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Tag Archives: dark stylz

Gayle ‘De-Licious’ Johnson has composed an excellent yarn of divergence and growth. There is Death here. There is also Life, Redemption, and Perseverance. Ms. Johnson shows superb balance in the texturing and shading of her creations. Her execution of a ‘full circle’ storytelling device in this coming of age tale was deftly implemented, injecting the reader with a sense of having traveled from there and back and then beyond; her music references pepper nostalgia throughout, cementing the period’s timesense.

Miss Johnson’s creation, the young heroine Nina, had some tough choices to make. Her clinical processing and basic fortitude, her steadfastness, was both uplifting and heartbreaking. Instilled with wisdom and a common sense uncanny for someone of her years, the entities she desired most in life were fully visualized and achievable; a certain naivety wouldn‘t allow her accept anything else, her focus laserlike and undaunted.

Guided by an internal barometer calibrated on bad influences and green eyed monsters, her counterpart was aimless and reckless. Driven by impulse and envy, Joi supplied the perfect balance, the ultimate foil. While the love made available to her was unquestionable, the firm and amorous resolve was resented and scoffed upon, returning in the form of disdain, disrespect, and deceit.

The villains: shadowy and sincere. Some in your face, others passive, causing doubt throughout, and continuing with dread when corruption surfaces. A fourth quarter revelation chimes in during the resolution, reminding us that the world is a tiny place, and that Time sheds light at its own pace.

A succulent read, this morsel satisfies like bowl of warm cobbler, draped in a dollop of your favorite topping.

Gayle Johnson delivers in What’s Past is Not Forgotten.

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The book began with a glimpse into the secret world of these teenage girls. In dramatic fashion, the terrors in the mind’s eye of any person raising a young lady were  personified , multiplied……. then juggled, the horrific images leering at you as they pass before your eyes onto the next page. These  ladies were  resourceful. They were also sweet, sinister, and oh so brutal.

Not sounding soft is is difficult. Seeing young teen girls in physically compromising situations with inappropriate male suitors was an instant turn off. The reality of the fiction is that some girls choose to play adult games, for whatever reason, and therein I found acceptance. The main character, Vida,  age fourteen and a mere freshman in high school, had plenty sense. Although her beginnings were profoundly tragic, she actually had a life long stability that went against some of the choices she made. Watching her evolve was pleasing, and a testament to her repressed benevolence.

As the stakes rise , the finesse of the crew shines in signature, cold blooded moments. the introduction of a male character elevates their operation to the next level. While I initially thought his inclusion was lateral move, his purpose served to lend  another facet of ruthlessness that the ladies were unable to manufacture on their own. His operational slickness and sense of friendship completed the group dynamic.

This story was told on a grand scale, bordering epic proportions,  the coast to coast jaunt peppering the tale with fresh locales, lending scope and new dimension as the viciousness of their deeds escalated.

~Nicely done.

Ð. Stylz

Editor in Chief

Chaklet Coffee Books

It was my pleasure to read Erotica Unveiled, a
novel that delivers heat in nineteen chapters.

Her stories are like glass etchings; hard,
elegant, and precise artwork, with heat added
through bold strokes of color and imagery. Told
in grand fashion, male and female readers
alike will appreciate the method of  story telling
employed by this New York native, effortlessly
depicting scene after scene of seductive word
manipulation that induces throbbing, stroking,
swooning, spillage, and love making, in no
particular order.

She knows when to thrust, when to touch, and
when to hush, allowing the rush of the climax to
ebb and flow into the next slam dance of carnal
insight, sucking you in, riding you like a horse
with flaring nostrils…..until the last drops
soundlessly spot the floor……..leaving you
alone with your thoughts, listening for an echo
that never existed.

Ivanna Howles will wrap you up in this,
her first foray into adult fiction. I had the
pleasure of catching Ms. Howles in an
interview last weekend. She was excitedly
discussing the projects that she has on the
horizon; her shyness was a captivating facet of
the smoldering vixen within and a testament of
her ability to pleasure her readers with a
variety of scandalous scenarios.

An absolute gem.

Who loves The House of Payne ?

Some have labeled him an egomaniac for his ‘lackluster’ contribution to television, while others supported his pursuit virtually sight unseen on the strength of his name alone. Whichever side you claim, the vision that gave life to Tyler Perry’s sitcom vision was most clever and a unique approach to a successful bid in the dying arena of sitcom television.

He paid for ten episodes out of his own pocket and gave them to TBS, eliminating outside production costs; I’m not sure what the promotion specifics were initially, but it’s heavily advertised now. He then negotiated an order for one hundred episodes, an unprecedented number for a sitcom in any market, primetime or independent.

Rather than the standard filming of 22 episodes a season, all one hundred episodes were taped within a year, with the network airing them two, sometimes four, original episodes a night. That’s the equivalent of about five standard sitcom years, the very definition of sitcom success. An accomplishment made even sweeter by the absence of the typical sitcom issues: characters being recast/leaving, puberty, weight gain, just to name a few.

With a taping schedule that galloped, what are labeled as seasons Three, Four, and Five, aired in the months of March, June, and December of 2008. With the expense of the sitcom rising, syndicated networks that have a little extra money to play with sometimes seek original content to fulfill their needs, a trend that renders programming cost efficient and profitable, not to mention a bit more exciting by avoiding the classic sitcom graveyard that is inevitable in most outlets.

Instant longevity is another facet of this scenario. Here is an entity that wouldn’t just fade away into nothingness if the public didn’t catch on in twenty two episodes. This show couldn’t disappear even if it wanted to: as of September 22, 2008, MyNetworkTV added the Paynes to their line up in some cities along with FOX Network media outlets. Networks rarely show dedication or loyalty to shows that don’t get an almost instant public following, especially in the case of sitcoms. Simply being on the air is a huge accomplishment, especially after UPN/WB merger.

Since there are so many episodes, it could never suffer the same fate as Frank’s Place.

Frank’s Place received the Television Critics Association award for ‘outstanding comedy series’ in 1987. The same year, it also won an Emmy for ‘best writing in a comedy series’. The show was praised for its realistic portrayal of black culture in New Orleans. Airing on CBS in 1987, it was among the first series to be described as a dramedy, its innovative presentation praised by critics, its exceptional writing style acknowledged by the awards and accolades that the series snagged in its twenty two episode lifespan.

But this is no Frank’s Place. Critics and folks trashed The House of Payne immediately, calling it “one of the worst sitcoms of the modern era”, criticizing the show’s pacing and the ‘aimlessness’ of its narrative.

Call it what you will, it’s a capsule of nostalgia for the next generation. Fifteen years from now, the children that sit at the feet and watch and LAUGH with the First Generation Tyler Perry fans, will view for comfort and familiarity. Almost like a 21st century Good Times. You might not have a Thelma, but you do have a Claretha.

I’m a Curtis Payne fan, his offbeat execution drawing unexpected laughter. Jazmine is too jazzy for me at times; I give credit to the young actress for being consistently nerve grating, the ultimate little sister……..and I love me some Claretha.

…..my mind wanders to Mister Brown.

I hated Brown on sight. Then again, I had yet to meet him, his earnest country charm as dominant as he is clueless. My exposure to Brown was in the cinema. If he’s a little spaced out well, I can dig that; the man slept with Madea.

I was always comfortable with TPP in the cinema. Viewing his properties in reverse order enabled me to see the transitioning from stage production to the silver screen. Whatever I was doing during the stage play home invasion of Tyler Perry I missed the boat entirely.

I saw Meet the Browns with a die hard fan and was informed of any shortcomings, production parallels, or specific continuity issues. The events of the two part The House of Payne episode “Sad, Sad, Leroy Brown” occurs directly before the movie, when Brown learns about his father’s death. “Weeping May Endure for a Night” happened somewhere in the middle of the movie, directly after the funeral and the reading of the will, where Brown found out that his father left him a broken-down house….the one that Brown converted into a retirement home. Also in this episode, the Paynes indicate that they attended Brown’s father’s funeral. Curtis claimed Brown made them wait in the cemetery for 2 hours while Brown fulfilled his father’s last request: a tour around Atlanta. While two of the series actors appeared in the movie, none of their characters were portrayed. A weekly production centering around Brown is slated to drop in January 2009.

Madea’s involvement in The House of Payne limits her larger than life approach, her wit much too quick for a laugh track to contain her. With the exception of Season Four, she has appeared in one episode per season. Her inclusion in Meet the Browns seemed like a gratuitous step in overexposure. It didn’t make sense at the time, but it’s the ultimate showcase for Madea Goes to Jail due Spring 2009, with Keke Palmer reprising the role she portrayed in both Diary of a Mad Black Woman and The House of Payne.

For the critics, the harsher critics, I would like to say this: It can only get better. Timing is as important to me as continuity….perhaps even more important since timing is dealt with more directly.

Continuity? That’s nothing but dedication.

With a over a hundred episodes behind them, new episodes in December and 26 more set to debut in the summer of 2009, the well seasoned crew should be glistening with slickness of ease.

Ð. Stylz
Editor in Chief
Chaklet Coffee Books