Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Call it a Renaissance?

My final project will be a radio report critiquing the second season of BET's sophomore hit "Being Mary Jane" which stars Gabrielle Union in a pretty dynamic role as yet another African American leading lady. I'm looking at feminist themes along with melodrama as associated with race and ethnicity. As we've all witnessed, TV has really embraced the black female leading lady in the past several years and this is due in large part to Shonda Rhimes and ABC's #tgit lineup. I am seeing today that Shonda Rhimes is teaming with Dee Rees (director of Focus Features' Independent Spirit Award winning film Pariah) for an FX limited series adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson's acclaimed "Warmth of Other Sons" which chronicles the migration of African Americans from Southern rural town to bigger bustling Northern cities in search of better lives. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, this development comes on the heels of the upcoming remake of "Roots" by A&E, the History Channel and Lifetime (yikes). It will be interesting to see Shondaland's transition into producing for cable television as well as how this new project will be received. Here's an interesting article on the implications from The Guardian...

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