"Lately, I've been tryna fight whatever's pulling us under" - Danity Kane, Ride For You
First, HBO continues it's love affair with Walter Mosley by optioning Little Scarlett and casting Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def as Easy Rawlins and Raymond "Mouse" Alexander. Now, I don't think anyone can play Mouse better than Don Cheadle did in the Feature Film but Mos is an interesting choice. I don't think we've seen him play sociopathic before and Mouse is a seriously deadly kinda cat.
Then there's the Wire, Season 4. I cannot wait -- CAN NOT WAIT - for the new season. I think I'm going to commit to doing episode recaps this season. I haven't found any online that I've particularly liked so I figure I'll do it myself. I'm not sure if I'll do it in short stream-of-consciousness style or if I'll follow the TWOP model and get into every nook and cranny of every episode. I may not have the patience for that but The Wire probably deserves that treatment. I just watched the Stringer Bell episode again this past weekend and wanted to write all about it all over again. It's literature as television (or is it television as literature?) and is the best thing going and maybe the best fictional representation of the diversity of black folks ever.
The best real life presentation, though, is probably Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in IV Parts [note: this is currently an advertiser on the site.]. A more powerful four and a half hours of television there has never been. It is a mirror reflecting back at us, and I'm talking about us as Americans and as humans, and shows us our greatness and our faults. It is stylistically a Spike Lee Joint: the jazz horns, the off-center profile shots, the camera talking, the long dolly (or dolly like) views of the scene. If you haven't cried, if you aren't angry, if you haven't been inspired, if you aren't as royally frustrated as those proud people of Louisiana after watching, I've got nothing for you. Watch it. Everybody. Watch it. Don't fast forward through the long shots of the devastation. Don't skip ahead when it gets uncomfortable. Experience it all. The people of New Orleans and the Gulf, both living and dead, deserve at least that.
HBO is home to Def Comedy and Def Poetry. To serious sports talk with Bryant Gumbel. It is the place where black intellectuals, cultural weathervanes and politicians go to share their opinions with Bill Maher. It's been home to the Chris Rock show and Black comedy specials for years.
It is Black Television.
Oh, and how could I forget about Deadwood. The best show on TV. What, you didn't know that was a Black show? You tell me about another show with a character named The Nigger General1.
I rest my case.
1Although it is interesting to note that the NG is maybe the only recurring character not given some shine on the website. Guess it's one thing to say it. Quite another to type it out for all to see.