Tales (BET)


Tales (BET) – Premieres 27th June – Renewed

Drama where each episode is themed on a famous rap song, the first episode is based on NWAs Fuck the Police where it follows a youth who witnessed the police murdering a local youngster.

The programme begins in a courtroom where after the prosecution delivers its opening statement then reveals that the murdered kid is white and the cops that killed him were black. This sets up the world the episode is in as reversal of racial stereotypes, where the white communities live in the low income areas working in low skilled jobs, and the black community reside in the affluent areas working in the high powered jobs.

As the episode goes along the witness is intimidated by police after they find out he’s to testify against them, his affair with the wife of the head of the local news station is uncovered and generally everything turns to shit for him.

The whole race reversal that that the episode is built on doesn’t give anything to the episode and comes across as a needless twist. While the story itself gets a bit muddled with an ending that seems to be hastily thrown together. It’s all pretty incoherent and has been done better in other shows.



Rebel (BET)


Rebel (BET) – Premieres 28th March

Cop based drama, where maverick cop Rebecca “Rebel” Knight goes on a call with her partner, only to find that the suspect is her own brother. After talking her brother into dropping the gun he was holding her partner panics and begins shooting at him. Rebel resolves that problem by shooting her partner in the foot, only for back up to arrive thinking her brother shot the partner, and killed him while he ran.

Rebel is then investigated by Internal Affairs to find out what happened, leaving her on gardening leave from the force being hounded by the press. She then gets a call from a friend to ask her to look into some suspicious behaviour that her husband is showing.

This leads Rebel to investigate both her friend and her husband, finding out the fella has a kid with another woman and her friend is having an affair with a dubious looking sort. Both she can confront them properly, the friends boyfriend murders the husband, leading Rebel to track him down and discover he’s part of a Chechnyan terrorist organisation plotting to somewhere in the States.

After getting the police down to the scene of the bomb production, the gang have cleaned the place out, leading to Rebel quitting the force to become a private detective and to hunt the gang down.

The show while come across as wanting to be a moderately serious drama ends up becoming reminiscent to the 70’s style blaxploitation cop films, where the ridiculous premise is underpinned by occasional funk bass and electric organ.


The Quad (BET)


The Quad (BET) –  Premieres 1st February – Renewed

College drama where a new principal of the historical black college of Georgia A&M has her work cut out for her with the college having no money, a pile of debt which she begins to pay for herself, while they try to find local business types to become boosters to get the cash rolling in.

Also thrown into the dramatic mix is that she’s coming off the back of a scandal from her previous job that she slept with a student, one of her current students has just been arrested for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, and her daughter being caught underage drinking.

For an opening episodes it throws everything in at once, which leaves it a jumbled mess, where the writers have used every trope imaginable in the hope that something sticks.


Madiba (BET)


Madiba (BET) – Premieres 1st February – Miniseries

A 3-part biographical drama of the life of Nelson Mandela. The first episode covers the early years of Nelsons life, where after his fathers death he was then raised by another family so he could get an education. Then though to him moving to Johannesburg where after getting his law degree, he started a law firm with his friend to help the black community.

The episode then follows Mandela as he joins up with the ANC, the party that worked under the remit of peaceful protests to build national recognition of the resistance to Apartheid. This leads the government at the time to try to bring down the party as communistic traitors, where the leaders were arrested multiple times but were yet to be convicted.

As the ep ends Mandela law partner Tambo has gone to London to raise awareness of how Apartheid is effecting the country, and the governmental violence towards the protester in South Africa begins to escalate.

The show itself goes into detail about the various aspects of Mandelas life but at such a slow pace it takes away from the story being told.


The New Edition Story (BET)


The New Edition Story (BET) – Premieres 24th January – Miniseries

Biographic drama based on the boyband pop combo New Edition, that follows the band through its formation all the way to the groups implosion.

The first eps shows how the group was formed after Bobby Brown got a case of stage fright and decided if he’s going to sing on stage he wants his friends on stage with him. From there the three add the karate loving local kid to join and the persuade a local band manager to take them on after doing an impromptu singsong to him as he’s leaving a nightclub.

Under his tutelage, the group win a few talent competition before entering a talent show organised by a local record producer for the chance to get free recording time. They manage to, then record the song Candy Girl, which is played to death throughout the episode while they get signed and reach #1 in the charts.

When the lads mothers get on the case of the lack of money the group are receiving the manager promises that after their tour the cash will come in which it doesn’t so he’s voted out by the parents.

It’s a show that if you were a fan of the band it’s of interest, but if not then its an at best average drama padded out by the bands hits. There’s also a brilliantly poor bit towards then of the ep were the child actors morph into the adult versions during a song they sing on the tour. And the less said about the one English policeman being security of the London show the better.


Ink, Paper, Scissors (BET)


Ink, Paper, Scissors (BET) – Starts 11th October

New reality tedium, this time set in an Atlantan hairdressing & tattoo salon. After the owner does the obligatory voiceover explaining how great business is going and how they have celebrity clientele. It then descends into the normal arguments and fisticuffs where the hairdressers spend most their day either slagging each other off.

Not to be left out, the owner trashes one of the rooms after a couple of the hairdressers dare to complain about the lack of AC and hold back their rent.

It’s the usual shitty scripted reality where endless conflict fails to mask the complete lack of anything interesting.


The Gary Owen Show (BET)


The Gary Owen Show (BET) – Starts 11th October

Standard reality show guff along the lines of Meet The Smiths, For Peete’s Sake & Follow The Rules. Comedian Gary Owen, his missus, three kids, his aunt and comedian friend go about doing their thing in a completely non scripted way.

if you’ve seen anywhere up to five minutes of the aforementioned shows, then this is more of the same predictable schtick.