Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Ty's Corner

So Black History Month.  And we're reminded again how awful TCM is.  Ava and C.I. have called it out before -- rightly -- noting no one is impressed with their war films that are used to 'celebrate' various holidays.  Exactly.  It's not a game -- war -- and yet they treat it that way with these dopey films starring dopey 'macho' actors who didn't serve in any war.  It's a joke.  Just play real movies, good ones and, no, we don't want war movies on July 4th or Memorial Day.  We don't.  And that's not a 'service' TCM is providing.

I was reminded of that on Saturday as one questionable film after another played.  They were 'Black' films.  As an African-American, I'm more than used to the fact that not every so-called Black film is for me.  I wish TCM had grasped that.  More importantly, I wish they had put some effort into selecting the films.  I believe that they call it 'curating' these days.  There was no theme, there was no purpose just toss on any film with someone Black in it.

And pretend they'd done something for Black History Month.

We stayed with the programming to show our support for the only film worth watching that day --  LADY SINGS THE BLUES. This 1972 film received five Academy Award nominations -- Best Original Screenplay (Chris Clark, Suzanne de Passe and Terence McCloy), Best Art Direction (Carl Anderson and Reg Allen), Best Costume Design (Ray Aghayan, Norma Koch and Bob Mackie), Best Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score (Gil Askey) and Best Actress Diana Ross.  With that last nomination, Diana became only the second African-American woman to be nominated for Best Actress. Dorothy Dandridge had been nominated in 1955 for the 1954 film CARMEN JONES.  In addition to Diana becoming the second African-American woman nominated for LADY SINGS THE BLUES, Diana also became the first African-American woman to make the box office listing of top stars (Quigley).  She made it to number fourteen on the top 25 actors and actresses for the year LADY SINGS THE BLUES was released.  No other Black actress had managed that feat. MAHOGANY would find her back on the top 25 money making actors and actresses (at number 25).  It would be another decade before another actress would make this list (Whoopi Goldberg).  

Diana gives an amazing performance in LADY SINGS THE BLUES.

So we're waiting for it to come on.  MOTOWN's first film and a classic.  

But we don't get it.

A note is up that they can't stream it.

Why are they, in prime time, airing a film that can't stream?  

I pay for their channel.  I don't have cable.  I stream.  In 2024, that so many of us stream and do not use cable is not a surprise.  They need to adapt.
Are they unaware that Diana wasn't just a popular and Academy Award nominated actress, she was also the first Black actress to make the Quigley Poll of box office stars?

They need to plan better and they need to work harder.  If TCM goes under -- DISCOVERY doesn't care for it -- I'm not seeing much point in fighting for it -- not when it's so out of touch that it's programming films that paying customers can't view -- programming in prime time -- because they supposed can't be streamed.

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