The One Dimensional Aspect of VH1’s “Single Ladies”

Chatting with a friend on Facebook who is a black male. He offers his unconditional support on Facebook and his blog of the VH1 Queen Latifah executive produced show “Single Ladies”. His summary of why he likes the show are as follows: black actresses/actors, acting is fine, a break from the heavy handed white sitcoms that I see on every network. Not sure from what I saw the acting is Emmy worthy.  The one thing he left out is that it is great eye candy with the likes of LisaRaye and Stacy Dash. I even busted him telling him as such. From what I saw of the show which is basically “Sex In the City” dipped in chocolate it yet again showcased an atypical one dimensional aspect of black women. An aspect that to a lot of degree has been done ad naseum just in the last damn three seasons of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” with Nene Leakes and Company!! I am from the aspect that not every black show will be liked by all black people. This fool on Facebook feels as though blacks should ride or die support black shows because of the lack of them on in the first place. In a nutshell I told him I disagree with that aspect because not all blacks are a monolith and like the same things. Not everything has a need to be supported if it’s not someone’s cup of tea.  Unlike the Tom Joyners of the world I don’t support black just because it’s black. It has to have something to it that is of interest or compels me to watch and support it. The reviews overall of “Single Ladies” haven’t been exactly singing the show’s praises but who knows. On the VH1 page I happen to have caught this comment about “Single Ladies” and frankly this lady nails it hook, line and sinker about the one dimensional, stereotypical aspects of this show:

I was really excited about seeing Single Ladies the first night it aired. I was quite disappointed to say the least. I thought it would be a show that exemplified women in their 30′s and 40′s living a successful life and having fun doing it. Instead, it seemed more like the older version of the Real World in Atlanta. Honestly, women at this age should be more mature and think more sensibly. No wonder young women think it’s ok to live immoral if they see older women acting the same way. There are tons of mature and successful women out there wanting to see images of themselves on tv, and unfortunately this show couldn’t produce it.

Sad to say as I pointed this commentary to my fellow Facebook pal he had the nerve to say the commentator was delusional and try to pin that other things besides Basketball Wives on VH1 and Single Ladies are much worse.  So trying to get this person to understand logic and from a woman’s POV on the show who doesn’t see it from the male lil head thinking, liking the eye candy yet under the guise of saying it is great Emmy worthy acting POV.

There are plenty of women out here who are of the Michelle Obama caliber of black women that happen to be single and enjoy life and going thru their ups and downs with men.  There are women who go thru the same stuff as “Single Ladies” but they may not be glammed up or leasing a Jaguar they can’t afford to buy but want it cause they do.  Where are the shows or pilots that showcase black women that aren’t in the same dimensions as “Single Ladies” or “Real Housewives of ATL”   I even brought up the fact of “Soul Food” and how that show was a good of showcasing different dimensions of black people in general.  This idiot goes in a nutshell slams it and says “where is it now”.  I had to school his dumb ass that this show opted to do 5 seasons and leave on it’s own after that and while in regular rotation on Showtime was one of the top rated shows they had during the early 2000’s.

Why per my Facebook pal is “Sex In The City” an acceptable blueprint for “Single Ladies” to pattern off of?   Where is the balance of the shows that showcase black women who may be sexy yet not be “Sex In the City”?  That are single women who are in the military or in other professions that aren’t in the entertainment industry but just as exciting?  I guess a black woman involved in cybersecurity protection just isn’t glamourous enough I suppose.  Unfortunately my Facebook pal refuses to understand the perspective from anyone who offers a counter point that he doesn’t overall label as people hating on pretty women or that is fussing that the acting isn’t  up to par.  

Why should we want to have blacks on tv just so we have something on tv in the land of vanilla bland and silly sitcoms on CBS??  Why can’t we demand to have executives of color in positions to green light pilots for shows that showcase black women not in a stereotypical, one dimensional role?  We had “Undercovers” (before it got axed by bastard ass NBC) showcasing the happy wife as sexy and smart working for the CIA.  So what “Undercovers” got the film “Mr and Mrs. Smith” comparisons?  It is all good cause it was now folks of color being sexy and on action adventures. 

Those of us who may not like shows like “Single Ladies” aren’t as Facebook simpleton states “haters”.  We just want to have shows that portray us in the same roles that traditionally white actresses have been able to stretch their limits to play.  Hell Geena Davis got to play a president on tv as well as Blair Underwood on “The Event” (yet another show I LOVED and got axed by bastard ass NBC).  Why can’t we have a black woman play Head of State for a change??   Why must she always be a pretty woman with shallow qualities, dealing with the foolishness of men as she is getting up in age and should be a a little more wiser?  All to appeal to my simpleton pal on Facebook who wants more blacks on tv inspite of his lacking critical analysis of not understanding other ways to showcase black women on tv?  In the immortal words of an old Charlie Murphy show on BET “we have got to do better” and want better quality black tv shows than just settle for the okie dokie just to have brown faces on tv in the midst of the vanilla based tv we are currently inaundated with.

Here is how I feel thanks to Lupe Fiasco what I see from people who think like my Facebook pal that lack critical analysis of wanting better for black shows, particularly featuring black women who can do more than be what “Single Ladies” showcases. 

Wanting a better showcase of attractive black women on tv not one dimensional isn’t hating my man.   Black women are good enough in his eyes to be seen just like “Sex in the City” but not be President?   Too bad as a man thinking with the wrong head my Facebook pal can’t understand that or perhaps needs to find a better quality of everyday black women that don’t pattern themselves after “Sex In The City” for real!


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