Mondo Extra
Black & White Television

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Michael Neal: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Times Change

Rozel comes to visit Frank in his office and Frank lets him know he won't be going back to the Capital C; in fact, he's embarrassed and angry for even having been invited. Rozel insists he shouldn't be, and Frank gently reminds him of the whole bag-test and Negro-mix thing. "Broussard is an old fool but unfortunately an important old fool," explains Rozel. Frank wants to know if he was intended to be "the first darky" in the club. Call me crazy, but Tim Reid ain't that dark. This isn't Wesley Snipes. I've got him beat by a couple shades of taupe at least. Rozel says he and a few other members want to change things at Capital C, and that Frank is just the kind of candidate that can help them do that, but Frank cuts him off quick. "Let me cut to the chase. All my life I've been the only black [air quotes]. I was the only black in this class. I was the only black in that organization. I was the only black on this team. Look man, I'm not about to become the only black in a black club." And on that note...don't let the door hit you, Rozel.

Tiger tends to a smoky but empty bar inside Chez Louisiana, and sitting at the end are the two elders of Coachmen's Club. When Frank walks in, Tiger has something for him. It's a Coachmen's derby hat, and "it's yours if you want it." Frank puts it on, to just the right fit. "Costs $25 to join. Go get it from him," nudges Driver to the other elder. Frank happily obliges. "You're gonna love Mardi Gras, brother," says Tiger. The show closes with the lost '80s television art form of a freeze frame of Frank, his hat on, smiling at the camera.

A year later the critically acclaimed Frank's Place was pulled off the air by CBS, probably in favor of Major Dad. Frank's Place was poignant, smart, and authentic. There was no laugh track, no zingers, and no black person dancing or barely surviving in the ghetto. This show? This show didn't stand a chance.

Beverly Hills, 90210 (1991). Episode: "Ashes To Ashes"

A surprisingly powerful riff cues the opening credits of Beverly Hills, 90210. From there, the intro just turns whiter and whiter, like standing in a fishing vessel in the Arctic Ocean, watching the snow banks fade away. Or, less elaborately, like backwards footage of Duran Duran through the years...on a fishing vessel. The pang of nostalgia I feel when I see Andrea pose with that surfboard is from all four years of being one of the three black kids in my high school. I ask myself, "This show is going to tackle race relations?" I guess it's appropriate, because I can't imagine any insertion of blackness not overturning the applecart here.

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Mondo Extra

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Mondo Extra
Black & White Television

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Times Change

Rozel comes to visit Frank in his office and Frank lets him know he won't be going back to the Capital C; in fact, he's embarrassed and angry for even having been invited. Rozel insists he shouldn't be, and Frank gently reminds him of the whole bag-test and Negro-mix thing. "Broussard is an old fool but unfortunately an important old fool," explains Rozel. Frank wants to know if he was intended to be "the first darky" in the club. Call me crazy, but Tim Reid ain't that dark. This isn't Wesley Snipes. I've got him beat by a couple shades of taupe at least. Rozel says he and a few other members want to change things at Capital C, and that Frank is just the kind of candidate that can help them do that, but Frank cuts him off quick. "Let me cut to the chase. All my life I've been the only black [air quotes]. I was the only black in this class. I was the only black in that organization. I was the only black on this team. Look man, I'm not about to become the only black in a black club." And on that note...don't let the door hit you, Rozel.

Tiger tends to a smoky but empty bar inside Chez Louisiana, and sitting at the end are the two elders of Coachmen's Club. When Frank walks in, Tiger has something for him. It's a Coachmen's derby hat, and "it's yours if you want it." Frank puts it on, to just the right fit. "Costs $25 to join. Go get it from him," nudges Driver to the other elder. Frank happily obliges. "You're gonna love Mardi Gras, brother," says Tiger. The show closes with the lost '80s television art form of a freeze frame of Frank, his hat on, smiling at the camera.

A year later the critically acclaimed Frank's Place was pulled off the air by CBS, probably in favor of Major Dad. Frank's Place was poignant, smart, and authentic. There was no laugh track, no zingers, and no black person dancing or barely surviving in the ghetto. This show? This show didn't stand a chance.

Beverly Hills, 90210 (1991). Episode: "Ashes To Ashes"

A surprisingly powerful riff cues the opening credits of Beverly Hills, 90210. From there, the intro just turns whiter and whiter, like standing in a fishing vessel in the Arctic Ocean, watching the snow banks fade away. Or, less elaborately, like backwards footage of Duran Duran through the years...on a fishing vessel. The pang of nostalgia I feel when I see Andrea pose with that surfboard is from all four years of being one of the three black kids in my high school. I ask myself, "This show is going to tackle race relations?" I guess it's appropriate, because I can't imagine any insertion of blackness not overturning the applecart here.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21Next

Mondo Extra

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