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Black Talent Shines Bright in Summer TV

by Curtis
July 11, 2011 6:43 AM
12 Comments
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With tonight’s premiere of the final season of The Closer, yet another great cast that includes wonderful Black leads will be on the air for the summer. The Closer is one of those rare shows that with Corey Reynolds, Robert Gossett, in past seasons Gina Ravera, and now Courtney B. Vance (in a recurring role) as the new chief-of-police, has more than one or at least significant African-American cast members that are allowed to shine despite such strong leads.

Another great show in that category has its season premiere tonight as well and that’s Eureka - which I sadly have fallen off from watching but you shouldn’t! With Joe Morton, Salli Richardson-Whitfield & Tembi Locke (Sliders, Windfall) it has an even better known and strong Black cast and is definitely worth watching. Eureka airs tonight at 8pm on SyFy.

Then of course there is Jada Pinkett Smith in Hawthorne. Do you sense the trepidation in my mentioning of it? I like Jada, but could never get into the show. Maybe I just don’t like nurses because Nurse Jackie just doesn’t do it for me either, but at least that has better writing. There may be a few shows I’m forgetting, tough I already wrote about Mpho Koaho in Falling Skies two Sunday’s ago.

I wrote about a bunch of other noteworthy shows here last summer, and here are a list of those and some others, new and existing, for you to peep:


Franklin & Bash (Wednesdays at 9pm on TNT)
Garcelle Beauvais and Dana Davis


Rescue Me (new & final season starts 7/13 at 10pm on FX)
Larenz Tate & Daniel Sunjata


Leverage (Sundays at 9pm on TNT)
Aldis Hodge


Rizzoli & Isles (also premiers tonight at 10pm on TNT)
Lee Thompson Young


Then there is Gina Torres in Suits and Coby Bell in Burn Notice (Thursdays at 10pm and 9pm, respectively, on USA) but they don’t get too much shine on their shows, though Coby used to. Yet, they are good when they’re there, and the shows are good overall, so if you’re in the mood, take a gander.

There's a decent amount of Black talent, if not Black tv shows, coming this Fall. Stay tuned for some spotlights on those.

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12 Comments

  • scottyc | July 13, 2011 12:09 PMReply

    What about Brandy returning to acting, in a 3-episode stint on lifetime's Drop Dead Diva. Later this summer.

  • JMac | July 13, 2011 2:02 AMReply

    I've just watched one episode online since I've missed the first three on tv. Tisha actually has a lot of face time and lines so it's not as demeaning a role as I thought - not 50/50 Ally/Tisha but definitely 60/40.

    It is NOT a CSI/Criminal Minds type show. No irritatingly smart ass, nonchalant yet sarcastic cops cracking bad jokes over dead bodies. Everyone acts "human" and there is a stronger emphasis on family and lots of light humor. In other words, this is a chick show but if you want to see how Tisha manages her casual relationship with a black male colleague [woohoo!!!] that might be enough to make you watch despite the large dose of estrogen the show exudes. Advice I give to my brothers about watching Lifetime: Only watch with a woman in the room. She'll soak up most the estrogen and, if she's amenable, you can cop cheap feels during the commercials to keep your boys from shriveling up :D

  • Tamara | July 12, 2011 4:41 AMReply

    @ Curtis, I like Marc Anthony, too, from what I've seen of him in other roles. Also I didn't mean to beat up on Jada or her efforts either. Heck, I didn't like Grey's Anatomy for much of the same reason though the writing was better and the soundtrack was...The Fray x10. LOL. Hospital-related dramas just arent' a fav. I even fell off with House after the first season and that writing and performances are really great. But continued success. Three seasons in is good. Most of what I like (sci-fi/action/heist) don't make it past the first season before they're canceled.

  • Curtis | July 12, 2011 3:23 AMReply

    @FZ Black - Many thanks. We aims to illuminate (sorry, watched Porgy & Bess last week)

    @JMac - Is The Protector good? Can I watch Lifetime and still retain enough testosterone to go forth and multiply? LOL I actually like Ally Walker but didn't realize it started yet. Tisha Campbell as another BBF...sigh. Well, she's working though.

    @Misha - Depending on your taste, you make like Suits better than Burn Notice, the latter of which is an acquired taste (just ask Aziz Ansari - or look that up on YouTube). And yes, thank you, Hawthorne is boooriing! Perfect transition to...

    @Orville - If that was my issue with the show I'd admit that. I tried watching it again last year and like others, i just found it still wanting. And I may lose street cred for this, but I like Mark Anthony as an actor, and some others. But the show is just way too antiseptic.

    @ Tamara - Great way to describe Hawthorne -- though now it sounds like I'm beating up on Jada and that wasn't my intention. Breaking Bad starts this upcoming Sunday and I fell off from that show but will start watching again - I'm way behind but Bad Walt is looking sick!!!!! I'm totally in, esp. since Mad Men isn't on. And Leverage, well, I can't so enough. The season opener was dope, last season was classic. Love 'em all.

    @ Lady B, Cherish and Lynn - thanks for the Hawthorne updates. So she married Vartan, huh? Had no clue. Does sound like Grey's. Is her daughter on the show still annoying? Recognize I didn't even mention her :)

  • Cherish | July 12, 2011 2:08 AMReply

    Didn't Hawthorne just get married and was pregnant like 2 weeks (I heard she lost the baby)? And she already has a new love interest???

    Damn, this sounds as bad as Grey's Anatomy...

  • Lynn | July 11, 2011 12:55 PMReply

    I love Hawthorne I can't wait to watch what happens next w/ her and her husband and the detective. I hope she chooses Mark Anthony!!! They have soooooooooo much chemistry and you can tell they love each other.

  • ladyb | July 11, 2011 12:54 PMReply

    Uh...I actually like Hawthorne although I admit the writing could be better. That said I wish they never cast skeletor aka Marc Anthony...and the few eppys this season have quickly gone from "Whoa" to "WTF!". Ionno if I can hold on if they continue along the current path.

  • Orville | July 11, 2011 11:51 AMReply

    Look at the haters bashing Jada she's the ONLY black woman currently on television right now headling her OWN show! Hawthorne gets solid ratings and she has great chemistry with the very attractive Michael Vartan. Maybe, the reason Curtis doesn't like Hawthorne because Jada's love interests aren't black guys?

    Jada's character Christina isn't interested in black men in fact, her deceased husband on Hawthorne was also a white guy. I think it is so refreshing to see a television show dealing with an attractive black woman falling in love with white and Latino men. It is very rare on American television to see interracial romance with black women that is tender and romantic.


    In fact, Jennifer Lopez husband Marc Anthony returns his season and he will be Jada's new love interest! Jada's got it made a white stud Michael Vartan and a Latino stallion in Marc Anthony. Go girl!!!

  • Tamara | July 11, 2011 11:38 AMReply

    Then of course there is Jada Pinkett Smith in Hawthorne. Do you sense the trepidation in my mentioning of it? I like Jada, but could never get into the show.

    *takes mic from you, sits down, tokes on cig, thinks again, hands you back the mic*

    Let me not go there. LOL. I mean, I tried but this show, at least the first couple episodes of season one, were too frickin' NEAT. Like neat little package neat. And it was too...I don't know. Something about it...

    Anyhoo, my problem with supporting current teevee is that I forget and am otherwise busy to keep up with a show in real-time.

    Giancarlo is coming back in "Breaking Bad". And I think that might've premiered yesterday and I forgot all about it. You'd think I'd remember having spent the last couple weeks catching up.

    And then there's "Leverage" which I just caught up with this weekend. I so love that show! It's so quirky and cute and 'neat' in a way that I can handle (maybe it's because of all the snark and of course the characters). Alris is soooo good looking! *new crush* LOL

    I love good TV. Furthermore, I love DVD boxsets complete with special features, bonus features, deleted scenes and gag reels.

    My ratio of television (boxset) lately far exceeds my movie rentals and purchases. I'd rather watch four-to-six hours' worth of episodes (good TV) than say, TRON which I finally saw on yesterday. Verdict? Hated it. Was bored. And I know you really wanted to know alla dat, right? LOL.

    So yeah, thanks for the posts. *updating Netflix queue hasta pronto*

  • JMac | July 11, 2011 11:04 AMReply

    You left off Tisha Campbell in The Protector. I know it's Lifetime and she's the black side kick but some of the more recent trailers have caught my attention. Gonna check it out. I looove me some Tisha Campbell!

  • misha | July 11, 2011 8:18 AMReply

    Yes, Hawthorne is a snoozefest. I tried to watch but after the first couple of episodes, I had to give up.

    I like Garcelle but Franklin and Bash is a disaster. I expect that cancellation is in order.

    I do enjoy Leverage and Rescue Me and I might give Suits and Burn Notice a chance since I like Gina Torres and Coby Bell...though I'm disappointed to hear that they don't have bigger roles.

  • FZ Black | July 11, 2011 7:35 AMReply

    This is what I appreciate about this blog... illuminating our people. Thank You!!

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