Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Black is for More Than Mourning

'casket, at gravesite' photo (c) 2006, Chris Corwin - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It’s been a rough time for Black people on TV.  On The Walking Dead T-Dog made room for his replacement token by nobly sacrificing himself for a White lady (and then was duly forgotten - did anyone even mention him in the latest episode? Was he already forgotten?)

Of course, nobly sacrificing oneself for a White lady is a major pastime of Black men, on The Vampire Diaries we had a randomly appearing Black hybrid (his name is Chris, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t take time to remember him, given the history of the show) die for the sake of Elena. We should have known something was up by his speaking part and seemed to almost be free of Klaus. To add salt to the wound, the people sacrificing him seemed hardly perturbed - and only Tyler insisted this man actually had worth and deserved to live, Caroline was rather dismissive of his death, but then, she was probably hungry after her dinner plans were spoiled. This follows the death of Connor (at least establishing him as a villain didn’t raise even a puff of hope that he’d actually live for any length of time). That’s 2 Black men who died for the sake of making Jeremy remotely relevant to the plot. Any POC around Mystic Falls better learn some useful magic, Matt is still looking awfully pointless.

Over in Haven, Tommy, one of the only 2 regular Black characters the who has ever appeared on the show has established his villainous nature and been dumped into an unlamented grave. And duly forgotten - seriously guys, the major antagonist of the season seems to be dead and did any of you even mention his name an episode after?

In Storybrooke, on Once Upon a Time, Red is worried about her werewolf nature running out of control and, coincidence of coincidence, we meet Billy the Mechanic. He was a mouse in fairy land (just in case you had any illusions of him becoming a real character) and after speaking his obligatory line to get us to notice him, he was killed off so Ruby could have her angst. I’m beginning to think, between him, T-Dog finally getting lines and Chris being one of the few hybrids to talk, that a Black man speaking is a herald of doom.

Of course this follows the hot mess of Lancelot - the much vaunted inclusion of a Black character - who was disposed of seconds after appearing. So much for all the media attention

Really, Hank got off easily being beaten and confined to a hospital bed for an entire season finale in Grimm.