Reality TV is definitely alive and well in 2016. I remember being a kid growing up watching MTV’s Real World and believing every fight and every wild altercation that came across my screen tv screen. Over the years, new reality tv shows like Basketball Wives and Love and Hip-Hop have broadcasted the American Black woman as over dramatized, loud, aggressive and scripted. So shows like, Iyanla, Fix My Life, (airs Saturday nights on the Oprah Winfrey Network) give me hope that I’ll be able to see black women on television uplifting and encouraging each other. Not throwing wine bottles across tables or fighting in a recording studio.
To know anything about Iyanla, is to trust that there is going to come from her, a commitment to helping someone heal, forgive, or grow, with anything associated with her. Since her earlier days on the Oprah show and later her own tv shows, she has established a certain trust with her audience that something of substance will be gained from watching her work with another person. Even if that person’s problem wasn’t yours. She’s got something that you can take from what you are about to see, no hype no hustle, just healing.
The first show for the new season is set on a beautiful, tranquil, countryside in a lavish mansion, with swimming pool, hot tub, tennis courts,..the works! A group of black women of diverse backgrounds; have been brought together to heal their hearts and move on from their pain to their purpose. They will all reside in the house together for about 4 weeks. Unfortunately early on in the episode you definitely get a feeling of VH1 typical angry black woman reality show. The notorious “B” word is thrown around consistently, the word ratchet is exchanged almost instantly, and way too soon you see drinks being poured and altercations breaking out. Not at all in the traditional setting of an Iyanla intervention. However, as the show progresses you do see snippets and glimpses of hope that maybe, just maybe some real work in confronting past demons, hidden hurts, and raw pain will occur. There is an underlying sense that perhaps this first episode is more aggression than acceptance, more anger than accountability. The group of women are definitely divas but also reflect a common desire to heal. Hopefully, future episodes will reflect more of that Iyanla spark that ignites the breakdown of old ugly habits and the birth of acceptance and understanding that we are all so used to seeing. Only time will tell if this new season is for ratings or reality.