Jamie (of Black Girl Nerds) and I discussed Summer and Fall TV over on the Black Girl Nerds Podcast, including chats about Mr Robot, Vixen, Arrow and the Stephen Amell mess, and the ridiculous Sleepy Hollow/Bones crossover we’re all confused about. Take a listen!
How are your favorite PoC characters doing so far this season? Have they survived the midseason slaughter (as I am now calling it)?
Check out the Post’s article on the PoC led dramas coming this fall. And a few are led by women! Numbers are getting better, but no where near where they need to be.
The link and a couple of quotes below.
With “Scandal” commanding $200,970 per 30-second advertising spot, it’s a cash cow.“The color Hollywood loves the most is green,” says Wilmore. “Shonda Rhimes really showed that you can have a black lead in your thriller and you can have a great show. She broke down that wall, and Hollywood follows success.”
Hollywood definitely follows the money. Hopefully these new shows prove to be great television as well. The problem we’ve faced in the past has not always been a lack of content (well, yes, this is the problem, but) sometimes the content put out there isn’t good. There are a lot of times people of color will watch a show featuring someone of their background and that will boost ratings, but ratings will drop off if they don’t consider the show good. It’s not just about representation in numbers, but representation in quality and content. Don’t just give us a show with a black person and say it’s diversity, the content has to be good as well.
Rina Mimoun, executive producer of “Red Band Society,” says that, because of the Rhimes effect, “people will open up their casting. There’s no reason not to.”
More and more producers are realizing this, but things still aren’t where they need to be. The Emmy’s certainly showed that with the small amount of PoC nominees and smaller winners (most weren’t even televised). Hopefully, with this new crop of PoC led shows, next year’s Emmy’s will feature more PoC nominees and winners (now that Breaking Bad is finally out of the race; and maybe Emmy voters will finally be over Modern Family).
(In addition to these current shows, let’s not forget Sleepy Hollow, also led by a black female–I don’t think the article mentioned it.)
via Minority actors land the lead roles in fall’s diverse TV lineup | New York Post.
Who are the people who vote for Emmy awards? Because who in their right mind sees Tatiana Maslany pull of five different roles and not give her an award for it? Seems to me the Emmy voter committee might need a diversity upgrade, like every other prestigious institution.
Just how gorgeous is this image? (I love and wear gold eyeliner.) I’ve been excited about Hieroglyph since I heard about it for several reasons. Number 1 being diversity. From the trailer, the cast seems really mixed. Often, tales in Egypt get whitewashed (then tanned), but this story actually includes people of color. Exciting!
Also, I really like Ancient and Classic Antiquity (thanks wikipedia!) Egypt. Two reasons for this: The Royal Diaries book series, of which Cleopatra – Daughter of the Nile was one of my favorites to read and reread (I might just do that, for my other blog). And The Mummy (this one’s a bit more obvious and standard). I think this will be a cool show and will get to explore some lesser known mythologies, now that fairy tale and mythology shows are coming back into fashion. Of course I love the idea of it being a supernatural, fantastical story with mystery, action-adventure, and intrigue.
It’s not airing until 2015, presumably in Sleepy Hollow’s time slot (though I wish they were being paired together), but I can’t wait to check it out.
Watch the teaser trailer below:
EDIT JULY 1, 2014: Hieroglyph, despite it’s straight to series order, was cancelled by Fox. More here.
Hieroglyph (Drama) — ORDERED TO SERIES [FOX]
EPs | Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim), Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Miguel Sapochnik
CAST | Reece Ritchie, Kelsey Chow, Condola Rashad
A notorious thief is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah, navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers.
It seems FOX is committing to it’s diversity in sci-fi theme. After the success of this year’s Sleepy Hollow, FOX has ordered another supernatural drama with PoC in the lead role. Also for a 13 episode run, Hieroglyph has already been ordered to series, meaning we’ll see it when they air it.
As someone who loves The Mummy, I’m hoping it’s something in the same vein. I wonder if it’s airing in conjunction with Sleepy Hollow which is set to return next fall. Both series are supernatural shows with PoCs as leads and I think Sleepy Hollow’s success could mean pairing them together on the same night to give this new show Sleepy Hollow’s lead-in numbers. I could also see it as a summer series, perhaps in Sleepy Hollow’s same time slot. Either way, I’m excited to see what they do. FOX seems to be trying to make up for cancelling Dollhouse and Firefly (and causing other shows to derail because of executive meddling), so hopefully they keep it up.
for more, check TVLine’s Pilot Scoop, Fox Gives 13-Episode Series Order To Ancient Egypt Drama ‘Hieroglyph’ From Travis Beacham & Chernin Entertainment
That’s how you do a season finale!
The first part had great humor then ramped up the creepy factor with poor Andy Brooks and the second ended on that MAJOR surprise factor that had every fan wondering how they didn’t guess it before!
One thing I love about this show is the three black girls looking out for each other. So rare for shows to show that dynamic, especially with women of color. I’ve seen some comparisons to Supernatural (which I don’t watch), and I definitely think it would be cool to see the Mills sisters interact more like Dean and Sam over on Supernatural. A Mills sister roadtrip? Macey hanging out in the back? Basically, Sleepy Hollow is the TV show equivalent of Disney’s Frozen, where sisterly love is made a priority. Jenny getting herself arrested so that she was forced away from her sister due to her murderous thoughts really made Abbie rethink everything she’d thought about her all those years. It certainly helps that Jenny is basically Lara Croft Tomb Raider. Except Tomb Raider isn’t lying on the side of the road at the end!
I shouldn’t have trusted Henry, but I still don’t think I trust Katrina. Henry was a surprised (mostly because he was featured so prominently in the Jeremy Crane backstory episode) but really I should have known because in any mystery/suspense show, the casting choice you recognize (the most famous of the guest stars) usually committed the crime! So really we should have all known. But I don’t trust Katrina, quite, either. It was too easy for her to let Abbie stay in purgatory knowing Moloch’s plan was to get her there all along. But perhaps that’s just the Ichabod/Abbie shipper in me.
Speaking of, I love the way they are adapting to each other’s quirks. Instead of it just being Ichabod using 21st Century lingo, Abbie signs off her voicemails “respectfully yours.” There’s an equality there that’s really great to see, considering it could be Ichabod doing al of the adapting. Comparatively, Ichabod and Katrina are now on uneven footing, since he’s using language she doesn’t understand (“…cool”). And who knows how she was feeling about that Crane and Abbie head-cradling hug, it was very tender. And fist bumps are definitely the truest test of friendship.
But now, no one can return to get Abbie out of Purgatory! Jenny is laid out on the side of the road, Ichabod is buried alive, and Katrina has been absconded by Headless! Even poor Captain Irving is locked away, trying to protect his family. I can’t wait until the Irvings are even more involved in the evil fighting team. I bet Macey and her science skills can help somehow!
And finally, I still say that Jasmine Guy needs to play a Mills relative, those eyebrows are too similar and I get constant views on my Lyndie/Jasmine post whenever Jenny is on screen. It needs to happen!
Zombie George Washington!
Apparently, John Noble was told about Jeremy before he began, so this was the plan all along!
Yeah, I honestly don’t know how you’re going to get yourself out of this. How far are you into planning a way out of this huge pickle?
We definitely have ideas. Part of the fun of this show is taking these really big swings. So we’ll have to take some more to get them out.
They’re so cheeky, but I love how they have a plan. If only all shows 1. had a plan, 2. were allowed by the network to stick with it.
Quick summaries, click the link below before longer freak out/thoughts post!
The Indispensable Man
Andy returns and is still creepy. He reiterates the prophecy: Ichabod will deliver Abbie’s soul to Moloch. Then creepily confesses his love to Abbie before running away.
Meanwhile. Ichabod has discovered some more hidden clues in Washington’s Bible. There are 10 extra verses in the section on Lazarus, which lead them to George Washington’s secret gravesite to find a map. Abbie is concerned Ichabod will use the map to save Katrina but not focus on the greater good.
They retrieve the map in a true Masonic/National Treasure style crypt, but Andy’s been newly possessed by Moloch and hasn’t run out of his nine lives yet. Well, I suppose he does by the time the crypt collapses on him. Abbie urges Ichabod to destroy the map, since Andy told them Moloch could use it to bring war upon them. He does so, but not before committing it to memory. But War is coming to Sleepy Hollow…
Across town, Captain Irving’s family is under suspicion since a cop and a priest were murdered at the cabin he was keeping his family “safe” at. Macey is their number 1 suspect—DNA and all—and since Irving can’t say “a demon did it,” he confesses to the crime himself and gets sent to trial.
“Witness 1 paging Witness 2…”
“I am, respectfully, Lieutenant Mills.”
[receives smiley] “Oh. It’s a man’s face. I suppose that’s charming.”
“Poppycock!” “I know.”
“Yolanda was a much better listener.” [than Siri]
“Prophecies have a nasty way of fulfilling themselves if you let them…”
An eclipse is coming tonight and by the time it is over, War (the Second [but really Third because we’ve briefly met Pestilence] Horseman of the Apocalypse) will arrive in Sleepy Hollow. It seems Abbie and Ichabod want to face it head on and retrieve Katrina from Purgatory [a scene which I need to revisit considering the ending—whose idea was it to go to purgatory?]. Jenny doesn’t approve of the plan, because she doesn’t want to lose her sister again, and the girls share a nice moment of hugs and remembering Chekov’s Dollhouse.
Abbie and Ichabod are warned not to eat or drink anything, as it will be a Lotus Eaters situation and keep them trapped in purgatory. Both wake up having received a great wish: Abbie is hanging with Corbin and Andy, alive and offering apple pie and Crane returns to his estranged father, having never been estranged because he never joined the Rebels. In Crane’s dream, the British won and he’s reunited with his father! Both come to their senses, but not before Victor Garber goes a bit demonic and chews on some glass. Together again, Abbie and Ichabod find Katrina, but here’s the deal: She can leave only if one soul takes her place. Abbie offers herself up, despite Crane’s protests—It’s what Moloch wanted this whole time!—and with the assurance he will come back for her.
But once back in the 21st Century, the Cranes are stopped by the 2nd Horseman, War, who has been among us this whole time! Turns out, our friendly, neighborhood Sin-Eater has been fooling us this whole time—he’s the second horseman! He’s what Moloch resurrected when the Mills sisters saw him 13 years ago, and he’s also Jeremy Crane, the buried alive son of Ichabod and Katrina! Jeremy/Henry/the Sin Eater gives an epic “Why I hate you, Mom and Dad!” speech, then allows Headless (Van Brunt of Legend of Sleepy Hollow lore) take Katrina away and Jeremy buries Crane alive, breaking the second seal as he does so. Jenny, having run down a lead, has been shot up in her car by Headless and remains on the side of the road, bleeding an unconscious, unable to help her sister who is trapped in Dollhouse Purgatory! We don’t get to find out what happens next until next Fall!
“Admit it. You appreciate me.” “Microscopically.”
Click here for Finale thoughts
A quick summation of “The Vessel” (mostly for archive purposes and because I wrote it up so might as well post it, even if a week late). Look for longer finale posts!
Crane attempts modern clothes and doesn’t like it. The demon who threatened Irving’s daughter arrives at the precinct to cause an immediate threat. Irving takes Macey to a cabin in the woods, but a demon uses Morales to follow them there and posses her. She kills a priest and demands George Washington’s Bible, which was buried with Ichabod. Turns out the same demon, Ancitif, once possessed Jenny and is after Abbie’s soul. In order to get rid of said demon, without giving up the Bible, the gang must search for a lantern that will cast Ancitif back to hell. Once there, the owners of the Bible, a bit of a red-neck family, attempt to stop our duo, but Jenny rolls in looking every bit Lara Croft Tomb Raider, and they all get to HQ in time to release poor Macey from looking like a horrible demon forever. Ichabod uses invisible ink tricks to discover a date written in the Bible in Washington’s hand, written 4 days after he died. Dun dun dun!
“I want chapter and verse in my hands yesterday.”
“This place is booby trapped.” “Sounds unpleasant.” “Just watch where you step.”
In James Cameron’s “Avatar,” a white man once again plays savior, this time to a planet of tall blue aliens unambiguously suggestive of Native Americans. What if they’d cast Michelle Rodriguez, who plays a stereotypical no-nonsense doomed Latina side character, in the lead role instead of Sam Worthington? The context of an interesting movie about race is already in place. Without a single word changed in the script, “Avatar” would have taken on layers of new meaning, opened conversations that mainstream, white cinema has not even approached. […] Instead, though, we’re left with a cliché: the same old really nice white dude, filling a void in himself by appropriating and then saving another culture. What we could’ve had was something new: a story of intersectionality and solidarity across interplanetary colonialism.
via Whitewashed TV isn’t just racist. It’s boring! – Salon.com.
YES THIS ALL OF THIS!
There is constant complaining about the same old stories being told, especially in Hollywood. A very, very simple solution to spice those same old stories up, is to cast PoCs as the main characters. Then it becomes something new that we haven’t seen before.
The article speaks heavily of Sleepy Hollow; if Abbie had been a white guy, it would have been sooo boring–kind of how Almost Human felt to me. Karl Urban being the primary lead was boring. What if they’d switched the roles and Michael Ealy was the human, Urban the robot? Then it might have been a different story. I haven’t seen past episode 3, so I don’t know if Michael Ealy’s character has to deal with race at all in the futuristic world of the show, but it would have been prudent to introduce it in the first three episodes, since him being cast as a black man is a big deal in the real world. But since it wasn’t really mentioned at all, I think I got bored (for forgot to set my DVR to record all…) and wasn’t interested in coming back. I don’t need race to be a discussion, but it shouldn’t be glossed over. (this isn’t even what I started to talk about after I mentioned Sleepy Hollow above…)
It is so simple to change the dynamics of the same old stories we’ve heard before by changing the racial and sometimes gender identities of the characters. I don’t watch Elementary, but it took guts to cast an Asian woman as Watson, and look how that turned out for them. The show is great. They knew they couldn’t follow in the wake of Sherlock, so they changed the story in a very simple way to make it more interesting to people who have seen Sherlock and the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies and might be bored with the same old “two white guys solve crimes” story.