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Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Debut of BET's 'We Got to Do Better!'

by Sheena B (writer), Stafford, July 26, 2007

BET's most conversational show to date, "We Got to Do Better," made its debut tonight, which to my surprise was actually entertaining. The show, which was originally titled "Hot Ghetto Mess," is based on the Web site by the same name that shows people expressing their own sense of style and individualism through home videos. Host Charlie Murphy makes random statements about the videos and after each segment acknowledges the fact that, "we got to do better."

After watching the show, I have to say that it is very different from what critics declared it to be. The program was not overly offensive and shallow minded as some watchdog groups professed; instead, it was knowledgeable and equally amusing. There were some elements that was quite disturbing, such as one man who someone called "The Condom Kid," who put a balloon on his head and acted like it was a huge condom, or video clips with people who disgraced the national anthem by singing off-key, but the whole idea of the show is to exhibit to viewers that people would do anything for a few seconds of fame.

The section that I liked the most was the street walking segment, which picked random people off the street by the show's correspondent, which asked questions on certain historical facts on African-American culture. While some did not even know what NAACP stand for (which someone remotely said NWACP), or what year slavery ended, it was good to see at the end of the segment the actually answer to the questions asked. Therefore, the show is somewhat educational, as the creator of the show and Web site Jam Donaldson mentioned in an interview last week with the Associated Press.

Given the bad press and criticism "We Got to Do Better" received before it even aired, the people who bad mouthed the show did not even give the first episode a chance to see what if the show portray cruelty of people in any way. Although some of the clips were downright ridiculous, it did not mean it was stereotyping African-Americans, as some critics claimed. The people who sent in their videos had an idea in mind, and that was to do something outlandish and off-the-wall so people can talk about it the next day. Subsequently, it is not a matter of cultural destruction; it just pure entertainment. In addition, the program did not just illustrate videos depicting blacks, it showed random clips from all races, so it not just African-Americans that being targeted that some groups accused the show of doing.

Overall, "We Got to Do Better" is a series that provide an educational aspect with a little humor flair. I cannot speak for anyone else who watched the show, but I have to admit I will catch next week to see what else this show has in store. If you missed the premiere episode, or just want to watch it for a second time, tune in Thursday at 9/ 8 central on BET.


About the Writer

Sheena B is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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