What’s Black on TV this Spring?

The Get Down

The Get Down Part 2 airs this Spring on Netflix on April 7. Image courtesy of Netflix Entertainment.

For months, I’ve been biding my time waiting for my shows and my stories to return to prime time because there is only so much of the Voice and Nicole Kidman that I can take. I’m proud to share what Blackness is on the tube this Spring so that we can all watch and discuss. Love.

Okay, how do I feel about ABC? Disney and I have beef but I do support Shonda Rhimes though I’m sometimes mad at the liberties she takes with portraying “reality” in her shows. Let’s just say I’m ambivalent at best.

American Crime (Sundays at 10/9C)
Each season presents different characters (portrayed by the same cast) along with a provocative look at controversial crimes committed in Southern California. It’s well done as it features Regina King and she is the bomb.

Blackish (Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30C)
A Black upper middle class Los Angeles ad exec wonders if his family is denying their Black culture and heritage because of their privileged lifestyle—as if Blackness is all about the Compton experience.  (Yes, I’m hating.)

Scandal (Thursdays at 9/8C)
Olivia Pope. She’s an attorney but she no longer practices law. Instead, she fixes “things” for scandal-ridden politicians and socialites in Washington DC while having and not having affairs with the POTUS and a mercenary.

Recently, I must say that I’ve been very proud of the little Black television station that could because it finally is doing it. The New Edition Story was on point and Madiba was also a great production even if they couldn’t manage to get an actual African to play Nelson Mandela. I feel like they’re really trying to make up for Ink Paper Scissors.

 The Quad (Wednesdays at 9p Eastern)
This Georgia-based HBCU drama is much edgier than a Different World ever was (or could be at the time) but it still manages to star Jasmine Guy. The storyline, thus far, is not bad. Not bad at all.

Rebel (Tuesdays at 10p Eastern)
Her name is Rebel Knight and she is Oakland’s best and brightest detective of course. Series premiere airs March 28.

You know what? I do not watch CBS. I may catch 60 Minutes or Stephen Colbert every now and then but I know this network is meant for old people who are not Black and not me. I mean most of the viewers didn’t know LL Cool J was a rapper before he was on NCIS: Los Angeles. I just can’t.

This network seems to focus solely on paranormal activity and UFOs because some folks are into that.

Ghost Brothers (Fridays at 10/9C)
This show is actually pretty cool as it features three young Black men who visit historic destinations throughout America in search of Black and Black-related paranormal activity. What makes the show so necessary is the way it delves into the Black history of each location and also the way the men themselves react to the ghosts they encounter. New season premieres April 15.

Fox has always been really good at playing to every type of audience regardless of color or income or political leanings. I hate their news network but I effs with their regular broadcast station…for now.

24: Legacy (Mondays at 8/7C)
Dr. Dre…I mean Eric Carter leads the fight against terrorists and the doom they intend to inflict upon America. I  had high hopes for this show and I haven’t been disappointed except for when his wife took a shower without a cap on.

Shots Fired (Wednesdays at 8/7C)
An African-American sheriff’s deputy shoots and kills an unarmed Caucasian teen…but before that an African-American teen’s murder was covered up? I don’t know. Seems interesting. I’ll give the series premiere a try on March 22.

Empire (Wednesdays at 9/8C)
Cookie and Lucious and everyone else returns for this insane nighttime soap/musical on March 22 in the Season 4 premiere.

This network has been trying to lock down Friday night Black viewership for the longest and I think they’ve got something going with their current lineup. I ain’t going out on most Friday nights anymore. I got kids. Hence, I watch.

Bring It! (Fridays at 9/8C)
Each week, Ms. Dee, the coach of a Southern majorette squad, yells and cusses at her team to prepare them for stiff competition against their various rivals. It’s pretty formulaic but I still enjoy the performances.

The Rap Game (Fridays at 10/9C)
Each week, Jermaine Dupree, top Hip-Hop producer, directs and cusses out a group of kids to see who is worthy to be signed to his label. Also formulaic but it’s fun to watch the kids rap.

The Pop Game (Fridays at 11/10C)
Each week, I keep waiting for Timbaland, top Pop producer, to cuss out these group of kids as he’s determining which one is worthy to be signed to his label. However, I guess since the majority of kids are not Black, he’s not going that route. Shame.

There is so much Blackness to watch on Netflix that I need to do a separate blog post about all that the streaming network offers. For now, however, we need to focus on that real that everybody needs in their life this Spring.

The Get Down (Available Anytime)
Last year, as friend after friend spoke of the goodness of this show, it was evident that we all needed this in our lives—this fictionalized account of Hip Hop’s humble beginnings in the streets of late 70s/early 80s New York. Part 2 will finally be airing on April 7 so we can all breathe again.

Sigh. Yes NBC has two shows with prominent Black leads in Timeless and This Is Us but neither will be gracing the screen during Spring.  And yes, Saturday Night Live has really used Leslie Jones’ comedic might of late but NBC is definitely not my go-to for a good fix of Color on TV.

 Little Big Shots (Sundays at 8/7C)
Steve Harvey and a bunch of talented kids…people seem to like it so they keep on airing it.

Saturday Night Live (Saturdays at 11:30/10:30C)
Just think of this long-running comedy show as the only redeeming quality in a network that basically still kisses Donald Trump’s ass.

I’m proud that Oprah Winfrey is calling the shots on her own television network. Do I like or watch all the shows? Hell no. But I’ve got to give it to the woman; she’s inspiring a lot of people to do it big.

If Loving You Is Wrong (Tuesdays at 9/8C)
It’s about a small town full of people that really either need to move or travel more because I swear their favorite pastime is effing with each other. Season 4 premieres March 21.

Greenleaf (Wednesdays at 10/9C)
This is pretty much about a southern mega church and the family that runs it; the family stays sinning just like the rest of us. Season 2 premieres March 15.

When I want to be entertained by Blacks behaving badly, I know I can count on VH1 to deliver the absolute best in ignorance and stereotypical scenarios. All the same, I know that those who agree to ham it up for these shows are actually applying a time-honored strategy for getting paid by playing to certain societal expectations. I hang my head but I can’t knock the hustle.

Hip Hop Squares (Mondays at 9/8C)
It’s basically Hollywood Squares with Hip Hop artists, hence the title. Duh.

The Breaks (Mondays at 10/9C)
This sole scripted series on VH1 is actually not bad. It satisfies  the recent and popular nostalgia for Hip Hop’s beginnings by focusing on the rise of the genre in the 90s as told by three fictional characters.

Black Ink Crew  (Wednesdays at 8/7 C)
These crazy people in this tattoo shop in Harlem can’t get right though they seem to be running a profitable business and capitalizing on their television coonery in various other ways. I can’t stop watching.

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta (Mondays at 8/7C)
Do I even have to explain this madness? Its various iterations have been on the air for so long. Coonery, drama, fighting and all.

This station is owned by AMC Networks and, like FOX, they too are trying to reach a diverse audience. We’ll see.

Hustle & Soul (Thursdays at 10/9C)
So this a reality show about a soul food chef in Brooklyn and his mission to elevate the art of soul food cooking and his staff and stuff. If I hear the line “it’s hard out here for a chef,” I’m turning the channel. Series premieres March 16.

Braxton Family Values (Thursdays at 9/8C)
The Braxton sisters…does their music actually come on the radio anymore? I really want to know. Anyway, they keep making these shows so… New season premieres March 16.

Kimblelize Me (Available Anytime)
Kim Kimble is a Los Angeles celebrity hair stylist. Her show, though promoted on WE, actually airs on YouTube. Interesting. That’s all I know.

This is a newer network and I’ve got to say they are really trying. They have three original series one of which is required viewing because it just is.

Underground (Wednesdays at 10/9C)
Always engaging, always urgent, this dramatic historical fiction thriller of a show has me officially hooked. And dammit, these millennials out here need to know about the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman and the struggle.

Did I miss a show? Please let me know in the comments section. Preesh!

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