Last night, I tuned into Bravo and became trapped in a Black woman shade-fest.
Just before The Walking Dead began, I caught the tail end of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Later, during an extended AMC commercial break, I flipped back to Bravo and ended up watching about two seconds of the Blood, Sweat and Heels reunion show (two seconds of my life I desperately want to have back).
Between the two shows, all I saw was cattiness, pettiness, arguing, crying, drama and high school bullshit – which is a lot to take in while only watching a short clip of a show.
After the Walking Dead was over, I looked for a good comedy program to watch. Now I love ALL brands of comedy (Curb Your Enthusiasm and Modern Family are amazing), but if I’m being 1000% honest, I prefer comedies with predominantly Black casts just due to being able to relate MORE to the humor.
But sitting with my remote in hand, I realized that there was nowhere to turn. There was nothing on TV that accurately represented what I wanted: A show that delves into Black culture while also fully portraying the beauty, diversity and intrigue of Black women WITHOUT making them look loud, ignorant and classless.
And this is the problem I have when I turn on about 90% of TV these days whether I’m looking for a comedy, a drama or just a generally interesting show. For every positive representation of an all-encompassing Black female lead (like Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow), there are far more scandalous jump-offs like the Olivia Pope‘s and the Mary Jane‘s of the TV world. And the truth is, I’m not looking for all Black women to be Claire Huxtable and NOT have real flaws and real problems. But, it would be nice to see Black TV that treats Black women the way I encounter them EVERYDAY of my life.