Colored TV: Week in Review

Colored TV
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Colored TV is a new PostBourgie feature that looks at television series through the lenses of race and class.

For our inaugural feature, we figured we'd focus on two shows that'll be gone for a while. This Tuesday, Parenthood wrapped its third season with a sudden wedding, and on Wednesday, ABC's Revenge dropped yet another explosively soapy episode before announcing a month-long hiatus.

Parenthood: Season 3, Ep. 18 - "My Brother's Wedding"

Jasmine and Crosby got hitched. Like, really. After spending a half and a third of the season in other relationships, respectively, they spend the first two minutes of the finale's airtime dumping their partners. Poor, impossibly hot D.B. Woodside only got one line of dialogue: "I don't hate you." I'm side-eyeing that, as he was in escrow on a house that Jasmine had already agreed to move into--AND THEY WERE STANDING OUTSIDE IT WHEN SHE GAVE HIM THE BOOT. But whatever. If they like it, I love it.

As a season-ender, Jasmine and Crosby's wedding is a bit anti-climactic because it pulls focus from the far more interesting storylines that had been cooking for months now: the Julia/Joel/Zoe adoption saga; Amber and Bob Little's mini-scandal; Sarah and Mr. Cyr's imploding union.

The Ballad of Jasmine and Crosby began seven years ago, apparently, when they dated, she had his son, and didn't tell him about it for several years. They've been engaged, cohabitating, and broken up, following his infidelity. For the most part, the show hasn't focused on race as it related to their coupling. (Far more of that discourse took place during the Haddie/Alex arc.) But the character of Jasmine has always been given racial markers: she was an aspiring Alvin Ailey dancer; her mom is a stereotypically churchy Angry Black Woman; and she named their son Jabbar which is, though Arabic in origin, also commonly considered a "black name." Jasmine mother and brother made it clear they didn't love Crosby for their daughter/sister. (When this changed is unclear, but in this ep, they're thrilled about this wedding).

Much has been said about whether or not the fans who take umbrage with Jasmine do so because she's black or because she's occasionally written as a tad shrewish, but I've never really minded her. Do I think the character is black to give the show edge and to paint Crosby as a convention-flouter? YES.

But I like them coupled, if for no other reason than Jabbar's pure delight at their togetherness. Still, if the show is granted a fourth season, which seems likely, I foresee a rocky road ahead.

Other notes:

- GED-less Latina single mom Zoe decided to keep her baby, after holding him for the first time in the hospital nursery. As heartbreaking as that was for Julia and Joel, good for Zoe. She seemed to have this idea that she was unfit to care for the child because she worked as a coffee cart cashier and never finished high school (as though these were fixed conditions that could not be improved). Granted, Julia and Joel were more prepared to care for the child, but that didn't automatically mean that Zoe should relinquish her rights to them. There was always an icky level of entitlement in that storyline; rather than going through the long-form adoption process, Julia--however awesome and well-meaning--essentially asked this girl outright if she could just have her baby. Anyone feeling bad for Julia right now should recall that Zoe initially told her no--a sure sign of hesitation, if ever there were one. As a viewer, I could see that the signs were all there: Zoe was absolutely going to back out of this adoption. She repeatedly asked the couple to back off, but they never did. In that way, their dashed hopes are their own fault.

- Amber's tearful break-up with Bob Little was yet another bit of evidence of the Emmy Mae Whitman will absolutely win in the future. This character's growth has been so impressive over such a short span of time. And it was quite the strong feminist message for her to put her aspirations--whatever they might be--ahead of her relationship with a powerful (albeit impossibly sweet, understand) older man.

- As much as I love Jason Ritter. C'mon, fam. That couple is not making down any altar.

- We knew Adam wouldn't sell--and that's awesome--but it's still messed up that he even considered it. Truth be told, the Luncheonette simply wasn't his to sell. He came to assist Crosby--who has all the expertise in this field and all the rapport with the clients. Also, if Big Business is willing to pay you well over a mil to buy you out, you've probably got a goldmine on your hands if you know what you're doing. Still, it was nice to see Kadeem Hardison last week and it would've been great to see him again.

Revenge, Season 1, Ep. 16 - "Scandal"

For the sake of space, I'll keep this brief.

1.I liked Daniel a lot better during that two seconds when his assertiveness and suspicion made me (and Emanda) uncomfortable. Hopefully, he isn't as gullible as we're being led to believe and he isn't throwing Tyler's very truthful revelations out with the psychotic stalker's bathwater.

2.Isn't it time to just bring Jack into the revenge plot fold? What would be so wrong with him knowing what's going on, especially if it'll convince him once and for all to get the hell out of dodge before he's framed?

3.What did Takeda mean when he said Real Emily's "been taken care of?"

4.More Courtney B. Vance, please! I really would've loved if he, too, were in Emanda's arsenal of vengeance-assisting allies.

5."Girlfriend keeps popping up like the homicidal stripper version of Whack-a-Mole." Nolan needs a spinoff, and Gabriel Mann needs accolades.

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