TV Award Shows

Ophrah Winfrey-Gloden Globes_2018I was asked for my thoughts about Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes Awards last evening (January 7, 2018). Here’s my response: I did not watch the Golden Globes awards show but did hear parts of her speech on the news this morning. All I care to say about it is: Nice, but what about it? Big deal. I didn’t care. NEXT!

I also learned that Ms. Winfrey may consider – or at one time, she may have considered, a presidential run. Uh-huh. Well, as a fellow American citizen she certainly has that right. However, that would be something which I’d seriously hate to see happen.

The reason I didn’t watch that awards show (nor will watch any other) is because of how I feel about television award shows in general. I feel every last one of them is a huge waste of television coverage, pointless in nature, and for most of the participants and/or awardees, a sheer demonstration of personal egotism and vanity. Thus, I despise such shows and won’t waste my time watching them. And if by some odd chance I was ever offered/given an invitation to attend one of those shows, I wouldn’t accept. Why would or should I accept an invitation to some event for which I have no positive feelings?

– RobFather X

Good TV: ‘Greenleaf’

This show called Greenleaf; Wow!!

If you have ever regularly attended or are long-time members of a predominately Black/African-American church or, if you’re like me – a person who grew up in a family of relatives who are ministers and/or who hold positions of power, importance and influence in the Black church, then you might be able to relate to many of the negative – yet often true – aspects of this television show about a powerful and wealthy family who run a huge predominately Black/African-American church.

Greenleaf (OWN network series)

I got drawn to this show shortly after it premiered this past June (2016) from reading some of the Facebook postings of excitement made over it by my friend Christian Mosby; posts which piqued my curiosity about the show. (Thanks Chris. Now I’m hooked!) Some of the scenes and “mini-plots” in Greenleaf remind me of the realities I’ve witnessed firsthand and/or knew about which occurred in a few of the well-known Black churches in Philadelphia that I either attended or had held membership back in my pre-atheist days.

SERIES PLOT: (from  the websiteGreenleaf follows the unscrupulous world of the Greenleaf family with scandalous secrets and lies and their sprawling Memphis megachurch called Greenleaf World Ministries which has predominantly Black/African-American members. Cast members of this well-written show include (click the names to see photo and bio):

  • Keith David as Bishop James Greenleaf, charismatic and manipulative leader of Greenleaf World Ministries. (Keith David has always been one of my favorite actors. In fact, he’s one of the main reasons I’m watching this series.)
  • Lynn Whitfield as Lady Mae Greenleaf, who is Bishop Greenleaf’s wife and the family matriarch;
  • Merle Dandridge as Grace ‘Gigi’ Greenleaf. She is Mae and Bishop’s middle daughter who returns to home twenty years after escaping from the family;
  • Lamman Rucker as Jacob Greenleaf, the eldest, ne’er-do-well son of the Bishop. (Lamman is another favorite actor of mine.)
  • Kim Hawthorne as Kerissa Greenleaf, Jacob’s ambitious and controlling wife.
  • Deborah Joy Winans as Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee, the youngest daughter of the Bishop and Minister of Music. (Yes, Deborah is a member of that famous gospel music family!)
  • Tye White as Kevin Satterlee, Charity’s husband;
  • GregAlan Williams as Robert “Mac” McCready, as Lady Mae’s brother;
  • Benjamin Patterson as Noah Kendall, the Greenleaf Estate manager and Gigi’s ex. (I have long had a man-crush on this fyne brotha (who is also a model), since I first saw him in the recurring character role of Guy, in the now-defunct Noah’s Arc television series years ago.)

Former daytime TV talk show queen Oprah Winfrey is an executive producer and has a recurring role in the series.

Greenleaf premiered on June 21, 2016. You can catch the series Wednesday nights on the OWN [Oprah Winfrey Network] network. Check your TV local listings for broadcast time. Previously aired episodes are on your cable channel’s On-Demand feature and found online at the Greenleaf website or click here. As of this writing, the Greenleaf series is still in its first season. Enjoy!

– RobFather X

© RobFather X! Productions

We Hate Obnoxious Kids on TV!

Brick Heck-(Red X'd)“As we approach our 54th earth year, we think that we might be too old for some of the sitcoms being aired on television today. We are having increasing difficulty tolerating the know-too-damn-much, too-smart-for-one’s-own-good, sassy and disrespectful attitudes which the child characters and very young child characters of those TV shows have and often use against their character parents and other adults. We are disgusted by this new wave of supposed “comedy” given to us by sitcom writers whom – we must assume, either not have kids of their own or if they are parents, then such writers either have not parented for very long or they have poor parenting practices and skills which in any case, somehow gives them cause to write such material for child characters and believe it might be funny, humorous or worse, “cute” to older adult viewers of those particular sitcom programs. We will have to reevaluate our viewing of those sitcoms and any television program which feature such obnoxious child characters.”
– RobFather-X

Keepin’ It…REAL!

I Don’t Like or Trust Iyanla Vanzant!

Iyanla Vanzant (Ronda Eva Harris) - RED XI’m sorry, but I simply cannot follow that Iyanla Vanzant (born Ronda Eva Harris) person on Facebook or on Twitter – where a request for me to follow her was made and thus prompted this article. I also question the thinking of some of the people who do follow or subscribe to her…”work”. If you are a follower of Vanzant then that questioning includes you, reader. It’s fine if you choose to follow that woman – for that is your business but you’ll get no apologies from me for writing this article.

While Vanzant’s “advice” may be good for some people, I simply do not like what I’ve seen and heard from her over the years on television and in other media sources. I do not like what she supposedly does or represents, and trust me: I’ve watched/heard more than I need to make this personal assessment – even if you don’t agree with it. I do not like Vanzant’s “know how” to “fix” someone else’s life/personal situation and I’m a bit wary of her motivational “advice”. My instinct tells me to not trust her as far as I can spit (which isn’t very far).

To each his/her own where she is concerned but never ask me to watch, listen, subscribe or follow that woman. I think I’d rather follow former U.S. president George W. Bush and that bigoted radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh first!

You are welcomed to learn who Iyanla Vanzant is and what she is about by clicking here.

ADDENDUM:Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah I’ve long known of some of Iyanla Vanzant’s history since I first saw her on Oprah’s show many years ago – when she was a regular guest of her show. My mom loves the shit out of Oprah so her TV was always tuned to that show like clockwork every day at 4:00pm. I only know this from being home on leave when I was in the Navy. It was Oprah every goddamn weekday! God help the person watching TV in the Tucker household kitchen when my mom would walk in! She’d demand that we turn from whatever we were watching to Oprah’s show. My hatred of Oprah’s show only intensified from that bullshit! Anyway, that’s how I got to know of Vanzant being a show regular. If memory serves, Oprah and Vanzant had a falling out over the issue of Oprah and her people trying to help or trying to convinceOprah Winfrey, Dr Oz, Dr Phil Vanzant to host her own show on the Harpo Network but Vanzant did not respond in a manner suitable to Oprah and the Harpo network producers. As a result of that issue, Oprah cut the ties. When the dust settled, Vanzant would come back to Oprah’s show some years later and the hatchet or misunderstanding between them would be buried or cleared up. Now I understand that Oprah treats Vanzant like the greatest thing since sliced bread! I’m not privy to Vanzant’s supposed personal relationship with Oprah or that with Oprah’s other protegé, Dr. Phil McGraw of the Dr. Phil show.
CHECK IT: I do not follow nor do I respect anyone willing to have or host so-called personal “help shows” on television or radio. Regardless of any disclaimers the network might post, I think television and radio “therapy” shows are demeaning to the person supposedly being “helped”. That’s why I hated Dr. Laura’s radio show (when it was on) and why I hate those doctor/medical shows, like Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and the like. I have no respect for those hosts or for the people who are willing to put themselves and the personal business of their private lives before millions of judgmental viewers/listeners on such programs. I feel that if one is serious about getting help with a personal issue then damn it, they should go see a PRIVATE physician; not try to seek some fame by airing their shit for all to see! I have no sympathy for such people – regardless of what their issues are.//
And now, this parody of Vanzant’s TV show, Fix My Life from one of my favorite comedians, Wanda Sykes!

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Arsenio Hall is Back on Late-Night TV!

Arsenio Hall is back Sept 9, 2013-let's get busyI’ve been reading mixed reviews of the premiere Arsenio, which featured the return of Arsenio Hall to late night television. Some comments I read have been good while others were just …. *RobFather drops mic*
Anyway, I have no idea what some of the viewers of the original Arsenio Hall Show (aired 1989 -1994) were expecting but I thought some of their comments were far too critical and unfair. No…fuck that; that’s a lie! I thought some of their comments were harsh! There. I’ve said it! I am not going to make a comment about some of the things new viewers said because to me, their opinions don’t matter at this time simply because many of them were far too young to remember Arsenio Hall during the period his first showed aired. Some of those people only watched last night’s premier because they remember their parents or older siblings enjoying the show ‘’back in the day”. I also refuse to read so-called “professional reviews” or ratings on the show because I’ve always found such reports to be a bit premature – whether they are good or bad. I never understood how one can rate something on a national scale after only one night and one hour. That simply doesn’t seem fair to old and new viewers of a show and certainly not to the talent or host of any TV show. Such reports tend to be unscientific anyway in many cases and fluid, in that opinions on whatever is being rated can go either way on the scale. Sometimes there’s simply no telling how a show might turn out. Yes, there are obvious bombs but there are others which tend to have a “let’s wait and see” aspect. Those particular “let’s wait and see” TV shows I would agree should be given a little more time to capture an audience. Television history has proven time and again what a little patience can do for shows that had the appearance of no future success.

I happen to have liked the premiere of Arsenio. I thought Hall was, as the expression says, “back to his old-self” (so it seemed) even though I felt it was the studio audience who was a bit dry (judging by the camera sweeps) but I expect that to improve.  What I saw last night was a man who temporarily left late night variety television in 1994 only to return two decades later and pick up where he’d left off without skipping a beat. That’s fuckin’ kool!

In my Facebook post last evening announcing the airing of Hall’s premiere [return] show after a near-20 year hiatus I said, “I hope the brutha still has the magic!”  You see, I LOVED The Arsenio Hall Show (AHS) years ago and tried to watch it as often as possible – which is saying something since back then – as  now, I don’t normally watch late-night talk shows unless the TV happens to be on as background noise to keep my company when I’m busy working on something and not watching it. I missed several of the old AHS show broadcasts due to military deployment overseas years ago but I recall me and several of my fellow servicemen watching rebroadcasts of it around 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning while stationed in Rota, Spain waiting for permanent deployment orders during Operation Desert Shield (later to become Operation Desert Storm) back in 1991.

Arsenio Hall on Time Magazine cover (1989)Hall has been off late-night TV for two decades. I thought it was appropriate that he did a little explanation and offer humorous “catch-up” jokes and skits for his fans. I’m certain he and his team knows that he has to appeal to his old fans/viewers and work harder to appeal to new viewers – both in his age group and those who are much younger. That is not going to be an easy task in this day and age where one’s attention span is sometimes less on television late-night than it is on the internet chatting on Facebook or tweeting. I heard on the radio today that the Arsenio Hall Show premiere scored higher in its time slot than each of the regularly late-night shows that came after it in their respective time slots! It that’s true – which I suspect it is – and should be, then that’s great!  Of course, this would have to be confirmed – and readers of this blog are welcomed to do that. However, as I said, whatever the ratings say I’m not going to look into them at this time for I think it’s much too early to take seriously any rating of the show.

With Arsenio, Hall cannot appear as a man out of his time but he also cannot come off as being so much of an “old head” that he is considered a “has been”, “irrelevant”, or worse, someone desperate – appearing as if he’s “trying too hard’ to recapture that “magic” I mentioned earlier. I doubt any of those things will happen but if any of those traits are perceived by viewers its probable that Hall could risk losing BOTH old and potential new viewers! I’m sure all of this – and more – was heavily considered by Hall and his team long before he returned to TV. And let’s NOT forget the “elephant in the room”: SKIN COLOR. Yes sadly, though much has changed in television, there is STILL racism in the television viewing audience and bigots can be harsh. Perhaps no one wants to think about it or admit it but I believe such assholes are still lurking in the shadows.

Someone on Funnybook [Facebook] commented that Hall “didn’t look the same as he once did”. My response to that is, Huh?? Really??  I totally disagree! As far as Hall’s looks, EVERYONE changes over time to some degree! Some people appear to have hardly changed very much at all with the passage of time (like me, for instance) and others appear much worse, especially after 19 or 20 years! A lot of physical change with time has to do with how well – or how poorly one lived and handled the challenges of life, regardless of one’s economic status (or DNA). I thought Hall looked just fine – and appeared much the same as he did 19 years ago! Not bad for a man who is now 57 years old but who was only 37 or 38 – and still in his prime, at the end of his original show in 1994.  I also thought guest Chris Tucker, a comedian who is now 41, didn’t look bad for his age either. Tucker was a young pup doing comedy in his late teens/early twenties at the period of Hall’s first show.

Finally, someone on Funnybook commented on the excessive number of commercials Hall’s show had. My formal educational in media broadcasting, along with my years of broadcast experience and somewhat limited knowledge of behind-the-scene television broadcasting gives this possible assessment: A show having “many” commercials is a bit normal for certain premiere TV shows, particularly for a live (or recorded), late night show. Hall’s show already HAD advertising sponsorship (it needed that to help launch the premiere).  If the RATINGS for his show are good, I expect there to be less – and perhaps better commercials on his show. As some people know, television, movie and radio advertising or “ads”- while annoying, take a HUGE expense off the creators and producers to produce a show/or media form of entertainment. Ads help pay for things like the TALENT’s salary (the talent being Hall in this case), his staff, the writers, directors and producers of the show, studio operation expenses and a large host of other things many people don’t think about. Advertising is indeed much of the “bread and butter” of ANY network, network affiliate,  radio station and TV show you see on television (or hear on the radio), including: sports, local and national news, “reality” shows, soap operas, talk and self-help programming, game shows, et al. The list of people who get a piece of the money from advertising dollars is so long that it would take having to write a much longer commentary just to list them all!  However, to get an idea of those people in television who benefit from ad money, simply take a few minutes to read all the names and titles at the beginning and tail end of any TV show or movie you watch. Also, whenever you hear or see the words to the effect of, “Brought to you by” or “Sponsored by” followed by some, someone’s name, product, or company, you will know that those are the people or businesses paying big bucks to bring you that particular form of entertainment. There’s a lot more to this advertising and broadcast media relationship but you can research that information on your own.

Arsenio Hall returning to late night TV-Woof-Woof-WoofAs far as the new Arsenio Hall Show is concerned, I’m very happy that Arsenio’s back! I’m not worried that those of little faith in the man are still wringing their hands or whatever they do while waiting for the proverbial “other shoe to drop”. I suppose we’ll see if viewers’ opinion changes from one extreme to another in the POSITIVE sense as Arsenio’s future shows air… that is, if people choose to watch/continue to watch it, which I hope they do!
Give him time. He just left the gate.
Keepin’ It…REAL!