Bougie TV Watch

What if #Scandal was real and Olivia Pope was your best friend?

Liv, let me chit and chat witchu for a second, girl...
"What if Scandal was real and Olivia Pope was your best friend? What would you do?"

This was a question posed to me via email by an angry reader who presumed that me loving the show was the equivalent of me cosigning the foolery there within. The reader thought I was an advocate of the blatant shenaniganism that goes on Thursday at 9pm central on ABC (if we're lucky). I have to tell you that I was GIDDY to get this question. Like hop out of my chair, moonwalk sideways, ask Annie if she's okay, hit a prep two times and end with my middle aged version of a twerk happy. (And that's damn happy ya'll)

Why was I so happy? Because I get to reiterate for the eleventieth zillion time - this ish is FICTION!! I love it because of its purely escapist, ratchet-ass, over-the-top-dramatical goodness. Though there are moments that ring true like a zinger to my heart when they hit on a single, successful sister girl struggle; for the most part I can eat my popcorn and sip my wine shaking my head with a "whew! glad it's not me" gleefulness.

But to directly answer the question, if Scandal was real and Olivia Pope was my girl, here's what I'd do:

1) Move to Guyana, the place of my father's birth. President Fitz is glorious to look at and delivers that one word, "Hi." in the best thigh-quivering way ever but Ghostie has daddy issues, invisible children, a shrew of a wife and a closeness to Scotch bottles that makes me nervous for the sake of our great nation.

2) Take Liv on vacay. Girlie needs a no-strings "Stella groove" sun and rum-soaked week to the Caribbean in the worst damn way. She is way overdue for a whole lotta woo-sah. And I'd invite her mama along because I want to see wherefore Livvie comes from. 

3) Drag Harrison into the closest electrical closet and have my wicked way with him before telling him that no matter how damn fine he is or fast he talks? Gingham shirts and striped ties together are doing too much. 

4) Remind Liv that love is not supposed to be this damn hard. And to please stop looking for it in all the wrong places.

5) Give Abby a hug, hire Huck and Quinn to handle the rest of those pesky Al-Qaida

6) Setup Mellie and Edison on a date. That would be an intriguing power couple.

7) Recruit Cyrus and David to full-time gladiator status. 

8) Put Hollis in jail (for so many reasons). 

9) Dig Verna up, slap her around and then re-bury her without the pomp and circumstance.

10) Disappear Jake. I don't what his reasons are - luring someone you've been spying on to your bed is uber-creepy. Uber. 

And last but not least - Initiate an Olivia Pope and Associates Bible Study with room for friends and fam... cuz they all need Jesus.

Anything else? If Olivia was your homegirl - what would you do?

What I love and hate about #Scandal

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I am here for Scandal - the fast paced, brilliantly penned brain child of Shonda Rhimes starring Kerry Washington. Shonda had me at "Hello" or in the case of this show, "Hi."

There are things that I love and hate about the show. I have no in between feelings, it's all in one way or the other. The premise of the show is that Olivia Pope is a DC Beltway fixer with connections everywhere. She and her "Gladiators in Suits" have the sticky job of extricating the rich and powerful from scandalous situations and making everything all pretty again. Unfortunately, the lives of the gladiators are just as messy (if not more so) as those they serve.

Huck, a former (current?) super-sleuth ninja for the government is lacking in social skills, heavy on heart and has the ability to disappear folks without leaving the minutest DNA trace. Abby is the neurotic uber-snarky but ultra smart chick who has horrendous (I mean God Awful) taste in men. Not to be outdone in the bad taste in men category is Quinn whose former boyfriend was blown up by the Illuminati, her last hookup was killed by the Vice-President's Chief of Staff. She is at times mousy at other times (usually at the worst time) brash. Harrison, played by the easy-on-the-eyes Columbus Short has some sort of criminal shenaniganism in his past and no love life to speak of (please fix this); he acts as Olivia's second in command.

Olivia is a complex Superwoman with a banging wardrobe, hair laid to the heavens and a quivering lower lip. She tries to do the right thing until she doesn't and when she makes a bad decision she goes ALL in. And don't get me started on the characters in the West Wing. 

Things I love:
  • I LOVE that a female African-American heroine is smart, bold, witty and in charge. 
  • I LOVE the winding plots that are messy, scary, gripping, thought-provoking and mind-boggling all at the same time.
  • I LOVE the gorgeous wardrobes, awesome supporting cast, seamless music production and authentic sets. 
  • I LOVE the diversity. We have gays, folks of color, conservatives, liberals and everything in between represented.
  • I LOVE the writing. The dialogue is snappy and fast-paced. There is no predictability. Just when you think you know? You don't know.

Things I hate:
  • I HATE that Olivia (as with so many successful sisters) has everything but a life. No family, no husband, no kids, no hobbies. She has work and...
  • I HATE that the man she loves is married. And the President. But mostly that he's married. Great as their chemistry is (and it is smoking) I hate that the very essence of their relationship is morally bankrupt. I overlook it because this is fiction but I still hate it.
  • I HATE that Columbus Short doesn't have more screen time.
  • I HATE that some of these situations (that GitmoBay scene in the Pentagon basement?) may be real.
  • I HATE that Shonda does the utmost with our emotions. It's a Shonda-ism. Her story lines do not ease you into the drama, she dumps you in the deep end head first and then clubs you about the nose and mouth until you are drowning in the pathos/sympathy/mushiness of the moment.

What I have noticed is that people get uber-polarized when watching the show. They are either #TeamFitz or #TeamEdison and nothing will sway them from one side to the other. Ya'll realize this is fiction, right? I've also noticed that folks get really morally superior while watching this show. I get it. I do. A sister finally gets a starring role on TV so why for the love of purple glitter does she have to be a high profile side chick to the most powerful white man in the world? I get that. I do. But how are people more angry at a fictional character than you are over the ratchetness of those "reality" chicks?

People often miss the broader point of Shonda's fiction. Scandal is primarily here to entertain, it's also here to spark conversation and discourse and lastly, it's in many ways a "what not to do". Be that as it may, it's a show that I enjoy. Even with the love and the hate.

Who watches Scandal? Do you love it, hate it? Why or why not? Do share...

Fall TV Watch - What's caught your eye?

I will admit to not paying a ton of attention to new shows this fall. I tried to pick up a few shows in the past few months (Boss - good but too dark for me) and I started watching Breaking Bad from Season One on Amazon Prime. 

I didn't stay faithfully glued to Boardwalk Empire though I watched the premiere and I was also happy to see the return of Treme. House of Lies was a brilliantly satirical look at the life of consultants led by the always impressive Don Cheadle. I had mixed emotions about The Closer series wrap-up and I couldn't get into Major Crimes, the spinoff. As usual, I enjoyed every episode of Leverage and can't wait for it to come back in late fall.

But what I'm really looking forward to? Scandal tonight. After that first season, what in the world will Olivia Pope do next? Someone pointed out to be that Scandal is messier than any of the hot mess reality TV shows I routinely ignore. Yes. I know. But it's FICTION. And well written at that.

Grey's Anatomy kicks off season gazillion tonight and I just don't know. Seems like Shondra Rhimes has milked that puppy dry and is going straight for a visceral punch in the gut every episode. Until the chief or Bailey get a love interest they are allowed to keep, I'm side-eyeing the show with arms crossed.

Also looking forward to the return of The Good Wife. The plot appears to have come full circle so you just know the writers will shake that up. I'll also check out this new drama with Andre Braugher, I've never seen him be less than excellent (in in that poor slapped together Ray Romano show I can't remember the name of).

I have definitely turned a corner on Criminal Minds. It has gone from fascinating me to scaring the shiggity out of me. I caught a little bit of Mindy Kaling's new show which seemed amusing. I also caught about ten minutes of Guys with Kids with Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe - umm, not so much.

So BnB'ers - what's on your Must See TV list this fall? Anything new we need to know about? Do share...

It's that time again... Fall TV premiere week

I can't do it this year, ya'll. I can't. Year after year, I get all excited about new shows and the possibility of more than two black fleeting faces in support roles. The only show I will absolutely commit to this year is The Good Wife. Okay, I'll probably watch Boardwalk Empire too. As for the new shows? I haven't been paying too much attention.

I notice there is a fresh crop of "strong white female" cop shows a la The Closer. I hate when Hollywood takes one good idea and runs it into the ground. Nor will I be watching Broke Chicks, Whitney or New Girl. I'm not totally against White Chick Angst Disguised As Comedy shows but someone would have to sell me on them first.

Here are two new offerings from ABC:

There's a new Charlie's Angels:

Kerry Washington comes to TV in a Shonda Rhimes' (Grey's) vehicle, Scandal:

Thoughts? What are we watching this season and why? What looks good?

Must See TV tonight: Who the (Bleep) did I marry? on ID

I've developed a minor (major) addiction to ID television. The kind folks over at Investigation Discovery let me sneak peek the Season 2 premiere of Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? My first thought after watching it with my mouth open the entire time was "there by for the grace of God go I." Here's the description:
Tammi McCreary had never been lucky in love. So when she met handsome, romantic Eric Perteet at an Atlanta nightclub, she thought that this time, fate was on her side. Is there something wrong with her "Mr. Right"?

Yes, there's something very wrong with her Mr. Right. Watch the show tonight at 9:00pm central/10:00pm eastern and then come back through and discuss. What could Tammi have done to avoid this drama? Anything?

Summer TV - What are you watching?

Facts are facts, cable is killing the original programming game right now. I have no idea what is on the "Big Four" networks right now. But I do know that TNT, USA, AMC, HBO, Lifetime, etc are producing and putting out some pretty decent product.

I watch The Closer, Leverage, and HawthoRNe on TNT. I'm hoping to get through an entire season of HawthoRNe without getting irritated and quitting. Has anybody watched Falling Skies? I can't with the aliens but it seems to be getting good reviews? I tried watching a few moments of Franklin & Bash - that was good & terrible.

Drop Dead Diva has maybe one more week before I give up on it. How long must one woman pine over a man who has dated everybody but her? I don't know but a season and a half is enough. I watched one and a half episodes of The Protector starring the chick from Profiler and Tisha Campbell. Tisha needs a raise. She totally saves the show. 

I enjoyed the past season of Treme and I'm interested to see what Entourage will do for the last season. I never got into True Blood but you guys can let me know if it's holding your attention this year? Did anybody watch Game of Thrones? I heard buzz about it but never caught an episode.

Breaking Bad on AMC is another I hear good things about but I haven't had the time to watch. SyFy is premiering a show called Alphas that is getting a lot of buzz but really, there are only so many hours in the day. Rescue Me is coming back for a final season on FX, could this be the season they all get it together?

I did catch Necessary Roughness on USA. I'm on the fence about that one. First of all, I seriously hope Terrell Owens is getting royalties for the complete rip of his life/personality/issues that Mehcad Brooks is using as the the trouble wide receiver Terrance "TK" King. I think they need to flesh out those main characters a bit more before I'm sold on that one. They also debuted a show called Suits that has some pretty good writing plus the law firm has a sister as the managing partner - win.

I'm also dying to see The Curious Case of Curt Flood. Ever wonder who A-Rod has to thank for his $100MM contract? It's Curt Flood, the baseball player who sued Major League Baseball all the way to the Supreme Court. Even though he lost the case, his actions brought about player solidarity and free agency. Take a quick look:

Who has watched (will watch) what? What looks good? What looks bad? Rep your show. All suggestions entertained. Thoughts, comments, insights?

The problem with #OWN - The Oprah Winfrey Network

I like Oprah. I do. I'm not a squealing, OMG-ing, everything-she-recommends-I-must-try kind of fan but I respect her hustle, her reach and her general philosophies of reach one, teach one and first do no harm. There was a murky area there where I thought her show was a little too Oprah-centric. I also sent many a side-eye towards a lot of her book club selections (No love for a light-hearted romance?). There were definitely a few cringe-worthy moments from this final season (that Iyanla interview). But overall, Oprah is all right by me.

BougieMom retired in the late nineties and barring any appointments, she watched Oprah every single weekday up until the finale. I can't even tell you how many conversations she started with "Guess what happened on Oprah today?"

That's why I was excited to see what the Winfrey team could do with an entire channel. I watched quite a bit of OWN the first weekend and then popped in and out trying to find shows to love. It was hard to do. There were a lot of random reality shows, some psych-talk shows, a lot of Gayle. No shade to Gayle, she's just not Oprah.

Here's the problem: Not enough Oprah, too many random people I just don't care about. The Judds? Shania Twain? Chaz Bono? Sarah Ferguson? Tatum O'Neal? C'mon... seriously? I'm already not a fan of reality TV but reality TV about celebrities I never cared about?

The two best shows are Master Class and Behind the Scenes. By the way, did they ever show the Master Class on Sidney Poitier? He was in the original promo and then we never saw it. At any rate, Master Class was the smart idea of letting a personality tell their own story the way they wanted to tell it. Very well done. Maya Angelou's literally made me tear up. Behind the Scenes gives the viewer the back story for the goings-on at the Oprah Winfrey Show. But we're nearing the finale.

So the two best shows are done. Replacing them? A whole lotta random. A makeover show. A show about infidelity (Unfaithful - it's actually kind of interesting), talk show, documentary, talk show. 

The other problem I have with OWN - where are the stories for sistah girls? Playing The Color Purple every weekend doesn't count. 

Has anyone been watching OWN? What do you love? What would you change? Do share - who knows maybe someone will pay attention. BougieTales on OWN?

It's TV week on BnB

Summer TV season is well underway. Treme has already come and gone. USA has debuted a new slate of shows. This week a few more cable blockbusters are coming back. Reportedly, this is the last season for two perennial favorites, The Closer and Entourage. I thought it was time to take a look at what's keeping us glued to those remotes. 

Swing by and share your thoughts, won't you?

Let's support #InjusticeFiles on @DiscoveryID tonight

I think I've been fairly obvious with my love of good in-depth true crime documentaries. I was a huge fan of the old CourtTV before it became "Tru" :-/. So when I stumbled across the Investigation Discovery Channel, I admit to feeling like I found a new home. A few of my favorite shows are Stalked, Who the Bleep Did I Marry and I (Almost) Got Away With It. Tonight, a new show about Civil Rights era FBI cold cases launches hosted by acclaimed black documentary maker Keith Beauchamp. Here's a sneak peak at tonight's episode.

THE INJUSTICE FILES on Investigation Discovery
Premieres Tonight, Feb 18 at 9pm E/P

Premiere episode: The Secrets of Natchez
The murder of Wharlest Jackson launched one of the biggest FBI civil rights investigations. Forty-three later the case remains unsolved. With help from filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, the FBI close in by confronting a man who may have the answers.

Keith Beauchamp will be chatting on Facebook following the premiere, swing through and let him know what you think. Who is going to watch and see if justice is finally done after all these years? Support Black History as it unfolds...