Tag Archives: New York City

Washington Heights – A Show Abandoned

Washington Heights on MTV is an example of a show that failed not because it wasn’t good or didn’t have a devoted, core audience. It failed because the network it was on didn’t believe it would succeed and did absolutely nothing to promote it.

MTV doesn’t make reality shows about young people of colour, so Washington Heights, a show about Dominicans and Latino’s living in upper Manhattan was a nice breath of fresh air. Instead of it being Jersey Shore with brown faces, it was about young people trying to make it and do something positive with their lives and their art. It was a show that a lot of people gravitated to and loved, including me.

The early reviews of the show were positive, though some of the chatter on Twitter was saying it was boring or staged, it seemed like people were watching. However, Washington Heights debuted the same week as Buckwild, a show about young people in rural Virginia that was already seen as the new Jersey Shore. The Buckwild cast were on the Today Show, Access Hollywood, on MTV’s website, Tumblr page and all over their Twitter feed. It was obvious from the beginning that Buckwild was the show MTV was pushing, and Washington Heights just happened to be premiering the same week.

After the first episode aired, support for the show pretty much dropped completely. MTV live tweeted the first few episodes, but made negative comments about the show. R&B artist Miguel picked all the music for one episode and took over the MTV twitter feed to live tweet, but it was barely promoted and there was no mention in the episode that Miguel had picked the music. Barely any commercials for the show aired, the cast did very little media and perhaps the most crucial thing was the lack of reruns. MTV plays it’s signature shows, Snooki and JWow, Teen Mom 2, Catfish: The TV Show in marathons on the weekend. For a new show like Washington Heights, getting a big audience was important, especially since the ratings for the debut episode weren’t that great, and showing a marathon on the weekend would introduce more viewers to the show. It never happened. Now with one episode left, MTV Canada has pulled the show completely from its television line up, only showing it online and MTV US has pushed it back to 11 pm on Wednesdays.

It’s pretty clear that Washington Heights will not be getting a second season and it makes me angry because MTV never gave it a chance. The question is, why?

JP Perez, the star of the show, pitched the idea to MTV. It’s his show and his creation, which is something to applaud. The fact that MTV would put its time and money in to a show about Latino’s that showed them in a positive light was a step in the right direction. But it didn’t give MTV the standout personality like Snooki, it didn’t have shocking moments like Catfish, or drunk kids getting in to fights like Buckwild. Does that mean there isn’t a television market for young people of colour to be positive on TV? Do we have to settle for the Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives and Real Housewives of Atlanta?

It’s frustrating that MTV didn’t do everything they could to promote this show and allow it to become successful. But like many other Washington Heights fans, the show will always stay with me. It was fun to watch, the cast members were lovable and talented and smart. I hope they’re able to use the show to make their dreams come true.

Shame on you, MTV, for letting this show go.



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Life Updates

At the end of this week, I’ll be finished school. I was so worried about going back after vowing I’d never ever go back to school. It turned out to be a pretty good experience. I met some amazing people, dealt with some hard challenges and came out stronger. There were moments I was literally on my kitchen floor crying, close to dropping out. But I stuck with it and hopefully I’ll have the experience and the education to get myself a real job that I enjoy.

I’ve been writing like crazy. It feels amazing. I’ve created a small challenge of finishing a novel in 8 weeks. I have three days left, I’m at 100 pages and almost 60, 000 words. I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it though. I’m near the end, but there are a few loose ends I have to wrap up before I can finish it. It’s another teen novel. I’m so proud of it. I love my main character, I love the boys in the book and its funny. Teen novels might be my new thing now. I’ve also started posting my fiction on another  blog. It’s an experiment, just to see what kind of feedback I get. So far I’ve gotten ZERO feedback, so we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve read some amazing books this summer. “Cutting for Stone”, “Silver Sparrow”, “In Darkness”, “Manchild in the Promised Land” and I re read both of Junot Diaz’s novels. When going through hard times, nothing makes me feel better than good fiction. I’m picking up “This is How You Lose Her” tonight. I’m dying to sink my teeth in to that book.

In November I am going back to NYC! It doesn’t even feel real yet. I’m going to be there for six days. Six days! The longest I’ve ever been there. I plan to do a lot of sightseeing, listen to some poetry, experience the nightlife and hopefully make some friends which would give me an excuse to go back soon. I haven’t been there in two years. I can’t wait to be in the city of my dreams again.

Now that school is over, I’m at a crossroads. I can throw myself in to finding a full-time job right away. Or I can stay at my shitty part-time job, keep making steady money and travel to NYC in November and possibly go to Europe in January. Going to Europe is a dream. I feel like I want to get that out of the way before I find a full-time job and am forced to become an adult.

Being in your 20’s is rough.

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Fear Means You’re Alive

“Fear means you’re alive,” is a tweet written to me written by spoken word artist and writer Bassey Ikpi last week. I tweeted her asking for advice for a writer who wants to move to New York City. Moving to NYC has been my dream since I was twelve years old. As I get older, the dream is starting to weigh heavily on my shoulders. I know that it’s something I have to do. Even if I don’t end up spending the rest of my life there, I want to be able to look back and say that I lived there for a period of time. It’s probably the number one thing I want to do before I turn thirty.

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Bring It On: The Musical – Review

I’m the kind of person who isn’t afraid to do things on my own. Especially when it comes to going to musicals. I’ve seen “In The Heights” twice alone, “Fela” alone and last night I went to see “Bring It On: The Musical” solo dolo. I didn’t really have a huge interest in this show. I got an email with a code for discounted tickets, I had heard good things and decided to give it a shot. I went to the show with absolutely no expectations. It was one of the best musicals I’ve seen in a long time.

Hearing the title “Bring It On: The Musical”, you’d think it wouldn’t be that great. I had a friend who burst out laughing when I told her that was the show I was going to see. What drew me to this show (besides the cheap ticket price) was the involvement of Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s the genius behind one of my favourite musicals of all time, “In The Heights.” He worked on the music to the show and since I know every single word to every song on the “In The Heights” soundtrack, I figured the music would be pretty good.

The first thing to point out is it’s not the same story from the movie. At intermission I heard some guys beside me say, “Where’s Torrance?” There were brand new characters and a new story line. Campbell Brown, the captain of her cheerleading squad, is transferred to an inner city school and creates a new squad to take down her old one.

The show was full of singing and dancing. There were real cheerleaders in the show, doing tricks, flinging girls so high in the air it seemed like they were going to hit the lights. At lot of times it reminded me of “In The Heights”, the way the characters would rap and even some of the choreography and formations because the same choreographer who worked on that show worked on this one as well. The show was funny too. It was modern with references to Twitter, Facebook, texting and video chats and it was a little racy with a few swear words thrown in.

I was laughing, nodding my head to the music and loving the dancing. It was a show that reminded me of how much I love musicals. There are theatre moments I’ve had in my life that I’ll always remember. Watching “In The Heights” for the first time in New York City, seeing “The Lion King” in the front row, seeing Fantasia in “The Color Purple” on Broadway and I’m adding last night to the list. There’s nothing better than going to a show with an open mind and being pleasantly surprised.

Bring It On: The Musical runs until June 3 in Toronto and will be on Broadway this summer.

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How To Make It… So Far

The second season of How to Make it In America is halfway over. Hard to believe since season two just started at the beginning of October, but there’s only eight episodes in the season and this Sunday’s episode was number four. I was loving season two so far, I thought it was funnier, sharper and I enjoyed the character development, but this week’s episode was a disappointment for me because I think I’m getting a bit too obsessed with this show.

One of my complaints about this new season is that it’s too plot driven. Last season, episodes were more character driven. My favorite episode from season one was Rachel’s birthday and the boys took Kappo to Avenue. Nothing plot wise happened in that episode, it was just about this super cool crew hanging out. This season, it’s all about the various plots. Ben and Cam trying to get Crisp off the ground, Cam trying to get with Lulu, Domingo and Rachel’s new romance, Rene trying to hype up Rasta Monsta and now Kappo dealing with the law. There’s a lot packed in to thirty minutes now.

The storyline that I’m enjoying the most is Rene’s. Rasta Monsta was one of the biggest storylines in season one, and now that Ben and Cam are doing other things, it’s just Rene and his team. I love his new girlfriend, Debbie,  who brings out a different side to him. It will be interesting to see what happens to him, now that he’s leaning more towards the criminal side. I also really like Rachel and Domingo together. It’s a weird couple, they bonded over weed, but I like them together. Rachel is stressed out and Domingo is chill. It works. But this week Ben found out and he was not happy about it.

I have to say, Ben has become such a douchebag this season. I used to love him, and now he’s so… arrogant. He acts like he’s the main guy behind Crisp and just seems to be feeling himself a little too much. Same with Cam, who is trying so damn hard to get with Lulu. Who is this Lulu chick and why does he like her so much? I mean, it’s cute to see him flirt and try to come up to win this girl but who is she? Where did she come from? How does she know the whole crew? Maybe I’m hating on the girl because I love Cam, but I don’t see the chemistry between them.

Like I said before, I think I’m way too in to this show. I need to take a step back and realize it’s just a show, they’re not real people and it may not last beyond this season. There are still four more episodes to go, and considering that out of the first four, I only didn’t like one episode, it’s still my favorite show. I just need to tone down my obsession.

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How To Make It… Best Show on TV

I’ll admit, when How to Make it In America premiered last year, I only tuned in because of Victor Rasuk. In high school, my sister and I watched Raising Victor Vargas every single day, and could recite almost every line. After we discovered Victor, we watched many movies he was in, so flipping on How to Make It was a no brainer. I liked the show from the first episode, focusing two best friends in New York trying to do something with their lives and make money. Every episode of the first season would leave me wanting more,  I loved the quick, funny dialogue, the shots of New York, the parties they’d go to, just that downtown New York life made me jealous, but it was a way for me to experience it i and wish for a cool life.

Season two premiered last night on HBO. There was a lot of hype leading up to it, Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk were doing interviews everywhere. I would keep seeing tweets of events they’d be doing in NYC and curse my Canadian status. People who viewed the episode early kept saying that season two is so much better than season one, it’s faster, smarter, sexier and edgier. I stayed up late to watch it last night, and actually applauded when it finished (loser, I know.)

Yes, season two has a different feel from the first season. Everyone looks a little more polished, the characters have grown a lot and the plot was more clear because they had the first season to build on. I loved that Julie, the girl Ben met in the clothing store in the first season, is back as his girlfriend. I actually cheered when I saw her. I love that there’s more Domingo (Kid Cudi, but I’ve been calling him Domingo since the show aired.) I love that Rene is still selling that Rasta Monsta I love that Crisp is really starting to take off, because one of the great things about the show is that you root for Ben and Cam. I know what it’s like being in your twenties and not knowing what you want to do with your life (I don’t live in NYC and go to cool parties, but that’s another post). I want them to succeed, cause if they do, I could too.

What I didn’t like was the added “sexiness” to the show. I know it was only the first episode, but I don’t think sex scenes and nudity will add anything. It’s probably what guys want to see, and it’s a show directed at guys, but I liked that in the first season there wasn’t that much sex. They don’t even need sex scenes with Bryan Greenberg, Victor Rasuk and Kid Cudi on the show anyway.

I think the second season is starting off great, and it seems like the show has gained a lot of popularity. Twitter was lighting up this morning with reviews of the first episode, and the title of the show is trending. I hope this momentum stays, How To Make It lasts many more years and Victor Rasuk becomes a superstar, because he’s gorgeous and super talented.

How To Make It is my favorite show on TV right now, hands down. It airs Sunday nights at 10:30pm on HBO.

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