9.27.2015

This Week in #POCtv: Minority Report


We'll start with Minority Report.

When you consider the train-wreck that was Meagan Good's last show, Minority Report is a huuuuuge improvement.  This is not to say this show is a flawless victory and FOX's next big hit.  Far from it.  The pilot was filled with a lot of the typical pilot problems which plague shows these days.

1) For one, there are no coincidences in Hollywood

Tom Cruise's latest film does not just "happen" to come out around the same time as a TV show based on a film of his from back in the day.  Furthermore, I don't recall a lot of people clamoring for a show based on that movie.  As far as folks are concerned, there are way too many other shows which need to be shows right now, including a reboot of Joss Whedon's Firefly starring the original cast.  See how desperate people can get?

2) Cliched Leads

We have a man and woman partnering up to solve crimes.  In this case it's a male psychic and a female detective.  Instead of making one gay and the other straight to prevent the predictable "Endgame Couple" BS, already there are references to Dash (the psychic) being Det. Vega's boyfriend.  *rolls eyes*  #BoredNow

3) One of the leads is a straight white male

*yawns*  'Cause Lord knows we have such a huge shortage of those.  Meagan Good exhibited some palpable chemistry with her Latino boss on the show, but by the way the predictably cast and styled Asian tech specialist talks about them, that relationship's DOA.  I'm talking past tense.  I'm talking we-ain't-seein'-nothin'-outside-of-fanfiction, feel me?

4) Yay, we get it; it's the future

On one hand, mad props for not showing us a blindingly white America in 2065.  On the other hand, I agree with other critics that we don't need 52 reminders per minute that it's the future and technology has evolved.  Like...#NoDuh.

Verdict

I'm actually a big fan of Meagan Good and genuinely want to her to have a successful career.  So far, the writers on this show have characterized her a lot more seriously than she was on Deception, but at times the camera and wardrobe can get a bit male gaze-y.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

10 comments:

  1. I don't know. I personally loved it. Sure we may have had all of those elements done to death in other shows. But i disagree that the leads are cliched because i can count on one hand the amount of prime-time sci-fi tv shows with a black woman playing a lead character. It may be cliche when it comes to white women and white men in those roles. But its not when it comes black women. I'd rather watch a cliche show with a black female lead than another edgy emmy bait show with another white lead like your Mad Men's, your Breaking Bads, your Homelands and all those super white shows that get all the critic praise.
    I don't care for what the critics and white media have to say about any show starring a black woman. Until we have a plethora of tv shows starring black women in every genre possible, then maybe we can talk about how cliche they find it to be. And that is including whether the show ever pursues any romantic angle between Lara and Dash cause I can still only count on one hand how many tv shows starring a black woman and her white dude partner ends with them being a couple. That is one thing i refuse to budge on.

    I think the show has a lot of promise. I loved that in one episode, we already met her family, established her motivation for the job she does, her passion, some of her values, the fact that she doesn't know how to cook, is reckless as hell(jumping after suspect) and determined.
    We see how smart she is.
    My favourite moment of the entire episode was when she commanded Dash to sit down and he sat his ass right back down. I don't know why that gives me so much joy but Meagan Good delivered that line perfectly.
    Everything about the promo and the pilot indicates that Lara Vega is supposed to be the focal character through which everything and everyone gets filtered though. And we get to explore the different relationships she has with all the characters. I'm hoping it stays that way because that is a wise choice.

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    1. It may be cliche when it comes to white women and white men in those roles. But its not when it comes black women. I'd rather watch a cliche show with a black female lead than another edgy emmy bait show with another white lead

      And I can respect that. Personally, I need something new, not a white cliche dipped in chocolate. All they had to do was make one gay and it would've added a whole new dimension to the show.

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    2. I don't really know what to make of all the pushback this show is getting predictably from white fandom and media, but also black people, specifically black women. It's like why are the shows starring black women the ones heaped with the highest of expectations? It's why Shonda Rhimes is the only showrunner and producer in Hollywood who gets asked about diversity in her shows on the regular while the other 99.9% of writers and showrunners who are white get to skate right by with nobody asking them why their shows are as far removed from reality as possible when it comes representing their audience.


      I'll just leave this here.


      "There’s something to be said for giving shows a chance to find their ground. Many reviewers and fans have urged people to watch Agents of SHIELD, or Arrow, admitting the first seasons of each shows aren’t great, or should be skipped entirely. It’s kind of alarming that shows with white leads are allowed to have an entire first season of mediocrity (at best) but a show with a black lead actress, who is featured prominently in marketing, is doomed if even one episode underperforms."
      — http://www.blackenterprise.com/lifestyle/does-racism-impact-the-way-reviewers-rate-tv-shows/ (via ajeweltosparkle)

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    3. If there's one thing I've learned about white people and media in recent years, it's that they love them some mediocrity. In their world, the blandest are bombshells, the talentless are tantalizing, and every obvious failure somehow automatically warrants an eleventh and twelfth season. That's their world and those are their standards, so it's no wonder they've been so forgiving towards Arrow and Agents in their darkest hours.

      If black woman-led shows experience the highest expectations from black women, it's because we have high expectations - period. We don't give skinfolk an automatic pass to bore us week after week. On the Black Girls Club we (try to) regularly blog about black female characters on TV and I stand by all our criticisms. Lazy writing and characterization may pass in white world, but that is a philosophy we cannot cosign.

      Furthermore, in this latest age of "Black TV", I insist that we remain vigilant and cynical. I'm not digging the premise of Minority Report . That is just my opinion. I watched the movie once and was not impressed, and like I said, haven't read or heard a whole lot of chatter of how we just desperately needed to bring it back in some form. Yet in this latest age of Black TV, the stunning black actress landed this premise while a (rather mediocre) white actress was given Blindspot, a show with a far more interesting story - see we have to watch for stuff like that.

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    4. " If there's one thing I've learned about white people and media in recent years, it's that they love them mediocrity."

      Oh god..you're not lying! I was just looking out of my window at the dreary grey clouds and misty rain with a car or two passing by it. I was just thinking how depressing the weather is,but to some White folks, it would be exciting to them..lol!

      On a serious tip..White viewers tend to love movies/TV series that colorless, themeless and just plain it's just " there". One such example of this is The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Honestly, I didn't watch too much of it when Jon Stewart was on there, not because he wasn't funny..he was..but I just didn't as I didn't watch a lot of TV( and still don't to a degree),but when Trevor Noah made his debut on there, critics were harsh on him, ready to write him off yet, when I look at late night lameness( I intentionally said that) like Jimmy Kimmel and especially Craig Ferguson..Arrrgh! ..it just amazes how those shows( at least with Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson stepped down as a host) are still on the air? I tried..I struggled..and eventually gave up my quest in finding a laugh from those shows because the shows weren't..and still aren't funny.

      It's great that you like being thorough about Black female led shows because I wouldn't want to watch shows that are basic scraps off the table. Yes, it's great that more POC's and WOC are being shown more but you got producers out there who just sloppily throw shows together and then you got some who put piece by peace together to make sure it all fit well.With some of these Black female led shows, they may think it's diversity but them they'll deceive you by..as I've just mentioned.. putting them with secondary male leads/cast who don't compliment their talents, their chemistry or storyline or just think they can get their audience just excited enough to drop the ball on them( e.g. Scandal..Sleepy Hollow). That is my skeptism about some of the shows.

      Even sometimes with the viewing audience, they can also do a diservice to the shows. Everytime a Black female led show is on with a man..especially a non-Black male on it, they always focus on them making love and so on and I'm not against it,but there is much more to a good show then the characters just dating/making spontaneous love to each to each other. We need to know who they are, their purpose in life, why are they in the position they are in and what do they want to accomplish on the show. All of this made me think about Scandal. Initially, this was the case with Scandal,but then she forgot about us and just made it about her with the B-613 thing and if it wasn't about that, it was about Olivia and the Prez making out. To me, it became too routine and unrealistic. Don't get me wrong, Shonda should always want to grant the wishes of her fans,but she should also use her inner wisdom and balance Scandal out( for one, I wished that she would have kept Columbus Short on there. He was part of it), just having a little of eveything on there. Otherwise, Scandal will become a show of the past.

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    5. *it's that they love them some mediocrity

      But y'all get the gist.

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    6. I have to agree with you on Blindspot. I would have loved to see a black woman/woc in that role.

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    7. @ llama

      Especially if she were fresh-faced newcomer; it would add to the allure of "Jane Doe."

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  2. I have yet to see this show.. I guess because I've been blindsided by others ut I will check it out.

    Far as the preview that I seen about it and her side kick, I'm not feeling it..I don't know * reacting like Randy Jackson again when he was uncertain about an AI contestants future*..maybe I have to watch a couple of episodes to feel them. If Meagan was going to be paired with someone, it sould have been with a guy who is suited for her. For some reason, the guy looks juvenile.to me like he doesn't know what to do and Meagan have to lead him everywhere he goes like a kid. I don't know if it's because they way he look but for me, I'm not feeling the chemistry.God knows..nothing wrong with IR/AMBW on TV,but the WM/BW spontaneous love story is getting predicatable and tiresome. The pairing should be like( or was Sleepy Hollow). Tom Mison and Nicole Beharrie, were suited for each other and they weren't in a romance.

    You brought up putting a gay guy as were sidekick. Now that would be good and maybe I haven't watched a lot of shows on TV..but I don't think that was ever tried on TV before and there are gay people in law enforcement and even if she does, it would be nice to put a MOC as one...especially one that brings out the best in her and the cast.

    I think that Meagan's big problem isn't really her,but whose acting in pictures with. Lately, she's been in them with people who doesn't match her and/or bad storylines.

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  3. Since you are covering it, I'll check it out. But I feel as if when a black person is part of the pair, they are generally loath to show her as the object of desire. It's interesting. BW either have failed relationships, off-screen relationships, or are apparently invisible as women to their male co-leads.
    More I hope after I watch this episode...

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