How Does One Handle A Terribly Awkward Situation?

Recently there has been a rash of incidents locally where people have not been handling awkward situations with even more hostility and impulsive anger. Last week, in two real-life situations in the San Francisco Bay Area two adults each handled a situation in their own unique way which brought forth dismissals and potential prosecution. In one corner, we have one woman who decided to deal with her daughter’s bully at her school in the only way that she apparently knew how…she allegedly threatened the alleged bully with physical force. In the other corner we have a city employee who leaves a bitter letter of resignation when being threatened with termination, or worse public ouster.

These unfortunate events lead me to think, is this the way we are now handling delicate personal situations in which we are so stunned that have no clue how to handle ourselves in the first place? Does our gut reaction of what we always wanted to do take over when given an unforeseen situation? Or is perhaps this what we have always wanted knowing full well we should be handling ourselves like mature individuals?  

In both situations there are extenuating circumstances that may construe your opinion. In the case of the bullied child and parent who fought back, there are accusations flying back and forth that the mother allegedly threatened the wrong child. Her attorney is also claiming that she never touched the child and the both child and any witnesses are lying about the physical threats. And in case of the clerk, she claimed she was doing her job by tweeting city council meetings instead of recording the minutes and the job was so miserable and the people she worked with were so horrible you’d do the same thing too.

A lot of people would do the same thing in both situations. They’d tell any person who was bullying their child that there are consequences to bullying and if they do it again they’re are going to be taught a lesson they’d never forget. And they were forced to resign from a public job in a very public way they’d make sure they’d tell everyone off on the way out. I have to admit I’ve sometimes dreamed of handling awkward situations in a similar fashion, but I thought the best of it. I think I would know better than ever threaten a child who was bullying my own child. You can’t out bully a bully especially when that bully is a child. You’re an adult and you should remember to act that way in any situation. And telling off your supervisors on the way out of a job seems childish as well. Consider leaving with what dignity you have left.

People are making a bad situation worse by handling them in impulsive ways. Am I right? Or perhaps I too should I be thinking outside of the box when it comes to awkward situations that are made public? This behavior might actually gets results, just not the results you necessarily want.    

      

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Why I’m Both Anticipating & Dredding the New Television Season That’s Full of Diversity

This week was the annual week that every year the inner TV geek is always eagerly anticipating with both hope and anxiety. That’s right it’s the annual Up-Front presentations where the four big broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) and smaller networks on both cable and broadcast (The CW, TNT, TBS, USA et. al.) all make their upcoming fall schedule announcements and their big pitches on their new shows for advertisers and in essence the viewing public.

What fascinated me about this year’s crop of new shows was not the umpteenth spinoff of either CSI or NCIS on CBS (or in this case this year we get both, uh yeah?!?) But it was the surprising amount of diversity being offered in this year’s new crop of shows that has me both hopeful and nervous with anticipation.

ABC's new midseason series "Fresh Off the Boat" is the first series to focus on an Asian American family since "All-American Girl" starred comedian Margaret Cho.

ABC’s new midseason series “Fresh Off the Boat” is the first series to focus on an Asian American family since “All-American Girl” starred comedian Margaret Cho.

Looking Back, It Wasn’t Too Long Ago…

Forget the cheese-tastic titles such as Black-ish and Fresh off the Boat. It’s the substance of the show of what’s behind those titles that both excites me and worries me. They have a lot to look up to. Could it have been already thirty years ago this year that The Cosby Show lit up our screens and introduced us to the way a whole new family managed to live their lives with humor and dignity? But Cosby and the Huxtables weren’t the first. In the seventies we got a wide variety of families of a multicultural and economic backgrounds. There was Sanford and SonGood Times and The Jeffersons, just to name a few. All of these shows including the Cosby Show are still being shown in repeats on cable which means to me they still have a long and successful following to this day.

So the question remains what happened since the Cosby Show went off the air in 1992? Why hasn’t there been a truly breakthrough successful sitcom to star a person of color? Sure there’s been multiple attempts and decent runs of shows featuring comedians Margaret Cho, Damon Wayons, Bernie Mac and George Lopez. Not to mention a variety of smaller shows that managed to survive on niche networks like UPN and the WB back in the day. One would probably need a sociologist to give detailed research into why sitcoms and dramas for that matter with people of color as leads have failed to truly catch fire these past two decades and counting.

Comedian Cristela Alonzo will star in her own eponymous sitcom on ABC this fall.

Comedian Cristela Alonzo will star in her own eponymous sitcom on ABC this fall.

What happened? We’re all of the shows attempted just not interesting or funny or popular with a broad spectrum of the American viewing audience? Or did real life just get in the way which forced us all to reexamine our lives and just not watch shows that were not about topics or people that were similar to us? In the early part of this century, I remember the television critics taking over various minority groups that collectively previously bemoaned why there wasn’t a more diversity in the broadcast network’s fall shows. Now the networks are taking the initiative to diversify their own programming without any prompting. It has helped that shows like Scandal and The Mindy Project are taking off both commercially and creatively with female leads of color.

Viola Davis stars in the upcoming drama "How to Get Away with Murder" on ABC.

Viola Davis stars in the upcoming drama “How to Get Away with Murder” on ABC.

Dramas Are a Step Ahead of the Curve

And it’s not just comedies that are taking shape of a more multicultural world. Sure for the past few decades we’ve seen a ton of diverse workplace dramas from L.A. Law to ER showcase a more accurate portrayal of a diverse workforce in America, but very few of the most successful dramas were actually driven by a person of color. That was until Scandal really broke out in its second season for ABC. Now the trend for network television is to feature a number of high profile women in lead roles that are driving storylines like the new drama How to Get Away with Murder featuring two time Oscar® nominee Viola Davis which will air right after Scandal on Thursday nights. Coincidentally Fox has new drama featuring Davis’s Oscar® winning costar in The Help, Octavia Spencer in Red Band Society. CW gets on board with Jane the Virgin starring newcomer Christina Rodriguez about a Latina women who gets accidentally artificially inseminated. I guess there really is a story for everyone. Don’t forget there’s also Fox’s midseason Empire starring Oscar® nominees Terrance Howard and Taraji P. Henson and CBS has Stalker in its bullpen starring Maggie Q.

"Grey's Anatomy" & "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhimes will have a third drama on ABC's Thursday night lineup. This one stars another African American actress, Viola Davis takes the lead in "How to Get Away with Murder."

“Grey’s Anatomy” & “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes will have a third drama on ABC’s Thursday night lineup. This one stars another African American actress, Viola Davis takes the lead in “How to Get Away with Murder.”

What I’m Hopeful For This Year

Maybe dramas just are able to easier reflect a broader spectrum of this country’s cultures than comedies can. Perhaps executives became so afraid of becoming too politically incorrect by exploiting our cultural biases and stereotypes when it comes to creating laughs for comedies. Nevertheless I am thankful that networks are putting out shows like Cristela starring Latina comedian Cristela Alzono and Selfie starring actor John Cho. I hope all of these shows succeed, but I fully realize that this is probably not going to happen. Now that the broadcast networks are taking a chance on more people of color in starring roles, I fully believe that there’s nowhere to go but up. I’m filled with anxiety because I fear that all of these shows either tank or actually be successful by following too many stereotypes. I sincerely hope that these shows are filled with plenty of laughs or a lot of high drama in which the actor’s cultural identities aren’t completely put aside but hopefully they can actually enhance the shows and storylines they happen to be in. Hey, when watching television one can live in a fantasy world, why can’t we dream while were there?

Kim & Kanye’s Wedding Is Imminent: Why I Personally Don’t Care

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Kim Kardashian & Kanye West’s “whirlwind” romance is about to come to its pinnacle with their upcoming nuptials to be apparently held as an intimate affair to occur either in France or Southern California or perhaps both. All I have to say is please “Kimye” say your “I do’s” as fast as you can. without incident or documentation. In fact, there’s no need to let the public know that you have in reality done the deed because quite frankly…nobody cares.

Let’s face it just because cameras are not present shooting the event for the Kardashian’s E! reality show, nothing of this wedding can be considered private. Once the nuptials are said and the party winds down, no matter where the event is held, we’ll all know about it and the details will be shared. The problem is hardly anyone will care who wore what who said what and who did what.

Kim and Kayne feel free to keep this one private even though we all know you both have the urge to overshare. Case in point I love Keeping Up With the Kardashians it’s a mindless time waster for sure but the episode in which the proposal was showcased in San Francisco that just so happened to be filmed for the cameras was one of the most disingenuous moments in reality history I have ever witnessed. You cannot claim to want privacy and then show something like that one the air. I personally think that that particular moment backfired as it felt so forced and hallow that the reality of the moment was lost on the audience and quite frankly it’s hung a pall over them as a couple ever since.

Then there is Kanye’s fashion makeover of Kim. As displayed by her new haute couture look on the red carpets or whenever she steps out in front of the paparazzi all of a sudden Kim’s now wearing high end designer duds. She’s hanging out at the Met Gala with Anna Wintour who once said she’d never be caught dead with a pseudo-celebrity like Kim Kardashian. And of they were on the cover to much consternation from the fashion elite. It’s all coming across as manufactured and unnatural of a relationship that supposedly started as a friendship and has escalated into something more.

The entire notion of Kimye is comes across as a business arrangement because that what Kanye West does and that’s what the Kardashians do. This just has no genuineness to this moment or sincerity to this coupling. Plus, we don’t have it shoved down our throats when we really don’t care.

So on behalf of your so called fans, nothing but the best to you Kimye and your small but intimate wedding and your continuing relationship. I just hope you’re expecting any gifts like caring from us fans in return.

Is Broadway Devoid of Original Ideas?

 

Why can't anyone come up with something original for the Great White Way? Is it familiarity or cluelessness or something else?

Why can’t anyone come up with something original for the Great White Way? Is it familiarity or cluelessness or something else?

The 68th Annual Tony® nominations were revealed last Wednesday and the only major surprises were the fact that some well known Hollywood thespians were snubbed in their respective categories. Not only were frontrunners for Best Actor in a play Denzel Washington, Daniel Radcliffe, and James Franco snubbed but other celebs such as Michelle Williams and Zach Braff were also left off of the Tony’s® nomination list in their own respective categories as well. All of this fun round of award show roulette got me thinking of the current state of Broadway.

It seems to me that Great White Way could use a little injection of creativity. I say this because this season alone there seems to be a void of original ideas for new musicals that have not been based on previously produced motion pictures. This season alone saw the debuts of Bullets Over Broadway, Aladdin, Rocky: The Musical, and The Bridges of Madison County all of which heard their names cited on Wednesday morning for a nomination or two. of the four musical nominated for Best Musical: the musical revue After Midnight, Disney produced Aladdin, Carole King biography revue Beautiful, and the favorite going into June 8th’s ceremony A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

I found out from another well written article analyzing Broadway’s obsession with Hollywood that Gentleman’s Guide is also based on a motion picture albeit one from 1949, Kind Hearts and Coronets starring Alec Guinness. Even shows that didn’t get that much critical acclaim such as If/Then are also loosely based on Hollywood product, ever heard of Sliding Doors? Yep it’s the same premise with songs! This year’s revivals are also tinged with Hollywood razzle dazzle. Although Hedwig and the angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris started as a musical off Broadway. John Cameron Mitchell’s successful independent movie of the same title and premise in 2001 surely helped get this musical back on Broadway where more people could enjoy this unique rock opera. This year also saw Big Fish: The Musical come and go earlier this year.

This is not the first year Broadway was overrun with musicals from the silver screen. Most recently we’ve seem shows based on Kinky Boots, Matilda, Once, Newsies, and Thoroughly Modern Millie , many of which were so acclaimed they went on to win Best Musical of the Year. In hindsight one has to give credit to producers of the Tony® winning musicals such as Spring Awakening, Memphis and The Book of Mormon some credit for at least thinking outside the box when conjuring up their “new” idea for the big stage.

My point is that why isn’t Broadway coming up with amazing character filled storylines on their own? Why do they keep having to go back to the well of tried and true with Broadway songs and staging? Look I’m all for the razzle dazzle of a show thinking outside the box in adapting it’s source material such a Rocky incorporating the audience in it’s final pivotal fight scene and the musical Aladdin broadening its previously staged show from Disney’s California Adventure theme park to a more accessible and knowledgeable theatrical audience. I’m just wondering why every Hollywood script that’s even moderately well reviewed needs to be turned into a Broadway musical.

Rumors persist that producers are working on everything from The Princess Bride to Twenty Feet From Stardom. Gee I cannot wait for Pretty Woman: The Musical to be fully realized. Please tell me they are joking with that one. The problem with all of these films being adapted for the stage is the surprise the newness that is supposed to accompany a Broadway show full of songs lights and pizzazz is all but gone. Since these are such beloved titles we all know where the script is headed and how these characters came to be. What is unique is that songs are now accompanying these titles but that’s not necessarily a good thing as humor comes to mind once Rocky and Adrian Balboa busting into a final chorus at the end of Rocky: The Musical. Gonna Fly Know indeed right out of the theatre that is. I just the creative people behind some of Broadway’s most successful productions to look in the mirror and analyze what’s around the corner. How about adapting a great novel like Wicked did back in the day? Or how about basing a show on another famous production or historical event like Rent did in the 1990s or 1776 did back in the 1970s? Is it too much to ask for Broadway to start trying harder?

Hey if I’m investing close to one hundred dollars per ticket at the TKTS ticket stand then I would like to think that Broadway is doing its part to invest in its future. Is that too much to ask?