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The Bachelor casts first black male lead Matt James The Bachelor casts first black male lead Matt James

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‘The Bachelor’ Is Finally Embracing Diversity as It Casts First Black Lead with Matt James – Rachel Lindsay, Peter Weber, and More React

Credit: The Bachelor/ ABC

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History was made today for The Bachelor nation. 

After 18 years and 40 season, the franchise cast its first black male lead. Matt James will look for love on the upcoming 25th season of The Bachelor, which will premiere sometime in 2021 considering the coronavirus pandemic shut down every TV show and film. 

But while it’s an exciting day as strides are being made in the right direction, we have to acknowledged that it took 18 years for the series to cast a black male lead. 

One has to wonder if the outcome would have been the same if not for the criticism of the franchise’s lack of racial diversity from cast members and the Bachelor Nation. These criticisms only intensified recently due to the protests and riots following George Floyd’s murder as people across the world rallied for racial equality and against injustice, systematic racism, and police brutality. 

ABC promised to do better, and it’s a promise we know Bachelor Nation will hold them to.

“We acknowledge our responsibility for the lack of representation of people of color on our franchise and pledge to make significant changes to address this issue moving forward. We are taking positive steps to expand diversity in our cast, in our staff, and most importantly, in the relationships that we show on television. We can and will do better to reflect the world around us and show all of its beautiful love stories,” the statement on the ABC press website wrote. 

But to even get to a point where ABC and The Bachelor felt compelled to do something, a fan-created petition calling for racial equality needed to gain more than 86,000 signatures on Change.org

Rachel Lindsay, the only black female lead on The Bachelorette, penned an emotional blog post calling out the network for the lack of diversity. 

“Recently, I have received many questions regarding the headlines stating that I will leave the Bachelor franchise if changes to address the lack of diversity in lead roles are not established,” she wrote. “Yes, more diverse contestants do appear on the show now, but is the lead truly interested and open to dating outside of their race? I think that is evident by how far their ‘journey’ takes them during each season.”

She suggested the series make some changes including casting leads who want to date those of other races, adding more diverse producers, and making contestants of color feel more welcome and “comfortable.”

ABC exec Rob Mills denied that Lindsay’s comments were the reason behind James’ casting and assured they were aware that a lot needed to be done.

“It wasn’t a response to that. We could have made this announcement earlier or later,” Rob told Variety. “Certainly no one is blind to what is happening in the world, so hopefully this announcement serves as a bit of optimism during a time that we can really use this, but I don’t want this to look like we’re patting ourselves on the back or taking a victory lap.”

After James was cast, Lindsay took to Twitter writing: “I am happy to see that a black man was cast after 18 years and 40 seasons. I believe it is a step in the right direction.”

She then went on to point out what many have been tiptoeing about: “I would be remiss to not point out that based on the current climate, it feels like a knee-jerk reaction and a result of societal pressure. This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug. Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice. I look forward to hearing more about the additional efforts the franchise plans to make towards change.”

Former Bachelorette Hannah Brown, who is good friends with James, took to Instagram to express her excitement:

“Matt James is the Bachelor. I cannot contain my excitement for this amazing human making history as the first Black Bachelor — to God be the Glory! This man is as good as it gets y’all, and that’s coming from a previous skeptic (lolz). I am so blessed to now call you friend. You’ve supported and encouraged me in some of the hardest moments lately and I’m so freaking pumped to support and encourage you as you get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime! #1 Matt James fan right here!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBVtwkmn1QA/

 

Former Bachelor Peter Weber poked fun at his indecisiveness on season 24 writing: Congrats @mattjames919. Very happy for you and @bachelorabc. “Enjoy the ride, just get it right the first time. It’s easier that way.

Mike Johnson, who was previously in talks to be the first black Bachelor, congratulated James in an Instagram video stating, I just wanna give a huge shout-out to Matt James as the new Bachelor. Congratulations, bro! I definitely [texted] him earlier, but I wanna show him love and shout him out publicly as well.”

He also commended the network and franchise for implementing change: “I wanna give also a huge shout-out to ABC. They listened to us. … I’m giving you guys a shout-out — the fans. Love you guys so much. They listened to you guys. You guys marched and, like, sent all these emails, I’m sure, and tagged Chris [Harrison] and tagged [creator] Mike Fleiss and tagged everybody that be, and they listened to you guys. [I] wanna say give yourself a pat on the back, seriously. That’s amazing. Your guys’ voices are definitely being heard.”

Tyler Cameron posted a photo with James writing: “Congrats to my brother @mattjames919 on being named the Bachelor. This is all a testament of who you are as a person. Now the world gets to see the person you are and the heart you have. You can change the world. Proud of you and so excited for you. Not excited that somebody will be taking my spot as your snuggle buddy.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBV1HQVDtJI/

James is 28, a current real estate broker, and a former football player.

Earlier this year, The Bachelorette announced Clare Crawley as the upcoming lead. She will be the oldest lead in franchise history. Her season was halted due to the pandemic, so it’s unclear when it will air. Host Chris Harrison said her season would address coronavirus. 


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What to Watch

9 TV Shows to Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner

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9 TV Shows to Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving brings together friends and family for a shared meal. 

But after all the turkey, sides, and pie is cleared off the plate, the only acceptable activity is binge-watching some feel-good TV shows. 

Here’s what you should watch post-Thanksgiving dinner! 

 

Virgin River

You’ll be just as surprised as Mel to fall in love with the picturesque town of Virgin River. Come for the views, stay for the Jack. 

 

Hart of Zoe

Dr. Zoe Hart arrives in Alabama looking for a fresh start and learns that the Southern way of living might actually be what’s best for her. 

 

Gilmore Girls

An unbreakable mother and daughter bond, a charming town that would make any Lifetime movie jealous, and an unspoken love for coffee? Say no more.

 

Selena + Chef

You might know her as a Disney Channel actress and pop star, but now, she’s adding chef to her resume. And since Thanksgiving is all about food, this is one show you don’t want to pass up. 

 

Ordinary Joe

There are only nine episodes available, but the NBC series has gripped audiences as it ponders how much impact one small choice can have on the rest of your life. 

 

Walker

The modern-day update to the Chuck Norris classic hones in on family over everything with a side of roundhouse kicks. 

 

A Million Little Things

A group from Boston bond under the unlikeliest of circumstances and get a much-needed wake-up call following the death of a close friend. 

 

La Brea

Though it falls into the “sci-fi mystery” category, La Brea hinges on a family determined to find their way back to each other despite all the obstacles standing in their way and all the sacrifices needed to be made.

 

Dream Home Makeover

If there’s ever a time to get inspired for a home makeover, it’s after the holidays (and during Black Friday when everything is on sale!) And the McGee family is the cherry on top! 

 

This Is Us

This is… a no-brainer. No show captures the essence of what it means to be a complicated, loving, flawed, and fulfilled family more than this NBC drama.

 

Angel the Series: Why The Series is The King of Found Family Shows

27 TV Characters Who Would Cook a Mean Thanksgiving Dinner


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Editorials

Ghosts Recap – Flower’s Article (1×07)

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Ghosts Review Flower's Article Season 1 Episode 7

Ghosts Season 1 Episode 7 dived into Flower’s groovy backstory. 

And though her bank robbery store hit a bit of a snag halfway through the episode, there was a happy ending for all.

Sam was hesitant about pitching Flower’s bank robbery story to her editor, but when he didn’t like any of her other pitches, she had no choice but to run with it.

And he loved it.  

Of course, this was “not groovy” with Flower because she explicitly forbid Sam from pursuing the story.

Alberta and Isaac found themselves particularly interested in what was fueling the pushback from Flower, who told the bank robbery story at least once a week. 

Further prodding revealed that Flower wasn’t proud of this big moment in her life because she always left out one little part — she stole the stolen money from the commune. 

Flower explained that she took the stolen cash along with her boyfriend Ira after the members of the commune took too long to figure out what to do with it. 

She wanted to open up a fair trade coffee shop, however, Ira wanted to buy a house. 

Before they could come to an understanding, she was mauled by a bear. 

Flower kept that part of the story a secret because she felt like a fraud for not donating the money to help people.

However, in an uplifting turn of events, Sam realized that Ira kept his promise to Flower and opened up a franchised coffee shop called Daisy’s (Flower’s nickname).

A note on the coffee cups even honored her by donating proceeds to underprivileged communities and towards bear safety. 

First Sam reunited Pete with his wife and family, and now, Sam was able to help another one of the ghosts find closure. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t matter with Flower because all that acid meant she was in and out of reality. 

And she forgot the feel-good vibes of the story almost immediately. 

During her meeting with the editor, Sam ran into two ghosts, including Shikin, a woman from the same tribe as Sass. 

Sass revealed that he was in love with Shikin once upon a time but she never returned his feelings. 

This got Jay really riled up as he attempted to help Sass get the girl by playing the game. 

Although Jay can’t see the ghosts, it’s fun that he’s so active in all the ghostly business through Sam. 

Also, how funny was it when the other two ghosts at the paper discovered that Sam could see them? That’s not something they ever expected. 

I’m surprised she didn’t get more strange look as she stood in the office essentially talking to herself.


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Editorials

Supergirl Series Finale Review – The Last Gauntlet and Kara (6×19 and 6×20)

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Supergirl Review The Last Gauntlet Season 6 Episode 19

A wedding, a funeral, a visit from some beloved familiar faces, and finally, and most importantly of all, the destruction of Lex and Nyxly.

Everything came full-circle on Supergirl’s series finale when the Super Squad — complete with an assistant from the Legion and the people of National City — banished Lex and Nyxly to the Phantom Zone.

Okay, fine. Technically the duo banished themselves after Lex unleashed the phantoms and they preyed on their fears and insecurities.

But I’ll admit, it was pretty satisfying to see them get swept up thanks to their own plan.

It only made sense that the final showdown would include Lex. He was the one true villain that caused this world too much harm over the years.

And the fact that he was “in love” didn’t change the fact that he was a ruthless sociopath that was willing to do whatever was necessary to become the all mighty and powerful.

The man was willing to sacrifice an innocent child for crying out loud.

Supergirl Review The Last Gauntlet Season 6 Episode 19

Supergirl — “The Last Gauntlet” — Image Number: SPG619fg_0042r — Pictured: Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

He deserved everything that came his way.

And at least he was banished to the Phantom Zone with the love of his life! They have all the time in the world to figure out their relationship.

Of course, I definitely felt a little bad for Nyxly as she was fueled by the desire to get revenge on those that wronged her.

Her need to get revenge took over her rational thinking, so she too got what was deserved, but it’s unfortunate that instead of moving on and finding peace, she’s now going back to the place that nightmares are made of. 

All of this could’ve turned out very differently for her, especially since she had potential. She could’ve joined the side of good, been a “friend” to Supergirl, and maintained that independent spirit that saw through Lex’s nonsense in the first place. 

To the two of them, I say, good riddance. 

Supergirl Review Kara Season 6 Episode 20

Supergirl — “Kara” — Image Number: SPG620b_0016r — Pictured (L-R): Jeremy Jordan as Winn and Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Good always prevails. And in the process, Supergirl was able to empower the rest of the world into believing in themselves and each other. 

The series has always been about hope and humanity, so the message was fitting. 

I’m also glad that the series acknowledge all that in the first place, including all the beloved characters that were a huge part of the show at one point. 

And I’m also happy that it spent the final 30 minutes dedicated to the future — we want to know that our characters will be okay — and Alex and Kelly’s happily ever after. 

Typically, shows tend to gloss over weddings, but this one got its deserved moment. 

Fans know just how long Alex’s journey to happily ever after has been. Not only has she struggled to live authentically, but she’s also had so much heartbreak. 

Supergirl Review Kara Season 6 Episode 20

Supergirl — “Kara” — Image Number: SPG620fg_0042r — Pictured (L-R): Azie Tesfai as Kelly Olsen, David Harewood as J’onn J’onzz and Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

It was necessary to honor the life that she’s built with Kelly and Esme. 

Speaking of living authentic lives, Kara found herself struggling with her two identities. 

Leading a double life is hard work. Kara was tired of lying to everyone, and as she watched everyone around her step into their power, she felt weak.

After Cat Grant offered her the job of Editor-in-Chief at CatCo (which she bought back from Andrea Rojas!), Kara found herself even more torn about how to proceed and live authentically. 

Feeling like a fraud simply doesn’t vibe with the message that Supergirl inspires. 

While bringing back Cat Grant simply to appease fans would’ve been just fine, the series made her return purposeful. 

When “Keer-ah” didn’t accept the position, she reached out and admitted that she always knew that Kara Danvers was Supergirl. 

Honestly, I was more impressed with the fact that she knows Kara’s name and still chooses to call her Keer-ah. 

It was a sweet nod to the relationship Kara and Cat always had, but also, to the fact that nothing gets past Cat Grant!

And it’s fitting that Cat would be the one to inspire Kara to finally take off the glasses by suggesting that she could be so much more powerful if she became one integrated being.

Also, thank god that someone else called out the glasses for being a terrible cover. Someone had to say it!

Living your truth couldn’t have been a better theme for the series finale of Supergirl.

In the end, Kara accepted the gig as EIC and her first major story — introducing herself to National City as Supergirl. A Cat Grant exclusive! 

Supergirl Review Kara Season 6 Episode 20

Supergirl — “Kara” — Image Number: SPG620b_0493r — Pictured (L-R): Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor, Nicole Maines as Nia Nal and Jesse Rath as Brainiac-5 — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We also had a little walk down memory lane as James Olsen and Wynn shared a scene with Kara and reminisced about their humble beginnings at CatCo. 

The original Super Friends carved a truly impressive path for themselves. 

Other Major Moments

  • Mon-El crashed the party to help the Super Squad defeat Lex and Nyxly. He was inspired by Supergirl’s speech to the people, which he said changed the course of history. I know that a relationship was never in the cards for these two, but it was nice to see Mon-El’s final visit to this timeline. 
  • Maybe the fact that Kara is owning her destiny means that she’ll finally make room for romance! 
  • Esme is the cutest and sweetest little kid ever. 
  • Game nights are a thing again, and I’m living for it! 
  • Papa J’onn! Wynn mentioned that J’onn and M’ghann have a son!
  • The DEO was reinstated as a place of peace, not violence. They are now civil servants instead of vigilantes! 
  • Lena Luthor finally embraced the life she wanted following Lillian’s confession on her deathbed. Lena might not have gotten a goodbye from her birth mother, but at least she found peace and closure with her adopted one. 
  • Wynn and Kara’s singing was perfection!
  • Brainy returned from the future to be with his one true love, Nia Nal! It’s unclear how that will impact the future, but I love that for them!

Overall, it was a perfect series finale. 

Supergirl has had some rocky seasons, but when all is said and done, it’s been an incredible journey with one of the best found family’s on television!


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