I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Jefferson's as Epic Saga

For that brief moment in there when the nation was having the hard discussion about race, I renewed my yearning for the Black epic saga. I have a pitch to make -- "The Jefferson's" re-imagined as period drama with Will and Jada Pinket-Smith as George and Weezy. The Jimmy Smits vehicle "Cane" is a good model. It has everything. Smits plays a Cuban refugee, so there's a little history lesson in every episode, about Castro, Pedro Pan, etc. but it's painless b/c it's woven into the story. Likewise, 70's Black New York could give us lessons on Black enterprise in racially isolated communities. Smits has made good, so the plot is generally driven by ghosts from the past and struggles with exactly how much solidarity he owes his unwashed fellow Cubans and their old-school power rings. The dynamic is essentially the same in 70's Black New York. The Duque family in Cane has entertainment holdings, so it is a natch to have a new Latin star on every week. Likewise, The Jefferson's could have today's hip hop artists on as "Soul" stars, perhaps doing advertising spots for George's laundromat empire.

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