Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is BET Actually Watchable for a Change?!?!?

I'm a notorious BET-Hater. Maybe it has something to do with my disdain of rap videos, which seems to be about the only programming the station has ever shown, outside of the outlandishly embarrassing Comic View. Maybe it has something to do with me being outside the MySpace demographic. Maybe I'm just old as hell. I haven't really watched the station with any regularity since the beautiful Madelyne Woods graced the stage of Video LP. Besides, with shows like Turn Up The Heat with G. Garvin, Singletary Says, and I Married a Baller, TV One is more my speed.

I've noticed (from afar, as in while scanning by on my Tivo guide) a shift in programming in recent months, however. Last season, Sunday morning's church-oriented talker Meet The Faith debuted, and it's actually pretty good. The now-defunct The Chop Up featured grown Teen Summitt alums doing a light hearted version of 20/20 style tele-journalism. The Vince Young reality show was surprisingly entertaining given the how boring Vince seems in real life. Even the dim-witted Keyshia Cole's reality show was ghetto, yet somehow enthralling.

There's still no real news shows, but I give The House That Bob Built credit for actually spending real money, and hiring, you know, actual staff, to create actual (gasp) original programming.

Seems like the Viacom merger is reaping more benefits, by way of more original programming this summer. I'm not incredibly intrigued by shows like Baldwin Hills (a black version of The OC), Take The Cake (a game show), or SOB (a DL Hughley hidden camera show), but I will admit that Hot Ghetto Mess seems like a guilty pleasure in the making.

Is it time for me to back off my criticism and become a mindless 106th and Park drone? As long as I'm grown and moderately intelligent, no. But I suppose the Viacom merger, despite practically eliminating any news content, has helped BET with an infusion of cash and professionalism.

Provided there's no SuperHead: The Series in the works, maybe I'll give BET another try.

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