Saturday, March 21, 2015

So. . .What's It Gonna Be?

Hello Intellectual Minds!

How's your reading coming?  Are you getting it in?  If not, no worries, you know we're here for you!  You've got to stay on the grind. There are so many great books coming out and what's the point of an author if you're not going to take the time to read his words? So what are you waiting for?  There's no time like the present. . .get to reading!  It does the mind good!

Alright, I've given you my pep talk for the day.  Now, let's get down to business.  Aaaw yeah, there's lots to talk about.  Which network has the hottest show on the planet?  What show has just about err'body and his mama talkin' in tongues?  You've got to be living under a rock if you don't know what show I'm speaking of!  Oooh yeah, you know what this is!  Let's give three big ole cheers for Empire.

I knew from the trailer a while ago that this show was going to be good.  How could it fail? You've got the best African-American actors playing the roles of their lives.  My girl, Taraji P. Henson and my main man, Terrance Howard, playing Lucious and Cookie.  Can you hear my excitement?  No, you say.  Trust and believe, I absolutely LOVE Empire!  I can't control myself.  That is one of the best shows I've seen in scripted television in a long, long, long, time!  Make no mistake, Empire has a little somethin' somethin' for err'body.  I can relate to many in this colorful cast.

I know many of you watched the show on Wednesday nights on its original broadcast, but my hubby and I chose to watch each episode every Friday, seeing as how there's not much to choose from in the first place.  I don't know what we're gonna do now that the show had its season finale? OMG, what is one to do?  Empire withdrawal -- Ooooooooh Noooooooo!  To hell with fake reality shows, I want more scripted shows like this! Timbaland has outdone himself with the music on the show.  He is one hell of a producer.  Kudos to him!  I haven't downloaded the music on my iPod yet, but you better know I plan to do it in the immediate future.  I loved the music, the story line, and the crazy ass characters. I can't wait for Season 2! My favorite line by Cookie (although there are many), "If you want Cookie's nookie, you got to ditch the bitch!) Oooooh hell yeah, that's what I'm talkin' bout!  I'm #TeamCookie.

So, can someone tell me why some of my people have an issue with the show?  I would think my peeps would be happy to see so many African-Americans working and bringing forth a multitude of talent for the world to see.  We can act, look good and keep our integrity intact. So. . .what the hell is the problem?

You can bet, if Empire hadn't come along, many of my people would still be complaining there aren't any quality shows on television that focuses on US!  And so Lee Daniels and Danny Strong come along and give us this hot ass show that got so much spice, it keeps one's soul sizzlin'.  There are so many rappers/singers/actors trying to get in on the action 'cause they know it will help boost their careers.  Again, I ask, what is the problem?  Well, for starters, the naysayers and haters of the show say it showcases African-Americans in a negative light. They say it's keeping us down by showing stereotypical portrayals of us in the music industry.  Hmm, is what I say! Some have gone so far to say by watching Empire and consuming its content we somehow become what we view.  Hmm, really?

If you want to talk about keeping us down, I've said it before and I'll say it again, all those dumb ass reality shows on TV certainly haven't uplifted us!  And the shame of it all is those shows are called 'reality' and here some of you are up-in-arms over a nighttime soap opera for adults, which is meant to be scripted and portrayed by actors.  (Let's keep it 100 folks, that's what Empire is--a nighttime soap!)  Some of you are treating this show much like Dan Quayle did Candice Bergen in the hit sitcom Murphy Brown back in the 80s. He actually believed her character was 'real'! Oh Lord! If I'm what I consume by the reading material I choose or the TV shows and/or movies I watch, I guess I've got a serious problem here.  The last time I checked I've never been to prison nor have I ever stepped foot inside a jail cell (i.e., meaning, I don't visit anyone that I may know personally--related or otherwise).  I've never been arrested or got a ticket.  I've never murdered another human being nor beaten to death or raped another individual.  I've never held a real gun let alone fire one. I've never gone on a killing spree or for the hell of it, blew up buildings with people in them.  I don't recall receiving a license to fly a plane.  I've never been a stripper or danced professionally--ever.  I've played sports, but never was on a team and I wouldn't consider myself an athlete.  Oh, and I've never flown to other planets and took up residency.  I don't recall meeting any real aliens, although I sometimes believe I'm truly among them. Everything I just mentioned are things I've read about and/or viewed in a movie/TV, so does that make me what I've read and/or viewed?  Am I serial killer, rapist, stripper, been in prison, a criminal, a terrorist, etc.? Am I those things...ABSOLUTELY NOT!  But according to some, I am what I've consumed. Get Real!

How dare you insult my intelligence by stating those who watch Empire somehow become what they're watching.  What those individuals are saying to me and anyone else with the sense they've been given is that we don't know the difference between what is fantasy and what is real!  What?! What?!  I don't have a problem differentiating between what is real and what is not! That seems to be the problem with this new age generation today.  I've always been in touch with my emotions and knowing what-is-what and what isn't. From the behaviors I see on social media, have proven to me time and time again, that many of YOU don't have a clue as to what is really going on.  But to sit there and judge me and people like me who happen to enjoy Empire for what it is, a damn dramatic TV show giving plenty of actors and singers alike some work to entertain us for an hour or so.  Ain't no way in hell I would ever become Cookie or Lucious for that matter! 

Hello People, the show is just that--A TV SHOW! It's a show made up by someone's imagination.  It's no different than the books I write to sell my readers--to give them some entertainment. If you take what you see on TV or in a book and think that's the way life really is, or believe the characters you see are real people, then you don't need to cast judgment on me, you most definitely need to look at yourself.  There's something not quite right with you, but don't go making claims that people who enjoy the show are what they watch.  Do you even hear yourselves?  What the hell?  I do watch some reality shows--for instance, I'm a fan of the Love and Hip-Hop franchise.  I can tell you right now, I would NEVER act nor behave in the manner in which those people do.  I watch solely to get my laugh on because I sit there in awe that there are people willing to sell their soul and act a damn fool all for the sake of a dollar.  If you put it out there, you already know people are going to judge. So it is what it is, but to say I am what I consume, I take high offense to that idiotic statement.

And why is it Empire demeans us as a people?  Do you think the cast members of the Love and Hip-Hop franchise makes us look like outstanding citizens to the world?  Pa-lease, who the hell do you think you're fooling?  At least I'm not a hypocrite.  I know what I watch on TV and I know what I read, and I know what I enjoy writing, but to suggest to others you are what you read and watch, that is outrageous to me.  Downright ridiculous!  I know fact from fiction, but obviously many of YOU do not!

Some of you have taken this Empire phenom to a whole other level!  I remember when Scandal was the 'It' show and now not so much.  And believe me, Empire will run its course just like Scandal has.  All good things come to an end. My thing is, my people, is that you can't have your damn cake and eat it too!  You complain when you don't see many of us acting on the small screen and/or the silver screen, and then when we get a show that is working casting great actors, all of a sudden, it's degrading us as a whole and you want to speak negatively against its content. The people playing the characters are called 'Actors' for a reason, or perhaps some of you think Empire is real?  Shame on YOU!

So, what's it gonna be?  Either you want to see African-Americans acting and bringing home a paycheck or you don't?  If you don't like the show, that's your right, but don't sit there posting negative comments about those who do simply because it's not YOUR thing!  It's all good.  You don't have to like it, but before you so quickly jump to the conclusion to state that those of us who are huge fans of the show, such as myself, that I am what I consume by watching it, you better check your damn self!  I'd love to know what you watch and let me see if YOU are what you watch and/or read.  Do you hear how stupid that sounds?  

Make up your mind, my people.  You can't have it both ways!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

If YOU Can Judge Others. . .
Make sure you can do it for yourself!