There is no stronger love than a mother for their child. There is also no stronger force when said mother believes that her child has been wronged.
Women of the Movement is a six-episode miniseries that aired on ABC before moving to Hulu. It tells the story of the murder of Emmett Till (Cedric Joe) in 1955 and his mother’s, Mamie Till (Adrienne Warren) fight for justice. In August of that year, Emmet is spending part of his vacation with family in Mississippi. Raised in Chicago, he is unaware of the unofficial rules of the Jim Crow South. He supposedly makes a lewd comment at a White woman. Two days later, Emmet is taken in the middle of the night, tortured, and killed.
Upon hearing that her son (and only child) will be returning home in a box, Mamie funnels her grief and anger into ensuring that the men who slaughtered Emmett will spend the rest of their days in prison.
OMG. I was hooked the entire time. At its heart, it is a love story between a parent and their child. If Mamie had laid in bed the entire time, relying on food, alcohol, or another outside source to dull her sorrow, it would be completely understood. Instead, she stood up for Emmet. In doing so, she opened another door to the Civil Rights movement and broke the glass ceiling for both women and Americans of color.
The thing that struck me was that Till was not the first and is certainly not the last young man killed for their skin color. It is almost seventy years since this boy’s life was taken. There is no doubt that the hard work of multiple generations has paid off. But there is still a long road ahead of us.
It would be a shame if Warren does not receive any sort of nomination for this role. It is her performance that held me by the proverbial throat and kept me hoping that justice would prevail, even when history tells us otherwise.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Women of the Movement is available for streaming on Hulu.
The Wonder Years is one of the most beloved television series of the modern era. The story of growing up from the perspective of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) speaks to the 12 year old in all of us.
The reboot of the series premiered on Tuesday on ABC. As in the original program, the story is set in 1968, but in Montgomery, Alabama. Our protagonist is 12 year old Dean Williams (Elisha Williams). Narrating the story from decades in the future as the adult Dean is Don Cheadle. As Dean starts on his journey from childhood to adulthood, the Civil Right movement plays on in the background affecting everything and everyone around him.
The Wonder Years is one of the best new series of the fall. It has the charm and nostalgia of its predecessor, while feeling relevant with the issues that African-Americans and other people of color are still dealing with. It hits both the heart and the head, making the viewer think while reminding us of the joys and perils of being on the precipice of our teenage years.
Do I recommend it? Yes
The Wonder Years airs on ABC on Tuesday at 8:30 PM.
I haven’t watched this show in a long time, but it still makes me laugh. It is one of those programs that you can sit down with the family and watch without having to explain adult concepts to young children.
I’m not a parent, but I can imagine what it feels like to have an empty house when your kids have left the nest.
Call Your Motherpremiered last night on ABC. Jean Raines (Kyra Sedgwick) is a middle aged widow from the Midwest. Her kids, Jackie (Rachel Sennott) and Freddie (Joey Bragg) have both moved to Los Angeles. After calling her son four days in a row and not receiving a response, Jean decides that an impromptu trip to the coast is necessary. Trying to insert herself into their now adult lives, Jean is surprised by the reaction she receives and changes in her children’s lives.
The purpose of a pilot is to introduce the audience to the characters and the narrative. The nuances and deeper dives come later. The problem is that this show is predictable with a capital P. While I understand Jean’s motivation, her extreme enthusiasm towards her kids is just too much. She is also culturally and technologically clueless, playing on the stereotype that once you get a certain age, you start to lose touch with the world around you.
Do I recommend it? No.
Call Your Mother airs on ABC on Wednesdays at 9:30 PM.
If there is one thing that Americans have lost over the last four years, it is that we have lost a sense of decency.
On Thursday, in lieu of the cancelled Presidential debate, each candidate held a televised town Hall. You know who’s town hall aired on NBC with Savannah Guthrie as moderator. Vice President Joe Biden’s town hall aired on ABC with George Stephanopoulos moderating.
I didn’t watch you know who’s town hall. But I watched enough clips to know that it was not worth watching. Instead of talking about what he would do for the American people if he is re-elected, he once again claimed the spotlight and whined.
One of the questions that was asked of the Vice President, was his stance on the rights of the LGBTQ community. His response is as follows:
This is the type of person I want to be President. Is he perfect? No. But at the very least, he understands that the role of a public servant is to serve the community. It is not intended to be used for personal gain or to fill an emotional hole created by difficult parent.
If I were to list the reasons to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the number one reason is a vote for decency. If we are to move forward as a nation, we need a President and an administration that represents that sense of decency. That administration will be led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
This is the premise of What Would You Do? (2008-2015). Originally airing on ABC before moving to A&E, the program was hosted by John Quiñones. The program is based on the question on what one would do if they saw someone else in a conflict or doing something illegal. Would they speak up or just go about their business?
In the establishment of each particular scenario, hidden cameras are setup. Actors are brought in to play out the scenario; he reactions of the bystanders are recorded by the cameras. When all is said and done, Quiñones appears and interviews the bystanders. The footage is then viewed and discussed by experts in the field of psychology or education.
Unlike other reality shows, this program makes the audience think. It’s a reminder that television has the power to change lives and how we set each other.
One of the more interesting sub-genres of reality television is the fish out of water story.
Dancing with the Stars (2005-Present) can most certainly be defined as a fish out of water story. The American version of the UK program Strictly Come Dancing, the premise of the show is as follows: a celebrities who are not known for their dancing skills are matched with professional dancers. The dance of the week is chosen the week before the episode is set to air. As the season rolls on, the couples are eliminated until one is crowned that season’s winner.
DWTS is one of the more interesting programs that fall within the reality television genre. It is not as mind numbing as other shows and perhaps inspires viewers to try something new by putting on their own dancing shoes.
It’s boring when we are around the same people who have the same beliefs. Life is much more interesting when we are around people whose beliefs and viewpoints are different from ours.
The View premiered on ABC in 1997 and since then, has become a staple of the network’s morning schedule. Created by journalism legend Barbara Walters, the premise of the show was to bring in five different women of varying ages, backgrounds and opinions to discuss the latest headlines and interview prominent figures. Joining Barbara at the table for the first few years was Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar and Debbie Matenopoulos. Over the years, the women around the table have changed (except for Behar), but the voices of the diverse women coming together remains the same.
I’m not a fan of Daytime TV. I find it sometimes to be rather boring. But, on the rare occasion when I am home on a weekday, I will watch The View. I find the conversation to be interesting and the differing perspectives of the hosts a refreshing take on the us vs. them mentality that has become part of our national discourse.
Words, words, words... well said Hamlet! A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. From the Tudors to Tom Hardy's Tess, or from the Wars of the Roses to Wuthering Heights, feel free to browse through my musings to pick up extra ideas and points for discussion!