Tag Archives: Phylicia Rashad

Flashback Friday-A Raisin in the Sun (2008)

Sometimes, life presents us with a choice. We can either do what we need to do to survive or we can go for our dreams, no matter what the cost is.

In the 2008 TV movie A Raisin in the Sun (based on the award-winning play by Lorraine Hansberry), the Younger family is living in 1950’s Chicago, doing the best they can. Walter (Sean “Diddy” Combs) is barely making ends meet as a limo driver, but wants more out of life. His wife Ruth (Audra McDonald), in contrast to her husband, is satisfied with the direction her life has taken. Beneatha (Sanaa Lathan) is not only trying to become a doctor, but has to choose between two different men. While this is happening, Lena (Phylicia Rashad), the matriarch of the Younger family is waiting for an insurance check that could forever change the course of their lives.

A Raisin in the Sun made its debut nearly 60 years ago. Despite the fact that the play is 6 decades old, it is still as relevant today as it was in 1959. Not only the television movie an excellent adaptation, but Diddy surprised many with his acting abilities.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, History, Television, TV Review

Flashback Friday-Polly: Comin’ Home! (1990)

Pollyanna is one of those books that many of us read when we were young.

Written by Eleanor H. Porter, it is the story of an optimistic orphan who is taken in by her wealthy and emotionally distant aunt.

In 1990, it was remade in Polly: Comin’ Home. Set in the 1950’s, the television movie starred The Cosby Show actors Keshia Knight Pulliam as the titular orphan and Phylicia Rashad as her aunt.

As reboots go, this isn’t bad. It was also banking on the fact that the two lead actresses were on one of the most popular televisions back then.

Do I recommend it? Yea, why not?

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Filed under Books, Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review

Flashback Friday-80’s Television Edition-The Cosby Show (1984-1992) & A Different World (1987-1993)

Television in the 1980’s, for the most part, was very, well, white. Then Bill Cosby came along.

The Cosby Show (1984-1992), revolutionized television. Whereas previous African-American shows had their characters in settings that many lived in at the time, The Cosby Show was different. The Huxtables were an upper middle class family in Brooklyn. Cliff (Bill Cosby) was a doctor, his wife Clair (Phylicia Rashad) was a lawyer. They had five children ranging in age from college to early elementary school.

While the show contained the usual emotional schmaltz and “special episodes”, this show was also funny and spoke to the audience, regardless of the labels they used. Unfortunately, the show’s legacy has been altered by the scandal revolving around it’s star.

In 1987, Lisa Bonet’s character, Denise, was spun off into a series of her own, A Different World. Airing until 1993, the show followed Denise as she attended a historically all black college. Due to what was understood at the time differences with the show’s producers, Lisa Bonet left, but the show lived on.

While there are certain elements in terms of fashion, music and lingo that are dated, the show lives on because of the human stories and human lives of the characters. And, to it’s credit, it encouraged and still encourages some kids to attend college who had not considered going.

Do I recommend them? Well yes, but I can’t watch The Cosby Show reruns without thinking of Bill Cosby in a different light.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review