Jun 11, 2013

For two weeks straights, I made it a point to watch the new Tyler Perry shows on OWN.  For the third week, however, at 9pm EST I turned the channel to ABC to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals and not because I am such an avid fan of basketball.  Before I get into my critique of the show, let me say that I am happy to see the collaboration between Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry.  Although I was taken aback when I heard him recount during their conversation about partnering in her Next Chapter interview with him and he said to her, "Let me help you."  It just seemed to me that between the two of them the one to say that would have been Oprah.  But hey if she was not offended by it, then I won't be.  Yes I am happy to see them work together.  I like both of them and I want the Oprah Winfrey Network to succeed.  I watch Super Soul Sunday, Next Chapter, Master Class, Life Class (Oprah read two of my tweets on both classes with Dr. Phil, YAY!!), Iyanla Fix My Life, Sweetie Pie's, Where Are They Now, 6 Little McGhees, and Raising Whitley.  I like the concept of the Our America series but I haven't faithfully watched it.  I listed just about every show on the network.

I like Tyler Perry.  I am not a Tyler Perry hater. I do not have some racial/sociological ax to grind with the man like some other reviewers seem to have. I like Tyler's intention and I appreciate the fact that he maximized his moment. Ain't mad at him in the least.  Having said that I am not a fan of all of his projects.  Initially I was skeptical about how well the plays would translate on the big screen.  Of all of his films, my favorites are Why Did I Get Married and Daddy's Little Girls.  The one Madea (I was tired of Madea before she hit the big screen) film that I liked was Diary of a Mad Black Woman.  It seems to me that Mr. Perry has spread himself thin and I think it shows in the quality in some of his productions.  Of the films that I like best, he admitted to how much time he poured into the production.  For the films that I did not care for, it seemed the story lines were not only predictable but they felt incomplete. Something was missing. Other times there was little to no chemistry between the actors.

For The Haves and Have Nots, I did not have the greatest impression when I saw the promos, but I was eager to give it a chance.  It seemed soap opera-esque, which by and large does not appeal to me.  The darker lighting gives the show an old-school feel, but the show is set in modern times.  Why doesn't the set reflect that?  Mr. Perry mentioned that for most of the actors this is their big break.  I am happy that he has given them this opportunity.  However, the chemistry is yet again missing to me.  The story is predictable in that we have seen similar characters and stories in some of his other plays and films.  The score that is used for filler and foreshadowing seems generic for a drama and at times the timing of the music seemed off. At the end of the premiere episode, I was a little turned off like, "really Tyler is she going to rape the man?"  I don't know if that was the desired outcome or not.  But to me that scene to did not come out right. 

Not to compare the show to Scandal because I know the two are not comparable, but I do think there are some production elements of Scandal that add to its appeal.  The picture is crisp.  Scene transition music/sound fits.  It is contemporary and edgy.  From a character development standpoint, I felt overwhelmed in the first episode.  Every character has a heavy story, which is fine, I just do not think it needs to be unloaded all at once.  Using Scandal again as an example, all of the characters have colorful pasts, but we got to know them over the course of two seasons and we still don't know much about a few of them. 

The second show, Love Thy Neighbor, is to me as one reviewer said, "Tyler Perry's best sitcom yet." It is his best sitcom, not necessarily the best sitcom.  I plan to tune in on Wednesdays.  Some of the acting I think is a bit over the top.  If the actors come from the stage, then I guess that will get worked out over time.  If the show is not filmed in front of live audience, I would recommend doing so.  I think a live audience helps with comedic timing.

I am not a tv critic. Though I do think that I tend to watch tv/film with a keener eye than most of my friends.  Many times when I point out certain things they actually agree with me, but they do not usually point out those things if they overall like the show or film.  I only offer this review because I think there could be some improvements which might bring in more viewers and keep current viewers tuning in week in and week out.  As I mentioned earlier, I want the shows and the network to succeed.  If that means I just turn the channel to OWN during certain times just so the shows get the ratings while I do other things, then I will.  But I would prefer to not just turn the channel to OWN on Tuesdays at 9pm EST; I would prefer to sit down, watch and enjoy the show.  


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