(The Root) — The fall season of new television shows is upon us. Though the major networks and cable channels could always do a better job offering programs with racially diverse casts, there are at least a handful of shows that have compelling black characters that are worth our attention. The Root will be taking a look back at the week’s reality shows, sitcoms and big-budget dramas to fill you in on what you might have missed. Here’s our first installment.
Iyanla, Fix My Life (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, OWN)
“I don’t want to stress; I don’t want chaos.” –Evelyn Lozada
In Iyanla Vanzant’s new show premiere, the motivational speaker and self-help guru had an honest sit-down with Basketball Wives reality-show star Evelyn Lozada. The reality star, known for her violent outbursts and volatile (and short-lived) relationship with NFL star Chad Johnson, seemed to actually dig deep to explore the causes of hot temper and apparent emotional pain.
At one point, Iyanla plays a video of Lozada splashing a drink in another woman’s face and fighting with reality show co-star Jennifer Williams. Iyanla challenges her to look within for the answers. She says to Lozada, “Ask yourself, ‘Who am I being right now? Who am I?’ ” And adds: “You’ve been rewarded for being out of order and a thug among women … You’ve got to pay for that.” Lozada can only nod. Hard truths make for some compelling, if touchy-feely, TV moments. But hey, it’s what you expect from Oprah-endorsed Iyanla.
Basketball Wives L.A. (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, VH1)
“She’s like a foot fungus.” –Laura
Those who tuned in last season know that most of the BB Wives L.A. cast considered Jackie Christie (wife of ex-NBA player Doug Christie) the group’s resident crazy person. So it comes as a minor shock, on this season’s second episode, when Malaysia decides that the women are mature enough to quash whatever lingering beef there may be. She invites Jackie as a surprise guest to lunch at Gloria Govan’s (on-and-off girlfriend of L.A. Clipper Matt Barnes) house. After all the girls recount their respective grievances, Jackie offers a halfhearted apology and is kicked out. It doesn’t seem like she’ll ever be part of the clique again, until later, when Laura agrees to have lunch with her. She has “decided to accept” Jackie as the apparent crazy woman she is.
We also see a lot more — her bikini bod is off the charts — of newcomer Brooke at a King magazine shoot. Draya, who was supposed to star in her own photo session, storms out of the venue, ticked off that her request for a closed set wasn’t honored. Seems like the foreshadowing of future beef between the two. Oh, the drama.