Okay, so, um, I admit it—I did it.
I slipped up, fell on channel 52, and watched "Making The Band 4."
I mean, it was late, I was blogging, the remote was acting up and what not, and, well—aw hell, I like the show, okay? I get pretty lax after midnight—start popping bad TV shows like a 6-year-old does Now & Laters and Bubblelicious when the ‘rents aren’t watching. I have to admit: I get a kick out of watching those Danity Kane girls struggle through a note—crack up when the maniacal choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson channels Debbie Allen in Fame circa 1982, hollering and screaming and degrading the boys of Day26 like she read in a “Tough Love” manual somewhere that this was a good way to get grown ass men to shuffle like their Bad Boy contract depends on it.
Mostly, I just sit around waiting for Diddy to walk in the room and demand somebody hoof it over the Manhattan Bridge to get him some of Brooklyn’s Finest—Junior’s Cheesecake with, of course, the strawberry topping.
Alas, nobody had to scramble to Kings County, the Danity Kane chicks are all broken up—Laurie wasn’t around to mete out her day-long dance torture session. Instead, the drama came when one of the Day26 guys, Will, informed the crew that his 3-year-old son was coming to stay with them in their new digs for a few days.
Um, newsflash: They didn’t take too kindly to the prospect of having the kid, nicknamed “Hurricane Kavion” because he’s got quite the bad ass reputation, running all through a house with five men and no woman around to just, like, handle that.
I stuck around waiting for hilarity to ensue—and then covered my mouth and prepared for what I was sure was going to turn into one of the wild and ridiculous parenting episodes recently chronicled by my dude Naked With Socks On.
Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.
Instead of compete ghetto chaos, what "Making The Band 4" ended up showing me in the scenes between Willie and his cutie pie son was tenderness—a father who truly cared for his son, and was not only capable of doing a good job raising him, but relished in it. The show showed Willie feeding his child, helping him brush his teeth, reading to him, and leading him through his prayers, and then laying down next to his child—staring lovingly into Kevion’s face—until the baby fell asleep.
And when it was time for Willie to hand his baby off to his mother, the love between father and son was palpable—my heart ached when he kissed his child good-bye and explained over and over again why he couldn’t go with him, but that he loved him and would miss him. The look in Willie’s eyes as he watched his son leave just hurt me.
In those few scenes, I saw tenderness, responsibility, beauty—the love I know plenty black men to have for their children. That sweet, special, thriving, true black love. The kind that is so rarely shown on TV that I have to recall "The Cosby Show" and Cliff and Theo Huxtable to reference prior solid, loving relationships between a black man and his child. A show from 20 years ago.
So thank you, Willie, for showing me something I just didn’t expect to see at 1 a.m. on "Making The Band 4."
Pop culture nutrition.