Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where Did Good Black Television Go?

Last night 90 percent of Black America tuned into the premiere of "The Game" on BET and then about half of them continued to watch BET when a new series called "Let's Stay Together" premiered. While BET received it's highest ratings since Barack Obama became president in 2008, there were mixed feelings about the shows and these opinions didn't just come from the viewers. The majority of complaints were from people who didn't think the shows were good for Black America. In fact these same people were asking where did good black television go. Well, let me point something out for those of you who are missing good black television. 

Good black television is the shows with African Americans that comes on television regularly now. Also, they're just as good as the shows that came on back in the day. While the story lines may be different the points are the same. Examples are below

The New Shows:
The Game ( CW 2006- 2009, BET 2011- Present)
The Game is a comedy show with tons of drama. It features an explosive relationship between characters Melanie and Derwin. They have their ups, but seem to have more down times. Then there's Jason and Kelly who's dealing with the drama of their divorce and staying calm in front of their child. During this new season (2011) Kelly plays the scorned woman. Then there's Tasha Mack. After many seasons of dating the wrong man, Tasha has decided to take the cougar route. In reality that's seen all the time. Then there is Malik. Malik is Tasha's son and he's always been the hoe. Not only has he always been a hoe, but he only has one friend on the show (TT). 

Are We There Yet (210- Present):
While "Are We There Yet" doesn't have the amount of drama that "The Game" features, it has entertainment of it's own. This show is about a man who married a woman and became an instant father. Now the couple is dealing with money issues and family issues. Those issues deal with a crazy brother, fun single friend, and an ex husband that continues to reappear. Unlike "The Game" the ex-husband is not handling his business in the children department and the woman wants him to be in the picture. 

How These Shows Are Good Black Television:
Remember the show "All of Us?" It was on television from 2003-2007. It dealt with an woman (Lisa Raye McCoy) who had to deal with her ex husband because of the child they had together. The drama wasn't just with the child. There were moments where his new significant other did not like the fact that he still had to deal with her. The drama with Melanie, Derwin, and Janay on "The Game" is just a revamped version of "All of Us." The show "Are We There Yet" steals the story line of the new family and  old significant other still being in the picture. The only difference is "Are We There Yet" shows the male aspect. 

Let's Stay Together (2011- Present):
"Let's Stay Together" is a new series that premiered on BET last night. This show features two couples and a single woman. The single woman is getting over a divorce and learning to live by herself again. One couple has been married for years and other couple is in the process of  getting married.

What makes This Good Black Television:
This show is the opposite of "Living Single," which was around from 1993- 1998. On the show "Living Single," there was one couple, one on/off couple, and the rest of the women were single. They each dated, went through drama when it came to significant others, got mad, laughed, and carried on with their lives at the end of each episode. "Let's Stay Together" is just showing the couple's perspective instead of making all of the characters single. 

Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2006- Present and Meet The Browns (2009- Present)
House of Payne and Meet The Browns are comedy shows about a families filled with love, drama, and laughter. The drama part falls under couples not always communicating correctly, issues with cheating, issues with love not always being portrayed, and family coming together to deal with the issues. The love part is based on how the family  can always come together no matter what happens. The laughter part is based on how each episode of each of the shows keeps you laughing from beginning to end. 

What Makes This Good Black Television:
There are so many shows that Tyler Perry imitates. First of all there's "The Cosby Show," which featured Bill Cosby. That was an all around family show. Then there's "Fresh Prince," which featured Will Smith. Will Smith was the dysfunctional nephew that continued to get in trouble. Then there were the spoiled children who were learning how to function in society by watching Will's actions. All Tyler Perry does is take the family life and update it to fit the 21st century. 

These aren't the only shows. I recently  heard that Tatyana Ali has a new show on TVOne, but I haven't been able to view it yet. 
(P.S.) The statistics at the beginning were made up. 

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