Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Friday, February 07, 2003

For The Whitest White That Lasts!

The above header is a tagline from Rembrandt toothpaste, one of the apparently unironic sponsors of tonight's encore presentation of Inside TV Land's three-part Ron Glass-narrated and Debbie Allen-produced "African Americans in Television," first shown last year as the station's nod to Black History Month. My jaw dropped just a bit when I heard the announcer on the aforementioned ad ask something like "You want white?" But be that as it may, the shows are a must-see for TV buffs, and I like the way they split the genres - instead of just lumping everything together as with "Color Adjustment" or retrospective articles like this, or just splitting things into drama versus comedy, they added a "variety" category. But it would have been really, really nice to see the second half of the Comedy segment following the first half, rather than suddenly seeing the second half of Drama - followed immediately by both halves of Comedy. So I have to wait to see Nichelle Nichols until presumably Sunday night, when they're rerunning Drama again. (I never did mention that I got to meet her at the National Expo back in November and she's as gorgeous as ever and I bought her book and her handwriting is so amazingly florid and gushgushgush, I'm an unabashed Nichelle Nichols fangirl from waaaay back...) Overall about what one might expect - the pendulum swings back and forth, progress is made but certainly not enough for any sort of true representation or parity, etc. - but not heavy-handed at all. I'll consider the medium to have improved even more when networks don't wait for BHM to schedule these docus, but just run them year-round because they're so interesting and informative and entertaining.