Lifetime Reveals New Magical Negro Show “Girlfriend Intervention”

25 comments
June 6, 2014 ‐ By Charing Ball

 

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Shutterstock

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.

 

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  • Tim Chenault

    Two of them have blonde hair…

  • Jasmine Marie Johnson

    I agree with the author of this article’s opinion for the most part, but I wish that it were written with more professionalism. It was way too opinionated. It would be nice to allow readers to for their own opinions instead of having to read an impassioned rant.

  • Pingback: charlottakratz.com | the magical negro

  • nosrednakal

    They get zero ratings from me. IF the subjects are all white and the gurus are all black, that’s fraud.

  • relax

    You are reading into to things way too deep.

    • KT

      Black folks done raised folks kids for 400 years. Now why we helping with this bull@#$% too.. smh.

  • JustSteph

    Oh God.. if you think about it, it could be worse. It could be 4 white women getting together to give black women a makeover and confidence every week.

    I would’ve had my Black Panther gear on and a mega phone outside the studio building like i was Huey P. Newton back in ’69!

    • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

      Either way it still sounds dumb

    • Dee

      Girl, are you joking? So it wouldn’t be ok the other way around, but it’s ok this way? Give that some thought for a second. Really think about it. I hope you are joking. Any race trying to “improve” another is racism. ignorant show.

  • A.J.

    Here’s my thing: why do they always see us as useful if we’re helping out white people? These women are devoting their time and energy to people who wouldn’t do the same thing in return. The show would’ve worked just as well if they helped out their fellow Black women who are in the same position as these supposedly needy white ones.

    • NYC Gal

      Good point! I know that Lifetime is trying to increase their black female audience but was it necessary to say the ladies are black and the women that they will be helping are white? All they need to do was show a clip instead of releasing that foolwang synopsis! This show already need an intervention!

      • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

        Why couldn’t there have been ladies of all ethnic backgrounds?

    • Patricia Baldwin-Dennis

      I wholeheartedly agree with your statement. I don’t see why the show isn’t about these women helping women off all races have better lives.

  • Shawndrea Rachelle

    This article was all over the place, I don’t see what this issue is, someone please explain???

    • Tee

      I think I got her point….kinda

    • SimplePseudonym

      Seems like on rare occasions in the 90s when a supporting character was cast as black instead of white, whereas a white actor would be a “sidekick” or “supporting character,” the black actor has to be called a “magical negro,” instead (by black people, mind you) and the writer finds this idea clever.

      • hollyw

        That is not what the “magical negro” is. The writer provided very clear examples of this very real and ridiculous depiction of Blacks in otherwise white productions.

    • Annalytical

      I don’t either? The synopsis says “Our four experts carry themselves with a great deal of pride, style and, most importantly, self-confidence.” Sounds like they are featuring some black women who think well of and carry themselves with class. I can’t say the same for many currently airing shows that feature black women. I’d watch this any day of the week over shows like Real Housewives or Love and Hip Hop. MN it’s getting so tiresome reading the articles/ comments tearing down positive or successful blacks as “self hating”, “Toms”, or “magical” while staunchly defending Rihanna’s choice to flash her butt and nipples to the world or Beyonce’s prerogative to let everyone know Jay-Z ejaculates on her gown. MN can be SO much better than this!! I’ve seen so many people on this site lamenting lack of opportunity for blacks. MN can use this site to lift up our people instead of justifying poor decisions. MN is squandering its opportunity.

      • Shawndrea Rachelle

        Lol, that was beautiful I don’t even know what to say

        • Annalytical

          Lol, thanks. Didn’t mean to rant, just venting some pent up frustration :)

  • Zettai

    I died here: “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.”

    • ms stacye

      IKR? Lmao…
      Charing, you’re better than me. I definitely will NOT be watching that show. Keep us posted on its progress please…

      • Zettai

        ? I never said I would be watching the show.

        • Aiych

          The second part of her comment was referring to the author of the article whose name is Charing…

          • Zettai

            Ah

No thanks