'Single Ladies' Gets Harsh Reviews, Mostly From Men

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Charity, Stacey Dash LisaRaye McCoy Single Ladies
Charity Shea, Stacey Dash, & LisaRaye McCoy
Did you catch the Single Ladies premiere last night. It was our first look at the new VH1 series produced by Queen Latifah. The NYT is calling the show "Sex and the City (Atlanta), With Racial Politics" because it follows three girlfriends Val (Stacey Dash), Keisha (LisaRaye McCoy), and April (Charity Shea) on high-fashion jaunts that explore sexual and racial politics of dating, relationships, and sisterhood.

So far many of the reviews have been pretty harsh, basically chalking the show up as more mindless drivel for women. But should we really listen to that kind of too-soon criticism, especially when it mostly comes from men, or give the show a chance?

Not surprisingly male reviewers seem to have the harshest early criticism for Single Ladies.

Hank Stuever at the Washington Post:

This is a series for people who found Sex and the City too quick-witted and The Wendy Williams Show too intellectually stimulating ... Even if Single Ladies can be enjoyed in some basic brainless way (and even though it’s safely sequestered on VH1, where standards are aggressively low), there’s something steadfastly embarrassing about it.

The women seem to be operating from a false sense of empowerment, a soulfulness that unfortunately reads as soullessness.

Brian Lowry at Variety:

...it's not a particularly inspired serial, replete with tired situations, stiff dialogue and male characters possessing less dimension than those populating Sex and the City, if that's possible.

Female reviewers don't seem to be overly gushing about the premiere; however, they sure seem more willing to seek out its strong points and give it a chance.

Ginia Bellafante at the NYT:

And so begin the one-night stands, screaming matches, freedom affirmations, back-seat seductions and enraged exits of this largely absurdist but not entirely useless almost-postracial soap.

Sonya Eskridge at S2S Magazine:

After all the arguing, gossiping and general thirstiness to get in good with the mean girls (we're looking at you, Meeka Claxton) of Basketball Wives, Single Ladies was a nice change of pace.

Over on Twitter, many of the young guys are digging deep for their criticism, calling the sexually evolved Single Ladies characters "hoes," "sluts," and "bitches" (wow, we've never heard that before, fellas ... ) while many young women are celebrating the show's existence in a TV world that doesn't have have large stake in depicting women, especially women of color, who are in charge of their own lives.

Some loved it:

VocalPrincess: Found my new fav show! #SingleLadies

Mrsbobbyray: #Singleladies is the shit! My new favorite show! Gotta love it.

SayYesss: #SingleLadies iss a koo show, they show a different side of women ahaa.

jenniiiMAC: I like #singleladies its juicy

Some hated on it:

NotChrisRock: #SingleLadies Lauren London, Stacey Dash & Lisa Raye look good but the acting probably worse than in Chris Brown's apology video to Rihanna 

Reicenpeace: #singleladies may possibly be a dumb show!!! It looks cheap to me!

Some quoted it:

dominiquelildc: "You know I'm broke, so I know when you're digging in my pocket you're not digging for cash" - #SingleLadies (lmao)!!

Greeneyedpeachh: Children brag... Call me when you wanna see what women do!

Yepp_ItsMegann: you gotta wait 90 days to tap this lmao #singleladies

And at least one Twitterer called out the big, ugly truth.

colbycolb: Too much Twitter hate for Single Ladies. It's the first show jeez, let it develop. Do you know how hard it is to have AA shows on TV?

Wow, ain't that the truth? Can't we just be grateful that Queen Latifah got this show in action at all. Sure, it's probably not smart enough and surely not perfect, but that's how shows -- undoubtedly with minimal backing, resources, and buy-in -- always start off, but then the producers and the writers learn and get feedback and sometimes they even get better -- if viewers continue to watch and adore it while simultaneously demanding it get better. The Sex and the City pilot was horrific. Remember? The first Oprah show wasn't epic either.

Single Ladies gives women of color a platform to tell their stories. Let's not take that away before there's been time to show the world just how important that is.

Did you catch Single Ladies? What did you think? Will you watch?

 

Image via VH1

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SallyAM SallyAM

I wanted to like the show, I really did, but the writing is so awful. I'm going to stick with it if I can, but if I don't, I wouldn't call it a big loss.

nonmember avatar britney

later episodes might be better, if it's not all about sex.

nonmember avatar LaceNLeather24

Ok so the first episode got off to a rocky start but I still enjoyed it. From the previews it looks like it will get better. So I am sticking with it

nonmember avatar TR Jack

Thought LisaRaye was funny, yeah writing a bit weird, situations didnt always make sense, Stacey needs acting coach but rest of cast has potential, very slow and boring start, end was much better, April/Darrell storyline good, Why didn't she yell at him for talking to Quinn? DB is hot! Need to realize this is entertainment and lighten up. Don't really care about male opinions, shutup and let us escape.

cerai... cerainwondrland

I haven't watched the show but the male reviewers calling it mindless and such should consider the programming out there for men...


Does manswers make anyone else want scream? Guys love it....but its STUPID....girls love their stupid shows too lol =)

nonmember avatar Denia

I'm 21, and after watching with my mother she said it was way too rife with sex. I agree, but I can't deny thay it's refreshing to see women dominating their own lives. Then again, I am also a sucker for swanky apartment decor and impeccable fashion sense.

nonmember avatar deeeeeva

Please do not compare this show to Oprah. Pleeeeeze. While I am willing to give the show a chance to develop and continue to tune in, you must admit that it is like watching SATC for the woefully undereducated.

nonmember avatar Lisa Harrison

Single ladies is an excellent show. A male friend told me about the show and suggested that I watch it. Well! The episode that I saw was GREAT!!!!

Finally, a show that represents today's the Single Lady experience.

Quite frankly, one woman in the show represented a male friend and myself. I look forward to future shows and will suggest that my girlfriends watch the show.

Thanks!!!

Hotirah Israel

What you all have to realize there is some women who live those type of lives somewhere in the world.. There are ladies out there that feel that if a man can do it so can I, and there are women who demand to be taken serious when it come to marriage and men are not ready for that and the break up, and we know there are women who do sleep with more than one person in a short time and be caught up in the same situation;(don't know who the father is). So chill out and keep watching...

thedg... thedgoddess

Sorry, but as a WOMAN, I have to tell you this is the worst show I've eer seen.  Bad writing, worse acting, crappy sets and costumes. UGH. So bad.


 

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