I wanted to like Reed Between The Lines more than I did. It stars the great Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. It was BET’s first real attempt at curbing its ain’t shitness. And the first two episodes had real promise.
But, ultimately, the show was too in love with it’s desire to be a “Positive Black Family Show” and too indifferent to the fact that, outside of Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s Dr. Alex Reed, no one makes an impression. Man, the show is just dry.
After the jump I make five suggestions for things that BET and the producers can do to fix this show.
My friend, Alyssa Rosenberg, asked me to guest post on her blog on ThinkProgress this week. I accepted and it was a really effin good time. Her commenters are awesome and spending time at her crib really forced me to step my game up. I think I did ok.
Alyssa has some fears about VH1's upcoming black sitcom, Single Ladies:
But I'm worried that the character on this show are going to be reduced rather than built up. Maybe I'm wrong to think of this as a pattern … But it makes me a little anxious. I don't want this show to be a joke.
There are two critical facts that we need to acknowledge to have this conversation: 1) Girlfriends is our "black Sex and the City*" and 2) SATC was actually just a better promoted, produced-on-cable-so-could-get-away-with-more version of a show that had been made very well a bunch of times before (from Golden Girls to Designing Women to Living Single).
Single Ladies premieres on VH1 in a few months. And while this trailer does a very good job of parading ATL's specific black bougie culture, on the character level it's not clear to me what the show does that Girlfriends and Living Single didn't do much much better.
But maybe every generation needs its show about upwardly mobile sisters livin and lovin. Who knows?