POC I'm Watching: Gabrielle Union

"Carl Kolchak" & "Perri Reed"
~ Special Inaugural Post ~

Consider this a companion feature to the Underappreciated Series.

What I do is line up the folks I've researched so far, and get whatever Netflix has on them...except romantic comedies (sooooo not my genre).  Really quickly: while doing my browsing, I noticed something a bit off.  I noticed that whenever the main cast is all black, the film is branded as an "African-American Drama."  Doesn't matter if it's a run-of-the-mill action flick, with explosions and ass-beatings; if the main cast is black, the film is thrown into the same category as tears, woe, soul food, and Negro spirituals.

But I digress.

I had heard of Gabrielle Union being on this show, but only in passing. Some folks even blamed her for its cancellation (three guesses why). I rented the discs with a grain of salt, for multiple reasons. First...up until this show, to say I detested Stuart Townsend would be a grave understatement. I loathed him in League of Extraordinary Gentleman; I thought his portrayal of Dorian Gray was pathetic. When he took on the role of Lestat in the aptly named Queen of the Damned (emphasis on the "damned"), my eyeballs wanted to eat themselves. When I learned he was the original choice for Aragorn in the LOTR trilogy, I wanted to kiss Peter Jackson for changing his mind at the last moment.

Stuart Townsend is worthy.
But then I saw Townsend in a brief guest role on Will & Grace, where he played a youthful, bisexual pastry chef and got to speak in his natural Irish accent. I remember he tried to talk Will and Karen into a threesome with him, and it started to change my mind about him.

As of now, courtesy of Night Stalker, Townsend is fully redeemed in my eyes.

For those of you who are unknowing, as I was, Night Stalker (2005) was a revival of a show from the 1970s.  It aired for six weeks, but the last episode wasn't aired during the original run.  In the new version, Carl Kolchak, a rebellious crime reporter, returns.  He's basically the Agent Mulder of the show, while Gabrielle Union is Agent Scully.  They are accompanied by a young, nerdy camera guy, and they all report for The Beacon in Los Angeles.

Some bad

1) When reviving a show from previous eras, not everything translates.  In other words, you can keep a title like V, or Dr. Who, or Battlestar Galactica.  You cannot, however, keep a title like "Night Stalker."  Kolchak, or even The Beacon, would've been better.  Calling the show Night Stalker was to doom it from the start.

2) In some ways, the writing was safe.  For example, in the episode "Burning Men", there's a terrorist who goes by the moniker "TerrorMaker."  *shakes head*  Along with "Night Stalker", 'twas a severely bad call.

3) Asian guys keep dying on the show.  Naturally, that offends me.  I mean, WTF is that all about?

4) Before Merlin, there was Night Stalker, ladies and gents.  No wonder the show got axed. If you go to IMDB, you can even see Europeans calling out Americans.

The Goodies

"Perri" after a night with no sleep.
1) I am so proud Gabrielle Union got this role, even if only for a few weeks (and so were the people who casted her.  She was cast before Townsend after over 100 actors auditioned for their roles).  There are four main characters - three white males, one black female - comprising the boss, two reporters, and the camera guy.  We don't deal or care much for the boss; he's a boss.  The camera guy is cute, nerdy, and totally adores Union's character.

Union is the senior crime reporter, not Townsend, which surprised me.  All three men obviously respect and admire Union's character.  She is always treated as a lady, she looks fabulous in literally every single scene, and she was obviously intended to be seen as sexy (we see her sashaying through her upscale apartment in her underwear and the camera finds any any excuse to focus on her ass).  Not to mention every other man keeps hittin on her.  In the episode "The Five People You Meet in Hell" (great title, by the way), we see Union's life threatened by a criminal she helped put away.  We also see all the men in the show bend over backwards to keep her safe...a la Angel Coulby's Guinevere in Merlin.

Also, unlike other shows, the fleshing out of Union's character began very quickly.  We learn that she went to a good university where she was part of a secret society for the best and brightest, and that her father's a doctor.  We even get to actually see her family interact.

You know...like normal folks?

2) White European men don't look at black women the same way white American men do - it's been pointed out on this blog over and over and over again.  Casting a European actor was an excellent choice because Townsend's chemistry with Union was both obvious and instant.  He brought the right mindset to his character.  Even when the show's just beginning, this is already going on:



From the 2nd episode "The Five People You Meet in Hell"
Keep in mind, Townsend's character is supposed to be mourning his deceased blonde wife whom he reputedly adored beyond words.

3) This show was well done. Big ups to the production; shows currently on SyFy...please, take some notes.

If you blend the coloring/mood lighting of Seasons 1-3 of Buffy, the mystery and infinite possibilities of The X-files, and the classy, haunting music of a dark, stylish mystery/thriller, you get Night Stalker (the additional songs chosen completed a flawless soundtrack).  Had this show gone on, the production team would've earned more than a few awards, and rightfully so.  It was just toooooo well done.  It has a cult following now, which is more than understandable.  And since the original cast members still look fabulous, it really wouldn't hurt to bring the show back now.  Or at least do a few a films.

Needless to say, I'm a fan.  Ergo, Carl/Perri fanfiction is more than welcome.  I've even included some screen caps to help you out.  Click to enlarge.














"No chemistry," my ass.

Comments

  1. "No chemistry," my ass.

    *snorts* They must have aired this show when I was in my most hair-pulling, stressed out period in college. No wonder it took me a while to place it.

    Makes me wonder what's defined as 'chemistry', because they said the same thing about Gabby and John Cho, and those two almost fried my tv.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another phenomenal black woman catching shade from white womynz.

    Must be a day that ends with 'Y.'

    ReplyDelete
  3. I never even knew this show was on. I'm ticked beyond ticked that I missed it. Yesterday I went online and purchased the complete series, and these days, I never buy DVDs.

    Another phenomenal black woman catching shade from white womynz.

    Must be a day that ends with 'Y.'


    No wonder it got low ratings, despite great writing, perfect casting, and exceptional production.

    ...day that ends with "y" indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. For a country who likes to boast about being the "melting pot" of the world, we sure have a funny way of showing it. I get bored with TV/some movies because of the racists being described on the prior post. They should cut the lie out. Their racism is the cause of it.

    No chemistry? sounds like the too familiar excuse when it comes to the demise of IR couples on these shows. Gabrielle isn't a run of the mill actress. Black men and White men fantasize over her. It was even better that she played the role with a White European man as they don't have a many racial hangups as their American counterparts do.I often said that if I dated/married a White man, I'd prefer if he's from Europe.

    Just yesterday on my way to work, I was looking at " One Life To Live". In it, one of character's a Black woman has a child with a White man, and he's doesn't know about him until now. Once again, they couldn't be together. I guess the producers were worried about what their viewers.That pattern is beginning to become nerving.

    As I've mentioned, TV and movies have become increasingly boring to me. For one, people aren't as creative like they used to be and secondly, because viewers,like the racist ones mentioned on here, do not want to accept reality of people of different backgrounds being together.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "As I've mentioned, TV and movies have become increasingly boring to me. For one, people aren't as creative like they used to be and secondly, because viewers,like the racist ones mentioned on here, do not want to accept reality of people of different backgrounds being together."

    Cosigned. The only TV I currently watch and care enough to constantly keep up with is (a select few) cartoons. I really can't deal with TV in general for the past 5 years or so. So awful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Im not sure why but it seems like more and more I keep seeing comments from many white female viewers that there is" no chemistry" when it comes to black women and love interests. And its not just when they have a white love interest but when they are being showed loved, adored, cherished etc the way white female characters routinely are. I watch greys anatomy and there is a black female surgeon who I adore. So many white female fans said they hated when she started to have a love life on screen instead of just being a hard nosed doctor. They said no chemistry, that she wasn't a strong character anymore, that it didn't seem realistic that her love interest would find her attractive since she was "too curvy" etc. They said she was better off single and just dedicated to her job. I just find this mentallity baffeling. But I've seen it in real life too and it catches me off guard sometimes when on occassion a white female friend seems perplexed that a white male friend acknowledges me as attractive. Im not sure why this happens but over time even with some of my closest white friends I've come to a realization that some of them really don't see non white women as equals,not just in terms of beauty but as women in general.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @ M

    viewers,like the racist ones mentioned on here, do not want to accept reality of people of different backgrounds being together.

    Which ironically hinders creativity.

    @ idiclove

    it seems like more and more I keep seeing comments from many white female viewers that there is" no chemistry" when it comes to black women and love interests...some of them really don't see non white women as equals,not just in terms of beauty but as women in general.

    Sickening, isn't it?

    "No chemistry" is the "I don't see race" or "My ancestors never owned slaves" or "I'm not a racist, but..." of popular media. It's a code phrase white people use when they see an combination they don't like. As usual, it's something they all say, but would like to think they each voiced a completely unconditioned, individualized opinion.

    Some people would argue that it's a white sociopathy thing, and that it has to do with their inability to empathize with WoC. Not really, because white guys generally don't complain when we see such media. White guys don't complain when Julian McMahon has sex with Sanaa Lathan, or when Spock kisses Uhura, or when James Spader makes love to Angela Bassett. White American women have a problem with it, so much that shows in the US get canceled.

    In Britain, Merlin has been renewed for a fourth season. And the French-Canadian series XIII: The Series, starring Stuart Townsend - ironically - and Aisha Tyler, has just finished a successful first season and as yet, hasn't been canceled. Meanwhile, Night Stalker didn't get to air all 10 of its eps, nor even film the last 2 of the original 12. It had a mere six weeks before it was axed.

    But no, no, no,...race and nationality aren't even the slightest problem.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "So many white female fans said they hated when she started to have a love life on screen instead of just being a hard nosed doctor. They said no chemistry, that she wasn't a strong character anymore, that it didn't seem realistic that her love interest would find her attractive since she was "too curvy" etc."

    *applies Extra Skrenf^ Side-Eye to that whole bag of tripe*

    ^Yes, skrenf. Strength alone won't cut it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ^Yes, skrenf. Strength alone won't cut it.

    *dead*

    Took me a moment to figure out WTF "skrenf" was.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "No chemistry" is the "I don't see race" or "My ancestors never owned slaves" or "I'm not a racist, but..." of popular media. It's a code phrase white people use when they see an combination they don't like. As usual, it's something they all say, but would like to think they each voiced a completely unconditioned, individualized opinion."

    that part always cracks me up: they all think they are special individual snow flakes when 90% of them do/say/think the same racist shit

    skrenf will be me new catchphrase

    ReplyDelete
  11. "I noticed that whenever the main cast is all black, the film is branded as an "African-American Drama." Doesn't matter if it's a run-of-the-mill action flick, with explosions and ass-beatings; if the main cast is black, the film is thrown into the same category as tears, woe, soul food, and Negro spirituals."

    This! It's the same in bookstores too you know. Octavia butler is in the same damn section as Terry McMillian. it's all lumped together in the "African American literature section"

    My version of "skrenf" is "stronf" but I like "skrenf".

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ank, have you had a chance to watch Franklin and aash? The two main female characters are black. Garcelle Beauvais and Dana Davis. If you get a chance to watch it please share your thoughts.

    I remember this show...i remember it being canceled pretty quickly so i didn't bother. I miss Flashforward before it got shat on and canceled. smh

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ AfroStyling

    I'm going to have to check that one out. Thanks; I'm always open to suggestions.

    I remember this show...i remember it being canceled pretty quickly so i didn't bother.

    Girl...I recommend it anyhow. It's very well done.

    I miss Flashforward before it got shat on and canceled.

    Someone actually used Night Stalker as an example as to how and why Gabrielle Union will get your show canceled. Never mind the fact that millions of people will tune in just to see her, that she's the reason people will actually stop and bother to watch a show.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Someone actually used Night Stalker as an example as to how and why Gabrielle Union will get your show canceled."

    Of course.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yay - my personal copy arrived yesterday! I now own the series!

    *blissful sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looking back on this some more, I think some fans may have objected to the fact a white wife was killed off before the show began, and that the new flame is a black woman.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, I always thought Stuart and Gabby were both gorgeous. I'm going to check out this Night Stalker business and watch a few episodes if possible.

    I did see them during some interview to promote the series and there was so much chemistry between them I thought they might have been having an affair (Stu was still with Charlize Theron @ the time. Idk who Gabby was with).

    Also, I notice they keep pairing him with Black women in some way. Is it typecasting because of his role with Aliyah (sp?) In Queen of the Damned? It couldn't be because he's Irish because I don't see Hollywood pairing Colin Farell with Black women (even though he openly dates them), or Cillian Murphy. So why Stuart? He has to notice this and ask himself the same question I bet.

    But I kind of agree to an extent ( I need to see more examples to form a clearer opinion) that TV/film viewers may have a problem seeing women women like Gabby being loved, cherished, ect by white men like Lestat (Stuart). Hee hee.

    What if Stuart Townsend actually read these comments. He's online like everybody else and probably Googles his own name.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Also, I notice they keep pairing him with Black women in some way.

    Whenever that happens, it's usually because the actor either seeks the roles out, makes a casting suggestion, or overall shows extreme comfort opposite BW onscreen.

    What if Stuart Townsend actually read these comments. He's online like everybody else and probably Googles his own name.

    It's a possibility.

    If you Google him right now, my Night Stalker post is the last listing on the very first page.

    ReplyDelete
  19. There were folks who blamed Gabrielle for the cancellation? *rolls eyes* she was the eye-catcher in all scenes involving her. Apparently Townsend, who's likely to know much more about acting than some armchair critic, said about Gabrielle: "...Gabrielle is the best. I have to work with her all the time, and if she doesn't give 100 percent, my life-and everybody else's-would be so much more difficult. But she's so on top of it. We watched the pilot and the third episode the other day and she just nails every beat. She really does. Gabrielle has loads of energy, and thank God she's a fine talented actress. We're extremely lucky. Frank and [pilot director and co-executive producer] Dan Sackheim did a good job casting her."
    comment from http://www.stuarttownsend.org/nightbeat.html
    It would be so good if the show's back. In my corner of the world Star World shows crap like Supernatural which nobody ever watches.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Regarding screencap 10 & 11:
    Carl: So it's on?
    Perry: Oh, It's on!
    I can't quite believe there isn't a huge fic writing following when there are so many fans. Just look at these caps!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.