80's TV Guide
A real-life married couple plays a married couple. A real-life former NFL player plays a former NFL player. Character acting was not dead in the 80's. Neither was the concept of rich white folk adopting a black orphan. Ironically, dark Cabbage Patch Kids were the worst sellers of the decade. Webster called his adopted mother, Ma'am. Viewers can only guess what Ma'am called her husband George after prime time. Did Michael Jackson carry Webster around at the Grammys, or was that Emmanuel Lewis? As child stars grow older, ratings shrink. How many black kids today are only children? How many are taken in by Greeks? Papadapolus is the coolest sitcom last name ever.
Charles in Charge
Charles was the new boy in the neighborhood. He lived downstairs. It was understood: he was there just to take good care of the boring family from season one not worth mentioning. The ****s didn't deserve Charles's caring touch. The Powells moved in; ratings went up. But no complications arose to tarnish Charles's squeaky clean demeanor. Despite the house now teeming with two teenage girls. Two growing teenage girls. One of which was a Tiger Beat smokin' hot teenage girl. And Mrs. Powell never summoned Charles late at night because she missed her husband (whose absence was only vaguely addressed). Nicole Eggert deserves her own poem. Buddy Lembeck was the best friend a guy could ever have. Who wouldn't want to attend fictitious Copeland College? And I want, I want, Charles in charge, of me.
My Two Dads
Nicole's mother dies; joint custody is awarded to two men. One of the men is Nicole's biological father. The other man also dated Nicole's mom. He may be the father. The premise of the show would be ruined if the biological father were revealed. It doesn't bother Nicole. She enjoys living her early teenage years with her two dads. But in one episode, a DNA test is taken. Nicole destroys the results because it doesn't matter whose sperm was stronger. What matters is that a woman of the 80's could date two men at once, and not be considered a whore.
The Ghetto Queen's words are an Ebonic decree. Bitch betta have my money or I'll shank her larynx with my stiletto. LaPhondella of Compton is hoodrat royalty, offspring of welfare mom and father long gone. I swurrr, she best pay up or she gon' be gleekin' the cleekin'. She needs her nails did, her cornrows catered to, and she gots to get her Olive Garden grub on. Her pocketbook says "Please save that chedda' to get us out of the projects. Oh, ma' bad, we gots to be Velveeta smooth and we be who we be." LaPhondella of Compton kicks it in her crib scrolling through suitors on her iPhone, because Momma feels like mall-hoppin'. Her name tatted on her neck: each fading letter connected by a swirl like the sadness in step, the woe in her unwed walk that links her family's genealogical famine. Someday her children will ask where their daddies are. Like any good leader, she'll Electric Slide around the question. Yo' daddies is temporarily away on incarcerationary biniss says the steadfast sista' of poverty, then mumbles trying to convince herself—No problemo, Dell-Dell don't need no mens and materialistic things. Alls I needs is me, her stained doo-rag a self-sufficient crown, her raised middle finger an urban scepter.
Babies have stopped breathing. Cries evaporated from downpour into distillation. Mothers have forgotten how to pray. Smack babies on backs in hopes of revival. Fighting is all they know. Mothers always tuned out in Sunday School. Moses was moot. Ixnay on Mary Magdalene. Delilah was no harlot, just misguided. Mothers still married well. Morning coffee on a hill. Pilates in the private studio on the peninsula. Shopping bags dangle from wrists like Tiffany bracelets. How is this not Heaven? Babies' faces become bruises as if being strangled by seaweed—planted in the Sea of Galilee. Who knew lack of breath would come back to haunt Mothers. Their babies. They're babies. Sleep, my child. Sleep.