Category Archives: TV

Golden Globes, Diversity and My Novel Zero O’Clock

I went on the MSNBC show “American Voices with Alicia Menendez” to talk about the diversity crisis at the Golden Globes awards show.

Award show ratings have been falling, but they’re still an important part of marketing and promoting a movie. Winning a Golden Globe can boost a movie’s box office by millions of dollars. So when shows like the Golden Globes fail to promote diversity among their member voters, or in the awards they hand out, it hits people in the pocketbook.

Interestingly, one of the award shows that’s on the upswing in terms of ratings is the NAACP Image Awards–a show that’s all about promoting diversity. My novel “Around Harvard Square” won an NAACP Image Award and it really helped raise awareness about the book.

Speaking of books, on “American Voices,” host Alicia Menendez put in a word for my upcoming YA novel “Zero O’Clock,” due out September 7, 2021 and available for preorder now.

You can watch my MSNBC segment below.

Mad About Missandei on ‘Game of Thrones’

Missandei1I love “Game of Thrones” but I’m worried about the fate of some of the people of color on the show.

There’s basically as many dragons going into the final two episodes as there are people of color. I’m going to keep watching, and I’m rooting for Sansa, Arya, Jon, Tyrion, Grey Worm and the rest, but there is a lack of darkness on the series that adjusting the brightness won’t correct. I wrote an essay about all of this for the Grio.

Dracarys, y’all.  If you watch the show, you know what I mean.

You can read my essay about Missandei and “Game of Thrones” here.

You can order my new novel “Around Harvard Square” on Amazon.

‘Game of Thrones,’ Season 8, Episodes 1 and 2: And Now My Watch Begins

GameofThrones1In his classic novel “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” the Czech-born French writer Milan Kundera wrote that “The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Now it appears that may also be the ultimate theme of HBO’s series “Game of Thrones.”

It will also be the theme of this series of posts, which I’m calling “Taking the Black.” I’ve been interviewing the cast, crew and creators of “Game of Thrones” from the start of the series. I interviewed George R.R. Martin when he released “A Dance With Dragons” and I’ve also talked to Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and other members of the cast. As the series heads towards the finale of its final season, I’m going to post my thoughts on the new episodes, some reflections on past shows, and some throwback photos of me with “GoT” personnel.

Here I am interviewing "A Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin in 2014.
Throwback Photo: Here I am interviewing “A Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin in 2014.

The first two episodes of the eighth season were beautiful throat clearing, renewing our bonds with the characters, and the characters’ bonds with each other. Characters on the show pretty much revealed most of their outstanding secrets to each other. Now it’s time for action, and the much-anticipated Battle for Winterfell.

I’ll be reading from my new novel “Around Harvard Square” at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA on April 30 at 7 p.m. If you’re in the Boston area, please stop by!

Luke Perry–and the 1990s–RIP

Luke_Perry_by_Gage_SkidmoreLuke Perry is dead.

To some, it may just be the sad passing of an actor.

To people who lived through the 1990s, it’s a little more.

Perry played Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” To put it in Baby Boomer terms, he was kind of the Fonz on “Happy Days” of the 1990s. To put it in millennial terms, he was kind of the Jughead Jones on “Riverdale” of his day.

Actually, maybe millennials get it without the translation–Perry also appeared on “Riverdale” as Fred Andrews, Archie’s dad.

“Beverly Hills, 90210″ was a big part of the TV culture of the 1990s. It spanned the decade, running from from October 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000. There were just reports of a possible reboot of the show.

The 1990s are back because the 90s never left. We still watch 90s movies and TV shows and we still listen to 90s music.

The new movie “Captain Marvel” is set in the 1990s and the advertising campaign is pushing the music and pop culture of the period. I have a new novel coming out called “Around Harvard Square” that’s set in the 1990s and I named every chapter with a song from decade, like “Ex-Factor” and “Kick in the Door” and “Come As You Are.” There was a lot of great music made in the 1990s, from alternative rock to gangsta rap to the Fugees and Lauryn Hill.

Now that the 52-year-old Perry has passed on, everyone who is around his age–like me–is thinking just a little bit more about the 1990s, the pop culture of the period and their own mortality.

RIP, Dylan.

“Around Harvard Square” is available for preorder and will also be released on Audible.