4 Years In

In the Fall of 2011 I sat down in front of my computer armed with an idea and plenty of time on my hands (I just finished a film and was, shall we say, unemployed at the time). From that, was the start of FilmSwag. The blog celebrated it’s 4th birthday this past weekend. My baby is slowly growing up.

Since the blog has begun, I’ve been amazed at the ever evolving deep pool of roles that people of color have been getting in television (more so than film) these last few years. One of my early articles covered the fact that Taraji P. Henson openly complained that she was not featured in any of the ads or promos for the CBS series “Person of Interest.” Four years later, it’s safe to say Taraji has had the last laugh thanks to some show on Fox.

It hasn’t just been more roles either, but whole families coming into the fray. Two of the more well known shows “Blackish” and “Fresh off the Boat,” aren’t just shows with families that happen to be black and Asian, but make a point to tell the narrative through the perspective of those characters. In order to tell these stories, you need to have writers who are familiar with everyday colloquiums and norms of a particular culture. These shows reflect that.

As for the future of this blog, I’m working on some upgrades and new content. I do admit, I haven’t posted much this year, but I haven’t forgotten about you guys, the readers, and I will continue to try and put good material out there. Here’s to another 4 more years at least. Peace.

ABC’s Risk on Blackish Appears to be Paying Off


When I first heard about the premise of the show “Blackish,” I had a lukewarm feeling. It wasn’t that the show would be featuring a black family, or that it was airing on a channel that I admittedly did not watch often, but that race would be such a central part of the show.

For as much some in 2014 like to pretend that we are a post-racial society, film and media would not indicate as much. Black writers, directors and producers are still an underrepresented entity behind the lens, just as black actors and actresses are in front of it. Many TV shows and programs might deal with race and ethnicity in subtle and nuanced ways, but never really head on. “Blackish” was staking new ground on that territory.

After watching the first episode a bout a week before it’s network premiere, I was a member of the wait-and-see camp. In the 4 following episodes, I think the series has really come into its own.

Where I think the show excels is not only bringing a humorous tilt to things such as mastering the head nod, but also resolutions to problems seen through the perspective of the protagonist Andre (played by Anthony Anderson). Last week’s episode about spanking was pretty funny as was the previous episode where Andre tries to find some black friends for his unpopular son. Definitely like Tracee Ellis-Ross as Rainbow and Lawrence Fishburne practically steals the show as the cantankerous old man “Pops.” I’ll definitely be tuning in for the rest of the season.