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Monday, November 2, 2009

BET That

DAY 2 of NaBloPoMo

I may be in the minority of bloggers, but I don’t really have a problem with BET. Obviously, I’m not in their target demographic anymore, so I don’t really watch too much, but as a whole, I don’t really see it as being as much of an embarrassment as a lot of people profess to.

Here’s the thing. The programming could be better. You’ll get no argument from me about that. It would be nice if they didn’t show horrible stereotypical movies and retreaded sitcoms all the time. And it would be nice if there were more diversity in their video selection. But it is what it is. I realize that the stuff that I like is rarely popular, and for a cable network to prosper (if they are, I don’t know what kind of ratings they get) they have to appeal to a wider audience than just me. Say what you will about it, they show what the silent masses want to see. Maybe they show too much of it, but I can’t fault them for doing it.

Let’s talk about some of their programming. For every critic of the “misogynistic” rap videos, there is someone that is going to tune in to see them. And these same songs that BET gets slammed for playing are the same songs you hear at the club, or on a ringtone or pulsating through car speakers. It begs the question, is BET responsible for the low quality of the music, or is the music (and the listener by extension) responsible for the low quality of BET? It seems a double standard to me to hold the network to a higher standard than you would hold yourself while sipping Patron on the dance floor. Bottom line is the masses like it. I don’t see anything wrong with BET providing it.

These movies they show are wack too. How many variations of BarberShop/Beauty Salon/Nora’s Hair Salon can there be? I would never willing watch these B movies that they show, much less with them being edited and having commercial breaks. But you know what? Check out your homey’s dvd collection and I bet they got movies like this. Check out what bootlegs your aunt has  and I bet you’ll find a bunch of Vivica Fox and Monique movies. Black people like watching movies with black people in them. That’s what BET does. They show these movies. I imagine they can’t cost a lot to get the rights for, and people watch them. Again, I can’t fault BET for doing what the people want.

Finally, let’s talk about the awards shows. You always hear people talking junk about how ghetto they are. And they are right. (I had a facebook friend who called the BET HIpHop Awards, the EBT awards. Hilarious.) But where else are you going to get to see the people that you listen to, dance to, vibe with? Yes, Kanye is universal, but you aren’t gonna see Gucci Mane with a blinged out whisk performing on Saturday Night Live. You aren’t going to see Keri Hilson on a non BET function. These are big stars in our community, and the BET Awards are the only place they can shine. I again feel the need to add the disclaimer that I don’t like that crap either, but I’m glad there is an opportunity for urban, non crossed over artists to get some props. And plus, a lot of people that talk poorly about the shows,  are steady watching them, tweeting and facebooking about them the whole time. So, yeah, its ghetto, but we still watch.

Let’s talk about BET. People accuse it of coonery. True. But so is Tyler Perry if you ask me. So is For The Love of Ray J, So is that preacher with the borderline pimp suit that always tries to hustle your last dollar. It’s all a minstrel show these days. And truth be told, if half of what came on these other channels had black people in it, it would be called cooning too. Tila Tequila – Vietnamese Coon! Brett Michaels- White Coon. Ugly Betty – Latina coon.  Making a fool of yourself is not the sole domain of BET. It’s all over TV. When I think about it, I don’t really like BET, but I have to stop short of calling it an embarrassment. It’s entertainment, pure and simple.  I don’t expect you to agree with me. If you do or don’t, let me know in the comments. Peace.

12 comments:

Jameil said...

If you don't demand better you won't get better. I ignore BET, too. Couldn't even tell you what channel it is. I really don't get the people who watch the awards shows & complain the whole time. Why torture yourself & simultaneously help their ratings? Dumb. Awards shows in general bore me. I just want to see the clothes. And I want that iced out whisk for Christmas so get on that.

Interesting point abt same music in the club but we both know the bigger issue is that in the club it's not the white masses in KS or IA who've never seen black people, but BET is reaching that demo. It's one thing to hear it in the club, another to see it spread to the masses.

But what good is blogging about it? Especially now. You're MAD LATE for the blog beef w/BET if you're just now starting to talk about how degrading it is. What in the world are YOU reading, Rashan?

Ugly Betty is not the same! Have you ever seen the show??? Not a comparison to Rock of Love at all!!! I'm not exactly a fan of the show but not for coonery, nut.

Adei von K said...

love it. you should post this on FB too.

i personally don't watch BET. i don't watch VH1 for the same foolishness either. or mtv for its high end foolishness!

I think its too funny that you called out the people tweeting abt tina and toya every (what day does it come on?) and then talking junk the very next day.

Patti said...

I agree on almost all fronts. The programming could be better, and sitcoms are probably a combo of what they could afford and what they know people will watch. Obviously something is working for them because BET is still on the air.

Interesting point about not being its target demographic. I keep trying to figure out when I stopped watching BET, and I think its when I got old enough to know better.

Generally speaking, I don't do awards shows either. I used to watch them a little in HS, but now I rely on my peers who saw them (and the gossip blogs) to let me know what I missed. Sadly, I usually don't miss much.

Stace, I cant believe you called MTV high end foolishness. Particularly the high end part. What MTV have you been watching? (oh wait, you just told us - lol).

Nexgrl said...

Very seldon do I watch BET. When I do catch it, I don't always watch the show all the way through. It doesn't matter if it's an award show, sitcom, movie, or reality show. I have Dish and the BET shows air on eastern time. I live on the west coast, so I miss everything. I, like you, don't have a problem with what they are doing. I do wish people would recognize that BET is Viacom. There is a reason that BET,Mtv,Mtv2,VH1, and VHcl are all the same.

Opinionated Diva said...

Great post!!!

I can understand hating the channel and it's shows AND NOT WATCHING, but many of the people that complain...THEY WATCH IT!

They can tell you exactly what's wrong with certain shows, because they watch those shows.

I don't watch Ugly Betty, but is definitely not in the same category as those reality ho hopping shows! it's award winning yo!

Ladynay said...

Great points!

Don't have cable at home so I don't contribute to the ratings of that mess we call entertainment. Only the shows that have high ratings stay afloat and look how many seasons we had of Flavor of Love! LOL! We get what we get on TV because that's what we tune in to see!

The last part where you talk about the international coonery was funny!

Coolthought said...

EBT:-) is the white noise of this generation/culture. It is annoying and consistently leaves viewers lethargic and suggestable. Like you I am not their demographic and I have the reasoning skills and experience to decipher and distinguish among the images and messages, but unfortunately far too much of its audience doesn't or just does not care.

I did not even have cable till about two years ago (and I may forego it soon). I have been flabbergasted by the programming on BET and many other cable outlets. But short of changing cable laws, we all support BET.

I have yet to watch the Hip Hop Awards and I doubt I ever will. But, I was flipping through channels recently and came across not one but two decent movies. Label me surprised! One was "Animal" and the other was "Linewatch". While they were not oscar contenders, they were far from the repetitive pedestrian dribble movie program offerings normally shown.

I hope that this and their new channel, Centric, is finally a thoughtful response to the growing discontent their viewers have been voicing for far too long.

Rashan Jamal said...

@ jameil - Yeah, I think the people that watch and complain are either being disingenious or just cant stop watching a train wreck, like that blog I used to read and hated. LOL

@ Adei - true - I forgot about the wack reality shows. They do scrape the bottom of the celebrity pool. Frankee and Neffe can't even sing. LOL

@ Patti - I love that you said "when I got old enough to know better." That was dope!

@ NexGrl - yeah, they are Viacom, but it seems like they don't make good use of that Viacom money. I thought it would get better production value wise, but it really didn't

@ Diva - okay, so I stretched for the Betty thing, but I had a point to make. LOL I only watch bits and pieces of the awards show b/c of MJ. Otherwise I hate those shows, although the OJay's segment was dope too.

@ LadyNay - I was trying to think of a gay coon, and then a kid coon (Miley Cyrus on the Hannah Montana show. LOL)

@ CoolThought - good point. I sometimes forget that not every body is able to discern. I grew up on EBT, and I'm trying to decide if i don't like it b/c it's bad or b/c I'm older now. either way, I wont blame them for the dumbing down of society. society is dumb all on their own.

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