For those of you who like LGBT reality shows, filmmaker Henderson Maddox brings us the season 2 premiere of his reality show web series The Boyz Next Door Atlanta. This season brings the show back to Atlanta after a pit stop in Los Angeles.
The cast includes Tony Evans Jr & his boyfriend D’Angelo Cherry (pictured above), Kahj Kenson, Malik Wayne, Del Antonio, Moe Goss, Tripp Ali, Jason Peters and others.
Not much to say about this episode that hasn’t been said about the past two seasons. While I personally don’t see the entertainment value in this show (not much ever really happens besides people sitting around and talking), I do realize that reality shows like this add to representation in the community.
While I agree with the criticism that many of the cast members of these shows deep down just want to be Gaylebrities and Gay Famous (notice that their Twitter and Instagram handles are posted beneath their names in the show for easier following and cyber-stalking), we can’t complain about a lack of representation when these are the only type of men brave enough to step in front of a camera.
This is not to say that there is something “wrong” with these guys, I’m sure they are great men who otherwise lead normal lives. There just seems to be a growing stigma attached with black gay men on reality television. It rarely reflects the lives of everyday men that I know and am myself. But then again, maybe that lifestyle doesn’t make for great television.
Unfortunately, this show (or at least the first episode) AGAIN doesn’t serve much purpose except to introduce each person and bring (most of) them together for drinks. Henderson Maddox basically makes the first episode a casting tape.
From the looks of the VH1 inspired “Super Trailer” for the show released back in January, the rest of the series appears to be just more of the same.
So what’s “wrong” with the show?
It’s no secret that reality shows are not reality, they are heavily produced and sometimes even “written.” While they may not have an actual script, there are what’s called “story producers” working behind the scenes to navigate and massage the more interesting aspects of the show for the cameras. They even create interesting situations and events for the cast members to interact in, often involving activities that are more visually interesting than just talking at a restaurant.
Let’s see the cast members actually DOING things.
I understand that limited budget and cast availability is a major factor in all of this, but audience entertainment is based on the content presented, not based on the limitations the creators and artists had. If a singer or rapper doesn’t have the budget or resources for quality songwriting, music production and a sound mix, its not unfair to say that they are missing that, negatively affecting their music. Same applies here.
Having said that, it’s good to have these shows existing to be criticized at all. When we began this site back in 2011, there were less than 3 black gay web series in existence. Now there are whole independent online networks dedicated to them.
Sometimes progress comes, but not in the ways we imagine.