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Real Talk: Do We Really Want Positive Reality TV?

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Syleena Johnson New 240x340
For all the blasting that tends to be done toward reality TV and the long essays on what’s wrong with it, now seems like it would be a good time to highlight what’s right -- namely a potential upcoming show, “Diary of a Diva,” featuring some of our favorite R&B stars who don’t get the shine their talent deserves, such as Angie Stone, Tweet, Syleena Johnson, Faith Evans, KeKe Wyatt, and Leanne “LeLee” Lyons of SWV. The show was created by Brownstone original member Nicci Gilbert and new group member Teisha Jaretta.

Sounds hot, right? If for nothing else but all the good music to be heard with all those women who can sang in one place.

Johnson told Billboard.com’s The Juice that the show will be a “R&B Housewives meets an Unsung” hybrid. Hmm. Can’t think of a positive "Housewives" series on air, but TV One’s "Unsung" is one of my favorite shows on TV. I love it so much, I even watch the clips on YouTube when I have time on my hands. The Sylvester episode? Love! But I digress…

For those curious about her mention of the much-criticized "Housewives" franchises, Johnson explained to Soultrain.com that the show will focus on the singers’ current career moves and what’s been going on since they stepped away from all of the lights. “You’re dealing with a group of women who have careers and lives and focus," Johnson added. “We don’t really have time to sit around and argue.”

Production company The Think Factory has already signed on, and filming for “Diary of a Diva” will commence this month. I hope that during the course of the filming, the women stick to Johnson’s explanation, as there is so much more to Black womanhood than so much of the arguing actual fighting and cattiness that takes place on the most popular shows that feature us, or just women in general. (I should add that "Basketball Wives" producer Shaunie O’Neal says there is much more to the women’s lives than what is shown on TV. She says the producers edit the women to make them appear, at times, uncouth.)

While the idea behind "Diary of a Diva" may sound hot to many it has not been picked up by a network. And while there are multiple reasons a potentially good show could not be signed, I wonder if a network would hesitate to pick it up, precisely because it lacks the drama that we’re used to -- and that so many people support. Despite frequent complaints about the depiction of women on shows like "Basketball Wives," "Real Housewives of Atlanta," New Jersey and "Mob Wives," the wildness of “the wives” franchises continues to bring in record numbers for the networks that feature them.

I’ve noticed the same audience response as a blogger and a reader of several. Readers might call for positivity, enlightenment, and depth, but what they comment about, “like” and forward doesn’t often fall into that category.

It all makes me wonder... do we really want positivity, or is it just politically correct to say?

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of "A Belle in Brooklyn: Your Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter at @abelleinbk
Filed Under: Real Talk
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