Black Girl's Night Out: Michael Burnham (#STDSC)

Sonequa Martin-Green as "Specialist Michael Burnham", wearing a Mirror Universe Captain's uniform

As long as I don't think of Discovery as a true Star Trek show...I'm good.  The two newest episodes presented some redemption in my highly critical eyes.  For one, the winter premiere revealed that after that last "incomplete" spore jump, the USS Discovery landed in the famed Mirror Universe of Star Trek.  At first, I cringed at the thought of another potential desecration of a fan favorite, but then....

Things That Worked Well

1 - Setting: The show's overall dark tone, and allowance of nudity and cursing, actually fits perfectly into the infamously brutal Mirror Universe.  In fact, Discovery feels way more at home here.  The new uniforms look both magnificent and fascist as fuck.  And since some of the actors had to portray their Mirror selves, they got to flex their acting chops and don drastically different personas (shout to Mary Wiseman as "Ensign Tilly/Captain Killy").


Black Girls' Night Out: Michael Burnham (#STDSC)

**Some Spoilers**

There are some things I'm genuinely starting to like about this show.  For one, in terms of darkness, Star Trek: Discovery has officially eclipsed Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  It looks, feels, and sounds much, much darker than DS9 ever could.  Matter of fact, it's so dark, a Section 31 agent would be perfectly at home on this show. However, DS9 allowed its darkness to happen organically.  I never went into Season 1 thinking we'd have a full-scale war by Season 5. But on DSC, war is declared in the very first episode.

(Sidenote: what is it with Black leads getting the #DarkTrek shows?)

The characters are growing on me, and the humor is starting to emerge.   Chief Engineer Lt. Paul Stamets, started out as a huge, narcissistic asshole obsessed with his beloved spore-drive, an organic-based engine which allows the Discovery to jump instantly to anywhere in the known universe.  Problem is, it's not particularly reliable, as it requires a sentient conduit between the ship and the spores.  The Discovery was originally using a large alien creature, but the damage the jumps caused convinced Stamets to take its place.  Let's just say that after being repeatedly injected with space shrooms, the former asshole has been pretty "groovy" ever since (shout-out to his husband Dr. Hugh Culber; actor Wilson Cruz is doing an excellent job).

I like that Cadet Tilly - Michael's roommate - is a ginger with big, wild curly hair, acne, allergies, and a very healthy appetite (and a body size to actually reflect said appetite).  To be honest, it's refreshing to see a White woman on TV who looks like this.  Also, she doesn't usurp Michael's scenes, and she's supportive rather than intrusive when she realizes Michael is falling for Ash.


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

Viola Davis as "Annalise Keating"
**Some Spoilers**

Last season, HTGAWM killed off Wait List Wes Gibbins because the writers felt his story had come to a natural conclusion.  After watching the first few episodes of Season 4, I tend to agree. Although I do love me some Alfred Enoch, Wes and his tragic taste in women have not been missed.

Now I'm starting to feel we've reached the natural conclusion of some other people's stories.  Connor, for example.  I have spent three seasons believing Oliver deserves better, and since Asian-American men in main roles are few and far between, the White boy should get the cut.

I love, love, love the Asher/Michaela relationship simply because 1) Matt McGorry is easy on the eyes, and 2) he plays Asher as a man who is blindingly in love with a women he knows is out of his league.  So I'm rooting for him.  That being said, the writers really need to step things up with his character, because when he's not with Michaela, he's boring as fuck.

As much as I like Karla Souza and want to like Laurel Castillo...I'm ready for her to go.  Where Laurel is concerned, I feel like we're falling into a familiar Shondaland snare: we have a show about a Black shero and yet somehow, we're awfully obsessed with the life and well-being of the fragile, pregnant, White damsel-in-distress.  Yes, I know she's a Latina, but she's so White we sometimes have to be reminded that she is a Latina.

Say it with me, kids: there is no shortage of White women in Hollywood.  Once more for the people in the back: there is no shortage of White women in Hollywood.  They're not on an endangered species list.  They're still very much the "standard" of beauty and femininity, and if push comes to shove, we all know Hollywood will not hesitate to throw women of color under the bus for their sake.

Black Girls' Night Out: Olivia Pope (#Scandal)

*Some Spoilers*

Scandal has a special place in my heart; along with Person of Interest, it helped launched our Black Girls' Night Out series, and back before life got in the way, writing this series was a lot of fun for us.

So it's a shame that even in its final season, Scandal doesn't want to do right by Olivia Pope (or women in general).

You know that scene in Mean Girls when Regina George snaps at Gretchen Wieners, flat-out telling her to stop making "fetch" happen because it's just never going to happen?  That's how I feel about Olitz.

For me, the Olivia and Fitz romance's prime was back in Seasons 1-2.  The Olivia and Jake romance reached its prime in Season 3.  The B613 storyline peaked around that time too.  By Season 4, I feel many of us were ready for all things not Fitz, not Jake, and not B613.

And while Season 7 didn't admit debut with a very strong start, by Episodes 2-3 I could feel us sinking back into really old, really bad habits.

The season premiere established Olivia as the Liv of old; powerful, fearless, and in charge.  Also, we got a new love interest who didn't make me cringe: gorgeous actor Jay Hernandez as Curtis Pryce, a media persona with whom Liv starts a very private affair.  But it lasted about five minutes because last week's episode showed Liv back in the arms of Fitz after Papa Pope started meddling (and speaking of, I do love actor Joe Morton, but he too also peaked back in Seasons 3-4.  He should've left and taken Jake Ballard with him).


Black Girls' Night Out: Michael Burnham (#STDISC)

*Some Spoilers*

I'm trying to like this show, I really am...but the only way I see that happening is if I stop thinking of it as a Star Trek show.  I recently went on a Deep Space Nine and Voyager kick and watching those episodes confirmed what I felt before: Star Trek: Discovery doesn't feel like "Star Trek".  I remain convinced that once Bryan Fuller was removed, it kept the Star  Trek brand because CBS needed a way to get Americans to pay for their substandard streaming (with the exception of Canada, everyone else is watching this on Netflix...where it belongs).

On its own, Discovery is a decent science fiction show.  We've got a Black shero who was orphaned young and raised by an alien species.  She's blamed for triggering a war humans really don't want with a yet another alien species, and when her prison transport is hijacked, she finds herself in the clutches of a really weird and shady captain who won't really tell her anything about his "mission."

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

*Some Spoilers*

So we're kicking off Season 4 of How to Get Away with Murder.  Two episodes have aired so far.  The writing feels tighter, the pacing less bracing, and I'm genuinely looking forward to what this season will bring.  While the loss of Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) is still felt, I hate to admit that killing off his character may very well be an improvement.

Annalise has finally found a wig I can't complain about, actress Viola Davis continues to age like a fine wine, and she's more comfortable than ever in this role.  I like that Annalise is in mandated therapy and not drinking anymore; sober Annalise has a new depth, a new gravity, as though Davis has found a new aspect of the Annalise persona to explore.

In the season premiere, we're treated to the glorious presence of Dame Cecily Tyson as Annalise's mother, Ophelia Harkness, and her scenes stay heart-wrenching as she portrays an old woman descending into dementia.  I wish Annalise's sister Celestine (Gwendolyn Mulamba) would get more material to work with because she's the least memorable woman in her family thus far, and it's a shame.

In the second episode, Annalise takes on the case of one of her former cellmates, a 60-year-old ex-junkie, ex-prostitute who never had a chance, because back in 1968 when she was trafficked at the tender age of 13, the system treated her like a villain instead of a victim.  Her life understandably went downhill from there.  In therapy, Annalise realizes that she does identify with this woman, even though their lives appear to have gone in different directions.  Both were sexually abused as children, but Annalise had a loving mother and teachers who encouraged her.  What Annalise neglects to add however, is that she's emotionally broken, unable to sustain healthy relationships, she's an alcoholic, and - as Ophelia so aptly points out - people keep dying around her.


Apparently #Crazyhead isn't getting a second season

So back in November, 2016, creator Howard Overman hinted at "strong plans" for season 2.  Now we're finding out Crazyhead won't even be renewed.
This news is beyond irritating.

See Also

Black Girls' Night Out: Raquel