Thursday, September 25, 2008

Throwback Pop Culture Clip; New Show Openings

So Ugly Betty just started and there is a new opening for the show. I don't like it. New openings used to cause excitement. Remember the Cosby Show? Even in syndication the different seasoning openings are something to look forward to.

I bring to you the revamped opening for Sister Sister. The twins straightened their hair, became "cool" and the WB11 continued to be the post-Fox source for Negro entertainment, before UPN took over that mantle.

Okay so the song is annoying, but see the evolution...feel the change.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Old School Fridays: Road Trip Songs

This one is a little tough for me. Growing up, road trips consisted of two tapes played over and over again: one was by the Grace Thrillers and the other was by the Grammy Award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Trust me, "The Midnight Cry" is not exactly what you want to hear as a kid on 3 hour car trips in the rain and in the dark boonies. You will be convinced the world is ending that night.

Thankfully, I also went on school trips where we sang songs loudly in the back of the bus. Killing Me Softly and Fugee-la-la were faves, as was any reggae/calypso/soca song of the moment.

Yea...we were special...There's a joy singing songs that call for dancing, in situations where you can't dance.

Then I went to high school and met the wonder that was Billy Joel's Piano Man. But nothing beat listening to my team belting this song on the bus after tournaments.

Check out other OSF participants here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Throwback Pop Culture Clip of the Week: Lil Bow Wow

Back to regularly scheduled programming. I gave you last Thursday off.

Since Bow Wow has been good lately: promoting Entourage, producing great photo shoots for King and appearing with nice young ladies like Angela Simmons, he's back in my good graces. I'll forgive the music and trip down memory lane. I'm barking with you.

September 11--Always Remember

But is there really any way to forget? I was going to write about the number 7 and what it should mean being today marks 7 years since the 9/11 attacks. There really aren't words. Please take a moment to remember and pray today.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Top Gender Benders on TV : I Want to Work for Diddy and Changing Society

On last night's episode of "I Want to Work for Diddy" (VH1), the reality competition to work for Sean "Diddy" Combs, Laverne-the resident transgendered contestant was eliminated. In a battle for what seemed to be the integrity of her identity versus exploitation versus the public's comfort--Laverne did not fare well in the heat of the battle. Kimberly, also known as Po-Prah managed to stay in the battle despite her annoying ways because she knows how to play a game. I can't wait to see her in future reality shows where they use old contestants.

Laverne isn't the only gender bender to pop up on television recently. In keeping with the classification of two sexes and their socially constructed genders, television has been showing more and more people not conforming to the roles. America's Next Top Model now features a transgendered contestant, Isis, and on Project Runway an episode was dedicated to drag queens with RuPaul as a guest host. I guess times are changing, because when I was growing up RuPaul was quite the scandal even though there was a talk show. Today Andre J has become a celebrated [hot mess] personality and Ms. J teaches all the girls how to stomp on the runway on ANTM.

"To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar" gives a laundry list of definitions in the beginning--running through all the trans terms and ending with drag queens. Film has long portrayed transgendered folk, but television has done it quite differently making lots of noise within the last few years.

With much less ado, I present top Gender Bender moments on television, in no specific order. These aren't all transgendered, transexual or tranvestite moments...just gender bending.

Following Christian Siriano's celebrated turn on Project Runway where he popularized the phrase "Hot Tranny Mess" he appeared on season 2 of Ugly Betty using his phrase on Alex/is, the transgendered sister who revealed herself on the season finale of the first season.

RuPaul had a talk show on VH1 back in the late 90s and a bevy of guests appeared including the Backstreet Boys. One of the many performances on the show.

ABC's show about the rich that did not live up to the hype, but is more than watchable is all about the twist. So it's nothing unusual that the politician son played by Billy Baldwin has an extra-marital affair, the twist is that the affair is with a transexual, played by Candis Cayne and offering just that much more drama.

Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari helped define an era with this show about two men who dressed as women in order to live in the Susan B. Anthony apartments. They didn't care what you said then and Tom Hanks surely doesn't care now.

Call me close minded, but the premise of this UK show is just wrong. Men vied for the attention of a women all to find out in the final episode that Miriam was born male. I admit I'm a little surprised the U.S. has not copied this idea yet.

This favorite ABC soap opera has been on for years and although a family favorite, I can't say I really follow it. I knew about Bianca, but I also found out there's a transgendered character named Zoe.

There are other noticeable moments, seen on shows like the L-Word and Ally McBeal. For the full list of transgendered moments offered by Wikipedia click here. See below for a bonus!

Black Men like to Dress like Women

So okay, not just black men do this obviously. We already have a clip from Bosom Buddies and we all remember that episode of Saved by the Bell when the guys dressed up as girls--or at least I do. But let's admit--black men like to dress like women.

I'm sure theres at least one interview out there questioning the morality of Flip Wilson's Geraldine , where the answer is "The Devil Made Me Do It!" In fact that should become the slogan for cross dressers everywhere. As one of the mainstays of his show, Geraldine did skits and interviews and won the hearts of many fans.

Comics are known for playing roles of the opposite gender, and Martin Lawrence is no exception. After Flip Wilson did Geraldine and before the Wayan's brothers became white chicks, there was Shenehneh.

I reference this show way too much. As it Steve Urkel wasn't enought, they made him also share the role of his female cousin , Myrtle Urkel.

What gender bender moments on television stick out for you? Let me know!

Michelle Obama Dances Better Than Barack!!!

As if there was ever any doubt. Michelle for first lady!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Things I'm Pondering Now: Letters to the Media

Dear Time Out New York:

I adore your publication. When I was in London, I relied on the information put out on your website on a regular basis to find random but entertaining things to do in a new city. I've also been a longstanding member of the Hiptix listserv, even if I have never attended a show. This week Gawker has been doing several posts concerning your ability to pay your bills. According to the trusty folk on the ED2010 Message Board, you also pay your staff below the normal levels of nothing journalists currently expect. Now we all know that Gawker is quite the agitator, but I have to ask, why in the midst of these rumors, you're sending out free issues to people that don't exist. Not now, or anytime within the last twenty-nine years has a Lauren lived in my house, but yesterday a Lauren Williams received a free issue of your magazine. I'm happily reading it, in the same way I devour every magazine. But please, get yourself together...the magazine industry willnot die on my watch.


Dear Vanity Fair,

We were going through it. Despite our shared love of all things Michelle, you were slacking on adequate coverage in other areas, particularly disappointing me when every upcoming Hollywood star on the cover was white. I know, Zoe Kravitz and Rob Brown were hidden on the inside shots. Yet Vanity Fair, you still make me smile. Even though I wasn't allowed to watch "The Simpsons" as a child, this piece was right up my alley: It will never top the Harper's Bazaar Simpson's fashion spread, but it touched my heart.


Dear Oprah,

Usually, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you. I say usually, because you threw me for a loop with the whole Eat, Pray and Love book. However, watching one of your reruns this week, I have to call you out. The Cha-Cha Slide? Oprah...come on. It's still cool at weddings, but not old enough to garner a segment on your show. I'm not really hating...because I danced right along at 1:30, but dear I need you to stay up on game.


Old School Fridays: Disco

In my world, Saturday morning is still Friday. This week's OSF is posted around disco. First thought to my mind was a very special episode of Family Matters(yes I really loved that show) that did not get picked up in the My Favorite Scenes: Guest Music Star Edition.

Aunt Oona from Altuna,played by Donna Summers made sure we all got in the "Last Dance".

Another favorite Disco moment from my childhood comes from memories of my family's record collection. Yes, I mean records---not CD's , not tapes.
Because Disney is always right there when you need it.

Check out the other Old School Friday participants here.