“Reality” Television

by asktheprgirl

TLC-the-sisterhood-reality-show

I don’t comment often on reality TV especially those shows that perpetuate negative female stereotypes.  If you surveyed 100 people and asked, “Based on reality television, are women crazy and can they get along?” I think it’s safe to guess that the majority of those folks, if not all, would confirm that all women are crazy and we do not get along.  I won’t say too much about this topic specifically because I’m currently in the process of writing a book about it, but I will say that it’s extremely disappointing that there are zero positive representations of women on television today.

Back in the day, I had the Golden Girls, The Cosby Show, Empty Nest, 227, A Different World, The Facts of Life, Fresh Prince and dozens more that provided satire and positivity at the same time.  I could look on any given night and see many different facets of women, how we relate, how we love, how we care for our children and how we take care of ourselves.  Today, that’s not the case.   Today I Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23 because that b*tch is probably a card carrying member of The Bad Girls Club who wears slutty clothes in hopes of one day becoming one of the Basketball Wives.  Seriously?!?  When did it become popular to exaggerate and perpetuate negative imagery of women??

My decision not to write about these shows doesn’t mean I don’t watch them every now and then. I don’t talk about them publically because I think they get enough attention; however, there is a new show out that really floored me.  It doesn’t take much to be drawn into any of the “Wives” shows because they are much of the same. Throw five or six broads together who have never hung out before in life, have very little purpose outside of their proximity to a little fame and small fortune purchased by their snatch and see how many different ways they can tear each other apart.  Pretty simple formula, right?  This week, I happened upon “The Sisterhood”.  First let me say it comes on after the new T-Boz reality show, which is … just … so utterly ridiculous that it makes me question how TLC ever became a symbol of female empowerment to begin with.  There’s ghetto and there’s the T-Boz show.  I’m a little thrown by that whole debacle.  But, I digress.

“The Sisterhood” is an Atlanta-based reality show about Preacher’s Wives, or as we call them in the south, First Ladies.  It features five women as they share the experience of being a First Lady as well as the joys and hardships that come with the journey.  I tuned in to get an idea of just how ratchet this entire thing would be.  After it was over, I dialed my best friend @NikkiMo75 to discuss.  She accurately categorized it as “shade in the name of Jesus”.  I howled laughing at her description because it was dead balls accurate.

What troubled me about the show was the character (and I’m calling her a “character” because I’m hoping she doesn’t behave this way in real life) Tara Lewis.  She and her husband Brian relocated to Atlanta because Brian was to become Senior Pastor at a 300+ family church.  Apparently he was fired 6-weeks after taking the job. According to Tara, the church leaders were not in agreement with Brian’s vision, her wardrobe choices and even the way she worships.  While that’s surprising I think what was more shocking to me was the huge social and religious stereotypes being perpetuated by this couple.  For example:

  • Brian’s “urban” dialect (Sorry … that’s the best way that I know how to say that. I’m sure I’m going to be called out on the next Black in America series within the whole “talking black” section. Jesus help me).
  • They are an “upwardly mobile couple” going … where?? And how?!?  They have a nice house and car, but no family, friends, job or mention of a past job.  Meanwhile she’s enjoying mid-day gym workouts, has $1K worth of weave in her head, nice clothes, and $10K+ set of boobs.  Were they slangin’ crack rocks in L.A.?
  • They can’t have a conversation without throwing Jesus into it. I’m sure even the Lord wishes they would keep His name out they mouth at this point.  I can feel my sweet Jesus roll His eyes every time Tara says, “I’m Kingdom”.  GTFOH.  I’m. Just. Sayin.

One of the biggest things that irritated me was Tara’s conversation with Domonique and Ivy.  The ladies came together to get to know Tara better, but truthfully were trying to see if she actually stacked up to all of the crazy they’d heard.  I mean, let’s call a spade a spade.  We can say all day that they were simply trying to have a “ladies lunch”, but really they were setting her up and she fell tragically.

During their conversation, Ivy and Domonique were trying to make the point that even though they are preacher’s wives, they need a space where they can show their vulnerability and share the hardships of life without being beat over the head by the responsibility of their title.  Tara was so busy showing that she was “Kingdom” that she missed the entire point.  Well … I don’t want to say she missed it.  I believe she is intelligent and clearly understood what they were asking for; however, she’s so busy playing this Kingdom role that she missed a clear opportunity to build this Atlanta friendship network she’s so desperately seeking.  She insisted that she speaks the Word at all times and she won’t have her life choice suppressed by women who would carelessly discard God from the conversation.  In her mind, He’s first and so she shall present Him first in all things.  The Problem: her delivery was foul and completely disrespectful.  If your sister comes to you and says, “Hey Girl, I need a safe place to bare my soul” and you respond by literally shoving the Bible down her throat and screaming that she better get on her knees and trust God, I’m going to go out on a limb and say your argument has lost ALL effectiveness.  Not to mention that your antics have completely dismissed God from the entire situation.

The conversation bothered me for one main reason.  It totally irritates me when people use God and/or spiritual principles to back up their fooleywang.  Tara is ridiculous and so was her entire participation in the conversation, but her persistence in saying her behavior was  “Godly” is insane.  She couldn’t have been further from God if she’d bungee jumped naked off the side of the devil’s balls while fellating some random dude (in my humble opinion … no shade intended).  God calls us to meet people where they are and certainly is disappointed when we use His principles as weapons.  She’s not “Kingdom”, she’s ridiculous; and, she shamed the very God she claims to serve by trying to align Him with such disrespectful behavior.  Imagine if Jesus would have treated people with contempt and pride while trying to conform non-believers! There’s no way He would’ve been as effective.  If she really wants to be “Kingdom” then perhaps she needs a refresher course in what that really means.

I don’t know if I’ll continue to watch the show.  Honestly, I may tune in when I need a moment to disconnect from reality and kill a few brain cells.  I will challenge you to remember that the “reality” you’re consuming isn’t actually real.  If you are conducting yourself anything like the characters we seen each week; if you’re taking sides; if you’re claiming you love one character over the other when they ALL are morally reprehensible, please do me a favor and KYS.  Just kidding.  Just remember that it’s entertainment.  It’s something to do.  Make sure it doesn’t begin to shape the way you treat people or the way you relate to people.  Especially women.  Please sisters, let’s be better to one another.

In the words of Forrest Gump … that’s all I have to say about that.

Later Alligators, AskThePRGirl