Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Problem With Boycotting Love And Hip Hop Atlanta And Other Negro Reality TV Show.

[Editor's Note: Yes, this is a very long-winded diatribe about a reality show. If this ain't your cup of oolong, spare us the comments and just hit the archives, please. Carrying on...]

Since I run a reasonably successful blog[1] on which my personal email address is prominently featured, I get forwarded a bunch of crap in my inbox. And not an hour goes by without me getting an e-petition to boycott some Negro Reality TV show. Enough is enough.

Not gonna lie here, I love me some Negro Reality TV. I watch the Housewives, I watched Basketball Wives before it got really lame, my wife has been making me attempting to get me into Hollywood Exes, and oh yeah, we watch the newest Negro Reality phenomenon, Love And Hip Hop Atlanta. The shows in a strange way have become an integral part of pretty much any family function we have at our house. We store a bunch of them on the DVR, and when my mom, aunt, brothers, okay, most my side of the family comes over, we re-watch the shows together and talk smack. Could we as a family be sitting around doing estate planning and retracing our roots back to the Motherland instead? Sure. But we like this more. Sue us.

I can't really explain why I like these shows, other than the fact that they make me feel slightly better about my lot in life on days when I need such a thing. I also realize that an educated, professional black man is supposed to be doing more productive sh*t with his time like reading books or home improvement projects. Whatever. People like what they like, and when they like something, they make up reasons for liking it that seldom make sense to those who don't like it.

If that last line confused you, re-read it. Slowly. Word. By. Word.

Love And Hip Hop Atlanta (we'll just call it LAHHATL) is a particularly ratchet show. The show's an assortment of people you'd prolly want to avoid in real life. On TV, they're practically impossible to turn away from. It's like the TV equivalent of a train wreck.

Child-sized "ex-Bad Boy producer" Stevie J talks like a pimp who might just have a yet-to-be diagnosed case of Bell's Palsy.[2] If he is a pimp, he has the most deplorable stable of talent. His baby mama Mimi is a walking, talking case study in Daddy issues and insecurity. The man treats her with zero respect, yet she stays with him, obviously because she has no means of paying her own rent. Which seems to be a pattern because nobody on this show has an actual job that requires a W-2. Stevie's other "girl", a strange, alien looking chick named Joseline might not even technically be a girl. The results are inconclusive. The fake pregnancy test she took that revealed she was pregnant with Stevie J's baby was not inconclusive. And yes, there was an equally faked abortion. It's that kinda classy party, folks. Do wear white.

Veteran rapper Rasheeda is on the wrong side of 30 years old, and intermittently talks like a grandmother, which, (irony alert!) she actually is. Her husband is the most effeminate, undeniably straight man ever seen on TV, as well as her manager, which naturally means they're perpetually broke. They're the closest thing to an actual functional couple on a show that has "Love" in its title. Nice. The other characters consist of a bunch of women who look alike and are too boring for me to bother knowing their names. There's some Keyshia Cole wannabe who has a well documented anger problem that's effecting her career arc. Some other chick who also wants Stevie J to produce her records, conveniently ignoring the fact that Stevie hasn't made a hit since the Clinton administration. Some other-other chick with a hairdo way too short for her head size who dispenses relationship advice, but (shocker!) has no man of her own.

And then there's Lil' Scrappy and his "ladies".

Look, I actually like Lil' Scrappy. I still listen to "Beatin' Down The Block" at least twice a month. I, too, wanna be a gangsta foreveerrrrrr. But sadly Lil' Scrappy, who is now pushing 31, but acts the inverse, has no clue that the cRap game has passed him by. It's sad watching a grown man who should prolly just go enroll at Everest College and call it a day, still trying to "relaunch his career". Scrappy's baby mama Ericka is a nice girl who prolly did go to Everest College, but has no clue that when a man announces he's "moving out to get some space", it doesn't mean he's preparing to ask for your hand in marriage. Nope, it means he wants to go bang some other h*es, including one chick from Flavor Of Love who looks like she's been eating a looooot of Church's since her last Negro Reality TV series. And then there's Scrappy's Trill OG mother Mama Dee who yells at Ericka that she "left my son for dead!!!" when Ericka apparently didn't attend to Scrappy during a bout with asthma. Yes, thugs with inhalers. Get like me.

If this all sounds too convoluted or just downright tacky for your bourgeois sensitives, join the crowd. But hey, I love the show, and watch it religiously. Does that somehow make me less intelligent? Less enlightened? Should I really be somewhere reading a book or finishing a home improvement project? Prolly so. Whatever.

I guess I don't get too tripped up by these shows because I consider them nothing more than entertainment.[3] Period. They're little more than loosely scripted sitcoms. You could even call it a soap opera and I personally wouldn't be too offended. It is what it is. And what it isn't is "making black people look bad". That's some bullsh*t and it's a seriously lame cop out.

You wanna know what really makes black people look bad? Black people.

Open a newspaper. Turn on Fox News the 6 o'clock news. Turn on your local Hot/Power/Kiss radio station. Take a field trip (back) to the hood'. Hell, just take a look around at your next family reunuion. We know drama, eff' a TNT. We practically invented it. These shows are but another pickle on the sh*t sandwich that is the current state of Black America, hell, for that matter, America period. If you wanna see some truly ignant behavior, just flip over to CMT. They also know drama. And yeah, eff' a TNT.[4]

So no, I can not, I shall not, and I will not sign your simp-assed petition to get a Negro Reality TV show off the air. The problem ain't Joseline and Stevie J. The problem is us. Taking your frustration out on a TV show isn't gonna fix anything. In fact, I'mma have to "put them paws on"[5] the next person who forwards me that lame sh*t. Stop it.

If you don't like the shows, there's a very simple fix. It's called a power button. Use it.

Don't hate, DVR-ate. Or use the power button. Just quit forwarding me that sh*t, already. Bamas.

Question: Do you watch Negro Reality TV shows?!? Are these shows the cause of the moral decay of the black community, or is it just freakin' entertainment?!?

[1] #humblebrag

[2] It's those weird facial expressions. He should seriously have that checked out.

[3] If you're worried about the effect of these shows on your kids, here's a little tip: Watch the show with your kids and point out everything wrong while you watch it. Together. It's called parenting. Or you could go read a book/finish a home improvement project together. Whatever.

[4] Yes, I know they changed the slogan and it's just "Drama" now.

[5] What an utterly random way of announcing that you're gonna jump someone in an unlit parking lot. And subsequently get your a$$ kicked. Next time, don't "put dem paws" on him. Square up.

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