Monday, July 2, 2007


Tyler Perry's House of Payne A.K.A COONS GONE WILD

“I could go OFF on a long diatribe as to all the reason why Tyler Perry's House of Payne A.K.A COONS GONE WILD is the worst thing to be put on TV since the shucking and jiving, Tom foolery of Amos 'n' Andy and all the other shows of the same ilk from that era, but why would I waste any more of my time on such garbage. Sufficed to say the race has officially been set back 50 years. THANX FOR THE HELP TYLER LYNCH!”

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of weeks ago I had a whole bunch of people respond to the text above that I had sent out as a bulletin on my space page concerning Tyler Lynch and his new show “House of Payne”. Very mixed response from people who 100% agreed with me, to people who agreed with me but believed my verbiage was a bit too harsh (Cous Steph included), and “The Tylerphytes” as I shall from now on refer to them as, people who see him as the second coming of Langston Hughes. To this sect Tyler Lynch, as I shall FOREVER refer to him as, can do no wrong and anyone who disagrees is a hater, a crab in the barrel, an Oreo, etc. DID YOU REALLY CALL ME ALL THOSE THINGS? OREO? ME? Ok, I’ve been called worst so fuck it, bring it on!

So during a conversation/debate/ all out fight with two woman one of which is an elder in my building whom I’ve known my whole life and has given me firsthand accounts of Malcolm X speaking in Harlem, referred me to some of my now favorite authors and always called me on my shit as a black man while acknowledging how good a black man and reflection of my mother’s positive influence I am, I have to admit I was surprised DUMBFOUDNED, when I found out that she was a Tylerphytes. This woman who I would go out of my way to see when I had just finished a Baldwin, Hughes, Hurston, Dubious work, so we could discuss all the points and underlined meanings of each and every word they penned, yes this was the same woman now calling me a “hater” (THE COMEDY OF HER USING THE TERM HATER NEVER CEASES TO CRACK ME UP) for thinking Tyler Lynch played to the lowest common denominator, while at the same time lowered societies view of us as a people even more than it already was, and doing a disservice to all those impressionable youths who saw his work as real theatre and film.

This conversation with her was actually spurred by another poster to my bulletin who said that I couldn’t talk about the man unless I had seen his "movies" and/or "plays". I being a person who doesn’t just hate something sight unseen like those Christians who pretested Dogma without ever seeing anything other than the title, I sat through “Mad Black Woman” and almost made it through 15 whole minutes of “Tyler Lynch's House of Payne A.K.A COONS GONE WILD”, But this poster told me that seeing his latest work “Daddy’s little girl” would turn ME into a fan. Which by the way starred two of my current favorite actors Idris Elba, who made me cancel all my Sunday plans for the past three years to watch him play the coolest, smartest, smoothest drug lord ever as Russell 'Stringer' Bell on HBO’s HIT SERIES “The Wire” (YES! YES! YES! ME OF ALL PEOPLE KNOW ALL THE ARUGUEMENTS TO BE MADE FOR THE PERPETUATING OF A STEREOTYPE OF BLACK MEN, BUT IT WAS AND IS A DAMN GOOD SHOW WITH AMAZING WRITING, WHICH ACTUALLY SHOWED US IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT IN THE SAME SCENE. WATCH FOR YOURSELF AND SEE WHAT I MEAN). If you haven’t seen it yet, shoot yourself in the foot then limp your ass to the store and buy the series DVDs and Gabrielle Unions, my future ex wife and mother of at least five of my literary snob offspring.

So being the open minded individual and partially because I knew it would undoubtedly give me more ammunition for later rebuttals for Tylerphyte crushing I went to my local Blockbuster, which if you read my previous post “In the beginning there was the word…”, you’d remember it’s a prodomently “mostly mid-upper middle working class black” neighborhood, I attempted for 5 days in a row to find this “Movie” to no avail, all 100 or so copies were always out (BY WHO? I WOULD ASK, GOD IS THAT ANOTHER POST FOR ANOTHER DAY) anyway so on the sixth day I finally got a copy of his movie and on my way home I ran into the two above mentioned women and while not doing a good enough job of trying to hide the DVD in the black plastic bag I got from the corner store, stuck DEEP down into my back pocket with my shirt strategically layered over it they saw the bulge and ask to see what I was hiding with shame and a 10 min preface I finally pulled it out. Both their faces lit up while asking to borrow it when I was done, This DISTURBED THE SHIT out of me. This was the point when she called me a hater when I voiced my surprise in her so anxiously wanting to see such garbage. She asked if I had ever seen his work in a rather condescending way to say “If you had you wouldn’t be talking like that” This from the woman who has an up-close shot she took of herself with Malcolm on 134 st uptown.

I’m not going to go into the argument that ensued from there, but it left me with a very bad taste in my mouth, both because I didn’t go as hard as I usually would have in an argument because I respected her as an elder and I flinched on the kill shot which had her walking away still believing in Tyler Lynch and I think that’s the biggest injustice of the whole evening and second because I don’t like how the tactics both women used to dismiss my well crafted highly more superior points. So I’m working on another blog concerning this practice and others like it as we speak.

So back to the film, I finally got it back from my neighbor who by the way bragged about how her and her two boys approximately 13 and 15 yrs of age had watched the movie 3 times and she would be proud if her sons grow up to be like Idris Elba’s character or better yet if they were Gabrielle Unions character who is a partner at a top law firm, and I quote “if they grew to be that successful she (the mother of said two boys) would be honored if they ended up with a single mother of three living in the projects with a drug dealer baby daddy” because it would show their character and their love for their mother who was in a similar situation. REALLY? DON”T WE WANT BETTER FOR OUR CHILDREN? OURSELVES? Which brings me to one of the main issues I have with Tyler Lynch’s new Coons Gone Wild Production, why is it bad to want to be with someone with similar goals and lives as you? If I spent all that time striving to be as great as I can be in my personal, academia, career, and social life, why should I be looked upon as a sell out because I expect the same out of the woman I am blessed to call my partner? The movie has Gabrielle spewing the same bullshit about how if you are a successful, driven, intelligent black women in America who doesn’t date white men or rappers you might as well buy a vibrator and ten cats because there is no hope at all of you ever finding a counterpart of the same crème.



~we're the warriors they write epics about~



Check out this video: Tyler Perry as "Madea" on Oprah

Add to My Profile More Videos


NBeans said...

I have both laughed at and been disturbed by Tyler Perry's work. Since I'm not a fan, I've only seen a bits of a really bad video bootleg of his play (not even sure which one) during a friend's family gathering and Diary of Mad Black Woman (the DVD). I would not go as far as to give him the moniker, Lynch, but he does signify several messages that make me nervous: 1) modern black face 2) conservative black christian morality, and 3) his ability to touch masses by combining 1 & 2.

I appreciate the youtube with the critique of his work. Someone in the video used the term low brow. His work is low brow. I LOVE low brow comedy (Dave Chappelle is genious!). What was lacking in the video critique was any explanation of why his low browness was offensive (I know it was just a clip). Madea's character spits in the face of progressive black media images. S/he is used to deliver a message about where Perry thinks black people should go but is rooted, uncritically, in the neck rolling, finger snapping overweight, what should be archaic, black mammy image. Oprah's support of Perry perplexes me, but she also confuses me about a whole host of issues so I won't go there. We are a complex people but mass media images of us are more than often crass rehashed representations of old stereotypes. People, can we be over it already!?!?!

I get Perry's motivations. The formula for him is simple. Christian message + comedy. He is delivering his sermon through entertainment. The Madea character makes his moral agenda palatable. Take Madea out and you have a drama so poorly written it makes you cringe for the good talent he is able to recruit. It is as simple minded as the afterschool special that lectures you to just say no to drugs. There is no push and pull with the moral line. Perry has decided for you. It is accept his message (i.e. go to church and get saved); no alternative is legitimate. Characters are one dimensional with no psychological motivation; no past that makes them whole. Yet, the lack of sophistication in his work is not what bothers me. Instead, it is that he does not trust the sophistication of his audience. I will admit that I think he gets one thing right. Black American masses applaud him for the very same reason we won't boo someone screeching like a whining cat singing a gospel song on Showtime at the Apollo.

NBeans said...

I LOVE The Wire!! I'm like Bubs feenin' for the next season. Stringer Bell's character did NOT play to black male stereotypes! Mmmm, Idris Elba. Yummy.