she rolls.

Part of me is afraid to see the next episode, because of what Hollywood usually does with black families….

Overall, I really like the NCIS shows. My longtime favorite is the original. Mark Harmon has aged well. Still a handsome man. The formulas for these programs work.

Update: Almost forgot there was an NCIS episode (Season 10, Episodes 10) that featured Rose Rollins as a Navy Lt Commander married to a former military officer who happened to be white.

Danai Gurira - Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage
Danai Gurira – Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage

The Walking Dead – Danai Gurira

As I said to my girlfriend, “They killed off Shane (Jon Bernthal), why I need to watch it now?” The show follows the novel / comic book sorta closely. I heard they deviated from killing Shane off earlier, because he had a fan base. Why not keep him around indefinitely? Oh, well.

Apparently, a show with so many characters needed to make room for one of its centerpieces: Michonne (Danai Gurira). She’s a samurai-sword wielding warrior kind of woman. Keeping everybody safe from zombies. All right now!

I’m all into zombie, science fiction, action and mystery stories / movies, so I’m thrilled about this.

And I saw that trailer for World War Z with Brad Pitt. I cannot wait!!!

Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Eureka – Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Tembi Locke

This was the last season for the show. I love how it ended. I never saw the first episode, but it gives it a nice loop, which make the show self-containing. If that makes any sense.

I usually dislike (hate, hate, hate!!!!) it when the main characters of a show are required to fall in love. I know that’s what the fans usually demand. And 9 times out of 10, that will kill off a good show. It’s like, once the writers throw them into bed, they’re depleted of new material, and go, “Now what?”

I have to say that the chemistry between Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison) and Colin Ferguson (Jack) worked. It felt genuine. I wanted them to be together. And when they did, it didn’t get lame like we see with most other TV show couples. They seemed like a perfect fit. I think because they were really really good friends that respected and loved one another. Being “in love” was another aspect to their relationship. And goodness, I wanted to be in a couple like theirs!

Even though their erotic tension was muted, it wasn’t primary, like we see with most other shows, where everything goes flat the minute they get together. The failure with other couples (Moonlighting) was because the sincerity wasn’t there from the beginning. Other couples worked (Cheers?), because the tension never goes away, sometimes it intensifies.

And breakups are fine even after they get together, that shows the writers know how to work their material.

Tembi Locke
Tembi Locke

Update: Crazy of me to forget Tembi Locke. She played Grace Monroe, the wife of Joe Morton‘s character Henry Deacon in the alternate universe. She was a major character on the show as well.

Person of Interest – Taraji P. Henson

This is the first program I can recall where a black woman had the top billing on a network program, I mean as a major character, not just part of an interchangeable ensemble. And this show preceded Scandal – timewise – by a country mile. I enjoyed POI immensely. I love shows with intricate plots. But I lost track when CBS pulled the online plug. So I have to wait for it via DVD or some other method to catch up with it.

I liked the chemistry between Taraji P. Henson and Jim Caviezel. I don’t need for them to get romantically involved or hot and heavy (hmmm, maybe though). I liked their dialogue. When I started watching, the show gave me the feeling of a modern day revamping of Batman as a former special forces soldier (Jim Caviezel) with Catwoman (Taraji P. Henson) as a cop. Don’t know if anyone else feels that way, but that’s just my take.

Meagan Good
Meagan Good

Deception – Meagan Good

Brand new show. And if I’m not mistaken, will be the second major network show with a black woman as a lead character. Wow. If it’s fun like Revenge with the quality of Scandal, it should last. Haven’t seen it yet, so I cannot judge.

What’s also interesting is how Hollywood can now locate beautiful two black parent black women to star in TV shows. Were they hiding somewhere before?

Anyway, hope the show does well. I’ll try to catch up and see it.

Warehouse 13 – CCH Pounder as Mrs Irene Frederic, Genelle Williams as Leena

The character of Mrs Irene Frederic is still going strong. Although she doesn’t appear in as many episodes. The character Leena, played by Genelle Williams, “died” in episode 10, Season 4. Not sure what happens after that. I heard a new character – a black woman – will be joining the show. We’ll see.

Suits – Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson 

I love this show. The dialogue is witty and silly. It doesn’t lean too heavy on the lawyerly (is that a word) stuff, but deals more with problem solving before they reach the courtroom. The show manages to make chasing clients down and dealing with sheets of paper for court filing seem exciting. That takes talent.

And I don’t care how bad a show is, if Gina Torres is on it I’m watching. Yeah, I’m a fan. Did you know she’s Laurence Fishburne‘s wife? I had no idea. I only ask that she cut back on cooking for him: he’s gonna explode any day now.

Franklin and Bash – Dana Davis as Carmen Phillips, Garcelle Beauvais as Hanna Linden 

Yes, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Mr. Saved By The Bell) has a show with two – count ’em, two – beautiful black women (with two black parents). And the show is already into it’s third season.

I think that’s a TV network record.

Parenthood – Joy Bryant

I’ve never watched the show. Unfortunately, I never had the time, and I didn’t realize it was still on and running. Maybe I’ll catch it one of these days. I don’t think I ever saw an ad for the show. Interesting.

It’s been on for a good number of seasons. Good for them.

Parks and Recreation – Retta

Community – Yvette Nicole Brown

I get these two shows – P&R and Community – mixed up. Although I shouldn’t. I honestly thought they were the same program. And like Parenthood, I haven’t seen any advertising for P&R.

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Last, Last, Last! Update:

Grey’s AnatomyChandra Wilson

After Isaiah Washington left, tried to hang in there. Couldn’t. But glad to know Ms Thing is handling her business on the show. I read somewhere that they found her character a man. Hmmm.

GleeAmber Riley

Years ago, I watched the first episode. Never went back. Although, good for her that she’s still there. She can sing. I don’t know about the others.

Penny Johnson
Penny Johnson
Grabbed from superiorpics.com
© Retna

CastleTamala Jones and Penny Johnson

Any major network show that can have two beautiful black women as major characters gets props from me. It’s been a while since I’ve watched. Gotta get back on track.

Justified – Erica Tazel

They took this show off online, and I cannot find it anywhere else! Not even on Amazon (instant video). I don’t know if I can bother with Netflix or iTunes.

I just need my fix of watching Timothy Olyphant swagger once in a while. Guess I’ll have to hunt down the DVDs.

Why do these entertainment companies do this? Don’t they want viewers? Not everybody has cable TV.

White Collar – Diana Barrigan and Diahann Carroll

Ms Carroll is not a main character, but I get very happy whenever I see her. I want to look as elegant, and be on point, when I grow up.

Cast Members Dominic West and Sonja Sohn  of HBO's"The Wire" Celebrate Season Finale at TAO Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 8, 2008
Sonja Sohn
Grabbed from superiorpics.com © Retna

Burn Notice – Sonja Sohn

Sonja Sohn is in the following six episodes: Over the Line, Down & Out, Best Laid Plans, Odd Man Out, You Can Run and Game Change. Really enjoyed her performance. She needs her own show. Having her as a one-of-a-kind black woman Federal Marshal or Military Official hunting down someone would be FANTASTIC.

Like I wrote before (re: Scandal), love to see it when they have a woman doing this kind of thing. As long as it has tension and good drama, it will work.

Although I see Burn Notice as having run it’s course 2-3 seasons ago, I still check it out. Don’t know how they do it, but every episode gives me anxiety attacks. They just know how to rack up the insanity.

Love Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Cop Drama Genres

But the following three shows have gone beyond jumping the shark:

  • Vampire Diaries – Kat Graham
  • Fringe – Jasika Nicole
  • Bones – Tamara Taylor

True Blood – Rutina Wesley

Been trying to get started. One day I’ll grab the DVD collection and see what’s up.

Aja Naomi King
Aja Naomi King

Emily Owens MD – Aja Naomi King

Smart, as well as beautiful; apparently, a Yale graduate too. Haven’t watched the show. I guess it’s a funny Grey’s Anatomy?

Revenge – Ashley Madekwe

I had no idea she was there from the beginning, but yeah, episode 1, she’s there when it all begins. I like her character. Although my true favorite is Nolan Ross played by Gabriel Mann. He’s the guy with the best lines.

Nice campy drama. Doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Carrie Diaries – Freema Agyeman

She’s from Dr Who.

Touch – Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I wanted to watch this show, but I think the Fox network has been moving it around. I hope it stays around so I can check it out. GMR is from a short-lived black (married!) spy couple show on NBC a few years back.

The Neighbors – Toks Olagundoye

Spartacus: Vengeance – Cynthia Addai-Robinson

And thanks to all of you who reminded me to add these shows in the comments section. I appreciate it very much! 😀

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Mr. Easy-on-the-Eyes
Jay Ryan a.k.a. Mr. Easy-on-the-Eyes

Special Mentions: No Black Women Starring, But Enough “Color” to Be Interesting

The CW TV Network – Kristin Kreuk and Nina Lisandrello

I’ll give the CW props and much credit for having shows with black women. I watch the new Beauty and the Beast, and although the two mentioned above are not black women – I like Kristin Kreuk, and Jay Ryan is extremely easy on the eyes – it may be the first show I’ve seen with two minority women as cops in the lead.

Interesting show. And fun to watch.

The CW TV Network – Nikita – Maggie Q

I watched this show when it first came on. I have to give them credit, there was a black girl (Tiffany Hines) in the first season and partially in the second. There were a few more on the program, but since I lost track of it around season three, I couldn’t tell you who is in the current lineup.

As Faith says in the comments, this is the first time an Asian (or half-Asian) woman had her own show on a network. Not bad.

Elementary – Lucy Lui

I love this show. I also like the growing relationship between Jonny Lee Miller (as Sherlock Holmes) and Lui (as Watson). I’m a fan of Lucy Lui. I’ve always liked her “coolness” in the roles she plays. The show doesn’t rush the plot(s), although some episodes are a bit predictable, but I like that they refrain from constantly chasing after and shooting at people. I find that to be a waste-of-time filler on a number of cop dramas.

I mentioned in the comments, that by episode 5 – called Lesser Evils, Anika Noni Rose plays Lui’s best friend. I very much liked that, because I cannot recall the last time I ever saw a black and Asian woman portray friends, of any sort, on a major network TV show. Usually that role is filled by a bubbly blond with big teeth, head and a perfect disposition.

It was really nice to see a difference for a change. Sometimes I get the impression from TV programs that black and Asian women can only have white women as best friends. And that’s not a normal or healthy reality for the media to promote. As far as I’m concerned, anyone and everyone can play someone’s best friend.

MOVIES

Here’s the top 20 grosses of 2012 (grabbed from boxofficemojo.com):

  1. Marvel’s The Avengers
  2. The Dark Knight Rises
  3. The Hunger Games
  4. Skyfall 
  5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man
  7. Brave
  8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  9. Ted
  10. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  11. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  12. MIB 3
  13. Wreck-It Ralph
  14. Ice Age: Continental Drift
  15. Snow White and the Huntsman
  16. Hotel Transylvania
  17. Taken 2
  18. 21 Jump Street
  19. Lincoln
  20. Prometheus

And special mention to the following:

  • Battleship (2012) – Rihanna as Petty Officer Cora ‘Weps’ Raikes
  • Immortals (2011) – Ayisha Issa as High Priestess #4
  • Joyful Noise (2012) – Queen Latifah.  I wrote a post about this film.

Yeah, there are the Madea / Tyler Perry and other type of flicks that came out, but I have no intention of listing them.

Skyfall – Naomie Harris – Eve

Based on box office projections, this may be the most successful James Bond flick so far. Interesting.

And yes, it’s awesome to see another black woman in a big box office hit. See Hollywood? Including black women doesn’t hurt your bottom line at all. So, stop lying about how our lovely, dark-skinned faces cost you people money with the overseas market (and even domestic). I mean, if I can even see black women in Korean dramas speak a few lines, what’s the excuse for Hollywood besides racist sexism?

I confess that I haven’t seen Skyfall, yet. I will when it hits Amazon, Netflix or on a DVD at some point. I’ve cut back on going to the theaters.

You know the main reason I don’t see movies? Unless it’s an action film where I don’t care for the dialogue, I find that 90% of the time, I have no idea what characters are saying. When I watch something via Amazon or on DVD, I put the close caption on. And it turns out people are saying things completely different from what I expected.

I think that’s why I prefer classic old films, I understood what everyone said. Today, most of what comes out of an actor’s mouth is unintelligible. Not paying $10 plus to hear somebody mumble.

The Hunger Games – Amandla Stenberg as Rue

I don’t have much to say about this film. I didn’t see it. I have no plans to see it. I think there was an online ruckus, because white liberals admitted that they are indifferent towards the death of “innocent” black girls, don’t believe they exist or something to that affect. Please DO NOT explain the deal to me in the comments: I don’t care. I guess people were surprised by the blatant racist sexism hatred or something.

Hey, I grew up in NYC, capital of white liberals. Folks finding out that they don’t regard black girls and women as human beings is no shocker to me…. But, oh well … gotta find out the truth at some point, I guess.

21 Jump Street – Holly Robinson Peete as Officer Judy Hoffs

I had loved this show. This is where I became an early fan of Johnny Depp. I always hoped there would be something to that something between his character and Holly’s.

Didn’t see the movie, so I don’t know how much screen time she got. But it’s nice to know they remembered she was on the show. It was rare to see a black woman in a role like this one.

I’d give you more, but I’m exhausted. I’m happy there was a lot to include.

And if people remember other programs I may have missed, please list them, minus the Tyler Perry stuff.

So, Was Hollywood Good to Black Actresses in 2012?

I’ll give them a B. Was I too generous? Well, I’ve definitely seen an uptick in two black parent black women, even in commercials, so I’ll give them credit for remembering we exist. There are some movies or TV shows I wont watch if it seems like a waste of time, whether it has a black actress or not.

I always want to support the good, quality works that have black women in it. Like it or not, the media is an incredibly powerful image tool. If we look good / great, people do treat us accordingly, it’s conscious and subconscious.

So, I don’t mind if we’re invisible sometimes, I’m not looking for blind inclusion each and every time. It’s when we are included and look a hot dysfunctional mess that gets me upset.

Happy New Year. Let’s see what 2013 brings.

Prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones. May we all find more love, forgiveness and peace in the coming year.

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Wayne Brady vs Bill Maher: How a Good Brotha Fights A Bad White Man

He does it by talking about the black women (of questionable repute) that the “bad white man” dates.

Say What?

Apparently, Wayne Brady (WB) got plenty tired of Bill Maher (BM) using his name to lament President Obama not being hardcore or thuggish enough to suit him. Perhaps both should search YouTube for that video remake of a Waka Flocka rap where President Obama is as thug-like as they want him to be. It is so funny. Not.

In an interview with the tall, black and beautiful Aisha Taylor (whose husband is white), Wayne Brady utters some of the following (excerpted from Mediaite):

“I’ve had Bill Maher twice now when referencing Obama, [sic] he’s like ‘yeah, with your Wayne Brady’ — it’s a diss to Obama to be called me,” Brady explained to Tyler on her podcast this week, noting that Maher wanted a “brother brother.” Accusing Maher of only having the “particular black experience” of “fuck[ing] black hookers,” he explained that he did not confront Maher usually because “if I would have gone on his show or even doing it online, I’m not going to win, he still has his platform.”

But Brady explained that Maher was wrong to think of Brady as somehow not “black enough.” “I’m not saying I’m really badass but, if Bill Maher has his perception of what’s black wrapped up, I would gladly slap the shit out of Bill Maher in the middle of the street, and then I want to see what Bill Maher would do.” He explained that he wouldn’t actually do this “because I’d get sued and lose my house and its not worth it for me, but the black man part of me would be so satisfied to slap the shit out of him in front of Coco and Ebony and Fox, the three ladies of the night that he has hired.”

It Is Such An Epic Smackdown

Lemme tell you something, Wayne Brady is essentially a “good brotha”. See how bad-ass this man is? He uses a lot of profanity. He talks about Bill Maher’s sex life. He’s showing us he can be street. Keepin’ it real. What a profile in courage. Courage! I tell you.

  • WB does not ask BM to invite him onto his show for a man-to-man showdown. Nope. Instead, he makes these comments on a podcast with a relatively well-known black woman (who’s married to a white man) to talk smack about BM’s sex life with “black hookers”.
    • This tactic looks familiar, a “good black man” (married to a non-black woman) runs to a black woman to talk about a white man’s sex life. There’s just too much mess here to unpack.
  • WB does not ask BM to invite him onto his show for a man-to-man showdown. WB admits he would not win, since BM would get the last word. Apparently, BM is so very all-powerful. Does WB think we’re supposed to believe it is simply by virtue of getting the last word? In this age of social media?
    • One of the most “powerful / popular” people on Facebook is George Takei (a.k.a Mr. Sulu). Nearly everybody can get a last word in.
  • WB falls into role playing a wanna-be-thug anyway, just to convince others that he is not an emasculated, weak, well-behaved, white accommodating negro. Then he proceeds to talk about himself – nearly in 3rd person for additional distancing – just to express his desire to smack BM. Is he afraid of going to jail if he made the threat directly?
    • I get that he’s joking. But it was funny when he did it on Chappelle’s Show.
  • Why does WB make black women (they are still human beings – I know a lot of people forget this) part of the focal point in his courageous blasting of BM? Since when is smacking a white man in front of black women (for whom WB obviously has no respect for) something to be in awe of? They are already denigrated for being black women.
    • Why bring them into his diss of BM? Because at the end of the day, he is the emasculated, weak, well-behaved, white accommodating negro he’s referenced as.

They Can Never Put Their Egos Aside

I know some of us love misdirection, and will think this topic is about Bill Maher or the “type” of women he likes to be seen in public with. I’m looking at the composition of what one man said about another. I expected a direct man-to-man retort, but that – in my eyes – never occurred.

Somehow a “good brotha” decided that the best way to insult a “bad white man” inevitably involved black women and sex. (And this topic is an old one.)

Don’t be fooled by the “black hooker”, “black prostitute” or “black women are easy” talk. You and I know some negroes never make a distinction when it comes to black women (as prostitutes), white men (as exploiters) and sex (always purchased, never about love).  Their goal is to continually promote this negative, tainted image.

“Good black men” or “good brothas” like to pretend that their sex / relationships with non-black women is about uplifting liberation, real love and reclaiming “black male pride” as reigning penis-champions, whereas black women are eternally debased sex slaves to all non-black men. And any man who tangles with us, no matter how low he is, will sink even further down.

You cannot ever win – the freedom to date whomever you like – if you ever give an inch to this type of argument and logic. Especially when used to serve the extremely fragile ego of a black male defending himself from a white man.

A Simple Rule of Thumb: Keep Black Women Out of It

If a “good brotha” is having a fight with a “bad white man” – let us all step far back and way way out of reach. ‘Cause when the fists start swinging – the “good black man”  is gonna end up punching black women in the face whilst pretending he couldn’t touch the “bad white man”. Somehow it’ll be because he keeps missing his target.

Yet, the truth is: he was always aiming for the black woman….

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Yahoo artice: WB vs BM

Mediaite article: WB vs BM

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Black Actress Update: Hollywood’s Shrinking Box Office

I know if I made money the way Hollywood did, I’d be ecstatic. Especially when you have the most creative accountants in the world who can turn billions earned into “losses”. All legally, of course. That’s what you get for having the US Congress in your back pocket. I expect when their earnings decline even more, they will be asking for public funds to keep the business afloat (See General Motors). That will occur right after they make it illegal for anyone to say or watch anything on the Internet (pending legislative as of now).

But I digress, imagine being able to push garbage at people and compel them to head to a filthy, loud and uncomfortable theater just to sit through crappy schlock for nearly three hours? That clearly takes genius to run this con year after year, week after week and day after day. If they think they are losing money now, wait until everyone can download a film in the blink of an eye and re-create a movie theater at home without the nuisance, annoyance and hassle of a public one.

Nothing To See Here, Move Along

The box office take for Hollywood has been weak: headlines blurb about the lower attendance rates. A money quote from the BBC article:

“It’s unbelievable how bad it is,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Are we supposed to weep for them? I thought this would be a bonanza year, since they have defenders, who say that films with too many black people – men and women, not just the guys – wont make money. This was the year of the whitest films around.

I’m usually a movie fiend, but this has been the year where I missed many of the “blockbuster films”, except for X Men: The Lamest Generation and Mission Impossible: Making Tom Cruise Hot Again. There may have been another, but I often forget a film the minute I leave the theater.

Come Back, Again, Ya Hear!?!

This was the year of sequels, remakes, prequels, comic books and animation. Proof of Hollywood’s emptiness.

The top 20 films of 2011, according to Box Office Mojo. I have a page that shows the same content of all the Top 100 films.

1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 $381.00 WB
2 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $352.00 P/DW
3 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 $272.00 Sum.
4 The Hangover Part II $254.00 WB
5 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $241.00 BV
6 Fast Five $209.00 Uni.
7 Cars 2 $191.00 BV
8 Thor $181.00 Par.
9 Rise of the Planet of the Apes $176.00 Fox
10 Captain America: The First Avenger $176.00 Par.
11 The Help $169.00 BV
12 Bridesmaids $169.00 Uni.
13 Kung Fu Panda 2 $165.00 P/DW
14 X-Men: First Class $146.00 Fox
15 Puss in Boots $143.00 P/DW
16 Rio $143.00 Fox
17 The Smurfs $142.00 Sony
18 Super 8 $127.00 Par.
19 Rango $123.00 Par.
20 Horrible Bosses $117.00 WB (NL)

 

The fresh entries: The Help, Bridesmaids, Super 8, Horrible Bosses, Rio and Rango. So, out of the top 20, roughly 6 of them were “original”, fresh-out-of-the-box material. Heh.

The Non-Mystery of the Twilight Lure

Honestly, doesn’t Breaking Dawn sound like a porn title, or is that just me? 😀

Breaking Dawn In

The funniest thing I’ve read were reports of women having “seizures” at this latest Twilight film, and no one knew what it was. It’s called an orgasm, people. Sheesh. It’s the 21st century and female biology is still a mystery. Um, women like Twilight and Vampire flicks, because of the eroticism. The yearning, withholding and anticipating. He’s a bad boy, and an eternally powerful man who bites and licks the neck, targeting one of the erogenous zones of the female body.

Yeah, “seizures.” Okay.

The Black Actress: Inclusion or Exclusion?

Forgive me for not listing all shows, or movies with a black actress. If you find some with a black actress of interest, please add it to the comments section. Let’s look at the top films of the year and see if that hypothesis is true, you know: less black women (or nice black male actors) equals more money per film.

When I glance at cast credits, I look at the first 5 to 10. They get the most speaking roles, so even if a black actress gets one line and is part of the scenery – to me – that doesn’t count.

Films that include black women in starring roles also (animation doesn’t count):

1. The Help – love it or hate it, we got a film about being maids, in 2011. Thank you, Hollywood. Thanks so much. All we black women can do is still be maids in the 21st century. A black woman is First Lady, but these people have us doing roles cleaning some white woman’s toilet with dignity! whilst pretending that’s got something to do with civil rights. Alrighty, then.

2. Bridesmaids – big hit – from the people that brought us Hangover. Not sure how much of a role she played, but Kali Hawk (love the name) is in it.

Update: Somehow I missed Maya Rudolph, and she’s one of the stars!

Thank you for the tip, Vonnie!

3. X-Men – Does not have a black actress with two black parents, but a half-half of two half-half was in it. So, I flipped a coin and decided to include Zoë Kravitz.

 Here’s the bottom 20 movies of 2011 for comparison:

80 In Time $36.00 Fox
81 Colombiana $36.00 TriS
82 Sucker Punch $36.00 WB
83 J. Edgar $36.00 WB
84 Larry Crowne $35.00 Uni.
85 The Descendants $35.00 FoxS
86 50/50 $35.00 Sum.
87 Drive (2011) $34.00 FD
88 A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas $34.00 WB (NL)
89 Courageous $33.00 TriS
90 The Rite $33.00 WB (NL)
91 Arthur (2011) $33.00 WB
92 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) $32.00 Sony
93 The Adventures of Tintin $31.00 Par.
94 The Debt $31.00 Focus
95 Priest $29.00 SGem
96 The Mechanic $29.00 CBS
97 Abduction $28.00 LGF
98 Beastly $27.00 CBS
99 Winnie the Pooh $26.00 BV
100 Killer Elite $25.00 ORF

 

Anything Else We Need to Know?

An action film with a black actress is a miss, but the black actress as a maid might be up for an Oscar? Oh well.

1. Columbiana – Zoe Saldana. Perhaps she should stick to romances or something. Seriously, no one is going to believe that a 55 pound woman – soaking wet – can kick anybody’s ass.

2. Drive – Tiara Parker – don’t know if she has much of a role.

3. Larry Crowne – Tarina Pouncy – don’t know if she has much of a role.

4. Courageous – Eleanor Brown – don’t know if she has much of a role.

Notice that a lot of the big stars made spectacular flops this year? People are tired of them too.

Some of the bottom films are likely new releases, so those numbers will change for next year.

And that’s all folks….

Happy New Year. 😀

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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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Premiere’s List: 40 Most Handsome Hollywood Men

Chopped, modified, and borrowed from premiere.com. By: Premiere.com Staff, 08/21/2009 11:51 am

Mentally, I cross off the guys that still look like kids (at least to me). What’s left are these guys – in no particular order – that are a little rough around the edges (some might be geezers to y’all):

  • Bradley Cooper,
  • Ryan Reynolds,
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,
  • Johnny Depp (I just love him, it’s not about the looks anymore),
  • Eric Bana (goofy sexy),
  • Aaron Eckhart (slobber / drool),
  • Idris Elba (sorta has a sneaky vibe, but nice to look at),
  • Daniel Craig (fugly sexy),
  • Dennis Quaid,
  • Ed Burns (I can’t stand him, but yeah, I’d do him),
  • and old school handsome George Clooney (I like looking at him, not really interested in touching).

The other guys: Meh.

My snarky comments are under the picture captions.

Update: I tell you, the ladies added way way hotter additions than what Premiere came up with. See the comments section. 😀

1. James Franco

Mr Petulant and Sulky

2. Robert Pattinson

Here today. Gone tomorrow.
Here today. Gone tomorrow. Keep that hope alive.

3. Bradley Cooper

This picture does him no justice. I'd hit that.

4. Hugh Jackman

He's likeable. Handsome? Sorta.

5. Josh Duhamel

The guy leaves me dry. He's okay.

6. Ryan Reynolds

He really should stop wearing clothes.

7. Jake Gyllenhaal

I want to lobby Congress to pass legislative to keep him from "acting." Dude cannot act his way out of a paperbag. Always the same expression throughout an entire movie. As for being handsome: Meh.

8. Christian Bale

He's good looking, but the "crazy" wipes it away. How could Premiere leave out Sam Worthington?

My addition: Sam Worthington

He's not on the list! Are these people nuts?

9. Channing Tatum

Is it the steroids? Is he John Cena's mini-me? Probably.
John Cena will kick your ass!

10. Orlando Bloom

He's never going to look like an adult.

11. James Marsden

Good looking guy, he just never looks right on screen. Do they do it on purpose?

12. Brad Pitt

Mr. Smug, Smirky, and Annoying

13. Jamie Foxx

Chinese Shar Pei aka Jamie Foxx

14. Gerard Butler

Not actually handsome, but he is an entertaining actor.

15. Joseph Gordon Levitt

He's been an old man his entire life. Ease up on the recreational drugs dude.

16. Zac Efron

My how he's grown.

17. Chris Pine

I give him props for nailing the Captain Kirk-a-tude correctly.

18. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

I wont hold my breath that half-negro will ever co-star a real black woman as his love interest. He's still fine though.

19. Jonathan Rhys Meyers

I don't get the attraction for this guy, but I wont hate on him. He's a good actor.

20. Jay Hernandez

¿quién es este? Who is this? Never heard of the guy.

21. Robert Downey Jr.

Downey's got "crazy man" eyes.

22. Denzel Washington

At least he's not afraid of co-starring with a black actress. Much love, Denzel!

23. Johnny Depp

Ever since 21 Jump Street, still love the guy. Don't be afraid of the sisters Johnny, at least co-star with one in a major flick (the pirate franchise doesn't count).

24. Leonardo DiCaprio

For the longest time I still thought he was in his 20s. He is an old man though!

25. Emile Hirsch

Sorry. He looks like a woman to me.

26. Chris Messina

Who?

27. Paul Rudd

He reminds me of Jason Bateman.
The brother of Paul Rudd?

28. Eric Bana

So hot. And I forgive him for the Hulk movie.

29. Tyrese Gibson

Think we'll ever see a black woman with his features get work like him? Oh, I didn't think so either. I was wondering if he now has in his contract to not have any black women as his co-star. Just wondering.

30. Aaron Eckhart

(Drool / slobber) I forgive him for working with Gwenyth Paltrow, I guess he needed the work.

31. Gael García Bernal

Great actor. Willing to do any role. To the point where it is disgusting. Is he handsome? After a few drinks. Probably.

32. Idris Elba

Good looking, but he has such a "I'm sneaky" vibe about him.

33. Daniel Craig

Totally fugly. Totally sexy. Watch him walk.

34. Ryan Gosling

He lacks gravitas. He cannot carry a film.

35. Josh Lucas

The little brother of Matthew McConaughey. Just kidding.

36. Dennis Quaid

Looking good old man. I would hit that.

37. Milo Ventimiglia

Meh. I suspect he got Simone killed off of Heroes.

38. Ed Burns

Irritating voice. Irritating man. Yeah, I'd do him.

39. George Clooney

Great actor. Nice to look at.

40. Ewan McGregor

Like Rhys Meyers, I don't get the attraction factor, but he's a decent actor.
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