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While discussing how wrong and utterly stupid people can be about anything Beyoncé related, my friend La succinctly packaged my grievances by noting, “I hate that every time she does something, it means we all who pay attention and have critical thinking skills have to suffer thru think pieces from who don’t.” She added an “lol,” but my ass ain’t laughing. The thinkpieces haven’t arrived yet, but the thoughtless musings have already started.

For starters, this idea that “7/11″ sounds like something from Unapologetic. Songs like “Pour It Up” are taking cues from Juicy J and “trap,” both of which are heavily (and admittedly by producers) influenced by DJ Screw and UGK. You know, the area where Beyoncé is actually from. As someone who still occasionally writes about music, it irritates the ever living shit out of me how often people who write about music don’t know much about it. This is always true about anything southern Black related.

Even after the now perfect visual, there are some who once again want to echo this sentiment and attribute to the larger point: Beyoncé is copying Rihanna. The people who think this are more than likely the folks who had no idea about the term “ratchet” and Lil’ Boosie until they discovered Twitter. Likewise, these are people who don’t know anything about southern rap outside the shit they discovered in the aughts — so much of which is nothing more than an amalgamation of sounds from the cities of Houston, New Orleans, Dallas, and Miami. This is probably why some felt “Bow Down” was jacking A$AP Rocky, the Harlem native whose entire sound has largely been derived from the Houston rap me and Beyoncé listened to in like elementary and middle school.

Let’s just be clear that a Black girl from Houston, Texas doesn’t need to take cues from a girl born in Barbados, a man from Harlem, among others riding off a Houston influence (Hey, Aubrey Graham) on how to incorporate Screw-influenced music and otherwise hood shit into her act. Especially if said artist is from the Third Ward area of H-Tine, and most of all, has been doing “ratchet” shit before these complaining sum’bitches started dick-riding the term and proceeded to abuse to death.

Since Destiny’s Child started, Beyoncé has worked with local Houston rappers, No Limit rappers, and if you gloss over the Destiny’s Child catalog, has as many birds in her stock as a Popeye’s on MLK. Never forget that Destiny’s Child scored a crossover hit in a song like “Soldier,” which is about their love of a big dick thug. This is a song that came out after they became mainstream staples, mind you.

Beyoncé is also the girl who flipped an old DJ Jubilee sound into an R&B dance track. Perhaps some of you were blinded by the video, which was inspired by The Frug Bob Fosse’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Sweet Charity, but that’s still New Orleans bounce you are dancing to, beloveds. I could go on – Beyoncé breaking into the southside flow on “Kitty Kat” – but these motherfuckers don’t pay attention or listen, so why keep bothering?

If anything, unlike Rihanna and many other Black acts, Beyoncé is someone whose music remained unapologetically Black more often than not in spite of the shrinking influence of “urban radio” and the pressures to join the EDM, Kid Bopz sounding bullshit one finds on those pop stations.

By the way, I also some tweet that said “7/11″ sounds like The Lonely Island’s idea of a Beyoncé song. That’s some white people shit and I’ll leave it at that. Well, I’ll add a “God bless.” There. Next.

Oh yes, there’s that lingering complaint that Beyoncé has no personality. Early interviews have long suggested otherwise. What Beyoncé did do, though, is pull back on the media in the wake of LeToya and LaTavia’s dismissal. She probably didn’t want to end up being portrayed as Diana Ross given these days the only folks who can get away with such behavior are the Katherine Heigls of the world.

I welcome constructive criticism of Beyoncé. I can think of a few areas worthy of consideration. No, I won’t share ’cause I’m not up for doing the work of lazy thinkers. However, what is and continues to be the main problem about this line of critique about Beyoncé is that it’s brainless and often comes from people who come across butt hurt by her for whatever reason. Shut up, or at least, step it up.

Anyway, all hail the biggest pop star in the world for making a music video on an iPhone 6 for a song with absolutely no structure, but is the bop…which is really the most important anyway.

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Teyana has come a long way as a singer. She sings with far more confidence than she did a few years ago and conveys vulnerability sweetly even if the actual lyric is especially aggressive a la “The last nigga broke my heart, you’ll probably break it, too” on “Broken Hearted Girl” featuring Fabolous.

When her aggression is more pronounced, it works just as wonderfully. It’s evident in VII’sfirst single, “Maybe,” which should be a much bigger song than it appears to be. And though Chris Brown may still be a public relations nightmare, he remains a radio staple. Now that we’re in the midst of “cuffing season,” I would advise Teyana to consider releasing her duet with Breezy, “Do Not Disturb.”

There are other “I’m horny as hell”-themed tracks, like “Dreams,” though the album version doesn’t quite work as well as the original, “Dreams of Fucking a R&B Bitch.” “Dreams” is the singer-songwriter’s equivalent of “just let me put the tip in.” I don’t know what spurred this more sanitized final version, but in the future, if you’re going to go there, just go there.

Read the rest at Complex.

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When I first laid eyes on Masika, I didn’t give a particular damn about her one way or the other. The only real thought I could muster about Masika was more of a question: “Did Janice Dickinson have a secret Black baby two or three decades ago?” The answer seems to be no, only if going by last night’s episode of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, there’s a very strong chance that Masika is the lovechild of some Black man and one of the worst Disney villains imaginable.

Masika strikes me as the kind of person that has been jumped a couple of times in her life. Hell, she’ll probably get popped at the reunion, too. Now that she’s no longer engulfed in a love triangle with Mally Mall and human blow up doll, Nikki, she’s set her sights on Yung Berg, who apparently was her friend before she forged a superficial friendship with Hazel E.

While Hazel E complained about Berg for what feels like the billionth time, Masika slid in the following comment: “You all about the girl code, I’m all about keeping it 100.”

Translation: I will fuck your man.

Granted, Hazel was only close to Berg when had a condom on, but you get what I’m saying. Even if the relationship was mostly in your mind, Masika will discard that friendship trivia for the sake of self-interests. In this instance, her music career.

Yes, not only is she suddenly Berg’s friend, Masika is also a recording artist of some sort. About that: Masika is too slow to realize that when it comes to her “music,” women aren’t going to support a person they think betrays women. Masika is also one of those birds who doesn’t think she’s a bird, given she comes with Creole mustard as opposed to BBQ sauce. I don’t see this music thing happening for you, Masika, but best wishes on all future endeavors.

As for Hazel, in addition to dropping the hobby of creating imaginary boyfriends, she should also stop having imaginary friends – even if they come with real bodies. Beloved, you used to be a publicist before you became a rapper, right? You’ve got to know how these “industry” people work, especially if you get the suspicion that they could come with a side of pico de gallo. Masika is not your friend.

Even so, Masika’s sudden interest in Berg works in that man’s favor. You know, since his attempts at trying to sleep with Teairra Mari were dropped faster than she was from Def Jam. I’m glad Teairra Mari is seemingly getting serious about the state of her music career. She has to know she can do better than making a living getting drunk and fighting women in the club over vaginal cream usage on VH1. And while they don’t have any romantic chemistry, the track Berg produced for Teairra sounds pretty good. That said, Teairra, I hope you have reached out to DJ Mustard, too.

I can already hear it: “Mustard on the beat, ho. Te-Te’s fist on your jaw, bitch.”

Before we move on from this, let me just remind you all that Berg continues to be a five foot poster for the phrase “Who hurt you?” He is cruel and heartless. Stevie J and Peter Gunz are serial womanizers with plenty of issues, but even they don’t ever sound this casually callous.

When Masika wasn’t getting on Hazel’s nerves over Berg, Fizz was making everyone at home shake their head as he continues to try to make a family with Amanda, who has proven time and time again that she’s not ready for that. Fizz and Amanda got into a fight after Fizz found out that Amanda had breakfast with the man she cheated on him with.

Let’s recap: Amanda says she’s unsure about helping raise his child, has cheated on Fizz, and continues to hang out with the man she’s cheated on him with.

Read the rest at Complex.

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You really have to love a man to say, “Fuck an epidermal, I’m going to deliver bae’s baby in a bathtub.” That’s just the kind of woman Apryl is. Omarion was delivered this way, so Apryl wants to keep the tradition going. It’s sweet and sentimental, but I kind of wish Apryl had kept the storytelling to a minimum because I don’t think any of us needed to know that Omarion was uncircumcised.

While piecing together the final details of their natural home birth, Apryl askedOmarion if he wanted their son to be circumcised. He did, only she suggested that he do the same. His response: “You telling me I got to cut the turtle neck?”

Then she mentioned that his dick is too big and makes sex complicated. For a second there, I was feeling like I was breaking child porn laws only to remember that Omarion is my age. No matter because that was still too much.

Speaking of, Omarion did reveal to Apryl that he talked to his mom about her antics. That brought on another meeting of the minds, which also meant a big waste of Apryl’s time. Leslie thinks insulting someone is a proper way of offering help. Excuse me, sorry—Leslie was trying to “teach” Apryl something as if anyone asked her to.

Even while trying to “explain herself,” Leslie made comments like “My son says I owe you an apology, but I’m trying to figure out why.” Another one: “You’re my son’s first child’s mother.”

Apryl ultimately decided to hug that mean woman and invite her to the delivery. I expect nothing but stress and bad things to follow. Whatever happens, I’m sure Apryl will handle it. She strikes me as reasonable and thoughtful, but no pushover. Even Omarion strikes me as relatively sane—like he watched various New Edition member struggles and vowed “Not me.”

You know who else is fairly sane by this show’s standards? Soulja Boy. Nia met up with her sisters at the dance studio to tell them the news of she and Soulja Boy moving in together. At one point, one of the sisters asks whether “He’s a Soulja Boy or Soulja Man?” Actually, he appears more mature than Nia.

Nia has been dating this man “on and off for eight years,” but has never introduced him to her parents. Now, I wouldn’t do that, but it’s a different story with my family—one Iyanla can narrate. However, Nia says she never introduced Soulja Boy to Teddy Riley because she was never sure if he was serious. I don’t believe that. She seems very guarded and untrusting of others and that’s all rooted in her dad having 10 kids. Oh, Nia didn’t tell Soulja Boy she is one of 10 siblings in their eight years of dealing with each other in some capacity, but it’s Soulja Boy we only have to worry about trusting. Right.

In any event, when Teddy Riley did appear, he came with a research packet. and asked Soulja about women taping him in hotels. Shout out to Kat Stacks. He even asked if he slept with his daughter the first night. Soulja was smart to lie and say no.

 

This is now how this should go. You don’t need to tell your parents the intricate details of your relationship, only whatever decisions you make about it. If that.

As for the other troubled cast members, Teairra Mari was back on key. Sure, she was also lip syncing to studio audio, but there were some quality-sounding ad libs there. Even better news is that Teairra realizes that she needs to get that body and voice together.

Meanwhile, she is working with Yung Berg, who clearly wants to smash. I don’t see Teairra letting that go down. I hope she doesn’t have to snatch his chain and shove it down his throat for invading her personal space.

When she wasn’t working with Berg, she was checking on Ray J, who was throwing temper tantrums at Power 106 and getting arrested at clubs over grabbing stranger asses plus kicking in police car windows. Oh, he also spit on a cop.

Somewhere Kim Kardashian is giggling “Ha, ha, bitch.”

Teairra talks to Ray’s manager, who encourages her to reach out. Mistake. She apologized for her behavior and that ended quickly because Ray J was Petty Patty.

He went on to downplay their relationship, which is what a typical villain would do. He tried to make her look like a Hazel E. This makes him seem even more like he has a problem. Teairra didn’t punch him. Good for her.

Ray J is out here looking even worse than ever. That is quite the feat given his track record. I guess I should never question the power of alcohol. And maybe something else. Allegedly.

Read the rest at Complex.

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I should have known last night’s episode was going to be especially frustrating given it opened with Nikki, aka Barbie Kardashian, wiggling around in those yeast infection-inducing pants to listen to her on-again, off-again boyfriend,Mally Mall, lie to her again about his dealings with Masika. Mally Mal swears that they didn’t have sex if you don’t include the fellatio Masika allegedly performed on him. Could Mally Mal have just stood idle as Masika showed “what that mouth do?” Sure, but this man is clearly a liar so he’s probably had sex with her at least 52.5 times.

Mally Mal wanted to show Nikki what life was like without her so he presented her with an empty box–confirming our suspicion that he is corny as hell. After that, he gave her keys to his house (as if that will stop him from cheating). When Nikki took that as a sign of the two moving in together, Mally Mal went with the bro version of, “Whoa dere daddy-daddy.” Bless this sucker’s heart. Nikki’s got an empty refrigerator where her self-esteem’s supposed to be so she is willing to fall for anything.

She did have one request during their non-eating dinner, though: She wantedMally Mal to let Masika know whom the real bae ‘round these parts is and she wanted to be there when it went down. When the time came, Masika tried to have a sincere, adult conversation about all of it at the home she helped Mallypick. Masika wanted to make one thing clear: this man was playing both she and Nikki. So reasonable, yet so wrong for the reality show she elected to be apart of. Moments later, Nikki wiggled in and started clucking only for Masika to escort herself out. Masika was right when she described the entire ordeal as “clown shit.”

Nikki felt froggy with another cast member last night, too.

After hanging out with Teairra Mari, Nikki was informed that Morgan was showing off her pre-plastic surgery photos to mutual acquaintances for shits and giggles. Vexed, she confronted Morgan about it at a Ray J video shoot. Nikki is fake as hell, but game peeped game as she called out Morgan for being phony. When confronted, Morgan denied mocking Nikki’s before and after photos. In other words, she’s a lying ass liar on top of being messy as hell.

Here’s the thing about Nikki: Her new ass is nice if not hella Betty Boopish (re: unrealistic) in appearance. Now, when it comes to her breasts, it looks like you need to chart a cross-country flight to go from nipple to nipple because they look as far apart as NY and LA. But hey, whatever works for you, beloved.

Meanwhile, Morgan has issues with Ray J not appreciating her. However, Ray J feels she’s not particularly professional. You know, fighting on his video set and all. Based on the footage last night, I’m inclined to agree with Ray J, but then again, this is the same person who had women fighting over purses and Vagisil at his website launch party, so perhaps she’s just following your lead, Willie Jr.?

In related toxic relationship news, Hazel-E continues to serve as the poster child for clueless women. After finding out that Yung Berg reached out to Teairra Mari to record music, she throws several fits. Who told her? Masika. Yes, while at some dance class, Masika sat with Hazel-E and Moniece and proceeded to fill her in. She did this while explaining her own issue with Teairra. She didn’t, however, touch on her random fight with Nikki over the dude screwing both of them at the same damn time.

Read the rest at Complex.

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If a man says “I don’t want to commit to you” and you continue to ask him how he feels about starting a formal relationship, there are only three explanations for your lingering confusion: You suffer from hearing loss, you have a learning disability that makes it difficult for you to decipher basic-ass statements, or you’re just stubbornly stuck on stupid. Hazel E doesn’t strike me as someone suffering from the Helen Keller or the Theo Huxtable so one can only assume she’s in need of a dunce cap.

Hazel invites Yung Berg over to her new apartment where she reflects on her rift with Teairra Mari. Berg really doesn’t care, but like many men, makes just enough facial expressions and offers the right amount of mumbling to suggest he’s actually invested in the conversation. This is happening while they’re passing a bottle of Ciroc back and forth which ends how one might expect to: Hazel heading to the bed to bend over as Berg in turns follows the leader. The next morning, Hazel hits Berg with chatter about commitment and Berg makes it plain: I’m not committing to you. I don’t want a title. I’m not going to stop screwing around with other women.

Yet, Hazel says in the confessional, “We have an amazing night like last night and I’m back to being the jump off of the day. Make up your mind, dude.” He’s mind has already been made up, beloved. You just refuse to take him at his word because whenever you open your legs to him, he dives into the express lane. But that shouldn’t be surprising because Berg has admitted to being a ho, bird brain.

Suffice to say, Hazel, there is no point in asking Berg, “Don’t you think it’s time to rock with a down-ass chick or no?” when the answer is clear. By the way, who still talks like a Murder Inc. single from 2002? When Hazel said, “I can fall all the way back,” Berg instantly wrote back, “Do what you gotta do.”

I really hope this is just for additional camera time, but even then there are more respectable ways of getting shine than debasing yourself for Yung Berg. Like, say, throwing liquor bottles.

In related “This Is Not How You Handle a Relationship” news, grownup Fizz wants his girlfriend, Amanda, to move-in with him for two reasons: He wants a stepmom for his son, and it will “allow me to trust her more.” The trust issue is rooted in Amanda cheating on him in the past. Yeah, you move in with someone because you already have trust; shacking up should not be a trust-building exercise.

The same goes for Soulja Boy, who wants Niki and her son to move in to prove that he is ready to be a different kind of man. I find Soulja Boy wanting to take in someone else’s child and assist in the childrearing admirable, only Soulja Boy ought to stop being a kid himself before he tackling that responsibility. That said, I was somewhat shocked to see him astutely note that Niki’s trust issues are rooted in her dad, Teddy Riley, having nine kids with six different women. Listen, when Soulja Boy calls you out on your trust issues, you need to go sit on somebody’s couch and work your issues out.

Read the rest at Complex.

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Tinashe is, to my mind, a thought experiment: “What if Christina Milian knew what she was doing?” Of course, the same could be said of the many song-dance hybrids who have had Janet Jackson or Aaliyah-like career aspirations, to disappointing results. For too long now the genre has been deprived of that female artist who sings, dances, and entertains with well-produced albums full of interludes, breathy yet enthralling vocals about love, sex, and party anthems.

If only going by “2 On,” the infectious yet unimaginative track produced by DJ Mustard, hitmaker of the moment, we might easily dismiss Tinashe as a one-hit wonder; at the very least, another so-so singer adept at the eight-count but not quite sustaining your attention. She is, however, far more interesting vocally, sonically, and subjectively than her Top 40 hit single might suggest, and her debut album, Aquarius, makes that apparent.

For those who have long followed the teen actress turned girl group singer and now solo act, Aquarius is a well-executed progression from the sounds we heard on Tinashe’s previous mixtapes, In Case We Die, Reverie, and Black Water. Like those collections, Aquarius is an amalgamation of various moods and influences. Her emotions are just as rabid as her libido, and she works them all out through her love of R&B, hip-hop, and alternative music, and list of influences, which include Michael Jackson, Janet, Sade, and Christina Aguilera.

Yes, in terms of production and vibe, Tinashe is heavily influenced by Drake and the Weeknd’s love of all things moody, but it’s Janet Jackson and Sade who helped her understand how to coo and seduce. While Tinashe did indeed work with Sade band member Stuart Matthewman, here we find even louder echoes of Damita Jo.

The debt to Janet is most apparent. There are five interludes plus an outro that all hark to Janet’s albums, but the loudest proclamation is “How Many Times,” her duet with Future that samples the seventh and final single from the youngest Jackson’s breakout album, Control. Tinashe’s contemporary take on the pop juggernaut is far more sexually straightforward—a good thing—​and Future’s addition is yet another win in the duet column for the Atlanta-based-rapper. Future cannot sing, and many of his raps are discernible, but he always manages to convey connection with the artist he shares a space with, not an easy feat considering how useless so many rap/sung collaborations are nowadays.

That connection is missing between Tinashe and A$AP Rocky on “Pretend,” the second single from Aquarius. Many of the Tinashe’s songs feel rather bare, but they work nonetheless, only not so much here; “Perhaps” conveys a vulnerability that’s better achieved on tracks like “Far Side of the Moon” and “Thug Cry.”

A more worthy follow-up to “2 On” and a better introduction to the “real Tinashe” might’ve been “Bet,” featuring Devonté Hynes or “Feels Like Vegas.” There’s a very alluring quality to Tinashe’s voice, and it’s evident whenever she’s singing, or in some cases, simply whispering feverishly about her sexual prowess and overall appeal. “Cold Sweat” is a hauntingly sexy song that is a graduation from similar songs in her catalog like “Ecstasy.”

Read the rest at Complex.

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My initial thought going into the third episode of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood was “Who will Teairra Mari terrorize this week?” I immediately wondered whether or not I was being too harsh. Yeah, I wasn’t. She’s Michigan’s answer to the Tasmanian Devil and can be a whole lot to deal with depending on her alcohol level.

To be fair, though, bitches do provoke her.

Enter Ray J, who stormed into the tattoo parlor with a box full of clothes and feminine products and proceeded to dump them in her face and in front of her friends. You can tell by the childish smirk on his face that he was all too pleased with his attempt at publicly embarrassing her. After making the quip about her badly needing her case of Monistat, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Teairra mushed the shit out of Brandy’s brother and was ready to knock him smooth out for trying to humiliate her. I don’t condone Teairra’s violence, but why would a 33-year-old man carry on like this?

Ray J claims he’s “so upset” because Teairra Mari “disrespected his party.” In real life, his equally clownish girlfriend walked up to Teairra with the sole intention of provoking her to act out.

In the midst of their altercation, Hazel-E, intervened to get Ray J out of the tattoo shop despite Teairra insulting her mere moments prior. As she explained in the confessional, “Me and Te-Te got into it tonight, but that don’t mean I’mma let some dumb ass hasbeen come up in here and turn up on my girl.” This is the kind of friendship Mila J describes in her new single “My Main,” y’all.

It can be a beautiful thing, but the problem with Teairra Mari and Hazel-E’s relationship is that it is like so many other industry friendships: Their asses really don’t like each other. That’s why it wasn’t long before Teairra and Hazel almost came to blows, too.

Teairra is upset that Hazel tried to take her moment away from her—i.e. the let’s replace this stupid Ray J tat under my tit with another that’s just as senseless moment—by bringing up her situation with Yung Berg, which Teairra finds irrelevant and incomparable. Meanwhile, Hazel feels Teairra is a narcissist who only wants to talk about Ray J despite her dumping him several months ago.

Let’s unravel this.

Hazel on her thing with Berg: “I’m his bitch for real. Like… I’m his bitch. It’s everything. It’s no title on it. Because me and him, like…”

Translation: My legs have opened for him and now my heart has, too, which has since clouded my brain to the point where I cannot accept that this man only wants me for one thing—and I hate that Teairra Mari reminds me of this.

As for Teairra, she could stand to be more sympathetic, but when you’re carrying that much hate in your heart, it’s difficult to provide that—especially towards someone you don’t appear to like that much. And whew, mama is vicious with the verbiage. She tried to scalp Hazel-E bald when she sarcastically said she salutes her for being a 34-year-old rapper who can’t rap but is still trying.

Read the rest at Complex.

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I have come to appreciate Shonda Rhimes‘ romance with the ridiculous. She is sort of like “What if Tyler Perry actually studied screenwriting and filmmaking?” or if that sounds backhanded, my generation’s Aaron Spelling. Rhimes, along with her team of writers, knows how to carefully construct a story that includes both crazy and camp—​a skill set not as common as in television as it should be. If the pilot episode of How to Get Away With Murder is any indication, those of us who have been sucked into the web of Scandal will be just as dedicated to the new legal drama starring Academy Award nominated actor, Viola Davis.

Davis plays Annalise Keating, a practicing defense attorney with her own firm who doubles as a professor at a prestigious Philadelphia-area law school. Minutes into the premiere episode, she is described by her students in menacing ways. She is deemed “the shooter” and categorized as a “ball buster” for her straightforward way of communication. Case in point, her shutting down excuses from even one of her most promising first-year law students by snipping, “The way you’re whining at me makes me think I’m your mother.” Likewise, Keating slams another student for “taking a learning opportunity away from another student.”

Though Keating’s tone may not be the sweetest, her means of teaching are no less substantive, and ultimately, more helpful. As Keating explains mere moments into the first day of class, she is not teaching her students how to theorize the law, but how to actually practice it. If only most college students were given such a chance perhaps those loans would at least feel more worth it.

Each year, she chooses four students to work her law firm, thus they are immediately thrown into the throngs of competition by way of assisting her on a widely publicized murder trail. Because it’s a ShondaLand affair, there is a captivating twist that will play out during the season.

Among those chosen, we are provided with the typical law student caricatures: the one who wants to be just like Annalise Keating; the idealist law student hoping to change the world; the student that seems a little behind the curve but is no less beaming with promise. But, because this is a ShondaLand affair, there are little tweaks to the tried and true TV archetypes.

There is one student, gay, who employs the “use what you got to get what you want” notion of getting things done. Enter the sex scene that resulted in one impressive nod from Professor Keating. It’s nice to see a man exploit his sexuality as a means for a come up; in the end, many of us are opportunistic whores and the small screen should reflect that more often.

And like all of her other shows, there is a sea of diversity in terms of both aesthetic and story arcs on How to Get Away With Murder. In the fictitious worlds Shonda Rhimes either creates or at least helps steer, anyone can be anything no matter the hue, gender, or sexual orientation. Real-life barriers are still addressed, but in a way that speaks to Rhimes’ progressive vision.

Unfortunately, not everyone fully grasps the subtle but meaningful messages conveyed in those works, even when they think they are. No matter what New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley thought s she was doing in her Rhimes profile, it is, was, and forever shall be offensive. You cannot champion someone for breaking stereotypes if you spend hundreds of words perpetuating them.

Read the rest at Complex.

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Considering in the first full minute of season four of Scandal, Olivia Pope was being fingered by her boyfriend, Jake Ballard, and then minutes later, realized that her longtime homeboy had been murdered, #Gladiators will be treated to another over-the-top season of the popular Shonda Rhimes-helmed drama. So while I won’t be recapping week to week, I do have predictions for the season based on last night’s premiere. What are the chances of any of these things actually happening? The hell if I know, but most of them should. Dammit.

Fitz and Olivia Will Bone: This is sort of like saying it will rain tonight and tomorrow the sun will shine and the skies will return to the color blue, but we know this is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when. I give it two to four episodes before they are doing it to some Motown classic like “Let’s Get It On.” And we will be annoyed by the both of them, especially Olivia Pope, for refusing to honor the mantra, “Close yo’ legs to married men.”

Jake Will Have An Epiphany: Jake loves Olivia Pope, which is totally understandable given she is a beautiful, accomplished woman who loves her wine. However, Jake wants a Myx Moscato girl—​you know, someone more casual, who doesn’t want to continue the hectic life Olivia lives in D.C.—​but that’s just not who Olivia is. Plus, she wants to smash the homie (Fitz) and sooner than later he’s going to accept that. He probably will this season. Or he’ll be murdered. Either or will settle the issue.

By the way, Jake: While I appreciate you boasting of your sex game, more often than note, it never ends well for the dude playing the role of Discount Don Juan.

Y’all Will Hate Quinn Less: I have never understood why so many Scandalwatchers hate the shit out of Quinn. I mean, Olivia Pope ruined her life and what did Quinn do? Work for her. Granted, she didn’t have many options, but she was bound to crack soon. Now she’s a sensible cold-blooded killer like Huck, only with better communication skills. She found Olivia and got her back, so everyone should be a little nice to her. No? Well, that’s not fair.

Cyrus Will Get A Haircut: Yo. What is that shit on the top of his head? It’s not cool. It’s not hot. It’s not even a little bit right. In my mind, Cyrus meets a new bae who says, “Baby, let me be the clippers to your scalp.”

Portia de Rossi Will Get A Haircut: At least I hope. That said, welcome back to another crazy legal TV show, Portia!

Abby Will Continue To Be A Boss: According to Shonda Rhimes, we will get to see more of and learn more about Abby Whelan. Good, because “Red” deserves more shine. I’m looking forward to her playing the role of White House Press Secretary. I hope she doesn’t go back to Olivia Pope & Associates.

Mellie Will Be Mellie Again: I know Mellie is going through the heartache of losing a child, but laying on the grave in a bathrobe ain’t it. Thankfully, by the end of the episode, she showed signs of Mellie Mel of yore. As in, she stopped her husband from pretending he wasn’t going to eventually go see Olivia. Also, she had the glorious line about her non-waxed vagina, quipping, “It’s 1976 down there.” That mouth will be back in full force by the third episode. Come back to me, Queen Mellie, and shade these fools right for the 99-2000.

Read the rest at Complex.

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