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.|
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.
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.
|"Perri" after a night with no sleep.|
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"|
"No chemistry," my ass.