I haven’t written a round-up on television in 10 years. Which is strange because I watch a fair amount of television. As someone who used to want to be a screenwriter, television has always fascinated me because it provides such ample opportunity to explore humanity. I enjoy tremendously watching characters develop over time.
And even though I remain frustrated with the lack of great roles for black actors on television and with the way diversity on television is horribly superficial and disingenuous (its stupid, insulting emphasis on so-called race-blind casting makes me want to throw my television at the wall) there is still quite a lot to enjoy.
Here are the 11 shows that most thrilled me this year, after the jump.
I know I’m supposed to be excited about the revenge fantasy aspect of Django Unchained…
…but I’m not.
I get that the anachronistic characterization of Django and use of music is supposed to be “cool.” Just like The Bride killing Bill is supposed to be “cool.” Just like Sam Jackson quoting the Bible is supposed to be “cool.”
Because cool is all about being reduced to the “fuck whitey/fuck men” aspect of being black or a woman. Because that flattening is supposed to be empowering.
Except that it’s not. In fact, it it all feels incredibly juvenile to me. Tarantino is essentially a 13-year old white boy who creates films for other white men who wanna relive their own adolescence for 2 or 3 hours in the movie theatre. There are no human beings in his films, just one-dimensional fantasy characters who say “fuck you” to everything and strut around. I find it insulting and tedious beyond measure.
I don’t think it’s impossible to make a revenge fantasy film about slavery, but I do think that characterization that is about something more – something deeper and more human – than “cool” is the only way that works.