Author: Rachele

The Fandom City Sheriff and the Alderman take a trip back to The Catskills in 1963, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the romance-dance-drama, Dirty Dancing. As Baby and Johnny fall in love over three weeks in the summer, we fall in love with a film that almost wasn’t. Patrick Swayze in tight pants, grinding on the dance floor, and overt classism make for a great conversation. Join the discussion!

 

 

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On a whim, I decided to watch the first season of Greenleaf on Netflix. That turned out to be one of my better decisions this week. I ended up binging the entire first season, plus the first half of season two in a day and a half. This show is amazing.

I’d been meaning to watch Greenleaf for a while because Keith David is in it. Come on, now- need I have a better reason? Unfortunately, I was a little hesitant; I was afraid it was going to be over-the-top like the Tyler Perry soaps on OWN or preachy like . . . well, like Tyler Perry movies. I was pleasantly surprised (and happy) that it wasn’t. No offense to fans of Tyler Perry’s shows and movies. The Haves and the Have Nots has some entertaining moments and Daddy’s Girls had Idris Elba.

Anyway, I turned on Greenleaf with the intention of watching one episode and was immediately pulled in. Well-written with great acting, Greenleaf is an all-around fantastic show. With an ensemble cast that stars Merle Dandridge, and features Keith David and Lynn Whitfield, how could one expect anything less?

The show is about the less-than-perfect Greenleaf family and their lives in and out of their megachurch, Calvary Fellowship, in Memphis. They jump right out the box exploring storylines that are rarely/never discussed on shows featuring black families: suicide, child molestation, confusion about homosexuality. These are subjects that many are dealing with in the black community, and Greenleaf puts it out there for us all to face. They pull no punches with the subject matter and they follow through; that’s what I love about this show. The stories started in the first season and have continued into season two, but they don’t feel dragged out. It actually seems like the perfect pace to tell these stories.

Secrets and lies go hand in hand with prayer and the gospel in the Greenleaf family and at Calvary Fellowship. This is a powerful family; their name carries a lot of clout in Memphis and all of Tennessee. It’s a wonderful thing seeing a rich and powerful black family on TV, that didn’t make rise to the top by selling drugs to their own people. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t a little blood money lining the coffers of Calvary Fellowship. They lie, cheat and commit crimes like . . . like I never expected to happen in a family of pastors. Wow, they are just like regular people. I’m guessing they give themselves a pass because they’re God-fearing church people.

Grace Greenleaf (Dandridge), the prodigal daughter returns home after being absent for 20 years, one would think some heavy shi . . . stuff would have to have happened to drive a person away for two decades. Heavy it was. Grace was a beloved pastor at Calvary Fellowship, but events from the past and present have left her calling and her beliefs. She’s lost from her flock and has no idea how to get back or if she really wants to return. Grace is a very flawed and complex woman. She’s driven to right the wrongs of the past and present, but blinded by the need for justice and revenge. I won’t mention the cause of Grace’s angst, because that would spoil the show. It’s not too far into the season two to catch up and find out for yourself.

Keith David and Lynn Whitfield give powerful performances as Grace’s parents Bishop James and First Lady Mae. These two are not to be trifled with; especially Lady Mae. She is a true bitch. But let me tell you, she is one of the best bitches on TV.

Gregory Alan Williams is masterful as the horribly awful Robert “Mac” McCready; Lady Mae’s brother. I wish I didn’t want this character dead, because Mr. Williams’ performance as this sick reprobate is phenomenal. Jason Dirden kills it as the rival and thorn in Bishop James’ side, Pastor Basie Skanks. Let me not forget Oprah Winfrey as Mac and Lady Mae’s sister Mavis, and the wonderful Bill Cobb as their creepy ass father.

You can’t have a show about a black church without some great gospel music. Deborah Joy Winans delivers on a regular basis. Plus Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin have made guests appearances. Did you know Keith David could sing? I didn’t, but it was a pleasant surprise. When Bishop James broke into a little song during his sermon, it made feel like I was a little girl back at my grandmother’s church.

Did I mention this is a great show? There were a couple potential storylines and minor characters that were dropped between seasons one and two, but unlike the disappearance of Calvin on Queen Sugar, it didn’t throw me off or disrupt the flow of the story.

The most disappointing thing about Greenleaf was finishing up the most recent episode on demand and trying to watch the next two on www.oprah.com/app/greenleaf.html and realizing they haven’t aired yet. 🙁 But they’re coming on Tuesday (8/15/17) and Wednesday (8/16/17) – Hallelujah!

Look- if you’re looking for good drama, a show with a loving black family with some issues, great acting and the chance to watch Keith David and Lynn Whitfield bring it on the regular, Greenleaf is the show for you. Get on Netflix, On Demand and/or www.oprah.com/app/greenleaf.html as soon as possible. If you’re already watching it, good on you and I’ll see you Twitter.

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Another special request, brings the Sheriff and the Mayor together to discuss the 80s teen/HS classic, The Breakfast Club. In the suburbs of Chicago, it’s not always happy fun times, as five high school students learn during Saturday detention. Hang out with the Sheriff and the Mayor as they talk about what’s lauded by some as the best teen movie ever.

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It seems like summer just isn’t summer without a Marvel movie. What a great summer we’ve had, so far.

After his amazing introduction in Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker is finally back. Chele and Tea talk about the new summer hit, Spider-Man Homecoming; the amazing changes Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has brought compared to Andrew Garfield, and Toby Maguire’s versions of Spider-Man and the amazing cast featuring Holland’s co-lead Zendaya Coleman, Michael Keaton, and Robert Downey, Jr.

Be advised, there are spoilers.

You can also listen to us on iTunes, StitcherSoundCloudTuneIn, or Google Play.

 

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On the latest episode of Press Rewind, Chele, Leona, and Tea discuss the cult classic, Hollywood Shuffle. (Yes, cult classic; we said what we said.) It’s been 30 years since Robert Townsend brought us this semi-autobiographical tale about being a black actor in Hollywood and it’s still very much relevant. Go batty, batty, batty with us as we dust off this classic to see if it’s holds up. Don’t forget to bring a snack; maybe some Ho Cakes?

You can also listen to us on iTunes, StitcherSoundCloudTuneIn, or Google Play.

 

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Have you ever found yourself dealing with a bout of Babysitting Blues? Well Chris Parker knows just how you feel! Come to Fandom City to hear Leona & Tea celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 80s comedy-adventure classic, “Adventures in Babysitting.”

We talk about all the thrills, the chases, the laughs and definitely that crazy knife fight! This movie managed to entertain us for decades, so we decided to Press Rewind and see how we feel about it in 2017! Is it still as great as we’ve always said…?

You can also listen to us on iTunes, StitcherSoundCloudTuneIn, or Google Play.

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Did you love Atlanta? Queen Sugar? This Is Us? Guess what…we did too! What about Chewing Gum and Master of None? Yep we’re right there with you.

The 2016-17 television season has ended and there was so much to discuss for shows old and new. Join the conversation with Rachele, Leona and Tea as we talk about what we loved, hated and just couldn’t even bother to continue watching this last year. Some of them even had to get the axe from our DVR schedules to make room for more promising entertainment. Good riddance! We cover all the bases of what we watched.

If we’re lucky, maybe there’s even more excitement in store this Summer and Fall…what do you think?

You can also listen to us on iTunes, StitcherSoundCloudTuneIn, or Google Play.

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There’s nothing like hopping on Twitter and finding out that one of the greatest movies of my childhood . . . Correction, one of the greatest movies ever made; not only didn’t feature a women lead but was also a flop.

Huh!?

Erased, Again

While accepting an award from Women in Film, Elizabeth Banks put Steven Spielberg on blast for not making movies with female leads. While you can count them on one hand, Elizabeth put her foot in in it because Spielberg HAS directed movies with female leads. Not only has he directed movies with female leads, he directed The Color Purple, the fourth top grossing film of 1985–which stars a black woman. To make matters worse, when an audience member mentioned he directed The Color Purple, Banks ignored the correction.

Wait a minute; it would not have killed her to say “I stand corrected” and continue getting into Spielberg’s ass, but instead she dismissed that truth. Why? Did The Color Purple not have a woman lead? Was it not directed by Steven Spielberg? Admitting he directed the movie would not have lessened her point. But ignoring it diminished the fact that a black woman was a lead in one of his films – one that happened to be based on a novel written by a black woman. It also insinuates black women (and other women of color) are either not women or less than.

Oh by the way, Spielberg produced Memoirs of a Geisha. Does that not count because he didn’t direct it or because the women leads were Asian?

Flop? 

To add insult to injury, while pointing one of the few movies Spielberg directed with women leads, was a flop, Anne Thompson of “Indie Wire” tweeted The Color Purple was a flop. Whaaaat? Mind you, she later corrected herself and aplogized, but she had already pressed forward by stating the film only made $41 million. In reality The Color Purple grossed over $98 million in the US and $146 million worldwide. Considering it was made with a $15 million budget, that’s a pretty damn good take for a flop. Well, I guess tomato, to-mah-to. Side note: It took the wrath of Black Twitter to get that correction.

Here’s the thing; even if The Color Purple was a flop, what was the purpose in pointing that out? To prove that movies with black women leads aren’t successful? To say that it shouldn’t be counted because it “was a flop”? Was pointing that out meant to minimize the success of one of the few Spielberg movies that featured women leads because it was a black woman in the lead?

I checked IMDB and saw that Spielberg directed at least two movies with women leads; The Sugarland Express starring Goldie Hawn and The Color Purple starring Whoopi Goldberg. I guess you can include Always if you want. Hmm, I always thought Richard Dreyfuss was the lead but whatever. Anyway of the three films, The Color Purple had the biggest box office success, plus it received 11 Academy Award nominations and five Golden Globe nominations. In 1986, Whoopi Goldberg won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. That’s the category for the female lead, in case you’re wondering.

 

A Win for Women?

I don’t get why every time white women in Hollywood gripe about the difficulties of representation for women – how hard it is for women to get lead roles or get jobs behind the camera – they always exclude women of color. NEWS FLASH: as hard as it is for white women to make it in Hollywood, it’s even harder for women of color.

I get it. Rant on about Steven Spielberg’s choices not to direct films that feature lead roles for women. Hell, go after other men directors and the rest of Hollywood for the crappy treatment of women, but dammit stop dismissing the aspirations of women of color trying to make it in the industry. They freaking exist, too. And they aren’t going anywhere.

White feminist always call on women of color to join the fight, but they don’t seem too willing to share the rewards of a well fought battle. These women need to get over themselves because it’s getting tiresome.

 

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