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.

BGNO - Ginny Baker Deserved Better (Ratings)

Pitch premiered on Thursday night, and y'all, it was excellent. The storytelling, the diversity, the music, the acting, the production, the characters.  They all pulled me in right from the beginning and never let me go.  And that's no small feat.  As much as I love to watch television (probably too much, to be honest), I don't particularly like to watch pilots.  It's the equivalent of watching a superhero's origin story, and although I know they're necessary, I still have little patience for it.  But Pitch was one of the rare exceptions that I can see myself watching again and again.

Unfortunately, being awesome didn't save the show from getting bad ratings (1.1 18-49, 4.3 million viewers).  And I'll be honest--I don't understand it.  I'm sure there's some expert explanation for it that I can't put my layperson finger on, but it's mind-boggling to me. 

When I saw the ratings on Friday morning, I was sitting at work like

Like me, my friends were also scratching their heads wondering what the hell had happened. We all watched it.  We all saw how good it was and how well it was being received.  We all saw it trending #2 on Twitter for nearly it's entire runtime. We all read the glowing reviews and saw Fox promoting the show like it was the only new show they were premiering this fall.  And it still didn't do well.  None of that seemed to matter.


Why we must keep talking about how #BlackLooksMatter

Etienne Rodriguez just penned a great piece yesterday over at Affinity Magazine entitled "Our Diversity Isn't Looking So Diverse" (from whence I snatched this great image above).  In it he makes the same points we posted from Ms. Jaina Bennett, on the same day she made them...which was perfect.

Let me make this abundantly clear: we love, love, love Zendaya.  And Candice Patton.  And Kylie Bunbury.  And Kat Graham.  And Kiersey Clemons.  And Angel Coulby.  And Nathalie Emmanuel. And Nicole Ari Parker.  And Megan Markle.  We use to love Zoe Saldana too, but she's on a bit of a time-out.  They're our sisters; we respect their accomplishments, and appreciate the struggles they've endured and continue to endure in the hostile world of show business.  We don't want them to give up a single thing (they're not exactly drowning in back-to-back roles).  So when you think about it, this isn't even really about them.  This is about the people who hire them.


Athletic Sisters: Danusia Francis

Looks like Jamaica's getting a second representative!

Funny story about Danusia: She was born in Britain, currently lives in Los Angeles and attends UCLA (whom she also competes for).  She was a reserve gymnast on behalf of Britain in 2012, but because she represented Jamaica at the 2015 World Championships, she qualified to test for their Olympic team.  Needles to say, she passed.

I'm really excited that Danusia is at the Olympics because she's known for her flexibility, which I can only describe as, well...insane.

This truly is the Blackest year ever. Someone said this year's Olympic gymnastic event is going to be a bloodbath, and well...yes and no. I'm so glad all these Black and Brown girls are making/going to make history this year, so it's win-win either way. However...they all have eyes on the gold, and they all can't have it.

Let the games begin.