black monday showtime recap episode 7 season 1
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'Black Monday' Plays With Its Conventions And Tackles Race

The heiress to Georgina Jeans has a bachelorette party that could change the course of the show and Keith makes a tough decision that could do the same.

There’s a beautiful sort of symmetry that makes this episode a hallmark of the Black Monday universe. The same way Blair was a mirror for Mo’s life flaws in episode “295,” Tiffany is that for Dawn. Both Mo and Dawn sit adjacent of their respective mirrors at a dinner table in their respective episodes, offering advice that leads them to see the ugly truth of their own lives. Keeping that sort of continuity between two episodes with your two main actors, down to the setting of the dinner table, by leveraging a narrative convention you’ve sewn into the fabric of the show, is impressive storytelling.

Similar to how Mo began seeing the inequities in his life when he derided Blair’s newfound party life, Dawn begins to notice her own relationship’s flaws while dispensing love advice to Tiffany. She even mistakenly refers to Tiffany as “me” before humorously backtracking until she lands on “Tiffa-Me,” a funny and poignant reinforcement of the Dawn mirror.

In the same scene, Dawn also wears this catatonic gaze after Tiffany breaks down how the person you love can change so much one begins to fall out of love. Behind that stare, all of the firewalls and barriers Dawn places around the empathetic part of her brain, in order to work in her emotionally debased profession, broke down and she was deprogramming herself like a machine.

Similarly, Tiffany has an almost identical gaze painted on her face when her socialite friends admit thoughts of her calling off the wedding before she awkwardly repeats “call off the wedding” like a robot malfunctioning. She’s not only a reflection of every main character’s emotional instability but also a reflection of Dawn herself, in this episode.

Tiffany Comes Out

It may have taken seven episodes and 300 days in the Black Monday universe, but it was bound to happen. Tiffany Georgina had a vice-grip on viewers’ attention tighter than the one she gave Blair’s testicles in the series premiere, and for the first time, she is the main focus of an episode.

In this episode, Tiffany’s bachelorette party turns into a therapy session and is the perfect moment for Casey Wilson to showcase a bit of her acting range. She goes from pleading with Dawn to stay at the empty party with her face quivering in desperation to fully oblivious joy in a matter of a few facial contortions. Her cartoonish laughter turns into uncontrollable crying without changing the tone of her voice. Tiffany Georgina is a walking example of how easily the characters in this show can waver between emotional extremes.

Tiffany’s bachelorette party story arc is the finest use of Black Monday narrative conventions in the series, so far, in an episode that uses the 1980s the best.

1980s Tackle Race

‘80s pop culture stories like New York Giants legend Lawrence Taylor’s crack addiction and Nicole Brown’s fatal marriage to O.J. Simpson are fair game for ridicule on Black Monday. This week’s episode also utilizes the ethos of the decade to discuss race in the way only Black Monday can: by eviscerating the pop culture of the time.

The victim this time is 1984 romantic comedy Sixteen Candles. In Sixteen Candles, Jake Ryan offers high school freshman Ted the opportunity to have sex with his drunk girlfriend so Ted can lose his virginity. To Tiffany, Jake has a “heart of gold.” Rightfully so, Dawn responds, “That was in movie theaters and white people were just like…’cool‘?”

The writers drive home the racial divide that Sixteen Candles represents when Mo asks who Ted and Jake are, and Tiffany and Blair reflexively respond Sixteen Candles. Mo’s also the only person who mentions how the film was a “minstrel show” due to the stereotypical Asian character Long Duk Dong.

Black Monday doesn’t appear to make sweeping generalizations about the character of white and Black people. But instead, through the lens of pop culture criticism, it highlights certain questionable behavior, such as staged date rape, which certain cultures accepted as entertainment that others would not. That’s the sort of engrossing breaking of the fourth wall that will add to Black Monday’s first season’s replay value.

The Truth Might Set You Free

Episode “243” had the Black Monday cast racing towards its inevitable collapse. This episode shows the truths that could be their undoing.

So many bombs of truth are dropped at the end of this episode that it’s impossible for anyone involved to leave unscathed by the end of the first season. The plot-shifting truth Mo shares with Blair could crumble the entire Georgina Play. It also seems to have cost Tiffany her freedom. Dawn’s truth could liberate her, but crush her husband. In this episode, the truth doesn’t set anyone free as much as it makes them feel free, if even for a moment. But, it’s Keith’s truth that could potentially destroy the entire operation.

In a perversely touching sequence of events, we discover Keith is more comfortable with having his son implicated in his crimes than he is his boyfriend Miike. So, when Keith meets up with Mike at the end of the episode -- after seemingly being compromised by the SEC -- he tells him “no matter what goes down, I’ll always love you.”

On the surface, that is a sweet gesture but, Black Monday’s penchant for misdirection imbues that scene with an extra layer of mystery. Did Keith say that because he decided to become an informant? Did he say it because he chose money over love and actually implicated Mike?

Add in the fact Keith gives Mike the infamous tie pin worn by the person who will fall to their death at some point in the series, and the Black Monday writers have put the dominoes in place for something dramatic to go down in the last two episodes of the first season.

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‘Chappelle’s Show’ Removed From Netflix At Dave Chappelle’s Request

Chappelle’s Show is no longer streaming on Netflix, at the request of Dave Chappelle. The comedian reached out to the company to ask them to remove the series, for which he received no residuals, and they quickly complied.

On Tuesday (Nov. 24), Chappelle’s posted an Instagram video from a recent stand-up show, called Unforgiven, where he further explained his reasoning for not wanting the Viacom/CBS-owned show to stream on Netflix. “[ViacomCBS] didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” he explained of the sketch comedy show. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.

“That’s why I like working for Netflix,” he continued. “I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious. How could they not– how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”

Episodes of Chapelle's Show had been streaming on Netflix for about a month. While the showw has been wiped from the streaming outlet, episodes remain on Comedy Central, CBS All Access, and HBO Max.

Watch Chappelle’s full clip below.

 

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50 Cent, Joy Bryant, Nicholas Pinnock Talk New Season Of ABC's 'For Life'

Months after its debut, ABC's For Life has returned for a new season. Based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a former-inmate-turned-lawyer, the drama series' protagonist, Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), fights for his freedom and safety in and out of the courtroom while fighting for that of his fellow inmates. As Wallace inches closer to finding substantial evidence to exonerate himself, he reconnects with his ex-wife Marie (Joy Bryant) and pregnant teenage daughter Jasmine (Tyla Harris).

"When I met with Issac, I almost couldn't believe what he was saying to me. He went to jail, became a prison rep, came back created a case law through other people's cases, and worked his way out of jail?" said Curtis "50" Cent" Jackson in a recent interview with VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle. "You know more people that saw things not going well [in prison] and said I'll take a bad situation before I take the worst situation and cop-out because they know the system will just wash them up and that will be the end of it."

The first season of For Life essentially covers the first 9 years of Wright's experience while in jail. This season, topics like Black Lives Matter and social justice are addressed and Wallace finally reenters society. "There are 5 different Aarons I'm playing," shared British actor Nicholas Pinnock. "One is Aaron who is the prison rep. One is Aaron who is the father and husband to Marie and Jas(mine). One is Aaron with the prison warden and his relationship with her. Another one is Aaron just as an ordinary prisoner. And then you have Aaron the lawyer...and then in Season 2, we have a sixth layer. There's Aaron on the outside."

An unspoken source of strength lies in Marie who has supported and served as a "ride or die" figure in the first season. When asked about addressing those who don't agree with her prior decision to move on to Wallace's friend, Bryant pointed out her character's humanness. "Marie had to make some hard choices when Aaron was sent away. They may not be things that people agree with. 'Oh, she's with his best friend' or whatever, but she was left holding the bag, literally," she pointed out. "Things aren't always so black and white. People have to make decisions based on where they are and what they feel they need to do at the time and everyone can have whatever opinion they want."

Watch VIBE's full interview with Bryant, Pinnock, and Jackson, who also co-executive produces the show. New episodes of For Life premieres Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

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‘Black Panther’ Sequel Will Reportedly Begin Filming In Atlanta Next Year

Filming on the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther is set to begin next summer. Marvel Studios will start shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The series are the priority, “ a source told THR of Marvel’s film strategy going into next year. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”

The shoot will last at least six months. Princess Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright, who plays King T’Challa's sister Princess Shuri, could take on an expanded role given the death of Chadwick Boseman.

Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta will reportedly join the cast, while Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Windsor Duke are also expected to return for the second installment of the Marvel film.

In September, Black Panther’s executive producer Victoria Alonso denied rumors that Boseman would appear in the film via CGI technology. “There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us,” Alonso said. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, in reality.”

Boseman, 43, passed away from colon cancer in August.

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