‘Sleepy Hallow’–they lost me at Thomas Jefferson

So I avoided and swore off Fox Network’s Sleepy Hallow, starring Nicole Beharie. Why? Because her co-star is a white man from a time period where Black women are enslaved. Nothing good can come out of that.

Then I watched Sleepy Hollow this week anyway to see if I was right to avoid it. Yes, I gave it a chance.

Tim Mison’s portrayal of Ichabod Crane has similar characterization to Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the character in Tim Burton’s 1999 film, which I appreciated and thought was adorable. Awkward, clever, and well-mannered.

Other than that, its occult themes, and the fact that there is a Black woman as a main character, I am not feeling the show and stopped watching at Episode 7 “The Midnight Ride”.

Why?

The show includes an assortment of actual historical figures such as U.S. presidents rendered in its fictionalized occultist story line. Which is probably the problem. Most of American history is an especially messed up time for First Peoples, Black people, other non-whites, and women. Whenever white writers (and their friends) in a white dominated media get some deluded idea in their head and want to jump in the literary DeLorean or TARDIS and present the world with some “clever” re-write of American history that includes vampires, demons, zombies, and aliens, that oppressive, violent history is still the same messed up history for everyone who isn’t white or white and male. It can’t be rewritten, revised, or dusted off. It remains the same for me as a Black woman and a Black writer. What was a fun or romanticized time in history for whites was not the same for us, it is a trauma and a scar on the face of our race.

This is where Sleepy Hollow lost me instantly: They started talking about Sally Hemings. Casually, too.

I refuse to entertain a romance with a (white) slave owner in an era where Black women were enslaved. And that’s most of American history where Black people were in chains and treated like a lesser life form by whites and those who shared their views, traded, and allied with them. I refuse to entertain the idea that it was “love” between a slaver owner and a Black woman who had no rights and no freedom in this country. I WILL NOT romanticize the situation. I don’t care even if there was some way to know that Hemings loved Jefferson even in such a twisted reality under those circumstances. I DO NOT accept revisionist or apologist versions of history, fictional or otherwise.

In Episode 6 “The Sin Eater”, there’s an entire scene that reeks of Ichabod Crane being absolved of sins against freed slave, Arthur Bernard. Because we all need to take a moment to make white people feel better for helping enslave and oppress people who aren’t white. Bernard wasn’t just being detained, beaten, and interrogated because the British suspected he was Cicero. Just being Black in those days was enough for whites to somehow uphold practices of extreme violence and cruelty and even murder.

Let’s not forget Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) spouting all that American melting pot bullshit over baseball. Behind her badge and inflated, totally contrived sense of American patriotism, Abigail Mills is a white-washed, white-owned, white-inspired character parading around in brown skin. End of story.

And that’s why I told myself never to watch Sleepy Hollow. I saw it coming. That’s American television for you.

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the thing about productions

You’ve probably heard about how TV shows are worked and recorded way in advance and how a lot of movies are in the making years, sometimes decades, before you ever see them in a theater.

What really takes the wind out of my sails (and then transforms them into rockets) is that thing that happened in that movie that I want to lodge a complaint about or that thing that I saw in that show that rubbed me twenty different angles of the wrong way–all of that stuff is planned long before I am ever, unfortunately, exposed to it.  I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that it was planned before I ever see it or hear it or the fact that it was likely intentional. So you’re telling me that all that time I wasted having to deal with Bobbi and Hunter along with the previously unkillable and deeply conflicted Grant Ward in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was INTENTIONAL?! (I’M GLAD THEY’RE GONE, by the way.)

It’s sick. We live in a sick, twisted world. @_@

Recently, I saw Midnight Special, Andron, and Miracles From Heaven. I think I’ll talk about that next time. Otherwise, all I got is more venting about about Naruto Shippuden and Masashi Kishimoto.

Ghost Whisperer, A Review

Ghost Whisperer, A Review

And I thought this was going to be really good. It started out well and just went downhill, particularly at the end of the first season.

***Spoiler Alert***

This review contains spoilers

  1. Typecasted Friends: First, Melinda (the main character played by Hewitt) had a tall Black friend, then she had a tall “full-figured” friend. Methinks I see typecasting. Melinda’s abilities to see, sense, and talk to the dead somehow situates her with the rest of society’s most stereotyped undesirables.
  2. Oh and let us not forget how (horribly, in some cases) men of color are presented—Latino, Asian, Black. Hewitt did a good job acting like a scared little white girl in some of those scenes.
  3. Black Sidekick Character: Of course they killed off the only Black person in the series who was main character in the first season. Not only that, they typed her as a comedian and a sidekick.
  4. Small Town Colorblind Racism and Race Representation: With the exception of less than a handful of the episodes and one episode in particular, the show had a pretty much typical “multiculti” (my pet euphemism for multiculturalism and multiculturalist) theme to it.
  5. Jim: So he dies and jumps into somebody else’s body, losing his memory of his life (although I understand it all comes back to him slowly). Some scriptwriter realized that killing him off was a very bad idea too late after the fact.
  6. Barbie Doll Jennifer: I loved a lot of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s outfits in the show, but I wasn’t very comfortable with the whole petite-white-fairy-princess theme expressed from early on. I never did like Tinkerbell or the Disney Princesses all that much.
  7. Professor Rick: He and Melinda almost had something going and anybody with two eyes can see it!!! I read that the actor went to a different show after his character left, never returned, to go on sabbatical. I liked his and Melinda’s bantering. It was cute and amusing.
  8. Its Always, Always An ACCIDENT: In almost every episode of Ghost Whisperer, it turns out to be an accidental death. With all the malicious, horrendous murders and crimes that take place in the United States, I find it very hard to suspend my disbelief when this show focuses on the ones that turn out, after some degree of investigating, to be accidents. You could say that this is why Melinda doesn’t live in the city and chose a small town (regardless of all the mess surrounding her heritage) or you could say this is a really lame, badly plotted, PG-13 show.
  9. Melinda and Jim: I actually think their relationship is one of the most believable ones I’ve ever seen fictionally depicted. Their bumps and obstacles are portrayed well, and so is their affection for one another.
  10. Go into the light *rolls eyes*: I kinda find the whole light and dark theme a little annoying. Such a cliché.
  11. Whatever happened to that guy that was supposed be her half-brother anyway? Complete plot hole.
  12. Patriarchy rules again: I’ve noticed that plenty of shows seem to script powerful female characters giving birth to boys when they get pregnant during the course of the show. Melinda is no different. I like the somewhat feminist tone of the show, even with her mother’s attitude toward her own and Melinda’s abilities. Then they script write that Melinda’s child is a boy who, of course, will have greater abilities than she herself*rolls eyes* Typical.
  13. Aw, Melinda is crying—again: She cries in every episode! Or at least most of them, especially the first and second season through. They tried to toughen her up a bit in the third season but I didn’t believe it.
  14. Creepy: On another positive note, they actually had some stuff in there that was kind of creepy. Good job.

A lot of fans want the show to air again. I’m not so sure I can agree… I watched it a couple of times, particularly the first and second seasons. Eventually I made sure that my mom didn’t by the final seasons because I thought they were a load of crap.

For what it’s worth, Ghost Whisperer wasn’t that bad…at first. But I got over the novelty of it soon enough.