Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Art Of Redoing: Reed Between The Lines and Other 21st Century Creations

Recently BET introduced it's newest scripted television series Reed Between The Lines. However, this show was not marketed as another television show to come out in 2011. It was said to be a new way of showing black family love, the 21st century Cosby's, and the married version of Joan (from Girlfriend's). However, this week is it's second week of airing and some people will still not tune into Reed Between The Lines. My mom is one of them. When asked why she wouldn't watch it, she said "Because The Cosby's have already been done." While that's an interesting reason to not watch, couldn't that argument be used on everything. Hasn't all of the current trends and television shows we enjoy been done before?

For instance Reed Between The Lines is a new show and BET's highest rated show at the moment. However, it's biggest comparison that the creator, Mara Brock Akil, is going for is the Cosby Show, which started in 1989 or 90. The show featured many great actors, such as Malcolm Jamaal Warner who is on Reed Between The Lines. The show has also been said to portray the married version of Joan from Girlfriends. How many of us wanted to see Joan get married? Everyone. Another comparison that popped into my mind was My Wife And Kids. My Wife and Kids was about a husband and wife with three children. One child was heavily into her looks, another was a regular dumb boy, and the youngest was spoiled. The show was a success for the time it lasted. Now everything that Reed Between The Lines can be compared to was a huge success, so it's really about the art of redoing. This show has successfully taken from various hit shows, so that should make it more appealing to an audience, right?

It has worked for other shows, such as current reality television. As for reality television we have Basketball Wives, LaLa's Full Court Life, The T.O. Show, Why Am I Single, And Tough Love. At least those are all on Vh1. It's hard to trace back to when the first reality television show started where several people's lives were constantly followed with cameras, but it was the 21st century. I'm guessing it had something to do with newlyweds, but that doesn't matter. These types of shows started a couple years ago, but recreating the same types of reality shows in news ways have become a form of art. For instance Basketball Wives is full of girlfriends and divorced women with a sprinkle of marriage every now and then. LaLa's Full Court Life, which came afterwards, is all about a woman balanced being a basketball wife and still having an actual career. They have the same theme and at the same time have been redone to give off totally different, yet interesting vibes.

Really I find it so odd that someone would refuse to watch a show because its already been done. Fashion is continually done, but we still wear the clothes. We take hairstyles from 20 years ago and try to make them relevant again. So why not embrace giving old school television shows our own new and improved look? It's only art.

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