With Tyler Perry’s New Show “The Haves and Have Nots” appearing on Oprah Winfery’s television network OWN, what’s to become of the level of Black Television drama that has become virtually nonexistent in recent times?
Tyler Perry has become the beacon of black faces on the small screen but is that necessarily a good thing? With shows like “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns”, Perry has been known for his comedy with the character that made him famous “Madea”. While many do find these hit shows funny, they seem to only reinforce many prevalent stereotypes about African American communities.
Perry’s latest venture on the small screen, a television drama that mimics an ABC soap opera titled “The Haves and Have not’s” brings nothing new to the soap opera industry. The scripted series centers around a rich white family, the Cryers and their already dysfunctional household. Viewers learn that the daughter Amanda, Jaclyn Betham has low self esteem and cuts herself while her brother Wyatt, Aaron O’ Connell is a not so recovering alcoholic. The few black characters on the show, appear as foils only there to coddle and take what they can from the Cryer clan. The other black family of equal status as the Cryer’s are the Harrington’s appear suspicious and highly attentive to the Cryer family.The television drama, even includes the low class black family with maid Hanna Young played by Crystal Fox, and her hooker and con of a daughter Candace Young, portrayed by Tika Sumpter.
The storyline was all too familiar and the acting a bit subpar.The only thing that might keep viewers tuned in each week is for the heavy dose of drama that the show produces. However, one might expect from a black writer and producer a show that portrays African American families aspiring for more than menial and con jobs. If Tyler Perry is to bring about a new wave of black drama, it would be interesting to see perhaps an all black cast of lawyers and doctors dealing with issues as modern day professionals.
Have you watched “The Haves and the Have Nots” yet? If so, please share your thoughts on the show below.