Television Train Wreck: “The Houstons: On Our Own”

Until I read a post on Funnybook (Facebook) and later saw the TV promo, I had no idea the new reality show, The Houstons: On Our Own (Lifetime network) even existed (not that I’d ever been interested in the Houston family to begin with).  I shake my head at another ridiculous attempt of celebrities and their handlers to pull in the attention of thousands of people whom such families couldn’t care less about.  I am especially peeved that this is being done on yet another famous Black family, as there are already set-in-stone stereotypes about how Black people conduct themselves in the family setting. Were I not already a strong-minded, self-confident person I would be highly embarrassed as a Black man!

No readers, we Black folk are all NOT like the Huxtable family (The Cosby Show) or the Evans family (Good Times) or any of the TV sitcom shows featuring Black families you’ve seen on television.  Unfortunately, it’s those very comedies and silly reality shows like The Houstons: On Our Own which tend to give viewers a distorted picture of the Black family.  Other than the television series, Lincoln Heights (January 2007-November 2009) and the first Black soap opera Generations (March 1989 – January 1991), which come to mind, I’d imagined one would be hard pressed to find or even remember a popular television DRAMA (not reality) show which:

  • lasted for more than one season
  • aired on a major non-cable network
  • featured an American Black family – one where the mother, children AND father all lived happy, normal American lives under the SAME roof and
  • one that was NOT in any way, shape or form, a situation comedy (aka sitcom) or miniseries.

If you remember such a TV show please, post the same in the comment section!

There are train wrecks in television I would love to see happen and which are inevitable to happen, such as this show, The Houstons: On Our Own, which I did not watch and would have no interest in watching. In my opinion, unless it is a legitimate bio pic, any reality or drama television show featuring the crazy lives of some living or deceased celebrity and/or their families is, plain and simple, a fucking train wreck waiting to happen. I couldn’t care less about the happenings of a post-Whitney Houston family. So the fuck what!  It irks me that the media and some feeble-minded people (fans) continue to feel this… need… to focus attention on Whitney’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, a person who has not made any significant contributions to the arts or to society but who instead, is simply spending the money and riding the wave of her famous but now deceased mother, R&B/pop music artist, Whitney Houston (who passed away February 11th, 2012). Her famous grandmother, soul and gospel singing artist Cissy Houston, who has been in the music business for decades, ought to know better and perhaps should feel ashamed to be a part of this obscene limelight focus on her family.  And do I need to mention the decades of trouble of Whitney’s also famous (or should I say, infamous?) husband, R&B/New jack swing/hip-hop singer, Bobby Brown? Brown, a man who has had – and seems to continue having – troubles since leaving the 1980’s R&B boy band, New Edition?  It’s all very pathetic and a sad testament to the memory of Whitney Houston, who herself had her own troubles with fame and life.

Let me be clear: I am not being judgmental about the Houston family. How can I possibly be judgmental when media and the internet is full of well-publicized facts, rumors and hype, all which have surrounded the Houston family for decades and which have only intensified with the passing of Whitney Houston, in much the same way with the passing of pop music legend, Michael Jackson? I’m merely stating an opinion based on what I see and hear.

To each his/her own regarding television show selection but I don’t watch nor subscribe to anything related to or associated with celebrity families. I’ve got enough drama in my family to last me a lifetime (thank you very much) than to ever dare waste my time peering into the superficial lives of others. I would expect that other people have drama in their own families as well.

Hmmm….now that I think about it, I suppose there are some people with so much drama in their family that TV shows such as The Houstons: On Our Own and others of its kind, may in fact be a much-needed, if not therapeutic distraction from their uh…REAL reality. Well, I certainly hope it helps. I maintain however, that no matter how you look at it, any celebrity family reality show is a sad reflection on us all as Americans – both to ourselves and to the rest of the world. It all needs to end.

Keepin’ It…Real!

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