Well it certainly looks like the Lifetime network will be taking the magical Negro trope up a few groundbreaking notches with the introduction of its upcoming lineup of pure fuckery.
If you are not aware of the term, Magical Negro is (as described by Wikipedia): “a somewhat mystical supporting stock character in fiction who, by use of special insight or powers, helps the white protagonist get out of trouble. African-American filmmaker Spike Lee popularized the term, deriding the archetype of the “super-duper magical negro” in 2001 while discussing films with students at Washington State University and at Yale University.”
Popular examples of this character includes John Coffey from The Green Mile, Bubba from Forrest Gump and even Morpheus from the Matrix (yup, him too!). Normally, this trope is occupied by an individual, however the Lifetime Network appears to be going for the Harry Potter-level of black wizardry with its recently announced show entitled “Girlfriend Intervention,” which totally sounds like a magical negro “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”
There is not trailer yet for the reality series. But according to Shadow and Act, a press release describes the show’s premise as “four wise, poised and stylish African American women, who, in each episode, help a white sister seeking a complete makeover to restore her confidence and inner glow.”
If that hasn’t struck your fancy, Shadow & Act describe the rest of the synopsis:
“Making over their wardrobes, beauty routines, homes and minds, they teach these women how to embrace and celebrate their lives, speak their mind, lighten up and love themselves again. Our four experts carry themselves with a great deal of pride, style and, most importantly, self-confidence. Where does it come from and how can it be obtained? Who better to teach a woman how to get that sparkle in her eye and spring back in her step? Each week, Girlfriend Intervention follows a woman whose personal space and self-esteem are in desperate need of a major makeover and a life-giving dose of diva inspiration.”
Seriously, it is Friday and I just can’t with the fuckery too much…
However, the Sociological Pages, which is one of my favorite sites for decoding how the media tend to works to massively F-with a Negro’s already fragile and racism-weary mind, has a nice rundown on how people of color are used to invoke the idea of “flavor,” and “personality” in its marketing.
That correlation between people of color’s razzle-dazzle qualities can be further seen in recent comments made by screenwriter Ari Handel, who explained why there were no people of color casted in the biblical theatric film Noah. In short, he said that since the film is largely based on a myth (his words) the race didn’t matter as “they [the largely white cast]” were “stand-ins for everybody” – you know, because people of color are not like everybody else, they’re for special occasions. Although I do have to say that it’s quite laughable that the only place a magical negro can’t get work is in a damn film based upon a “myth.”
Anyway, “Girlfriend Intervention” yeah or nah? Oh by the way, the “channel for women” will also be bringing us two other equally ridiculous, if not borderline offensive reality television series next season. According to Shadow & Act, there is also something called “Kosher Soul” about a black guy, who is converting to Judaism for his new celebrity stylist wife. There is also some weird stuff about women giving birth out in the woods.
I don’t know, I think they got me for an episode or two and that is it.