Black Girls' Night Out: Keating & Pratt

Okay, so it's been three episodes and I feel like I finally have something to recap.  To be honest, I feel like Season of HTGAWM has been one long episode diced into shorter episodes and chocked full of filler.  And this, people, is precisely what's wrong with the current trend of serialization: writers are so heavily invested in the overarching story that they forget how to write the day to day. So they throw a bunch of things at the audience that no one really cares about.

No one cares about Bonnie/Frank.  I mean, where the hell did that even come from?  No one cares about Laurel/Frank.  No one cares about Laurel/Wes which...ewwww and also, huh????  When did they supposedly fall so hard for each other that Wes felt compelled to dump a perfectly good sista?  I mean, this was a blemish-free sista - why is this a favorite trope on television and why the hell is it happening in Shondaland?

And now we're supposed to believe that Wes and Laurel supposedly can't keep their hands off each other?  Yeah, I get that they bonded a while back and had a few investigative adventures of their own, but the writers missed their moment back in Season 2, so now they fit better as friends.  Their "passionate" sex scenes are a snorefest.  There's no sizzle.  What momentum they built up before has since fizzled out.

And why is Laurel always attached to some man?  When Frank disappeared and Wes was preoccupied with his girlfriend, Laurel had room to grow as a single woman and gain some new dimensions.  Instead, the writers turned right around and not only stitched her to another man but also made her pregnant?

Black Girls' Night Out: Bonnie Bennett

I know, I know...why bother?

Season 8 marks the final season of The Vampire Diaries so I figured I'd take a stab and see where it goes.  The story thus far has been mostly a snorefest.  When Kat Graham announced she was planning to leave the show after Season 8, showrunner Julie Plec replied that they didn't even know what they were going to do for Season 8.  Well, we're now three episodes into Season 8 and it feels like the writers still don't know what they're planning to do. 

Apparently, the vampires Damon Salvatore and Lorenzo a.k.a. "Enzo" are being controlled by the most annoying, boring villain since the Original Vampires.  Her name's Sybil, she's a siren, and I was over her two episodes ago.  Damon being the siren's slave draws his brother Stefan back into the is-Damon-even-worth-saving dance which got tired YEARS ago.

So here's where Bonnie stands within this shitshow: she still hasn't recovered her magic.  When factor in the three-year jump from last year, it means she's going on four years now with no magic.

Bonnie's feeling deeply alone; she's still living in that shit cabin from last season, doesn't appear to have a job, nor any family left to give a shit about her, and her "friends" have their own lives.  Caroline and Stefan are now engaged nd blissfully living together (in the fabulous Salvatore house), and Rick is off being a dad and the research guy.  Meanwhile, that which the Plec giveth, she's happy to taketh away: as a slave and hostage of the siren, Enzo has to put his relationship with Bonnie on hold.  *shrug* We saw that coming, of course, because there was no way in hell TVD was ever going to give Bonnie a full season of romantic, drama-free bliss.  Not even if it's her last season.


BGNO: Insecure...the Rundown (#BGNO #INSECUREHBO)

If you haven't started watching "Insecure", what are you waiting for. You're missing out. Those of you with it on your DVR...noooo just watch it so we can discuss. So, I purposely have not written about the last two episodes because they honestly needed to just be one episode. SPOILERS COMING...SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. There are so many things going on that it would not be fair to go through everything so I will just give you a few highlights. In episode 2 Issa is still avoiding her boyfriend Lawrence. My best friend and I were discussing how this couple is not right for each other because of the different stations they are at in life. Issa is working and still trying to figure how to make her job more of what she wants. Lawrence is out of work and trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.
So they had a fight and Issa has been staying with her friend Molly (we gonna get to her in a minute). So Issa, still avoiding Lawrence and the apartment they share entirely, goes to RITE AID to buy new underwear. Unbeknownst to her Lawrence is there attempting to make up for forgetting her birthday by buying her a card and other cheap stuff. Well, you guessed it...they run into each other...well Lawrence sees Issa and calls her out for not coming home. They argue , Issa decides that she cannot or will not talk to Lawrence and walks away...but suddenly comes back and asks...wait for it...if she can borrow Lawrence's Rite Aid card to get a discount...

Another highlight from episode two is MOLLY! Oh MOLLY YOU IN DANGER GIRL! So Issa's bff Molly is on the hunt for her IBM. She is on every dating website to find this perfect guy. What I found so hilarious were the guys she went on a date with. They were every kind of black man imaginable: the Hotep Black Man, the Hood Black Man, the Good on Paper Black Man...all of which only wanted get in her panties.

Which takes me to Episode 3...which had a lot of great moments (Dada, Issa and Lawrence making a truce, the Secret white meetings and texts in the office), but a stand out moment for me was Molly and Jared (Mr. Enterprise). Like a lot of us...we sometimes bypass a good guy because of his station or status- its not on par with our ideal man. Jared did not go to college which changes the dynamics of Molly's feelings for him. Despite him being up front about his feelings for her and being super fine and hard working at Enterprise (the rental car place, which I always used by the way). Molly, like a lot of us are looking for man we have planned in our minds, but maybe that's not the kind of guy we need.  I see a lot of my former self in Molly. I had a list...a long list...and I still kept running into shitheads.

Again, there is so much magic happening in this series. You have to go watch! You're really missing out on some outstanding writing and just awesomeness. This show gives black girls the opportunity to be vulnerable and not always "strong". Thank you Issa!


Black Girls' Night Out: Annalise Keating (#HTGAWM #BGNO)

This episode barely had any Michaela in it, so we're not going to talk about her.

Okay, so remember the slap we all felt right down to our bones?  Since no good deed goes unpunished, Annalise Keating has to face the music for it in "Don't Tell Annalise".

In the university's desperation to get rid of Annalise, a board member leaks a video of the slap and in the middle of a trial, Annalise gets the news that her license has been suspended.  And here's where I've noticed a pattern with the writers.  In the first couple of seasons, we got the impression that Annalise is usually one step ahead of everyone.  Season 3 shows is this isn't always true.  In the episode with the slap, we see new a DA, a hot young sista who tells Annalise that after years of bad behavior, no one in that office is willing to give her deals anymore.  Annalise scoffs and blows it off, but we see her briefly panic as soon as she's out the door.

Granted, she finds a way to use that against the DA in court, but this is one of those rare moments in the series where we see Annalise truly caught off guard with no Plan B in place.  This week, the news about her license has her even more rattled, as we see her hit the bottle harder than usual.


Black Girls' Night Out: Keating & Pratt (#HTGAWM #BGNO)

Yes, I owe two weeks' worth of reviews, but in my defense, Luke Cage dropped on Netflix and everything else stopped being important.

But it was good to get back into Shondaland because S3E2 ended with a "distraught" Annalise handing Oliver a phone to wipe clean.  So...her house is burning and someone she supposedly cares about is dead, but instead of being in shocked into numbed silence like most people, Annalise is clear-headed enough to hide evidence...as are Bonnie and Oliver apparently, per S3E3.

Mm-hm.  Sooooo....can we all agree now that Annalise set that bitch on fire her damn self?

Mind you, this doesn't ruin the story for me; in fact, it makes it all the more amusing.

Unlike Scandal, HTGAWM doesn't make the mistake of abandoning its weekly cases.  This week focused on a disgusting waste of skin who, we learn, kills two innocent women.  The first we one find out about is an escort who overdoses.  Instead of calling an ambulance, the douche defendant takes a selfie with her unconscious body first.  We later learn he once bludgeoned a runaway basically because she wouldn't sleep with him.  And despite all of this, Annalise manages to get him a measly 3-year sentence.



*Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers so hurry up and watch the episode! 
Its the HBO series  we have been waiting for from our girl Issa Rae! Insecure had an early premiere for HBO NOW subscribers, but if you're living overseas like me and don't have HBO nothing, you found other ways to watch.

Let me say this about the first episode titled "Insecure as F**k"...it did what it was supposed to do: NOT DISAPPOINT. Now, to the Issa Rae newbies, she is the creator and star of the show. She had a web series called "Awkward Black Girl" and other that took the web series world by storm and really shed light on some black girl realness. Watching "Awkward Black Girl" was like watching my life being played out on my computer screen. Anyway, it was a hit and has lead to great things of Issa including Insecure becoming a series on HBO

Insecure's first episode opened with Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" and I knew it would be good. We open on Issa standing in front of an  all black middle school class. She's working for a non-profit organization that helps inner-city youth...kind of like a Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Big Brother Big Sister mixture of a program. Within the first three minutes we are hit with a lot and I kind of cringed at all that was being thrown at us. One girl asks Issa "Why you talk like a white girl?" and then we are hit with black women and natural hair, black women and being single, black women and being unmarried, black women being college educated, but underemployed, our allegiance to black men when their allegiance has ebbed and flowed and sometimes waned, etc.  I was like whoa slow ya roll Issa, but then I remembered that there will be people watching this who did not see "Awkward Black Girl" and they need to know what they are in for with this series. Its a "Hey, if you can't handle the fire, get out the kitchen now" kind of feel.


Black Girls' Night Out: Keating & Pratt (#HTGAWM #BGNO #TBGC)

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Black Girls' Night Out.  A lot of you (hell, most of you) are new this season, so you probably don't know that about this little feature we've been running for about as long as we've had the blog.  It all started with Det. Joss Carter (Person of Interest) and Olivia Pope (Scandal), and has since grown (and shrunk at times).  The main point of BGNO is basically to critique shows (and sometimes films) which feature Black women.  We don't usually cover sitcoms; we instead gravitate towards the dramas, the nighttime soaps, etc.

Now, I'm going to be your Shondaland correspondent (have been since day one), though I may take on other shows.  I won't be touching Grey's Anatomy; I feel it's long past its heyday; it took too long to bring on some young sistas, and when it did, it didn't really do anything exciting with them (they're not the focus).  Gina Torres is slated to appear on The Catch, but I doubt I'll be touching that one either unless they really step what they're doing with Rose Rollins.  I'm not particularly thrilled about Still Star-Crossed, but...we'll see.  And Scandal won't be an issue until next year.

I will admit that I've fallen for How to Get Away with Murder; it's a crazy show that's open and honest about its craziness, and I have to respect that.  Also...Viola Davis.

Y'all, Annalise Keating's wig and makeup have come a loooooong way over the last couple of years.  I feel the stylists have finally figured out something which works for our leading lady here, and it helps that Viola is in her fifties, but looks at least a full decade younger.

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the Season 3 premiere; while watching it, I was suddenly reminded of old Scandal episodes where things only seemed to get interesting in the last five minutes.  Annalise spends most of the episode trying to find Frank after he murdered Wes's father and went into hiding.  FYI: I don't care about Frank.

It seems that Annalise spent her summer working in her garden and occasionally connecting with her students.  Laurel went to Mexico for the summer.  Connor suntanned and soaked his feet in a kiddie pool.  Asher was financially cut off from his mother and offended at the thought of getting a job.  Oliver asked Annalise for a job and of course, she hired him.  And Michaela...we'll talk about her next.