Each time I’ve tuned into the first three episodes of Fox’s Star, I’ve been convinced that I’m watching Lee Daniels’ fantasy Barbie doll playtime depicted in nighttime soap opera form. Only in Lee Daniels’ mind would some cute little blonde slutty heroine named Star Davis (Jude Demorest), with a modernized tragic mulatta for a sister (Savannah played by Brittany O’Grady), manage to be the central figure in a world punctuated by African-American LGBT culture.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind the culture at all. It is important for all viewers far and wide to familiarize themselves with the LGBT experience whether it is as frivolous as voguing or as emotionally challenging as the struggle of a transgender woman trying to get her mother to understand and accept her with the full blessing of a mother’s love. Thus, I applaud Lee Daniels for incorporating such facets into the story.
The show is pretty much a snooze fest overall. Star is not a compelling character. I don’t care that she wants to make it despite her mom’s self-destructive drug addiction or her experience in foster care or her better-than-average singing voice. Star simply isn’t interesting. Or likable. She’s not even intriguing in that Denzel Washington in Training Day way. Her sister is equally, if not more so, one dimensional. And the third member of their group, Alexandra Crane (Ryan Destiny)…yeah, she’s exactly what television needs: another perpetually angry, dark brown chick. In fact, the show has yet to produce any character with the kind of draw or flair that both Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard bring to Empire. Queen Latifah and Tyrese Gibson just ain’t doing it. (Amiyah Scott as Cotton has a bit of a shot but she doesn’t actually get enough screen time.) But I don’t blame these actors as much as I blame Lee Daniels.
I’d love to know what kind of research Daniels does to realize these characters. Does he actually know any people like the characters he has created? If he does, has he actually had any in-depth conversations with them? You know…about their life experiences or the corresponding emotions involved? Again, it seems like he really imagined he could pretend his way through the complexities of a hood white chick and her fellow cohorts just because he’s Lee Daniels and his casting director chops have been successful in the past.
Having said that, if the show continues (good luck with that) is Daniels going to address HIV/AIDS? If so, that would be great especially since the disease is still affecting a sizable percentage of the gay and straight Black populace. Also the female stars of the show seem to love to get their cooters poked. How is it that no one who screws on television ever gets any sexually transmitted infections? Things that make you go hmmmm.
Star airs Wednesday nights on FOX.
Two fists. And that’s being kind.