Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One door closes, another opens...

Ramblings Post #341
I had to write something that wasn't political or about death, as it was getting pretty dark on here. There are so many "you've got to be kidding me" moments happening so fast as of late so often that you almost have to just turn off the news and go read a book or listen to soft classical music. And this would be the lick except I'm one of those people who is unable to put the idea it will all still be right there when I get back out of my head. I keep imagining that it's all a terrible dream, only it seems like I've brought you all with me. Sorry about that. 

I liked Survivor's Remorse, the showtime original series about basketball player Cam Calloway,  played by average sized Jessie T. Usher, getting his first really big NBA payday. It was original, it wasn't about drugs or the music industry, the usually stereotypical gritty black characters that would have infested a show like this stayed on the sidelines for the most part, nobody got murdered, it explored a lot of scenarios and situations not normally covered AND it was shot in Atlanta. All good things. It was television of a type, Black TV, which means every episode had a message or theme we were supposed to see and relate to as African Americans, and while the characters were making us laugh we were supposed to learn a lesson. It's a real thing, google it.
And that was all she wrote
Towards the end though, I began to enjoy Cam's sister M-Chuck (short for Mary Charles) and the his cousin Reggie  stories more. Partially because they seemed more fleshed out and covered more ground than did Cam's stories, but most because along the way Cam had become a bit of a too caught up in himself asshole. When we first met the him, he was happily tagging thots and telling folks he was happy his mom's didn't abort him. He and his cousin/manager slipped and slid out shoe deals, new contracts, setting up their own sports agency, ad campaigns and hilariously trying to give away a gun. But by the time we left him Cam had become a self righteous insufferable crusader for his own personal brand of goodness that included children's charities, retired basketball players and corporate divestment. In the last few episodes my favorite parts were the rants of truth given by side characters and not the star of the show.

But all the aside, because that is a writing issue that can be address, that the show was cancelled at the end of the fourth season unceremoniously leaving so many unanswered questions is the real problem. At the end Cam had just asked his girl Allison to marry him and she'd just found out what it meant to be a basketball wife professionally and personally. Reggie had just invested pretty much his whole nut in a opportunity Cam had expressly told him not to. And M-Chuck kept bringing up old skeletons.  So, did they actually get married after she really saw how he lived? Did Reggie's investment shit the bed? Can lesbian M-Chuck have a platonic relationship with a woman? Does his mom marry the billionaire? But, most importantly, how many lawsuits does Mikey C (played by a very funny DJ Khaled) end up causing?

By the way, I'm still mad they killed off Mike Epps' character.

But, where a door closes, another opens. Out goes Survivor's Remorse and in walks White Famous. Where in this case the lead character starts out a broke self righteous insufferable asshole who keeps trying kick himself down a well. Let's hope he gets better.
We shall see, see indeed.
The show, checking off the stereotypical boxes, is about a standup comedian in Hollywood with a beautiful ex-girlfriend who is the mother of his child trying to make it. He also has a overweight friend he claims is hilarious  but we haven's seen it yet, an smarmy agent he can't seem to fire, and the chance of a lifetime due to chance encounter with a slightly inebriated asshole Hollywood producer. No, not him, another one.

It's a new show so I'm still saying it has potential, but the early writing feels like whoever wrote put together doesn't think about how real people act. The lead, played by SNL alum Jay Pharoah, plays comedian Floyd Mooney not like a person who has a kid he needs to look out for or even possesses a burning hunger for success. He plays him more like a someone willing to starve to prove a point of blackness, which is not how you make it in Hollywood. He's a character with no give in a town that's all compromise. That's bad writing or directing I can't tell which. but what I do know is bad writing is the baby mother, a Cleopatra Coleman who needs no embellishment, who at the end of the first episode tells Floyd to take the opportunity then at the start of the second episode berating him for not seeing his son because he's busy with that same opportunity. That needs to be cleaned up, little things like that. If it can. Like I said, it has potential, it's not there yet. AND the lead character needs to stop acting like getting a shot is like applying at McDonalds or that he's going to make it strictly on his own terms. Talk about unrealistic television. 

I did however like the Black TV point it makes however in how popular media seems to want emasculate Black men by putting them in dresses. (See Martin, Tyler Perry, etc) Jamie Foxx playing himself was funny in what could have been a throwaway scene, Floyd refusing to dance to that tune was a twist for the good for the most part. But for this good we got the ending, which was a bit contrived.

Episode two was also uneven, but as I said, hopefully it gets better. We shall see. This reminds me why I don't watch as much television as I used to.


Barkeep, let me get a summer ale. What do you mean summer's over. Well damn, there goes my heating bill. 

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