10.25.2014

Black Girls' Night Out: Keating & Pope

These two characters share the same night, after all, just like Carter & Pope used to, and they're both lawyers (how about that).  And until the writers on HTGAWM decide to actually do something more with Michaela Pratt, she'll have to chill.

Pertaining to this week's episode...it was the best of times and the worst of times.  It was an entertaining episode and Viola Davis shone as always.  Annalise Keating's argument with her husband struck me as very real; she still had her wig off and at one point, Sam Keating had her pinned to their bed with his hand over her mouth.  And here's where the writers reveal something I did not see coming and would have never guessed about Annalise Keating.  Remember what I said about best of times/worst of times?

During the argument it all comes out - he was sleeping with Lila Stangard, who he claims was getting clingy and was "lost."
"Just like you found me. How you like your mistresses — weak and broken messes you just clean up," she says. Sam insists that Annalise was much more than a tawdry affair, but she quickly retorts "Tell that to your first wife." (Source)
Oh, yeah. They went there.

And now we are back to the one big problem I've always had with Shonda Rhimes: her infuriating obsession with adulterous women.

This is the second time a major Black female character of hers has been outed as some white guy's side piece.  True...Sam did divorce his first wife and marry Annalise, unlike a certain fictional president.  But firstly, as we've established before, Sam and Annalise aren't prominent figures, at least not so prominent that their marriage could make or break their careers.  Secondly, Sam went on screwing other women, this time much younger women, barely out of high school and childhood.  Meanwhile, Annalise was screwing Detective Lahey for God only knows how long.

Which brings me to another thing: she's been cheating too.  What were all those tears about?  What's with the wounded quivering in her voice, the self-righteous fury?  You stole him from another woman.  You've been banging another dude in his house.  To add injury to insult, this was like the third or fourth episode where Annalise goes to try to win Lahey back, and he shuts her down again.  It's like, everywhere we look, Annalise is being rejected by men: her husband can't stay faithful, and her lover (who can't stay faithful to his own wife) doesn't want her back.  Thus, the great woman is being brought down by men all around her...including Wes Gibbins who breaks into her house at the end of the episode to reveal he knows her husband's dirty little secret.

What...the hell?

Meanwhile, I can barely remember what happened on Scandal this week.

I know that news of Jake's arrest has finally reached Liv.  I remember Fitz going to interrogate Jake himself, going so far as to pummel him for a confession which we know is less about his son and more about Olivia.  Jake even laughs and calls him on it, describing what it's like to fuck Olivia.  So while the "less classically beautiful" (*retch*) Annalise appears to have the problem of male rejection, (conveniently) lighter-skinned Liv has the problem of male possession.

Fitz and Jake put their hands on her body wherever they want whenever they want, despite her protests.  The interrogation scene between the two made my stomach churn; Fitz was more concerned about punishing Jake for sleeping with Liv rather than finding the person who actually murdered his son.

And while I don't like Jake all that much anymore (I think he should've bowed out during Season 2 permanently), I was deeply annoyed that Liv let Cyrus, the Prez, and Daddy Pope all start to convince her that Jake killed Harrison and the President's son.  Um, really Liv?  Are you that desperate to find any excuse to dump Jake for the Prez that you'll start to believe that crock of shit?  What motivation could Jake possibly have for killing Harrison?  Or the President's son for that matter?

What the hell happened to the formidable Olivia Pope?  We've haven't seen her in two seasons.  She can't even handle her current case properly because she's got all these men fucking with her life, and this, ladies of the Club...this is The Number One problem with female-led shows and films in mainstream media in the 21st Century.  Although we know female-led media can and will be successful, even female showrunners and writers have trouble with the male factor.  They prop up these great female heroes, only to bring them down with men.  Go watch Damages or Haven, for example.  You'll see what I'm talking about.

Remember the good ole 1990s, when Xena and Buffy would just kill/pimp-slap the men who got in their way and have done with it?  What happened?

On the (oddly) upside, the revelation that her son was murdered has roused Smelly Mellie from her drunken "food coma."  She couldn't accept he died of natural causes, but once she learned his murder won them the White House, "Mellie" came back.

Also, Abby and Liv seemed to have reconciled, so we can expect another season of Olivia being edged out, except for when the writers summon her to service the President...or Jake, should he survive.

17 comments:

  1. Yeah, this has been rather disappointing. I don't doubt that people are capable of writing women with complex stories and conflicts that don't always revolve around a penis. But this is just . . . I mean, the motivations of these characters make absolutely no sense. I'm wondering if these flaws are intended to draw in a white female audience, or the kind of crowd that enjoys reality TV drama. Both of these characters could have way better love lives that don't involve them being a white guy's second choice or fetish object or something. I definitely crave black women with black men and other men of color.

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    1. I'm wondering if these flaws are intended to draw in a white female audience

      Pretty much.

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    2. ""less classically beautiful" (*retch*) Annalise appears to have the problem of male rejection, lighter-skinned Liv is has the problem of male possession."

      That was a joke right? xD Or are you saying that Shonda is basing the problems of her character on her thoughts of their looks, or are you saying you actually believe that? Because I hate the false belief that light skinned black girls are somehow more classically beautiful, whereas dark skinned girls aren't. xP

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    3. @ A. Lois O the "Less classically beautiful" is from the new york times writer Alessandra Stanley who wrote a piece on Viola Davis/Shonda Rhimes, which is horrible.

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    4. It's definitely sarcasm. I chalk all this shitty writing up to...well, shitty writing.

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  2. I love Shonda and her shows,but if she isn't careful, her shows will become a case of " too much of a good thing" to destroy her show.

    One of Shonda's problems is that while, she says that she does what her fans request which is fine,but there are times where she should use her own judgment about her shows. It reminds me of what my kid sister said about the "Addicted " movie and how it basically sucked because the director of Zane's movie seemed to rely on sex as the plot of the movie. I know what Sharon Leal's character is supposed to be addicted to sex..still, my sis said the storyline wasn't there.( Not going to waste my time with this movie)

    Don't get me wrong Shonda, she can comes of with some dynamic plots and storylines, but a part me also thinks she relying on IR love scenes to keep her show going and that is not good.If she isn't careful, it will get old and boring to the point where it will no longer excite her viewing audience.

    I'm with Marona about Black love. I mean..it's almost as people think that Black people(Black women in this case) are incapable of loving each other. I was just reading about Ray Rice boneheaded wife, Janay Rice . She was just talking about how someone on her Twitter account telling her basically that White men don't beat their wives ( Ha! living in a white community, that is SOOOO not true! geez! some people are just so full of themselves). Though the message is a load of grade A crap, I will play the devils advocate with the twitter writer. When you read blogs, looking at movies and/or TV series. IR love scenes seems to outnumber Black/POC one's and it's even worse when the characters behind it is unhappy and dysfunctional in it. Mind you, that Annalise was having an affair with Lahey,still it's still is adulterous and dysfunctional.

    While having IR scenes are good, I wish they would have more healthy Black/Black love be on there. Just when I thought that Mikeala( typo) was going to have a good marriage, her fiance shakes her mind with his possible cheating . You know they wouldn't let the civility last for long. Even if they are doing IR scene, it would be nice if they would feature a non-White minority man with a Black woman in a healthy

    P.S. I'll give props with Arjun Gupta character. He is the sex symbol that he should be instead of the stereotypical geeks that Asian men are too often portrayed for them being as. He was on there on last weeks episode.

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    1. "She was just talking about how someone on her Twitter account telling her basically that White men don't beat their wives"

      The hell is that person smoking? I don't have enough fingers to name all the high-profile White men who have been proven or alleged to have beaten their partners. Wow, anything to keep up the White Is Right delusion.

      Back to the discussion - all this jump-off/dysfunctional IR/just plain R for WOC characters is what's keeping me off the Shondaland train. I enjoy a good flawed character, but certain tropes are being done to death and I am past tired.

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    2. I guess those same critics of Janay thought that that Halle Berry hit the Jackpot when she lived with her White ex. He may not have been physically abusive to her with racist language .Now she rightfully accuses him of being a moocher. Yeah..every Black woman aspires to marry a White man who is racist and is a deadbeat..lol ! ( with Sarcasm).

      I understand why you feel that way about Shonda's shows. Her overuse of dysfunctionalism with Black women will be her downfall if she ( As well as some others). I just found it ironic that my mom said the same thing you did how much she was tired of the same recipe. Shonda should learn from Hollywood how doing the same things with your series will eventually hurt you if you don't diversify the storylines.

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  3. I have already decided after two episodes I wasn't going to watch HTGAWM. I am a huge interracial advocate, but that said, when I found out her husband was white, I was honestly disappointed. I felt like Shonda doesn't believe in a functional IR relationship. Which is crazy, or a functional relationship, period. As for Scandal, I'm more into it, so I'm probably still gonna watch it, but I've been on the fence about it for a while. I really didn't like how Liv also threw herself at Fitz in the past too. How when he showed her the house in Vermont, instead of talking to him about it, or taking a tour of the house, she just had sex with him right there. I found that really strange and from then on I was more upset about the whole affair. I don't know why there can't be loyal, decent relationships on TV. I know that they are more "boring" but in reality they are more refreshing too. As for strong women who aren't affected by men, there definetly needs to be more of them. Writers need to get more creative on different problems that can switch them up rather than just men. Anyways, I think there is hope for Scandal to get back to the way it use to be, and be better, but hopefully it won't just keep getting worse.

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  4. I thought Shonda was just Executive Producer of this show not the writer/creator. She's like J.J. Abraham get the show green lighted and collect those checks.

    Peter Nowalk is the creator/writer of the show- http://www.out.com/entertainment/television/2014/10/16/show-creator-peter-nowalk-how-get-away-murder-personal

    So I say Viola Davis had the most input as far as how her character would be portrayed. Which is good, but yeah the whole dysfunction with with I/R relationships get's tiring.

    I haven't watched this show yet and not sure if I want to. I also stop watching Scandal a while back because I hated how the writing of the show start heading down a different direction.

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  5. I am going to go out on a limb here and make a guess. The reason why they probably don't write about other IR relationships (bw-non white men) is because they don't know any. And before someone says that "I'm sure they have seen these couples" that doesn't meant they personally KNOW them. Let's be honest the majority of people hear interracial couple and natural think that half of the couple will be white.

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    1. I think they're afraid of alienating white folks. You show brown love in a healthy light and white fandom will most likely have a meltdown.

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    2. Good points,but they better start stepping out into the real world because using these same methods will eventually hurt these shows,then they won't have to worry about alienating the white fandom..because they will eventually drive us with the same song.

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    3. Like I know some people's, mainly white people's, idea of an interracial relationship hasn't left the 1700's . . . but for Christ's sake do the rest of us have to suffer? Like I don't care to see another white person with a non-white person. That isn't my reality. I'm not interested in white people. It would have been awesome if Arjun was getting cosy with Mikaela instead. Or even Viola's character. Like if we gotta have a fucking dysfunctional relationship, introduce an attractive college-aged MOC why dontcha. Give me some non-white people fucking non-white people on my TV screen. This also goes for the so-called gay sex.

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    4. @Ankh-I think they're afraid of alienating white folks.

      You know I think that is true. I watched a Ricky Martin video the other day and read the comments below (not smart I know). Someone commented how he was tall dark and handsome. Someone had to add that Latin women prefer tall white and fairskinned. I was like wow. Talk about arrogant.

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