Note: this was orginally written and forgotten about in May. I’ve decided to set it free, lol.
Before I start, I just have to ask. What would it cost for BET to have one sensible show. Just one. One. It’s bad enough that you have to pick through a sea of whiteness to find a POC character on other television networks. The one network where that isn’t a problem should have at least one decent show, but no. We get neck rolls and stereotypes. If I wanted to watch that, I’d stick to VH1’s reality line up.
Anyway, I digress.
Zoe Ever After | 2016 | BET
A newly divorced woman juggles her life of co-parenthood, dating, running her business, and managing obstacles both past and present
Moesha was my show way back when so I was interested to see what it would be like seeing Brandy lead another show. She might as well have been playing her character from The Game. All that was different was that she has a kid and UST with a Latino man (I see that BET made sure to tick two diverse boxes!).
I searched high and low for some critique on this show but it had awful ratings and was seemingly ignored after the first few episodes. For good reason.
First of all, Gemini Moon.
I had to a double take when they tell us that Zoe Moon (Brandy), is the ex-wife of middleweight champion of the world Gemini Moon. Gemini Moon sounds like a person that would try to sell you a tarot card reading at an ATM, not a champion boxer.
Anyway, they’re getting divorced because he’s a cheater and typical athlete. We see this via some text messages that pop up on screen (until they realised it was annoying and stopped).
Zoe now has her own business, a line of cosmetics for black women. That’s nice and all but all we ever hear about is her Golden Gloves lacquer and marketing talk. Still, I see where they were going with that…
Anyway, I’ll break it down by character otherwise I’ll be here all day.
- Stereotypical angry black woman
- Loud, engages in a lot of neck rolling
- Goes on a series of disastrous dates because that’s always funny!
- Gets bird poop on her in the first episode – which was sign of things to come
- Engages in back and forth flirting/banter with Miguel, a character literally dropped straight into the plot to play a love interest.
- Kind of one dimensional but in an inoffensive way
- Desperate BFF
I have to give her her own paragraph because daaaaaaaaamnnnnnnn. Look, even if these women exist in real life (and okay, they do), the most unappealing thing is watching a female character desperately searching for a husband. The laughter track tries to convince us that it’s hilarious but it isn’t. It is excruciating. We have to watch Pearl buy a wedding dress and set a wedding date with no groom. No groom. The dress, fine, but no fiance? Ha ha ha. Chuckles galore. Anyway, somehow, she dates this adrenaline junkie who wants her to be the best version of herself. She gets knocked out during rock climbing and the paramedic flirts with her, she breaks up work adrenaline junkie, hooks up with the paramedic and by the next half of the episode they’re getting married.
I need all of these writers, producers and whoever else to have several seats.
Not to be outdone in the desperate stakes, we have Valente (also known as Jerome), the flamboyant gay character who… Just speaks in innuendos. Every word. Line. Sentence. There’s a running bit where he makes lewd comments to Miguel and it’s extremely awkward — dammit laugh track, we’re not laughing with you! — but that wasn’t as present in the last few episodes so that was a blessing.
Anyway, he’s kind of just there. He comes out to his parents in the finale and everyone is happy. There’s just the part where he almost take marries Pearl to stop himself from being outed, but at that point, I was happy that I had less than ten minutes of the show left.
- For some reason he hired a contractor that seemingly was also happy to do extracurricular work like … inserting himself into his wife’s business?
- Double Ugh.
- Typical male
- Gets knocked out in his comeback fight just as… well, I’ll get to that.
I have no idea what purpose Miguel served past the obvious LOVE INTEREST! emblazoned all over him. He’s the contractor, initially hired to fix the AC. He’s the best contractor in the tristate area and he basically declares Zoe’s building to be a disaster that’ll require a lot of work. Fine, a brother’s got to eat. What a brother doesn’t got to do is randomly insert himself into someone’s business. He’s judgemental, rude and annoying until…we find out that he goes to church. He speaks French in addition to Spanish. He’s whatever the male version of a Mary Sue is.
By the time the finale rolls around, he’s given Zoe an amazing motivational speech and there’s ~tension~. After Zoe’s son gets upset that they’re not at Gemini’s comeback fight, he comforts her and they kiss. Now that would be a boring end to a boring storyline, but it’s juxtaposed with Gemini being knocked out.
I was wondering if they were seriously going to end it there and they did.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. And another ugh.
Verdict: 3/10. Save yourself.
The Quad | 2017 – | BET
I don’t usually watch new shows, but the first season was over and it’s eight episodes so, why not? Technically, it’s a movie and eight episodes but whatever, it was short enough to watch in a few days (yeah, I know I could have watched it all on one day, but I chose not to. I’m a trendsetter that way).
“The Quad” takes viewers inside the culture-rich world of Georgia A&M, where newly elected president Dr. Eva Fletcher has her hands full managing a modern-day HBCU and its entering freshman class. As she juggles those demanding responsibilities — and a messy personal life — her rebellious daughter Sydney tries to make her mark on campus. She’s an up-and-coming rap artist, who leads the first-year students along with Bojohn, the school’s first white starting quarterback. Eva’s allies include history department Dean Ella Grace and football coach Eugene Hardwick. Eva must learn to deal with Art Diamond, the charismatic yet ruthless head of Georgia A&M’s prestigious marching band.
That summary is wrong (wrong names mostly. That doesn’t bode well.)
Let’s try again:
A sudsy drama about the goings-on at a prestigious HBCU.
Well. It’s concise.
I’m not American, so this was interesting to watch. I’m always curious about how glamorous they make college sports look on TV. I didn’t attend any sports games during my university days. I was too busy studying and achieving 100% in everything. LOL. Jokes aside, I actually kind of liked the show.
From what I’ve read some actual HBCU Presidents aren’t happy about the portrayal but… It’s not like I or anyone think that this is a 100% accurate depiction. If anything, complaining makes me wonder if there’s more truth to it than they’d like people to know. But whatever, it’s a TV show.
We have Eva, who, despite being a well off smart woman, is carrying on with a master’s student who’s clearly a few tic tacs short of a full container. He’s that one last tic tac that has you shaking the container with a vengeance. I don’t know what that plot was about but towards the end of the season, he goes through her texts and sees that she’s getting divorced and he proposes and throws a hilarious hissy fit when she says she possibly doesn’t want to get married again.
This is why you don’t mess with a guy who broke up your marriage and then stalked you across the country (that’s basically what he did). She was far too okay with this dude. I would have exercised my pepper spray and filed a restraining order.
Anyway, that silliness aside, other subplots include this tyrannical marching band director who ignores the hazing culture of his group and is REALLY INTO HIS MUSIC™. Music speaks to him so loudly that he’s an asshole. He’s also sick, has a sister that he’s trying to reconnect with and a paid by the hour girlfriend. Oh, and he hates Eva because she doesn’t like that he hogs up all of the university’s money. In one inspired moment, he falls off his conducting podium shortly after a rival director steals his music for some competition.
The drum master, Danny, attacks a new student Ebony and she ends up in hospital. They never show us what happened, but seriously, hazing just seems so unnecessary when it becomes more than harmless fun. When I was university, I barely had the energy to attend lectures, let alone devote perfectly good sleeping time to hazing someone just to fit in, or for some sick reason. It might be a tradition, but it’s also bullying in some cases. Anyway, that was resolved when Ebony’s former roommate connives and plots and gets Danny kicked off the band. At one point I was wondering what the hell she was doing, but apparently all of that scheming was in the name of revenge? Girl, you could have just gone to the police.
Next we have Cedric. Ah, Cedric. He gets caught up in a shooting in… Wherever he was from. Chicago? Anyway, after that his mom insists that he go to GAMU. He goes, gets a rich roommate, befriends Ebony spits some bars and then disaster strikes when his girlfriend comes to visit. See, she witnessed the shooting and some guy is after her. That guy conveniently spots her in Georgia, kidnaps her and kills her. Despite the fact that Cedric has a whole bunch of witnesses, the police arrest him for the murder. There’s a bizarre scene where his mom visits him and after five minutes she’s like, ‘well, I gotta go back to work?’ In another state? When your son has been arrested for murder? The murder of his dead girlfriend? Must be one hell of a job, that’s all I’m saying. Anyway, Ced goes free and life becomes depressing until it isn’t. His girlfriend’s brother turns up and helpfully kills the murderer on his own. That leaves Ced to randomly (I know they thought they gave us preamble, but it was bad and does not count) hook up with some girl he’s tutoring kids with.
I swear I watched the scene like this:
Girl: Go slow (etc)
Me: SLOW??? WHAT ABOUT HIS DEAD GIRLFRIEND? SHE DIED TWO WEEKS AGO?? WHO IS THIS NEW GIRL? WHERE DID THEY GET HER FROM? DID I MISS A SCENE?? HOW, SWAY?
I was confused.
Next, we have the only two white people on the show. Bojohn and Madison. Bojohn had a storyline, Madison’s storyline was talking into a cellphone to what one can only assume is her imaginary boyfriend. Anyway, Madison was awkward. Someone on IMDB said it seemed like the two white characters stumbled off a CW show and got lost, LOL. I can’t disagree.
- Stupid name.
- Was once arrested for attempted murder – after defending a gay teammate who was being harassed by the coach
- Has an abusive father who is only interested in him becoming an NFL starter
- Said father is racist and calls GAMU ‘Coloured U’
- Listens to Hick-Hop
My major issue with him was that they seemed to go out of their way to make him perfect (while ignoring his anger issues). He’s the friendly white guy. Yay.
Next we have Terrence, whose only plot development is that he’s the starting QB, he’s a deviant, he’s a douche. He rapes Eva’s daughter, Sydney, someone leaks video of it, and it all gets messy and ends up with him shooting himself.
I was just like ??? I get that it was the season finale but damn.
Sydney is spoilt and annoying and given the same lack of character development. I thought it was commendable to do a rape storyline, but it felt a bit off.
The biggest problem with this show is that there are too many characters and I found that I didn’t care for any of them.
A SyFy shark could have gobbled them up in episode 5 and I wouldn’t have cared.
So yeah, we need some better character development, better writing, better everything. I’ll give it one more season.
Verdict: 5/10 so far. I liked the opening theme.