Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Hump Day!

How many of you watch The Real Housewives series? Particularly Atlanta? The other night was my first time watching an episode from start to finish. The first time I caught a glimpse of this show was during the famous "Who gon' check me boo?" episode. I think that was last season. I haven't watched since, so I figured I'd give it another shot by watching the season premiere.

I see why men and women watch this and every other Real Housewives show....and reality tv in general. Train Wreck.

Now, don't get me wrong, "who gon' check me boo?" was funny. At the end of the day, it's entertainment, and anyone who knows "reality" tv knows that producers tell these folks to dial it up for the cameras. It's not "reality" at all.

But in watching the show the other night, all I could think was, "These women have money, but can't buy class." Some would call them ghetto. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but when dealing with stereotypes that Black women are subject to on a daily basis - it makes you go "hmmm."

Black women are often thought of as loud, ignorant, opinionated gold diggers - and shows like RHOA and Basketball Wives does little to dispel that myth. I understand that these women don't have a gun pointed at their heads telling them to behave this way, but their portrayal is less than me. We all know women like NeNe who "keep it real" or self proclaimed "fabulous" woman like know...the "Goddess"...but honestly, I don't have a group of friends like this of ANY race. Not that these women are really "friends"...but you get my drift.

To be fair, the women in the other Housewives franchises aren't depicted as debutantes who drink tea every afternoon either. If you get a group of women who feign friendship together of any race, something is bound to jump off at some point. But is that to suggest that women, no matter which race, can't get along for any length of time? Do "women" automatically mean "drama?"

If you watch this show, or any show like it, do you think it portrays women in a negative light - or Black women in particular? Or do you simply see it as entertainment and believe that we shouldn't lend any weight to how only a "few" (Black) women are portrayed on television?

Let's hear it!



Serena W. said...


Yolanda said...

First beeeches!

The Housewives franchise depicts women as train wrecks pretty it's not just Black women.

And yes, I watch them ALL. I find it hilarious that people really live that way...especially since most of them have turned out to be broke arses.

Yolanda said...


But I was first WITH a comment. LOL

Serena W. said...

Coming from a woman that now has a tv and watches these shows from time to time I do wonder why?

I ask "why" because all of that drama isn't necessary, why do women of color have to be portrayed as dramatic. But as we all know at the end of the day, drama sells!

This is why I love watching reality shows like "Runs House" or shows of that caliber because although its reality tv its "real."

No its not a show full of women but you get the point.

Whatever happened to the shows like "Living Single" now if that could be a reality show that was comedic, wholesome and not all the drama I'd watch it!

Oh and for those wondering why I just wrote "first" and not b****** is because anyone that knows me knows that I very rarely curse when writing and in general!

That's my 2 cents!

SarKism said...

hmmm...dont watch them. I've watched a few episodes and never made it to the end.

Tired of it! This crap and the music videos so .....I just dont watch them.

Pretty Ricky What Dey Call'em said...

Hard for me to watch any of these shows especially when they depict black people. We have so few shows on the air.. that the ones that make it on the air have to be somewhat crazy!!!!! Now I think a good portion of the community knows it's just entertainment.... but some people actually do.. look at this to either confirm astereotype or start formulating opionions about a certain group of people based on these shows.

Stef said...

I would be surprised to find out that Brooke watches RHOA of Atlanta or any of them because I find that women who are nothing like these women have nothing to relate to. I don't see Brooke as loud, ghetto, or ignorant, so I'm surprised this blog didn't come sooner.

I don't think Yolanda is like that either, but train wreck tv is addictive. I've watched it, but I don't on a regular basis because NeNe is just loud and rude for no reason. I watched half of the season premiere and turned the channel. I've never watched the other Housewives to compare, but something tells me they're not portrayed as ghetto fools, but probably more like gold diggers.

And Basketball Wives? forget it. These women aren't even "wives"! All these women do is throw drinks in each other's faces and talk ish about other women behind their backs while smiling in their faces. It makes ALL women look bad, but especially black women.

Brooke said...


I watched Basketball Wives, and the entire time I watched, I'd wonder why I was watching. I guess it was to get a glimpse into "their world" but it was ridiculous. I ask myself "why" just like Serena does.

I watch alot of things on tv simply because I HAVE to with the job that I have. These shows rate well because people love drama - and like Serena sells. That goes for ALL reality shows - Jersey Shore being the most populat of those it's not just how "we" are portrayed...but ALL people on these shows are normally shown in a less than positive light. It's mind boggling, but goes to show how the masses flock to this stuff.

@Pretty Ricky,

I agree. I recently had this discussion with my dept. after screening a gang show we have coming up. It's not that gangs don't exist with Black and Latino members. It's not that there aren't loud, obnoxious Black women in the "real" world. It's that there's no balance on tv. If we had a Cosby Show for every Flavor Flav, then I'd be fine with it. But when MOST of the shows on tv with majority "minority" casts depict us in a stereotypical way, it makes my tv watching very limited.

Yolanda said...

These shows only put out what you give them. I love when people blame "editing" for their bad behavior. Fortunately though, the tide is shifting away from reality TV and more scripted shows are making their way back on the air. Which, is a great thing...especially to have Blair Underwood as the President on one show and Jimmy Smits as a former Supreme Court Justice on another. So there are better shows with better images of people of color out there to watch. There are even "better" reality shows, like this House of Glam show that aired last night, showing a styling business run by a young black woman and her mostly black staff. So there are more positive images out there. Trash TV is addictive... and it doesn't necessarily reflect you as a person. It's escapism for a lot of people. Ultimately, the best thing is to turn the channel if you hate it (as I did for that fool Ray J... ugh!).

Jay said...

I can't watch shows like RHOA of Atlanta, or any of those shows. First of all, they're mostly female skewing anyway, so I just can't relate. But I hate to see Black women cuttin' a fool on tv. I hate to see ANY Black people looking foolish on tv period. I'm with Pretty Ricky (where you been man?) - I just can't do it.

I understand the entertainment value, but at some point enough is enough already. Women shouldn't want to be like this on tv, and if you refuse to coon for tv, they cut you off and replace you with some other media whore looking for their 15 minutes. No one has any integrity anymore.

Speaking of Jersey Shore, I found it funny that Italian American groups were up in arms over this, but we as Black folk rarely speak out about how we're portrayed on tv. To those all upset over Jersey Shore, I say welcome to OUR world.

Oh, and Rick Sanchez was right.

That is all.

Yolanda said...

And another thing... complaining about images only gets us so far. Until WE OWN our TV programming vehicles, none of this will change. I find TV One refreshing in that they are running more documentary-style shows and I hope as their viewership and funding pick up, that we'll see more of that.

Brooke said...

TV One is awesome!

And Yolanda is right, until we control programming, or develop projects ourselves, this will continue. And there are more positive shows out there, we just need to find and support them.

I was telling someone the other day that I love Greys Anatomy. She said, "you like that white show?" When I informed her that it was created, produced and written by a Black woman, she was floored. We need to step out of our "box" and realize that we can create shows that aren't just "black" - whatever that means nowadays. We can create intelligent shows that win Emmy's and that have Black characters as doctors, chiefs of staff, and Presidents of the United States - and White folks, as well as Black folks will watch - and be just as entertained.

Annamaria said...

1. Do you know how many educational cartoons & educational tv shows are written and/or produced by people of color? You'd be surprised to know.

2. We can get together & produce a wonderful reality tv show about a wholesome educated family or group of friends that are black/hispanic or whatever. BUT as long as you have people willing to act a fool on tv (ie: basketball wives, jersey shore, RHOA,NY,NJ,CA) then you will be fighting a losing battle.

3. Serena I don't care if you don't curse.. If you don't throw the bitch in there it don't count! LMAO..... First place may have to go to Yolanda... LOL

Yolanda said...

Shonda Rhimes is the shizz! She also wrote "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge."

And I appreciate that Grey's has a mix of characters. The world isn't all-black all the time.

Brooke said...

They have a very diverse group of characters, which makes it so interesting. Even if Bailey (and the rest of them) overact...jus a lil bit :-) LOL!

The Cable Guy said...

I'm late, but these shows are a mess. They're funny, but I don't think they're a good look for black women in general. I agree with Yolanda that it's escapism, and that women like her and Brooke can separate themselves from that nonsense. But to white people who already believe we're loud and ignorant, this show and shows like them do not help with their view of us...and then we wonder why they think this way of us.

I don't tend to watch shows like this, but if I do catch them, they can be entertaining depending on what's going on. Seeing women fight all the time is not my thing - maybe that's a "girl" thing, but that's when I turn the channel.

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