Black Television-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Earlier today, I was all set to write about the Black sitcom and ask where it went.  But after a lunchtime discussion with my co-workers, I realized I underestimated a few of the shows that have Black stars that are currently on the air.  So, let’s begin this discussion.

The Good

“Hawthorne”- You know, the show starring Jada Pinkett-Smith that comes on TNT has its 3rd season premiere tonight.  I have to admit, I’ve never really watched this show, but I did catch the 2nd season finale when Christina told Tom that she was pregnant. (Yes, I had to look up the character names. #dontjudgeme)  I’ve always been a Jada fan, ever since her days as Lena James on “A Different World”, so I will make a conscious effort to watch the premiere tonight. 

“The Game”- Despite horrible writing for its inaugural season on BET, “The Game” of the CW was a force to be reckoned with.  It was great writing and great acting with believable characters.  The fourth season left a lot to be desired, but hopefully the writers will see the error of their ways and step their game up for season 5.  The great thing about this show is that the fans stuck by the show and followed the characters to their new channel.  We should all touch and agree that “The Game” has a wonderful new season in the fall. 

The Bad

“Braxton Family Values”- You all know I love reality television, but this show is a bit much.  It seems like the only person who has their life halfway in order is baby sister, Tamar, and for her to be spoiled, narcissistic, and bossy, that’s saying a lot.  Yes, Toni may be the more famous of her siblings, but she’s having financial troubles…again.  And after watching this clip of their mother go off on their dad, I see where the girls get their crazy antics from!  Now I know we all like a little messy, but the Braxtons put all of their dis-functionality (is that a word?) out for the world to see. 

Any Tyler Perry sitcom- Now I know I have praised TP on this blog before, but I’ve also stated I don’t like his sitcoms.  They’re awful, but somebody’s watching them.  I don’t think I really need to say too much more.  If you’ve seen one, then you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, you’re not missing much.

The Ugly

“Basketball Wives”- This show is a bunch of ex-wives and girlfriends who are angry, bitter, and ready to fight somebody.  Need I say more?

Did I miss any shows? 

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!


  1. Oh, Elle…I like the Braxtons. True, they are messy, but I’ve never seen such close Black sisters on TV (even if they are supporting each other so they don’t all fall down). I was surprised to learn a lot of Toni’s financial problems were from her health issues, and I didn’t even know about Traci until the show. We’ve had worse reality TV (Tiny & Toya, cough cough).

    Reaching deep for good black television here…I like Unsung. I love most of the artists/groups they profile, I learn something and discover new old music. I don’t think it gained an audience, but I really liked the show that came on after the game Let’s Stay Together. They had successful Black people with credible jobs and they all had color to them. It wasn’t epic, but it was a solid show.

    Is it to soon to place Single Ladies anywhere on this list? Haven’t seen it myself, but I heard it was messy. Also, Lisa Raye’s reality show was messy. Love & Hip Hop–Messy.

    • I like the Braxtons, too, even though it seems like I don’t. 🙂 And I have to catch them On Demand (earlier today I was thinking I need to see if a new episode is up!). I have to admit, I haven’t watched the show since it’s beginning, so I wasn’t sure what her troubles were linked to, even though I wouldn’t be surprised if they were due to helping out Towanda.
      “Unsung” is great, too-completely forgot about it, so thanks for mentioning it! 🙂 Yeah, good Black tv is hard to come by nowadays, which is sad. Never watched “Let’s Stay Together”. “Love and Hip-Hop” is a hot mess, and “Single Ladies” could be WAY better!

  2. I think overall, Black Americans have gotten content with drama on tv. In general, Americans want to be “in the know” and these “reality” tv shows provides a false sense that you are actually getting to know these people. What happened to the great shows of the 90s? Family Matters… Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Shows that showed families aspiring to do more and be more? Now it seems like as long as we have blacks on tv we should be happy. Can we get some quality programming? This is why I am not a fan of TP because with all the power he has accumulated over the years from his theatrical stage play success, he’s still serving folks neck bones and rice. Can we graduate our audiences to steak? Can we get multi-dimensional characters that are long standing? Can we grow kids up on TV instead of making this swivel-necked and sassy for comedic relief? Can we have a Claire Huxtable getting Denise together moment for her sneaking out to go see “The Wretched?” Until then… I’ll continue to relive life in syndication!

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