‘Sinbad It’s Just Family’: Drop Out, Turn On, Tune In
It was just me and Sinbad. Nothing else mattered. My eyes were glazed over staring into the television set, and it was in that moment that I wanted to shake Sinbad’s hand. I wanted to shake Sinbad’s hand, look him square in the eye, and say, “thank you…for being you.”
Lately I’ve been indulging in a new and exciting American pastime: getting horribly twisted and watching reality television. There was a time when one could get silly, roar through Vegas, and write a counter-culture masterpiece. Today? We have The Hangover: an important cultural document that shows several depressed men blacking out in what is essentially Disney World with gambling. With the golden era of Las Vegas dead, where is the next frontier for mind-altering experiences? Women’s Entertainment TV.
Now, hold up a second. Before you start judging me, I want to you to leave your inhibitions behind and follow me on a journey that will show you what’s wrong with the world, and what’s right with television. In 1787 Americans were given We The People. In 1997, we were given We the channel. It works perfectly because today who needs to be surrounded by people, when you have people…in your television!? The next step is reality tv. Now you can watch real people do real things right on your television! No scripts! No scripts! Just real people doing real things, can I get an amen? Amen.
It all started with The Soup. My roommate and I were watching Joel McHale‘s hit show, when he showed a clip of a person in a reality show using the phrase, “thats…*adjective* dot com.” The show? We’s Braxton Family Values. The person, Tamar Braxton, used this phrase several times in one episode! Totally genius. So of course, my roommate and I DVR the entire series. Braxton Family Values, that was the gateway drug. It only took a little bit of convincing to get my roommate to watch another We show. That show as you already know, is “Sinbad: It’s Just Family.” I’ve only now begun to realize how interesting it is that the Women’s Entertainment TV network apparently has a monopoly on reality shows about black entertainers who were popular in the 1990s. But hey, as bizarre as that is, if women love Sinbad and Toni Braxton, well that just makes me love women even more.
“Sinbad: It’s Just Family” might be the best reality show I’ve ever seen. Why? Sinbad’s hilarious. And then there’s the whole premise of a former Hollywood star struggling to make a financial and theatrical comeback. Perhaps the most interesting facet of the show is that Sinbad and his wife are back together after being divorced for ten years. Now, the show which would have you believe they just got back together, may be stretching it a bit, they were remarried a decade ago, but still the idea of a couple that divorces and gets back together is very intriguing. Oh yeah, and the kids. Whenever it’s just Sinbad’s kids on screen it gets a bit disturbing. The daughter is a needy 25 year old aspiring independent musician, and the son is well, pretty awkward to say the least. I’m not judging Sinbad’s kids, their odd personalities maybe bring something to the show, but the real and only star of the show is the titular Sinbad. He’s always funny, and I think if I wind up watching this entire season as I probably will, I’ll end up seeking him out as a spiritual guru.
Now what’s wrong with the world today? The fact that Tyler Perry is more popular than Sinbad. What’s right with the world? Women’s Entertainment. I am recommending that everybody who reads this article does the reverse of what Timothy Leary said decades ago. Instead of tune in, turn on, drop out, let’s drop out (of school), turn on (the television), and tune in (to “Sinbad It’s Just Family,” Tuesdays at 9PM Eastern, 8PM Central on We TV).
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