Sunday, September 10, 2006

Guilty Pleasures: "Flava of Love"

Have you seen "Flava of Love?" It's sort of like "The Bachelor," but with Flava Flav as the available bachelor, and a bevy of strippers and wanna be actresses from which he can choose his mate. On the show, Flav is the flamboyant and crass character we all know him to be, who, at the end each show, tells the women to "crown around their man;" while the women constantly engage in backstabbing and cat fights in their efforts to win Flav's heart. It depicts every stereotype about black people, particularly about black women. In essence, it is a modern day minstrel show. Yet, I love it.

What does it mean, if anything, when a group of four professionals, all attorneys, sit around on their lunch break and discuss nothing but the latest drama from "Flava of Love?" Not politics or current events, but the buffoonery and entertainment that is "Flava of Love." This was the scene last week with me and three of my friends/colleagues. We sat around talking about the latest drama and gossip from the show, anticipating today's (Sunday's) episode when "New York" would be brought back from last season. (Those of you who follow the show understand what that means.)

I couldn't help but to think that by watching "Flava of Love," we were in some way validating the stereotypes that are portrayed on the show. That maybe we have a responsibility to the welfare of the black community to shun shows that depict us as buffoons (as so adequately stated by New York's mom last season -- who, by the way, will be back for more later this season) and slutty, foul-mouthed dancers. But then I thought, its just entertainment. One of those guilty pleasures that we enjoy watching, but are not necessarily proud that we watch. The women on the show are grown, so they're not being exploited. In fact, several of them are trying to exploit the show to get their fifteen minutes of fame.

Maybe that's just me trying to validate the fact that I am entertained by Flava Flav passing out clocks to women who he deems worthy of his company. Or maybe I am doing a disservice to the black community by supporting a show like that. Either way, I can't get enough of it.



ljh1999 said...

Flavor Flaaaaaav! I too enjoy the antics of Flavor of Love, and I feel no shame for it. Yes it's crass and everyone on the show is trifling. But as you said, the girls are either wanna-be actresses, wanna-be video girls, strippers, or just plumb crazy. You would have to be in one of these categories to seriously consider being on the show and getting intimate with Flavor Flav on VH1.

That being said, things are bout to get even more off the hook with New York back in the house. That girl is in the plumb crazy category. Let me stop here, as this is not a Flavor of Love discussion board. Maybe you can conference me in on the lunch-time talk.


VRB said...

Our minds can't alway focus on serious things.

Anonymous said...

although I found the show to be curiously entertaining and quite unrealistic, (Flava Flav is the quintesential carictature of a black man), it is yet another example of how women sign up to be objectified and simply used. With few other outlets for positive depictions of black women, I think the show fuels the negative stereotypes of women of color in an exagerated way and it is unfortunate.

That said, we should be able to watch mindless television and black sitcoms without feeling that we are supporting buffoonery and stereotypical depictions of black liffe. But ultimately, with little else on tv to balance the madness, we are left only to support these types of shows.

Anonymous said...

Conference me in on the lunchtime talk too. I CAN NOT get enough of that 'ignorant = uneducated' (those of you who saw dumb New York yesterday know why I made that definition explicit) show. I love that show and I am ashamed of that fact about myself. Smooches!


ronnie brown said...

a train wreck, a drive-by shooting and a Jerry Springer episode all rolled into one...and i watched every episode last season!

This year i watched the first show...but the woman who took a dump on the stairs killed it for me; i'll probably catch the season finale.

Heavenly Zeta said...

I hate to say it, but this show is definitely one of my guilty pleasures! It is coonery at it's best...and unfortunately makes for entertaining TV. All the girls on the show know what the deal is, and SHOULD know by now that "reality" shows are HIGHLY edited to portray what the producers think will get the highest ratings...they're just happy to get that lil' bit of airtime!

Curry said...

We need to give Flavor Fllaaaaaaaaaaavvv a break. As crazy & dumb as that show is, it's entertaining and funny. It's not hurting black people any more than shows like "Jack Ass" are hurting white people. Matter-o-fact "Jack Ass" is waaaayyy further 'out-there' than the Flava show. White folks runnin' around naked tryin' 2 stick each other in the ass with spears...please! Give Flava a break.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit it myself it is a show i take a pleasure in watching. It shows what a woman would do for fame even if it is sometimes degrading and to think i watched it once and was

Anonymous said...

It's trash. I think people who watch that show are as just as trashy as the ones on it. And then these same people who watch the show want to turn around and ask why black people are not shown in a more positive image on TV. Well, this is reason why, they are having to compete with this junk!

Kidd Grown said...

like your blog. that show is so stupid. i refuse to watch it. i think it does make "us" look like bafoons. it seems to me that all other races can look like idiots all day long in the media, but not us. we just can't do it. maybe it's because we have such an imbalance of black images in the media, with the majority of them being either (1) bafoons like Wild "n out (2) drug dealers/thugs (3) rappers/entetainers or (4) bad (5) or any combination thereof.

just my two cents.

Nikki Blue said...

I've been watching the show and catching up on missed episodes! The show is very entertaining!

As "Heavenly Zeta" mentioned, all reality shows are heavily edited to portray what they want to be portrayed. Watch the other reality shows on MTV and you will find non-blacks acting even wilder.

There is nothing wrong with watching and being entertained by Flava of Love. The question to ask: Why are women signing up to be objectified and exploited by reality show producers? (Flava Flav is one of the co-producers)