(The Root) — In our recurring feature on black TV, The Root welcomed the return of Scandal and the reality show featuring hip-hop's dysfunctional couple Chrissy Lampkins and rapper Jim Jones. We've taken a look back at both shows, as well as NeNe Leakes' sitcom moment, to fill you in on what you might have missed. Here's our second installment.
Chrissy & Mr. Jones (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, VH1)
"I'm sick of you not being invested. What is the problem?!" —Chrissy
On the premiere of Chrissy & Mr. Jones, we're reminded that Chrissy Lampkin and rapper Jim Jones have been dating for eight years. When Emily brings Chrissy to try on wedding gowns, she's quick to point that out — and the fact that it's been nine months since Jimmy proposed to her, and two years since Chrissy initially proposed to Jimmy and Mama Jones had that outburst. Now, Chrissy isn't sure. And Mama Jones wants grandkids. And they're moving, and Jimmy won't help. And they're in business together, and Jimmy won't give Chrissy a cut. By the end of the episode, Chrissy is screaming, Jimmy is sighing. We know it's going to be a dramatic season.
Basketball Wives L.A. (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, VH1)
"So Jackie's hip is out, looking at me like a little ham hock, and I'm like, what is this lady getting a tattoo of?" —Draya
"If you had a crackhead auntie, you wouldn't just turn your back on your crackhead auntie. Bring her some food every now and then, but if you see her on the street down and out, be like, 'Oh, she's a crackhead, get away from me.' " —Malaysia
This episode is full of changes. First, there's a little drama surrounding Brooke — Malaysia tells her the intricacies of street code dictate that because Malaysia's friend doesn't like Brooke, Malaysia doesn't like Brooke either. Finally — because we were beginning to wonder exactly what Brooke was doing on this show. She's probably going to be this season's object of hate.
On the other hand, the girls are beginning to really give Jackie (last season's villain) a second chance. Draya visits her in a tattoo parlor where Jackie gets a tattoo to represent gay pride. Even though she's married to a heterosexual man, it's the theme for their latest vow renewal, and if she wasn't so in love with Doug, she admits she might do a little dipping on the other side of the fence. Draya also gives Gloria a stripping tutorial and lap-dance lesson for her new role as a ballet-dancing assassin. Looks like her pole skills have come in handy.
T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle (Monday, 9 p.m. ET, VH1)
"I know Obama was supposed to be there, but I think more people showed up because they knew I was coming." —T.I.
"Oprah helps so many rich people and poor people. I need help with etiquette. I want everything." —Shekinah
This week, T.I. and Tiny are on their way to Chicago, with Shekinah in tow, much to T.I.'s disappointment. Apparently, he needs Tiny to be at his side while he's promoting his single, and Tiny needs her hair to look good while she's promoting the single, so that settles it — Shekinah is coming. Funny, the two BFFs spend very little time with T.I. Most of their trip is spent searching for Oprah in the streets of the Windy City. The show ends with T.I. making an appearance in a local parade, where Shekinah satisfies her craving for celebrity when she stops the drop-top in which they're riding to take a picture with Jesse Jackson on her iPad. Jesse Jackson, Oprah, whoever.
The New Normal (Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
"We have to get some black people to come to our party … What about [him]? He's of a hue." —Bryan
The guys catch Goldie (Georgia King) eating a burger for breakfast, which prompts an overprotective plan to reform Goldie's lifestyle — beginning with her food choices and ending with the candidate she'll be voting for in November, once they find out that Republican Grandma Jane (Ellen Barkin) has been making the choice for her every year.
After talking to Jane, who insists that they're phony liberals and they're just voting for Barack Obama because he's black, Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) decide to throw a party to prove they love black people. The only problem is, they aren't friends with any. So they invite Rocky (NeNe Leakes) and encourage her to bring a slew of her friends. When Rocky brings her brother and a group of white women, Bryan and David's tendency to stereotype is even more exposed. In the end, Jane hits it off with Rocky's brother, and Goldie makes the decision to think for herself. All's well that ends well on this show.
Scandal (Thursday, 10 p.m. ET, ABC)
"I don't have to answer to you! I have to produce for you! I don't do lost causes or tilted windmills. I don't perform miracles or the impossible; I make cold calculations about difficult situations, and I do not take on anything I know I won't win and I will win this!" —Olivia
As expected, the premiere of Scandal touched on a lot of secrets, but ultimately revealed very little to nothing about them. Last season, we were left wondering who Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes) was, and this season we know. She's Lindsay Dwyer. Who's Lindsay Dwyer? We have no idea. All we know is that she was accused of killing seven people with a bomb in the mail and was drugged and left in a hotel room, where she woke up with documents to prove a new identity. Quinn or Lindsay or whoever she is faces the death penalty if Olivia's (Kerry Washington) team can't make her case.
It looks like they'll have to take the L for the first time in a long time until Olivia makes a secret call to straighten everything out. That still leaves a lot of questions, and one of them is answered before the end of the show. Who gave Lindsay her new identity? Of course, it was Olivia.
Watch the episode here.
Celeste Little is an editorial intern at The Root.