We never really get to watch TV anymore, but we did catch an episode of "Black in America," the CNN special series covering the noble struggles and sometimes painful setbacks of a culture that is at once quintessentially American, and yet set aside as something different and apart from its own homeland. Soon after, we watched an episode of MTV's from "G's to Gents," and promptly lost our shit.
A reality show produced by Oscar Winner© Jamie Foxx, "G's to Gents" follows the proud reality show contest tradition blazed by "Survivor" and "That's Amore," but instead of seeing who is the most duplicitous or most shameless, this series tries to instill a sense of bearing and pride in its young, male, mostly African-American entrants. It's an interesting reversal for the genre, which normally asks contestants to prove their mettle through self abasement (e.g. eating animal genitals.) Still, the dapper host, Fonzworth Bentley, has a long way to go considering the state of his charges, one of whom pointedly claims, "I don't read no newspapers," and another who lists the fact that he can go to the bathroom by himself with a true sense of pride.
One might be tempted, even though a third of the cast of "G's to Gents" is white, to draw a correlation between the show, CNN's "Black in America," and even the current Obama campaign—all of them media-driven attempts to put African Americans on equal footing with those who have held them down for so long. Then again, most of the contestants are really in the mix for the $100,000 cash prize. In this country, G's and gents come in many colors, but the only shade that matters to all is green. You're damn right we'll be watching. (MTV)