Welcome back to the red couch. Come on in and take a seat. Now we aren’t going to watch regular television. No, no, no…I hate that trash. I’m tired of seeing beautiful black women and men on television shows that encourage dissension, bitterness and utter chaos. Nope, that ain’t me. I can’t tell you the last time I watched Love and, Housewives, True… etc. All of it is garbage….like seriously I can only watch so much before I feel all that fake negative energy creep into my peace.
With that being said let me grab this wonderful Fire-stick remote so we can watch some 90s sitcoms. I’m not talking about Friends or The Nanny. Nope,
although it was great programming, they did not shape my wonderful preteen/teenage brain. I want to see television shows like A Different World and Living Single come back (and not just a reboot). I want shows that show brown men and women in a positive light. Shows that give us a better representation of what we can and should be.
Here are my reason’s as to why they need to come back:
You could see a person of color on television that wasn’t a criminal or just struggling to get by.
Of course, Tommy on Martin didn’t have a job, but you didn’t see him struggling. I loved Black 90s sitcoms for the simple fact that they showed people of color (P.O.C) thriving. They weren’t worried about living check to check or catching a case for doing something illegal. The characters in these shows were making their way. They were positive representatives of the community. They gave us the younger generation a better norm to follow. We could now strive to be successful and not fall into the stereotypes that society was placing upon us.
We saw positive relationships between people of color the majority of the series.
From Whitley and Kim on A Different World to Khadijah and her girls on Living Single, we saw the characters supporting one another and offering sound loving advice. Even the men in these sitcoms showed true brotherly love. If you never watched an episode of Martin or Living Single, you are missing out on good quality brotherly love. Even though the goofiness and punch lines they showed that these characters genuinely cared for one another and wanted to see each succeed.
They supported being an entrepreneur, going to college, and even having a trade.
From Maxine Shaw attorney at law to Kimberly Reese the budding medical student, we saw a spectrum of what we could do to be successful.
It didn’t always have to be the traditional route, Khadijah James (Living Single) started her own magazine after graduating and doing odd jobs to raise capital for her investment. Overton Wakefield Jones (Living Single) graduated from trade school and became an independent contractor (handyman), Martin (Martin) became a talk show host after starting out his career as a radio DJ.
These characters helped us see there was more to being successful than just going to college. They helped us understand that no matter what you do, hustle, put in hard work, and things will happen for you. You can tell because most of us 80s/90s (the early 90s like 90-93 lol) have been pushing through trying to make something of ourselves in this Orange fool’s ‘Merica. We are apart of the “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” generation who believe in getting things done by any means necessary (well most of us).
They presented social and political issues on television
My goodness, the first time I heard about rape or date rape was on an episode of A Different World (season 2 episode 20). I saw innocent naive Freddie go out with Garth and he ignored her NO. It put me on alert. It helped me to understand my words should be respected whether I am on a date or at someone’s house. My NO will always mean NO and that was the final story. They also covered apartheid, AIDS awareness and combating the stereotypes that are held against black men and women.
Honestly, I don’t want a reboot of any of these shows. They fulfilled their purpose during their time. I just want to have more shows that focus on Black issues in this day and age. Shout out to the writers of Insecure, Black-Ish. Boomerang, Grown-ish and Dear White People as well as various others who are trying to bring that vibe back to the mainstream.