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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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“The Game” Season 5 Premiere Review

Last year, it seemed like everyone I knew tuned in to watch the new season of The Game on BET. It had been cancelled for two years and brought back due to demands from the fans. It was a disappointing, weird, disjointed and annoying season. It became clear that even though it had all the same faces, it wasn’t the same show that I originally fell in love with.

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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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Not In Love With My Radio

This post is strictly for my Toronto people who have to deal with the same crappy radio stations that I do. This rant is for you.

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