tiny-toya-1I am not a television person at all. In fact I miss my favorite shows unless I’m reminded that they’re on. Since my ultimate favorite show, “Girlfriends” left The CW, television has been almost nonexistent in my life. Well, except for Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. My new guilty pleasure is watching “The Tiny and Toya Show”. I’m quite sure that I will also be sitting in front of my TV when “The Frankie and Neffie Show” airs.

When I watch these shows I don’t see people like Tiny, Toya, Frankie, and Neffie as “ghetto” or as “coons”. I see them as women who have been through trials and tribulations just like every other normal human being.

After watching an episode of “The Tiny and Toya Show” as well as a preview of “The Frankie and Neffie Show” I started to think. I thought about how tons of people are calling these shows “coonery”. BET has actually picked up more flack than they already have gotten due to the airing of these two TV shows. I think that some Black people specifically tend to categorize TV shows that depict people who would be considered “ghetto” as “coonery”.

When I watch these shows I don’t see people like Tiny, Toya, Frankie, and Neffie as “ghetto” or as “coons”. I see them as women who have been through trials and tribulations just like every other normal human being. I also see courageous women who are strong and liberated enough to share their trials and tribulations with millions of viewers. Regardless of the fact that these women may be loud, “country”, emotional, and dramatic I see the beauty in their struggles.

What I also see in these women is a few of my family members. I can name several people in my family who hold some of these same characteristics. I also can name several people in my family who have been through some of the same things that they have been through. What’s funny is I know I’m not the only one. So my question is why do we sometimes peg a show that easily reflects some of our closest loved ones or people that we know as “coonery”?

Is it that these shows sometimes hit too close to home? Or could it be that these shows depict parts of ourselves that we often try to reject?

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  • qkc1

    the only problem i have with these ‘type’ shows is that it’s the only shows being “picked up” by the networks. there is no balance. for every ‘frankie and neffe’ there needs to be a ‘different world’. for every basketball wives there needs to be a living single. i know those shows are really old but thats my point. when other races view these shows thats how some view our race as a whole. they dont have any other examples. of course we as black people can relate, as well as know that we are not all like that. but middle america suburbia may not have a huge exposure to black people so all they have is whats imported via tv/internet. ie, sports figures, bet vh1, news. and i dont see a ton of publicity for whats being done in the black community thru the previous examples. you may get a little [pub] to trickle thru but not more than the promos you’ll get for a fight on the reunion show of basketball wives. there’s just no balance. i think shows being aired that come with this reality show type format based on a ‘girl from the hood makes good’ or ‘gold digger’ concept is completely lost on the average (non-black) viewer who doesn’t have anything to base it against. which in turn angers some black people and urges their emotions to call it coonery or buffoonery because its adding to the perception placed on black people in society.