1.12.2008

Falling in Love With White Women

This week brought the series premiere of Cashmere Mafia (CM). I've just finished watching both episodes and I have to say I like it. It's not as good as Sex in the City (SATC), when it premiered and before it was significantly retooled and became a cultural icon for 00s, but I liked it. But, I have to ask myself why on earth all the good shows with the great fashion and cute guys are almost exclusively cast with white women (WW)? Yeah, I know that Lucy Liu is technically Asian American, but let's be real, for all intent and purposes, she's a Hollywood WW.

And in Hollywood, only WW, heck white people, get to have fun. First, they get to live in New York City, Manhattan to be exact. They get to eat in the most fabulous of restaurants, drink at the hippest of bars, view at the most cutting edge art galleries and shop without abandon in the most fashion forward of boutiques. The unbelievably handsome men in these televised versions of WW utopia offer drinks at every happy hour, enticing sex at the first opportunity, and nary a demand on time or emotion. The story lines throw in the occasional cad to serve up passing cautionary red flags to keep us interested (our heroine can't have everything handled to her on a silver platter, now can she; plus, they need to throw in some reality, don't they?), but those temporary excursions do nothing to derail the audience's feeling that our girls really have it all. Rather than the message of not everyone can have it all, these shows seem to give the impression that indeed, these women do have it all. Their set backs are just minor inconveniences, easily swallowed with that first glass of champagne in that $2,500 dress.

Perhaps the reason that brown and black women of color are missing from these types of fantasy shows is that the honchos at the networks just can't believe that we can have similarly uncomplicated lives. I mean, our men are killed off and incarcerated at alarmingly high numbers, so we can't have any money -- we've given it all to the bail bondsman. Plus, don't forget, we had all those children between the ages of 9 and 15, so we have a really hard time finding a babysitter. And, we really are better suited to the hefty, overly confident assistants with good sense and hearts of gold. But in these shows, the WW play each other's best friends, so there's no place at the table for us. But, they've thrown us a bone in that Jennifer Hudson is going to play, what else? Carrie's sassy assitant in the big screen version of SATC, coming to you this Spring.

As a fan of SATC, I always wished there were some women of color, actually just more people of color on the show. Their world just seemed so white and Jewish. I don't live in NYC, but I suspected that there were more than white and Jewish folk there. But, you wouldn't know it. I was happy when Miranda got involved with a character played by Blair Underwood (recently holding the lead in acceptable black man for WW in short story arcs these days), but the writers punked out and had her go back to Steve - whom she eventually married in the series' finale. And since the show (as MC) is based around women, I don't look for my usual BW-WM pairing, but why not? Why can't one of these fabulous men (white, except for Blair, of course), have BW as spouses or girlfriends? What's up with that? In the background, I see WM + WW to the exclusion of any other race. And that sucks.

I think that CM and Big Shots could be companion shows. That is, if the writers of BS wise up and drop the Karl storyline and some of the more outlandish threads (the tranny hooker storyline could have been interesting, if they hadn't dragged out it for five episodes). But, BS has some real emotion going for it, especially the
James and Katie storyline. It's not a perfect show by any means, but I applaud it's nod to diversity. And that's not to say that I don't think they couldn't do more in that department, but I find it more than a little funny that a male centric show does it while the female equivalents seem to be tone deaf on the subject.

When when my conspiratorial mind gets going, I think is the message that only WW & WM are worth love and attention? In the WW centric shows, WW are the object of all male desire, albeit all the men are white, except for, you guessed it -- Blair Underwood. Oh, I forgot, in CM, the chick that is figuring out she just might be lesbian, is about to get nasty with one of those racially ambiguous actresses. She could be a BW or she could be a LW - either way, she's some color. In the WM centric show, all kinds of women are available to the men (with no men of other races in contention) and they take advantage of this virtual smorgasbord. So, I guess in the end, we'll only get equality when everyone is the object of desire - black, white, asian, latin - whatever. And don't even think I'm forgetting about the balding, the big, the handicapped, the short, or the plain. Everybody deserves equal access to get sum. And as TV does, the public follows.

And TV, while you're at it - please try to portray a somewhat accurate lifestyle a salary (even $300k - $400k) buys in NYC would ya? People who that make that much money don't generally have time for impromptu lunches several times a week or a heck of a lot of evenings free.

They have to work.

3 comments:

Falone said...

I live in NYC, and there are definitely more nonwhites than whites. Lots and lots of black people in NYC lol. And I'm sure they live fun lives, too.

Lovebabz said...

I think you are so right. Of course there are Black people in NYC--just not in Hollywood NYC. I am to the point that I won't watch a show unless it has atleast 1 person of Color and Lucy Lui doesn't count...sorry. I think you ought to send a letter to the networks---send this post! Well said!

Ndelible said...

I agree! The people of color in NYC must have at least some fun! What is wrong with these fools at the networks? I am happy to see the number of interracial couples (Heroes, Sons & Daughters, Big Shots, Lost, etc), but they could do better. The "glamour" shows specifically lack diversity. They need to tackle that.