By Carmen Glover
As the fall television season settles into a routine, one inescapable truth has emerged: When black actors are given solid scripts and unshakeable support, they rise to the challenge and not only succeed but they thrive.
To the surprise of no one, “Scandal” returned on September 25 with a slightly retooled cast but timely and meaty roles to go around. Lead actress in the series, Kerry Washington, fresh off her marriage and the birth of her first child, leapt right into character and has re-engaged her audience. On the activism front, she has been front and center in promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month with the Purple Purse campaign, an effort to strengthen he financial circumstances of women who are living with domestic violence, so that they can develop a financial plan to leave their abusive situation.
Venerable actress Viola Davis has taken the television screen by storm, stomping out the competition in the compelling drama “How to Get Away with Murder” which provides a rich tapestry of roles that allow a range of actors and actresses to shine in prime time. Executive-produced by Shona Rhimes of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy fame, “How to Get Away with Murder,” offers a thrill ride that is riveting to the last drop, episode after episode.
Then there is “Black-ish” starring Laurence Fishbourne, Tracey Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson. The comedy tackles another aspect of the African-American experience that strikes a chord in the hears of many blacks who confront a lot of the situations that the characters encounter on the comedy. In the comedic vein comes the third season of ” Real Husbands of Hollywood ” which was developed as a spoof of reality shows but has now mushroomed into a credible, humorous take on the friendships formed between comedian Kevin Hart, rapper Nelly, actors Boris Kodjoe (currently in theaters as the lead in “Addicted”), Nick Cannon and a host of friends who pop in from time to time for another layer of levity and fun.
The most disappointing show of the season is unquestionably, Tyler Perry’s new offering for OWN “If Loving you is Wrong.” Each week, viewers tune in hoping in vain to see evidence of a well-developed script, believable rather than stilted, forced, acting and a storyline that is plausible. Without fail, each week viewers are left asking: What on earth is this nonsense?
For viewers who enthusiastically embraced Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” the letdown of “If Loving you is Wrong,” is palpable and with each passing week it becomes clear that Perry needs to go back to the drawing board and develop a script that has substance, flows easily and is relatable. He also needs to get actors who have range to join naturals Charles Malik Whitfield (“The Temptations”) and April Parker Jones.
“Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” and “Black-ish” all appear on ABC on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m., respectively, while “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and “If Loving you is Wrong,” appear on BET and OWN on Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., respectively.–OnPointPress.net.