Hudlin Entertainment Forum

Show Bizness => Hudlin TV => BET Life => Topic started by: jam on August 01, 2007, 10:55:51 am

Title: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on August 01, 2007, 10:55:51 am
I figured all the other shows had posts, so in an attempt to move beyond the tumultuous and controversial beginning of HGM,  I started this post so we can get into more conversation about the shows as they air.  peace people.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: bluezulu on August 01, 2007, 12:39:53 pm
Sup jam (now that damn Teddy Riley and Guy song wont get out of my head) :). I saw the first episode and it was ok. I will be checking out the next installment. 400s kill me when they finally latch on to something that black folks have known about for years and jump on it like it's the newest thing. Black folks been checking out Hot Ghetto Mess for years now. When I used to work with troubled youth and they would get out of controll one of the best methods I had to reel them back in was to hold up a mirror so that they could see how they looked in others eyes. I feel that is the point of you site and the show. Sometimes you have to go outside of yourself to see how you look to others. At least we have our own giving us the message. We get bent out of shape when others do it. Check on yall later after the show airs.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: bluezulu on August 01, 2007, 08:03:12 pm
Hate to reply right after my last thread.

Tonight's episode was definitely a move in the right direction. I think the clips presented did a good job of conveying the wanted message. Charlie Murphy is improving but I still think that he still is worried about how the show comes off. I think he needs to jump into it hook line in sinker. Let the viewer get the message loud in clear based off of the material shown. Charlie needs to do what he does best. Look like he is going to kick your ass at any minute. :D 

Its a shame that the initial negative of this show probably hurt the initial buzz, but if we see steady improvements like tonight maybe it will be a sure fire hit.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on August 01, 2007, 08:23:27 pm
Well Jam, you kept your word about the second episode being better but I must admit it wasn't by much. The intro was perfect as the comedic clips served their purpose in pulling everyone in; the transition into the walk on the street was great as well.

I felt that after hooking the audience with the images that were indicative of what we see in so many music videos; that the walk on the street segment should've then been the basis for the rest of the show. The comments made by several of the interview subjects were more provocative than any of the clips you showed tonight. In fact, the father proudly stating that his young daughter "does that now" in reference to the dancing we see in videos was the most shocking moment of the program. Seeing a larger group of interview subjects, particularly younger Black men and women responding to the clips would've been very insightful.

I'll head over to your blog to see the potential fireworks.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on August 01, 2007, 10:20:19 pm
I appreciate your feedback and will keep in mind more focused man-on-the-street interviewees in the future.   I think that could work well.  Thanks.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on August 01, 2007, 11:17:00 pm
I thought it was provocative as well but the brevity lessened the impact. I think the remaining shows would be better with a general theme attached to them. In reference to violence, there are 2 youtube videos that would be perfect to base a whole episode or the majority thereof around.

They both involve violence with the subtext of Rap music. The first is with a rapper whose name is Joey Jihad( the last name is Jihad for sure), it is a very popular video of the rapper being set-up by the cameraman who is then knocked out and carjacked. It is so popular in fact that there are several parodies of it. The aftermath, as with so many acts of violence is less well known or focused upon. The man who KO's Jihad in the clip was murdered a week after the incident after being shot in the head at point blank range. Also. I believe the cameraman was murdered as well.

The second clip involves a freestyle battle where one party sucker punches the other, it is also very popular. The part that most people don't see during their laughter is that the victim reaches for a gun in his waist while he is falling. Again, the consequence of violence wasn't thought of because if the victim had his faculties he would've murdered the cheap shot artist.

Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on August 02, 2007, 05:52:47 am
I thought it was provocative as well but the brevity lessened the impact. I think the remaining shows would be better with a general theme attached to them. In reference to violence, there are 2 youtube videos that would be perfect to base a whole episode or the majority thereof around.

They both involve violence with the subtext of Rap music. The first is with a rapper whose name is Joey Jihad( the last name is Jihad for sure), it is a very popular video of the rapper being set-up by the cameraman who is then knocked out and carjacked. It is so popular in fact that there are several parodies of it. The aftermath, as with so many acts of violence is less well known or focused upon. The man who KO's Jihad in the clip was murdered a week after the incident after being shot in the head at point blank range. Also. I believe the cameraman was murdered as well.

The second clip involves a freestyle battle where one party sucker punches the other, it is also very popular. The part that most people don't see during their laughter is that the victim reaches for a gun in his waist while he is falling. Again, the consequence of violence wasn't thought of because if the victim had his faculties he would've murdered the cheap shot artist.



Once again, very thoughtful comments and very useful feedback.  Unfortunately, the shows are locked so we cant add any clips at this point BUT i will jot them down and hopefully they can be utilized if we do another "season".  With this show, we are in the unique position of having a show without a known formula.  Sure  it has formulaic elements of clip shows and man-on-the-street interviews,  but to combine that with a clear message, try to be entertaining, try to give history and facts and statistics-- it has been a huge, amazing challenge and i am thankful for the opportunity to be involved in that.  Thats why your comments are so important.  This show has so much potential and, like every show, will take fine tuning elements and adding and subtracting and changing.  Thats how you evolve.

I hope BET sticks with the show and allows to reach its full potential.  And moreso, I hope it opens the door a crack for other out-of-the-mold programming .
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 02, 2007, 06:03:26 am
i, too, hope 2 see more and more of this show.
there is no reason why this show couldn't last at least 5 seasons.
it can only get better and better with a lil' fine tuning.
i like it.
i get it.

i, too, want charlie murphy to stop lookin' like a deer in headlights.
blink brother, blink!

BE CHARLIE MURPHY!
:D

I came for charlie murphy, i stayed for the man on the street commentaries.

and those gay guys are dumb as dirt.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: brotherkomrade on August 02, 2007, 01:29:39 pm
The second was way better and I agree with J Sergeant  that the Street Walkin' stuff can be very powerful. The sections on gender issues was the sh*t!!
Here's an idea (and what may be a great strategy for getting a green light for a second season):
See if you guys can have a 'town meeting show' kind of like the reunion shows after certain reality series have run, and have members from the petition invited on as audience members and maybe panel members then do the same for those  who supported the show or those who have appeared and was impacted by it when they saw themselves.
This will create a dialogue and hopefully drive the message home even more.

Last thing: I loved Charlie Murphy when he was on Dave Chapelle and he was great doing the Hollywood Tales, but I think a live narrator for this show is unnecessary.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on August 02, 2007, 03:52:17 pm
The second was way better and I agree with J Sergeant  that the Street Walkin' stuff can be very powerful. The sections on gender issues was the sh*t!!
Here's an idea (and what may be a great strategy for getting a green light for a second season):
See if you guys can have a 'town meeting show' kind of like the reunion shows after certain reality series have run, and have members from the petition invited on as audience members and maybe panel members then do the same for those  who supported the show or those who have appeared and was impacted by it when they saw themselves.
This will create a dialogue and hopefully drive the message home even more.

Last thing: I loved Charlie Murphy when he was on Dave Chapelle and he was great doing the Hollywood Tales, but I think a live narrator for this show is unnecessary.

Without a host, do you have any suggestions as to how to give context to the clips?  One reason the host is useful is to give commentary on themes found in clips.  What we're about to see, what we just saw and why it is a disaster.  For example, this week he did a bit about violence ("we cant fight the power if we're too busy fighting each other"), and he does the commentaries at the end.  I thought the host was helpful in hitting you upside the head with the message for those that may want to tune in and simply laugh.  How do you think this could be accomplished without a host/narrator?  Would love to hear suggestions from those who vote for no-host.

Love the reunion idea.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Cheirel on August 02, 2007, 05:43:00 pm
I thought it was only me that Charlie was driving crazy. Bad Botox maybe?
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 02, 2007, 09:33:22 pm
i think he is just having a hard time reading the teleprompter.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: bluezulu on August 03, 2007, 06:24:00 am
Actually I think Charlie should do S.O.B. (a great show to btw) and D.L. should do We got to do better. D.L. made his mark in comedy talking about audience members. He like Don Rickles could do a whole show right off the dome jankin on audience members. At the same time D.L. is very political and can hold his own on shows like Political Incorrect. Next season switch them up or have D.L. do both. DL. can bring the humor and then bring it back around in the proper context.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 03, 2007, 06:51:18 am
ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh....

Good One, blue.

(i still think that someone is missin' out...especially comedy central.  "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories" should have been greenlighted as soon as Dave Chappelle said he wasn't coming back.  That skit was a spinoff episode to me... it would have worked.)

But I digress... he continues to host We Got to Do better, i would love it if He'd tell personal "we got to do better" stories that he was a part of...and that story gets re-enacted.

hahahahha...comedy.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on August 03, 2007, 07:06:40 am
LOL!  Thats actually a really funny idea....
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on August 03, 2007, 08:06:59 am
You know, I don't mind Charlie so much as the material. IMHO, you got to do better on the narration scripts. I see you're hammering the message home in the narration bits but it needs to be funny. And it needs to have a consistent viewpoint with some integrity. The tsk, tsk stance just doesn't quite do it for me. I think it needs more ridicule and less scorn. But mostly more humor.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 03, 2007, 09:33:39 am
thanks luv.

i'm creativity is runnin' kinda high lately.
i'm in the zone... man, i gotta do somethin' about my 9 to 5!  :-[
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on August 03, 2007, 09:43:23 am
You know, I don't mind Charlie so much as the material. IMHO, you got to do better on the narration scripts. I see you're hammering the message home in the narration bits but it needs to be funny. And it needs to have a consistent viewpoint with some integrity. The tsk, tsk stance just doesn't quite do it for me. I think it needs more ridicule and less scorn. But mostly more humor.

I appreciate your comment and I'm curious as to why you think the scripts should be funnier or it needs more humor?  The thinking was that we didnt want the message to get lost in a laughfest.  Especially when so many clips can be considered humorous on some level (even if they're sad and awful).  We were trying to strike a balance between that and a message.  I was trying to recreate the feeling you get with the website, where you may laugh but its really not funny.  Which is really a challenge as a writer.  But your point is well taken.  There is always roomf or improvement but it was a conscious choice not to go with a solely comedic feel between segments.   
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: brotherkomrade on August 03, 2007, 10:53:11 am
Jam,

You have no idea how refreshing it is to have this sort of dialogue with someone who is responsible for TV and web content such as yourself. You are correct that the clips need some sort of context, but maybe with less emphasis than what CM is doing or directed to do. Don't get me wong, I love Charlie Murphy and he is a talented comedian. I would also love it if he had his own show doing what he did on the Dave Chapelle show with the Hollywood stories.

But I'd say, maybe do voice overs instead and have someone who has a more wry or cynical view point. Wendell B. Harris of Chameleon Street comes to mind or a female voice like Somemore's (sp).
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on August 03, 2007, 11:33:36 am
I totally agree!! It is so nice to have a dialogue with someone who has watched and listened and evaluated and has formed thoughtful, insightful opinions on what they see.  If people only realized that exchanges like this is the only way we improve.  I will definitely take your comments into consideration.  The show was cast pretty late after the scripts were done so tailoring the scripts to the talent was a challenge.  But its one those growing pains of a show's first season.  Now that we see what works and what doesn't we can start to make adjustments.  I am also a big fan of the wry, cynical viewpoint.

Perhaps it would be cool if the producers and writers of other shows come on and talk to you guys.  You all have some great ideas.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on August 03, 2007, 01:11:33 pm
You know, I don't mind Charlie so much as the material. IMHO, you got to do better on the narration scripts. I see you're hammering the message home in the narration bits but it needs to be funny. And it needs to have a consistent viewpoint with some integrity. The tsk, tsk stance just doesn't quite do it for me. I think it needs more ridicule and less scorn. But mostly more humor.

I appreciate your comment and I'm curious as to why you think the scripts should be funnier or it needs more humor?  The thinking was that we didnt want the message to get lost in a laughfest.  Especially when so many clips can be considered humorous on some level (even if they're sad and awful).  We were trying to strike a balance between that and a message.  I was trying to recreate the feeling you get with the website, where you may laugh but its really not funny.  Which is really a challenge as a writer.  But your point is well taken.  There is always room for improvement but it was a conscious choice not to go with a solely comedic feel between segments.   

I do appreciate the challenge of striking the right balance. When I say more humor, I mean mixing in good-natured humor that does not look down upon or heap scorn on the messes being portrayed (no matter how richly they may deserve it).  It's like jonin' on somebody. It needs to be funny and ridiculing, but not so mean that folks want to fight.  Done well, the message will be reinforced with good jokes.  The risk of the "serious message" approach is that it can come off as preaching down to the po' ignant fools (how many different ways can you say, "We got to do better").  Humor can do it more obliquely and more effectively, IMHO.  Gotta do it with love though. Try to channel the late, great Robin Harris. Even Farrakhan's got jokes sometimes.

BTW, just because something is tragic doesn't mean it can't be funny too, i.e. tragicomic. Black folks know something about that. The ultimate blues line according to BB King:
"Nobody loves me but my momma, and maybe she's jivin' too."

Thanks for listening and good luck with the show.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on August 03, 2007, 04:28:44 pm
Obviously, Charlie is having flashbacks from that beatdown him and Eddie gave to Rick James over that couch.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on August 03, 2007, 09:08:20 pm
Obviously, Charlie is having flashbacks from that beatdown him and Eddie gave to Rick James over that couch.

I take this back. After watching the press conference with Mel B and Gloria Allred, Charlie was thinking 17%, 17& !@##$$%^ percent, I told Eddie to be careful!
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Cheirel on August 08, 2007, 02:54:21 pm
How embarrasing is Eddie of a dead beat babydaddy? He actually could have been on Maury that aint mine and hell nah I'm not paying child support. Good lookin' out.  Now that is some hot ghetto mess
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on August 08, 2007, 08:07:52 pm
Let me get this out of the way; somebody, anybody, get Charlie Murphy some damn shades please!. I am going to see those eyes in my sleep if this continues. Tonight's show was better than the last as it seemed to incorporate the street walk segments as a great transition from the clips. I thought a moment was lost to have a theme about imagery in the Black community as the stripper, pimp and sports commentary seemed to tie into the superficial nature of much of our existence.

I know the episodes are locked but I am looking for an end of the season special to discuss everything that has transpired around the show.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on August 22, 2007, 08:43:01 pm
Tonights show maintained the quality of the program but it still fell short by not focusing on a hot button topic. The segment on Church/Religion was ripe with potential for an entire episode or 2 at least. Hopefully the show is picked up and we can see theme shows with an emphasis on street walking.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 23, 2007, 06:14:47 am
oh man... that white dude fell into the trap.
hahahhahah...

i didnt feel bad... i was just like...oh dayam...who is he gonna get his foot out of his mouth.

oops. wrong show.

Hot ghetto mess was good, too.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 29, 2007, 12:01:01 pm
Season Finale at 10:30pm.

Hey Powers-that-be, I need to see more of this show.
Please do not let me wait until next summer to see a new season.

Do it like Survivor and show two seasons a year... and can we get more than 6 episodes?

About 10-13 would make me happy.

 ;D
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Vic Vega on August 29, 2007, 01:40:20 pm
Fairly evenhanded, (but behind the curve as usual for them) article on We Got To Do Better by the Village Voice appeared last week, IRRC.

In case anybody's intrested read it here:

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0734,hilliard,77584,6.html
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Battle on August 29, 2007, 02:40:26 pm
(http://boards1.wizards.com/images/smilies/whatsthis.gif) From the Village Voice article:

Meanwhile, more new shows are on the way. If Gina McCauley and Rainbow/PUSH didn't like We Got to Do Better, they're going to loathe BUFU. An animated sketch-comedy series debuting this fall, the show is hosted by former MADtv actor Orlando Jones. In one clip, a sketch called "Who Needs They Ass Whopped?", a thirteen-year-old mother, with kids in tow, is a contestant on a game show. Her goal is to listen to three men and find out which one is telling the truth about being a good-for-nothing baby daddy. The contestants include an NBA player who can barely speak properly, a smooth playa dressed in a suit, and a European ballplayer who doesn't speak English. Social commentary on the decline of the black family structure? Yes. Slightly offensive? Indeed. Funny? Absolutely.


BUFU?! ;D  Orlando Jones? ;D  uh Oh! Already I'm smiling! :D
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Tanks on August 29, 2007, 03:52:38 pm
([url]http://boards1.wizards.com/images/smilies/whatsthis.gif[/url]) From the Village Voice article:

Meanwhile, more new shows are on the way. Social commentary on the decline of the black family structure? Yes. Slightly offensive? Indeed. Funny? Absolutely.



http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~32899.aspx

Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on September 21, 2007, 06:21:38 am
Give WGTDB a Season 2!  or the terrorists win.......   :-)
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Mastrmynd on September 21, 2007, 06:28:12 am
uh...IT BETTER BE BACK!
thass my word, yo son... on my ol' earth dun... "we gotta do better" needs 2 be back on the scene like money green jordache blue jeans, kna'mean god!!?
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on October 23, 2007, 11:23:30 am
I know this thread should be dead and long gone by now, but I just wanted to relay something that you all will find very promising.  Reggie often speaks of how the Young-fogeys underestimate our youth.  It is often assumed by the black thought police that young urban men and women are unable to analyze and and are incapable of appreciating satire or conducting intelligent analyses of what they are seeing.  And although I'm preaching to the choir, I wanted you guys to know that I have been on a speaking tour speaking to Af-Am students at HBCU's and predominantly white universities and THEY GET IT.

I speak on topics of internet activism, hotghettomess.com and my experiences doing "We Got To Do Better" and the kids totally get it.  They express disbelief at the level of opposition to WGTDB.  They understand the motivation behind the show, the message, and admitted they learned a lot from the factoids.  It is such vindication to hear from their own mouths that our youth are not mindless lambs being led to the slaughter.  They are bright, introspective, engaged and just yearning to be challenged by the media.

Now of course, these are college students and it can be argued that they are not representative of the wider population of black youth, but seeing that most activist movements and revolutions in thought begin on college campuses, it is very encouraging.

So, just wanted to share that with you guys, its really refreshing to see hard evidence that A) Im not crazy and B) we just may be alright after all.....

jam donaldson
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Battle on October 23, 2007, 11:42:18 am
Quote
So, just wanted to share that with you guys, its really refreshing to see hard evidence that A) Im not crazy and B) we just may be alright after all.....

jam donaldson


Did you have any doubts at the time of the show's launch? ???

I knew it was a hit the first time I chuckled at armstrong's silly mug crying laughing! ;D...and that goes double for the host of that video clip trying to fan him for air! :D

Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on October 24, 2007, 06:47:39 am
Jam! 

Great to hear from you and a) glad you're on a college tour, and b) glad you are encouraged. 

There's a culture war going on in black America, and unfortunately there's no leadership and very little clear thinking going on.  You need to participate more in "old media" so more people hear what you have to say.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: brotherkomrade on November 06, 2007, 01:19:04 pm
Is the show canceled?
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Cheirel on November 18, 2007, 09:56:18 pm
Hopefully the show isn't cancelled maybe just bug eyed Charlee
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jam on December 18, 2007, 11:56:26 am
Woohoo!! We made EW's List of 15 Taboo-Breaking TV Moments of All Time

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20054888_10,00.html
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: bluezulu on December 18, 2007, 12:12:05 pm
Good read, controversy sales. And if its Peaches fried chicken on Youtube or BET at least we are getting perspective with We got to do better.
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Battle on December 20, 2007, 06:25:40 am
(http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/spezial/Fool/alc.gif)
Told ya it was "...great television!"
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on December 20, 2007, 07:43:43 am
Woohoo!! We made EW's List of 15 Taboo-Breaking TV Moments of All Time

[url]http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20054888_10,00.html[/url]


I'm more than alright with being on a list with ALL IN THE FAMILY, DEADWOOD and NYPD BLUE. 

But how do you make a list of the most taboo-breaking moments of all time and not put the season opener of FLAVOR OF LOVE 2 at the top of the list?
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on December 20, 2007, 10:35:00 am
I'm more than alright with being on a list with ALL IN THE FAMILY, DEADWOOD and NYPD BLUE. 

Not to mention In Living Color...
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Battle on February 23, 2010, 11:33:04 am
Almost forgot to mention...

Writer, attorney and television producer, Jam Donaldson is a top contributer in the February 2010 issue of EBONY magazine which also features Dijimon Hounsou (who does voice-over for  Black Panther, the animated series) on the cover.

Ms. Donaldson manages to summarizes her point of view what the Black American experience was like in the 70s and 80s on one page and she's not even 40!

When you get a chance, check out her new book, Conversate Is Not A Word.

...or check out her site, Blackpower.com
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on February 23, 2010, 04:43:49 pm
Almost forgot to mention...

Writer, attorney and television producer, Jam Donaldson is a top contributer in the February 2010 issue of EBONY magazine which also features Dijimon Hounsou (who does voice-over for  Black Panther, the animated series) on the cover.

Ms. Donaldson manages to summarizes her point of view what the Black American experience was like in the 70s and 80s on one page and she's not even 40!

When you get a chance, check out her new book, Conversate Is Not A Word.

...or check out her site, Blackpower.com

This is great news!

I thought Jam's site was Conversateisnotaword.com.

Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 23, 2010, 06:04:36 pm
She has several sites.  And, as mentioned, written a book. 
Title: Re: We Got To Do Better
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on March 03, 2010, 09:43:03 pm
I still wish JAM the best as her pro bono work as an attorney before her notoriety speaks volumes about her character.

However 8)

There is nothing more pathetic than having a blog and deleting dissenting comments en masse.

She has got to do better.