Tyler Perry’s Cultural Pimp Juice

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Tyler Perry

Hi readers,

I just recently started watching Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots on Oprah’s network.

I must say what a startling departure from his usual television fare.

I must confess….

I am a total fan of Tyler’s beloved Madea.

Why?

I swear readers, if I didn’t know better, Madea is my grandmother reincarnated!!!!

I remember the first time I became acquainted with the Madea character.

It seemed as if Tyler Perry had a front row seat to my life.

Wow, what a brilliant storyteller……..

Ever since the introduction of this character, he has been bashed for perpetuating stereotypes of African Americans!!!!

It seems some think of Madea as a buffoon.

Tyler made an interesting observation about his Madea creation and the negative reaction to it by some.

Tyler states that he came of age in the Louisiana backwoods from a woman dominated family whereas Spike came of age in the urban North and was reared in a house with a father who was a Jazz musician.

As a 42 year old woman raised in Mississippi by my paternal grandmother, I got it right away with the Medea franchise.

For all of you TP haters out there, understand this about Madea:

As a Southern grandmother, she provides stability and strength for her community.

(Witness this in several movies when she takes in relatives and foster children)

As a Southern grandmother, she provides wisdom to sustain her community.

(Witness this in several movies and plays when her advice heals, strengthens, and nurtures)

Back to the Haves….

As I mentioned earlier, what a departure.

When I first saw the promotions and ads for the new dramatic series I was certain that Tyler was out of his element.

I mean what does a poor kid from the sticks of the Deep South know about the interior lives of the rich and famous?

And if he did have a view, it was only from that of the help!!!!

I thought his show at best would be unconvincing, tired, and trite.

Boy, was I ever wrong!!!!!!

If I didn’t know better, I testify that I was watching a reboot of the popular 1980’s Dallas.

From his rendering of the evil villain, the powerful patriarch pitted against the equally powerful matriarch, he has delivered a sure drama TV classic with a twist….

What is unique-or maybe not-about The Haves… is the depiction of African Americans in positions of power in the business world.

A welcome break from viewing wealthy African Americans as entertainers and sports starts.

Hey-any way you can make it to the top-right?

Equally fascinating is his representation of the poor African American community and the values this community still struggle to uphold.

The Black maid Hannah is my favorite character.

I love her devout honesty grounded in her deep faith.

Last night was very touching when in a poignant scene she got the evil judge/lawyer to pray with her over her wrongfully incarcerated son.

Despite the attacks from other powerful Africa Americans, Hannah holds on to her devout faith.

She has even inspired the series matriarch.

After viewing three consecutive episodes, the verdict?

Tyler has that rare cultural pimp juice!!!!!

By that I mean, he can tell stories across economic racial groups that have a universal appeal and resonate with a large swath of the public.

Tyler has proven that he is equally at home dispensing knowledge about that rare breed of Southern Black grandmothers who can keep it real and the lofty rich and famous who make scheming, cheating and lying a glamorous art form.

Spike always told angry stories from a decidedly masculine point of view.

Not to pit him against Tyler.

It is just a simple matter of two different ends of the African American experience.

One no better than the other.

It’s about time our grandmother’s got respect!!!!!!

Thanks Tyler,

Until next time……

TP “Unloaded”

4 Comments

alexcross

I finally saw the movie Alex Cross-an adaptation of James Patterson’s novel Cross.

As an avid reader of Patterson’s books, I was elated to see another one of his books made into a film.

I remember a couple of months ago watching the trailer for the upcoming film while I was online.

Shocked!!!!

Why?

Because Tyler Perry was playing detective Alex Cross-an action hero in the Patterson series.

I immediately hit my brother up on his cell.

He registered the same shock as me.

At first it was kind of comical to see Perry so serious.

By now you can guess why it was funny to me right?

Okay one word…

MADEA!

I had plans to see the movie once it came to theaters but never got the chance.

I had intended to get it from the Redbox kiosk once it was released on DVD.

Even better, I got a copy from my local library.

This was more idea because I could keep it three days instead of the one allowed by Redbox!!!

The first night, heavy duty sleep was calling me.

Finally the second night with some much appreciated alone time, I finally got a chance to watch it.

While I can’t say I was blown away by his performance-the boy got some serious skills.

But let’s keep it real.

Right now Tyler is the man!!!

He is probably the most bankable Black filmmaker around at the present moment.

Too bad Hollywood is still playing the one at a time game when it comes to representing us.

Hence, all the hate from Spike Lee and Aaron McGruder. lol.

I viewed the special features on the DVD and noticed with interest all of the praise the author and director was heaping on my boy TP.

And, I thought what if Tyler hadn’t gained his phenomenal  fame from the Madea franchise and was just another struggling actor vying for that break out role.

Would he have gotten the part?

Honestly, in my opinion? NOT!

Hollywood is so about name recognition.

Anyway, my brother was hyped about his performance.

If you get a chance, check it out and drop back by and let me know what you think.

Who knows, our boy just might be the next top action star for the decade.

Move over Will, Denzel, Samuel..

Your boy TP is unloaded!!!

Until next time…

The Original Madea

7 Comments

madea

I had the pleasure of viewing Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail last Night on television.

I never tire of this character. Although much has been said about Perry’s depiction of this elderly character who is filled with wit and humor, please know that this rendition has a basis in reality.

I think that every Black American family has a Madea.

I swear if I didn’t know any better I would think that Tyler was an unobtrusive observer of my family while I was growing up in Mississippi.

I would often regal my friends with stories of the antics of my grandmother and three other siblings.

Tyler’s creation bears an uncanny resemblance to my grandmother.

I don’t think my grandmother ever completed a sentence without an expletive!!!!

I think her favorite one was B@!&* followed by W&%$#

Besides cursing, criticism and gossiping were her favorite pastimes. Trust me, no one escaped her radar. I do believe that she was the most feared person on our block. It was so bad that the neighborhood pedestrians would cross the street to avoid her.

I don’t mean to demonize my departed grandmother however. She was a pillar of strength for our family. She was the mother figure that I, my brother and two sisters needed.

It is from her example that I suffer fools very lightly. I don’t believe in superficial relationships. With me it is the real deal or nothing at all!!!

For better or worse, I have to say that without a doubt, my grandmother has been the most influential person that has shaped me into who I am.

Grand mom made her transition almost twenty years ago but her larger than life persona still hovers over our family. Almost every time my family communicates, we always remember a funny anecdote or hilarious story about her and laugh until it hurts. I guess some would call this therapy.

Thanks Tyler Perry for Madea. Thanks for highlighting the lives of the southern Black grandmother who always kept it real!!!

Journalicious!

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