Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Perspectives on American TV, 2015: A public shout-out for some nicely-observed insight from Stacia L. Brown @washingtonpost - How @RosewoodFOX is expanding representations of black men in network TV. She correctly notes how the new Fox-TV show starring @Morris_Chestnut has already shown "how rare it is to see two black men onscreen discussing something other than violence, racism, or their own mortality." Amen.

Perspectives on American TV, 2015: A public shout-out for some nicely-observed insight from Stacia L. Brown @washingtonpost - How @RosewoodFOX is expanding representations of black men in network TV. She correctly notes how the new Fox-TV show starring @Morris_Chestnut has already shown "how rare it is to see two black men onscreen discussing something other than violence, racism, or their own mortality." Amen.

I've written the following post in reverse-chron order, with oldest on top, in an attempt to be more logical than usual.
















For me, the highlight from Brown's column was this line: 
"The subtlest moments — like Rosie, Dante, and those flowers — punctuate how rare it is to see two black men onscreen discussing something other than violence, racism, or their own mortality."

Exactly!

I've watched all three Rosewood episodes so far, and partly because it's set here in South Florida -#SoFLand partly because I also think it has a good premise for a series and a nice core of actors around star Morris Chestnutit's definitely starting to grow on me.
Especially as it finally stops trying to explain who every character is and can actually breathe a little and let the plots develop however they will.

Not that it's ever going to be M.A.S.H., of course, or even aspires to be, but most people now forget how really crummy some of their early M.A.S.H. episodes were when the writers and editors kept hammering home who the various characters were long past the point where we got it, esp. Klinger
Radar and Frank Burns.

In retrospect, some of those early M.A.S.H. episodes often seem like the show's writers were intentionally bullying Larry Linville's Burns character just to see what sort of reaction it might provoke in either him or the show's audience. 
People loved seeing pranks performed on poor Frank Burns, but serial cruelty is another thing altogether. 

It's always especially noticeable in those episodes composed largely of clips.
You almost wonder what the writers were thinking.

Most TV viewers nowadays forget that, for a while at least, like the Mary Tyler Moore Show,
M.A.S.H. was forced by CBS network execs to use a laugh track, which was cringe-worthy, even though it was performed without a studio audience.
As we know, as the two shows' dramatic success grew expondentially on Saturday nights, that foolish crutch was eventually dispensed with, even if it remained on so many other middling network TV shows well into the 1980's.

The really odd thing is that I was thinking the same exact things last night watching the newest episode of Rosewood as what Washington Post reporter Stacia L. Brown writes about. 
Weird. :-)

Like Brown,  I also hope that they give the show a chance to properly develop and find its way.
It's always a good thing to have fully-realized characters on network TV, especially if they can be set against an area of the country that is -quite correctly I'm sorry to say- often regarded as the height of superficiality, where physical looks always-but-always trumps brain power every time.
(As I know so well from growing-up in sunny sand, surf and bikini-clad South Florida!)
How ironic would that be?

And if it can be a character that looks, acts and thinks like series star Morris Chestnut's,  one that's doesn't adhere to most Hollywood's showrunners' pre-conceived paint-by-numbers notions of what the show has to do, as opposed to what it can do, so much the better for everyone concerned, not least, the poor TV audience who desperately prefers to see more accurate depictions of complex people's lives on the tube. And lives different from their own, with their own separate struggles.


But then a sophisticated TV audience that wants more also has to let the networks know they want that, not more of the same old thing, or variations on a TV theme from 25 years before.
And so it is here with Fox-TV.
People have to use their voices.
So far, so good!















Since I sent out an email with much of the above Thursday afternoon to my corps of well-informed friends and Followers(!)  across the country, have been greatly heartened by the number who say that they not only like and watch the show, but also agree with points that Stacia L. Brown and I raise.
:-)

Dave

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