Black TV : Then and Now
I grew up on black TV. I watched Moesha and Martin, Fresh Prince and Family Matters. I got a little older and watched Soul Food and Girlfriends. I grew up some more and realized I wanted a career in Television. As soon as I started interning in college, I noticed the lack of brown faces working in the industry. This explained the dwindling of black shows.
I can go on and on about the lack of diversity both in front of and behind the camera, but instead I’ll focus on the fact that it is an uphill climb. Some new awesome black shows have premiered in 2016, here are a few recent ones I am enjoying.
1. Uncle Buck
Shout out to ABC, in case anyone is having Blackish withdrawals the network premiered another family show that is “for us by us”. The series is a remake of the 1989 movie, which had a white cast. Will Packer is one of the show’s Executive Producers; I admire his career and journey from getting coffee to making movies. I caught the first couple episodes and Uncle Buck is fun, refreshing and witty. It’s great to see Mike Epps and Nia Long on television (AKA Day-Day and Debbie).
This show excites me because kids today have positive black shows to watch.
2. To Tell The Truth
Following Uncle Buck, is a game show hosted and Executive Produced by Anthony Anderson (also star of Blackish #2shows!). He has a panel of celebrities try and determine whom out of 3 guests all claiming to be the same person is telling the truth. Nene Leakes and Betty White return every week, while the other panel seats switch up with new guests like Mike Tyson.
This show is hilarious. Everyone has jokes! Anthony, Betty, Nene EVERYBODY! And it’s fun to play along and try to determine the liars. This show is a remake as well, the original To Tell The Truth premiered in the 50s.
I have only seen the first episode of this show on OWN but I can already tell it’s going to be packed with drama. The Greenleafs are a powerful Black family who run a megachurch in Memphis. In the first episode a funeral is held for the Greenleaf’s daughter Faith, which brings all the family together to face deep rooted issues. Like why their other daughter, Grace who used to be a preacher doesn’t even attend church anymore and hasn’t been home in 20 years. The show was created by Craig Wright and Oprah serves as Executive Producer and cast. I haven’t seen Oprah act in a MINUTE so I enjoyed seeing her play Grace’s aunt.
I grew up in “black church”, and I know a lot of holy rollers tend to ignore family issues and secrets for the sake of image. It looks like this series will tap into that so I am here for it.
Have you checked out any of these shows? What are your thoughts?