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HTF DVD REVIEW: Girlfriends: The Final Season


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#1 of 1 Neil Middlemiss

Neil Middlemiss

    Screenwriter

  • 2,529 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 15 2001

Posted January 10 2010 - 01:23 PM

I’d like to reiterate my thoughts from the Girlfriends Season Seven review, that I am perpetually disappointed by the lack of diversity on television and in film. From what we are provided by network television, and on cinema screens from Tacoma, Washington to Trenton, New Jersey, it would seem that America is made up of 98% white folk, most of who have multiple white people, a black guy and an Asian girl as friends. That may seem a little hyperbolic, but seriously – what’s the deal? A show like Girlfriends, while not the best written or performed show that even an upstart, mini-network like the CW has aired, is such a rare gem – sharing the antics and anguish of African American woman – that it must be celebrated just for making it to the air – and sticking around. Sure, you can find a show here and there that focuses on an African American cast – but if you can count them on more than one hand, you have access to more channels than I do – and I don’t count Martin reruns either.
The show, a standard sit-com formula – sets, audience, predictable shenanigans, in its seventh season follows Joan Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross), a by-the-book type A personality with a penchant for getting in too deep with men too quickly, Maya Wilkes (Golden Brooks), a feisty, self-help author (her book was called “Oh Hell Yeah”) who has a hard time ‘keeping up with the joneses, and Lynn Searcy (Persia White) – a hopeless unemployable free-spirit with a PhD in mooching. Their friend, William Dent, a proud a geek and a typical man (with an innate ability to associate everything back to money or sex) provides a little testosterone balance to the mix – though not much. The other major cast members are Maya’s mechanic husband Darnell (Khalil Kain), providing the real masculine balance, and Monica, William’s wife born of privilege and self-confidence.
In this final season, the Girlfriends continues to explore serious themes amongst its silly comedy. Subjects such as the war in Iraq, pregnancy, adoption, miscarriages, and the machinations of modern marriages are fodder for plots. Of particular note this season was the Iraq war storyline, as Joan’s husband is recalled for deployment to the war torn region. Weaving into the show’s wackier humor are serious conversations about the role African-Americans play in Americas military and the forgotten families of the deployed who languish in uncertainly and fiscal challenges while the rest of the country goes about its business (seemingly oblivious). Maya and Darnell, dealing with the miscarriage of their second baby, provide perhaps the most startlingly dramatic moments of this or any season, and remind just how valuable sit-coms can be when dramatic story threads take up more airtime as a series grows.
Kernersville, NC
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