I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Something New (2006)

Kenya (Sanaa Latham) is a high-powered attorney. She all business, so much that she seems to have disregarded having a personal life. She and her successful girlfriends bemoan the lack of African-American men available to them. They believe it is because many of the men can't deal with their positions in life.

Kenya is set up on a blind date. She is not pleased when she sees Brian (Simon Baker), who is white. He's interested in her, but she states she wants to exclusively date African-American men. Later, she attends a party and runs into Brian again. He's a landscaper who has done a great job in the backyard of the party's host. Reluctantly, she hires him to do work at her house. They get to know each other better, and it's not long before they are dating.

Everything's not smooth sailing, however. Kenya clearly needs to get over her hangups about dating outside of her race. It causes tension between her and Brian. Plus, Mark (Blair Underwood), who seems to fit her requirements -- and comfort factor -- for a man enters the scene. Whom will she choose?

Ms. Latham was in Love and Basketball (2000). Mr. Underwood was a regular on "LA Law" (1987-1994). Mr. Baker was on "The Guardian" (2001-2004).

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" (2008-present)

We've had the housewives of Orange County, and the housewives of New York, and now here are the ones in Atlanta. Kim, Sheree, NeNe, Lisa and DeShawn are five upper class Georgia peaches whose lives are chronicled in this reality show.

What is a show about housewives without drama? There is tension between keeping-it-real NeNe and uber-diva Sheree from the outset. Sheree, who's negotiating a divorce from her athlete husband, throws a party. The guest list consists of the top of Atlanta society, but when NeNe arrives, she discovers her name is not on the list. NeNe raises hell on the outside, accusing Sheree of deliberately excluding her. Sheree does not leave her guests to rectify the situation, but insists that she didn't do it on purpose. But the grin on Sheree's face over NeNe's predictament makes one wonder.

Kim, a single mom, has dreams of being a country singer. However, her voice needs work, and Kim doesn't seem open to advice to get some vocal coaching. Kim is dating a very married and rich celebrity, whom she only refers to as "Big Poppa". He is never seen on camera.

Lisa and DeShawn appear to be the most grounded of the housewives. Lisa worries about her husband, a football player who works to get in shape after an injury. DeShawn is heavily involved in charity work. They are often the peacemakers when tensions flare between Kim, NeNe and Sheree.

When the second season began, DeShawn was no longer part of the cast.  Word was that easygoing DeShawn didn't create enough drama, so she was cut.  She was replaced by Kandi, a singer/songwriter, who was a member of the R&B group Xscape during the 1990's. 

This installment of Bravo's "Housewives" franchise marks the first time African-American women are highlighted (Kim is the only white woman among this set of housewives).

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