The Tragic Story of Peter and Marisa

Let me begin by saying I'm in love with Ghanaian-born actor Peter Mensah.  I think he has beautiful eyes, a deeply charming smile, a powerful, resonant voice, and the body of a god.  He's the main reason I watch anything to do with the Spartacus series, and these days, in my eyes, the man can do no wrong.

I was impressed with how the writers portrayed him in Spartacus: Blood and Sand.  He was the feared and respected Doctore, unbeatable to all of the gladiators he trained.  His wisdom was profound, his bearing noble, and his discipline unparalleled.  He wasn't just some big tough black man, or some magical house Negro.  There appeared to be an actual attempt to flesh out his character.

But then...there was Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

And to explain my beef with those six episodes, I have to bring up actress Marisa Ramirez, who portrayed Peter's ill-fated wife.

Problem #1: She's ill-fated.  Once again, a black character isn't allowed a happy, healthy relationship.  Lord knows we can't have a black man (or woman) shown in a stable, non-abusive, non-dysfunctional relationship in one episode after the other.  Might start changing the way people view Negroes.  Can't have that.

Problem #2: She's the Light-skinned Latina Trope.  And for those of you who haven't seen the show, but are gawking at her picture in perplexion, Marisa is shown being pale as hell and sans her micro-braids.  So to the audience, she appears white...but not really.  'Cause lemme tell you; they are avoiding beautiful, powerful black women on that show with a vengeance (Lesley-Ann Brandt isn't black, children).  In fact, I have yet to see a black woman on the show who's cast as neither a dirty peasant, nor a slave being auctioned off or executed (while topless, for some reason) in the arena.

Problem #3: She's used to emasculate Peter's character. In Gods of the Arena, he's a gladiator, not the Doctore, and he hasn't been allowed to compete in the games for over a year.  On top of that, his dear wifey is ordered to screw his rival to visually please some perverted Roman bigwig.  And on top of that, Marisa's character is shown enjoying it...so much that she no longer enjoys sex with her husband, and actually goes out of her way to try to cheat on him.  In the process, she accidentally consumes poisoned wine and dies, and her husband never knows the truth.

Problem #4: She's ill-fated.  She dies.  And in Blood and Sand, Peter's character is not shown pursuing any new relationships.  Which means that for all his power and authority in Blood and Sand, Peter's character is effectively rendered sexless, courtesy of his conveniently dead wife who, by the way, preferred the unnecessary yet central new white guy anyway.  This way, on the show, all the women conveniently prefer white men.  The whites one do, the Latina does, and the East Indian-descended one does as well.

The insecurity level in Hollywhite never ceases to amaze Moi.  The Spartacus series chants "authenticity" all day long, but as I mentioned before, "authenticity" is an increasingly popular white code word.  Spartacus is purportedly dedicated to showing the reality of Ancient Rome in all its naked glory.  It'll show filthy public shit-houses, orgies, male and female nudity, orgies, gay relationships, orgies, graphic violence, orgies, maggot-ridden corpses, and orgies, but to portray African nobility and female beauty - which featured prominently in the ancient world - is considered going too far.

And on that note, I just have to laugh.

Comments

  1. I have liked Peter Mensah since the first Spartacus, but I have seen two episodes of the new Spartacus season and I've stopped there. I see beauty in all shades of Black women, but is it really so hard to put a dark-skinned male with a dark-skinned woman? Seriously and I'm not surprised about them lightening her up, its a way to please the whites with the whole not too black female, she could be mixed and so on. I don't like the storyline they gave her. In the first season the way Doctore talked about her, the feelings he expressed for having for her, that storyline takes away from that and kills it, Grrr! Sorry for the long post, but on an end note, they feed into the white insecurity that every race wants a white male or white female, it especially helps if they get rejected by their own.
    Peter Mensah is just a fine man through and through that Ghanian warrior/King. yes!

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  2. I have liked Peter Mensah since the first Spartacus, but I have seen two episodes of the new Spartacus season and I've stopped there.

    You really didn't miss much.

    don't like the storyline they gave her. In the first season the way Doctore talked about her, the feelings he expressed for having for her, that storyline takes away from that and kills it

    This is a good point. It's like they couldn't even do the Devoted Widower Trope correctly. Gods of the Arena took a potentially beautiful aspect of the Doctore and really cheapened it. They made a good man stay devoutly faithful to a dead woman who couldn't stay faithful to him. Adding injury to insult, they made him forever loyal and supportive of the gladiator who screwed her and tried to win her away.

    *shakes head*

    White people must really not be enjoying reality right now to need "empowerment" from such drivel.

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  3. I've enjoyed Spartacus personally and I'm always happy to see Lucy Lawless do her thing.

    But I'll be the first to concede the show has its flaws...LOTS OF THEM.

    I agree with you about my man Mensah and I hope this leads to more roles for him.

    And something I found out was interesting, Lesley Ann Brandt actually volunteered and underwent gladiator training with the rest of the men. She just wanted to do it for herself. And as it turns out, chick actually held her own with the rest of the fellows.

    I believe what they were doing with Doctore is the same they were doing with Tuvac (sp?) on Voyager. His heart belongs to only one woman and it's a heart that's guarded and closed. The doomed relationship they hinted at back in Blood and Sand. That said, the love triangle was a glaring fuck up in my opinion.

    But at least we got to see Barcus and Auctus get some hot man on man action going before their demise.

    *sniff*

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  4. I agree with you about my man Mensah and I hope this leads to more roles for him.

    Indeed. The man needs a new show. And so does Lesley; she's being wasted.

    I also didn't miss how the best woman was Peter's woman...but in the end, her heart wound up belonging to someone else. *shakes head*

    That said, the love triangle was a glaring fuck up in my opinion.

    Oh, yes. The love triangle is so played out it; it can ruin anything.

    But at least we got to see Barcus and Auctus get some hot man on man action going before their demise.

    Hell, yes! One of my favorite scenes is Auctus's intro into the arena. The door flies open and it's ominously dark before he emerges. *shivers*

    One good thing is how the gay men are portrayed as being just as strong, and as capable as any warrior. Also, we see them in loving relationships. The fact that they all eventually die, however, is yet another huge fuck up.

    It's like the writers start strong, but then shoot themselves in the foot halfway through.

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  5. Glad to see that I'm not the only one shook to the core over Blood and Sand's storyline regarding Doctore.

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  6. I've never watched this show (after this artcle I really don't plan on it). I could possibly get past it's other flaws, but I couldn't imagine sitting through this storyline. Ugh, how did you do it? Also, I don't know who Peter Mensah is, but he looks like my father in the picture you chose. It's weirding me out a bit.

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  7. I have loved Mensah since I first saw him in "Hidalgo." He's gorgeous, has the voice of a dark angel, and a body that would stop six lanes of highway traffic.

    And, my dear Moi, the above is the very reason why I don't get caught up in TV shows anymore. I'm so sick of that shit I don't know what to do. You have an actor like Peter and you fuck him over...for no reason I can see other than fear...and it gets old. Pete needs his own vehicle, cos this one ain't it. And if that shouldn't happen, he's perfectly capable of driving mine...*evil grin*

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  8. @ The Girl

    could possibly get past it's other flaws, but I couldn't imagine sitting through this storyline. Ugh, how did you do it?

    I think I kept a drink in my hand.

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  9. Oh, if Hollywhite's insecurities were wine we'd all be dead of alcohol poisoning and well preserved for future generations.... This is sad. I never saw an episode of Spartacus(though I was of the OLD movie) but now I wouldn't touch it with a 20 ft pole. Its Flash Forward all over again. Quit messing up good ethnic relationships!!!!!!

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