Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by skuderjaymes, May 19, 2012.
I have on my writing queue to write out 'characters' for African people to write about.
A key part of that trailer is 2:27 where it reads:
"Based on Characters Created by Tyler Perry"
I have discovered a television channel that shows old Black television shows. I've finally watched the Cosby Show, Girlfriends, Wayans Brothers and so forth.
After this brief encounter, I've come to learn that no Black TV show has any good Black characters. The sole exception was possibly "Reed Between the Lines."
Nevertheless, the 'characters' are oftentimes like European characters--made-up stereotypes. For instance, in Girlfriends, the characters were Africans who were either sexy, silly, 'professional.' In Wayans Brothers, one Brother was 'dumb and ghetto.' In the Cosby Show, the Father was a Comedian, the boy was imaginative, the girl wanted to fit in, the mother--"normal." In "Everybody Hates Chris," the father and mother are poor, Chris has difficulties . . . blah blah. In Awkward Black Girl, the protagonist is "awkward," the Black love interest is "Cute," and boss' second-in-command was mean. In the Steve Harvey Show, one woman is "ghetto," Steve is "normal," Cedric is "bad at financing" and so on.
None of these characters were based on characteristics toward a better community: For instance, "Securing" or "Informative." More, unless a family is depicted, none of these characters exist within a family framework. For instance, no adult identified as a child of an adult. So in Girlfriend's, each woman was an individual, rather than a daughter; and while Cosby was a father to a family, he was not a son (or properly nephew) to anyone.
Sometimes, I think that the ancient deity stories relate to retelling stories of good characters. For instance, Asar and Aset is the story of loving parents of twins.
But regardless, I intend to write out characters that are based on communal values who organize according to traditional ways: for instance, the Uncle adopts a Fatherly role.
I wonder how I can make the characters popular and affecting of future media. But I also realize that this is the smartest thing to do in light of the destruction that naturally comes to our people.
We might critique Tyler Perry, but at the end of the day, he's writing out "Characters" in different situations. They may be "negative Characters" but there are not many "positive characters" in the American canon.
For example, the Simpsons has a stupid father; Family Guy, a retarded dad; King of the Hill, incoherent neighbors; Friends, a sexual man; The Office, a few insane people; Sex and the City; like Girlfriends; Golden Girls; sexual, stupid, "Irish (?)" and so on.
Tyler Perry's problems are in the characters available to him.
But he teaches something brilliant. Madea is now a household name.
Madea, for her part, is supposed to be--I presume--'strong' and 'Southern fiscal.'
But what's good to know is that if you put one good Character into Tyler's works, all of his work would be excellent and better than everything available. It's just that there's no good characters.
I want to find out how to make Characters popular. Our problem is one of no good characters. I can write up excellent Characters, but really our people need to know when to help on projects. Lol.
It's a white folk thang, at least in this country and possibly more places abound and if it does not jive with a lot of them (on some level that they can deal with) then it will fail as far as series and syndication. Although I did like the Cosbys showing that not all blacks are not quote/unquote "stupid" but we all know what the majority (whites) in their majority think whether direct or indirect control the media in this country, minus the obvious coddling.
Blacks are more than what is depicted in the movies, news, or other media out there.
Do you believe that Tyler Perry has any good characters in his movies? An honest question, that will definitely lead to further discussion, if you choose to answer. I don't want to assume things, this is why I ask.
Our people need to define 'good' ourselves. In the European tradition, some of the characters are good. In fact, most all of the characters are very religious, which can be seen as 'great.'
But in our current position, I want us to define good as 'fostering the creation to independent communities' or 'following traditional African patterns of social organization.'
Tyler Perry's characters live in two-parent households, they are pious, and while comical, they are family-oriented and happy. This is 'good' in some respect.
But in my view, there are no educational characters for instance. As in, suppose during "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," one character explained the history of Europeans on African people in an unforgiving tone. That would be a wonderful snippet in the film. Instead, we had a criminal Black man (who repented--which is good) and a cute Black man (who was poor--which is alright.)
Take for instance the protagonist of "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," her character was 'abused' and thus her whole angle was 'avoiding future abuses.' Hence her wrestling with the Christian way of forgiveness. This is relatable and in some sense 'good.' But in the same situation, we could have had that 'educational' character--or 'security' character. The educational character could have exercised her intellect to lambast the treatment her husband gave her. In a sense, they touched on it, since he married a White woman, but more from her character's angle--of abuse--than for an informative angle. While I haven't sat down and written out characters yet, I can imagine that a 'security character' would take her situation differently. Perhaps at Madea's house, pointing out security flaws or emphasizing concern for the health of her residents. It would be a non-essential quirk, sure, but it'd represent to the African viewer a little something else to emulate.
In my view, visual media prop up people to emulate or images to anti-emulate. Tyler Perry (like most every other show) puts up 'good' characters for today, but not for tomorrow. My goal would be to create characters for tomorrow.
i was reading somewhere that in France the people there don't want any black characters in his movie...i'll have to come back once i find it...
Tyler said enough you white people I need your money too. LOOK madea got white people living with her now.
Tyler is like the democratic party, I know you black are going to support me, now it's that white money I need to concentrate on.
I for one ain't mad at him. I don't agree with his approach at times, but like james from philly said don't hate the playa hate the game.
And i'm not hatin the playa.
These Madea movies are getting played out.
But there's a paying audience for it I suppose. #shrug
No less than media saavy Donald Bogle wrote a book on the subject of why even black sitcoms reflect white misconceptions of our stories etc., i. e., and factoring in how many TV shows have come and went since it was originally published, one guess is not much has changed since PRIME TIME BLUES came out...
Then, too, being marketed to a mostly white mainstream audience, such shows were/are both meant to appeace (pacify) us and/or show whites how to cope with us being in their midst...
But I didn't and don't consider most of today's show even worth watching...
And one equally media saavy black sister calls all of it 'weapons of mass DISTRACTION'...
Better to remake this nation over in pursuit of our (not their) best interests...
It's the older generations who take this crap too seriously...
Young folk probably giggle when ours fill the theaters....
Peep Perry as the overglorified hustler he is...
Don't get played cheap and close...
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