You ever see something that had your jaw almost drop to the floor or had you fighting a heavy knot that is developing in your throat.
I have had those moments but one in particular is embedded in my brain forever. World Aids Day(12/01/96 or 97)the year is a little fuzzy but the day is crystal clear.
The first time I saw the movie “KIDS” by photographer,writer and producer Larry Clark, the best way to describe it is shock and I had that knot in my throat. There is a lot of “do not’s” I turned into “do’s” that night.
I was not supposed to stay up until mid night, I had school the next day but I did. I was not supposed to watch a PG16 movie, I was not old enough but I did.I couldn’t believe they could put a movie like that on tv when my favorite movie was Coming To America with Eddie Murphy.
The rawness of the movie had me confused, I wasn’t sure which scenes were acting and which was true. I saw almost all the 7 deadly sins in this one movie. The realness of sex and nudity,profanity,violence and gore, alcohol,drugs and smoking. It was intense scenes and what frighten me was that it was a teenage group of friends and they too were from New York City.I sat for 90 minutes watching with my cousin Everson and once in a while,I would do the corner eye glance with embarrassment.
But what stuck with me the most was the horrendous intent HIV positive Telly had to sleep
with virgins. He had no idea he had HIV and didn’t care when he found out. “KIDS” educated me,taught me to wait and frightened me off a lot of things.
Fast forward to 2012/2013 MTV originally a music video channel has fallen prey to the predator that is “reality tv”. I am very particular and picky about the reality tv shows I watch. 90% of them are fake and scripted and the characters on these shows are on a fast track to their 15 minutes of fame.Its all trash and wretched behavior…ugh.
A few weeks ago while channel surfing I came across Washington Heights NYC on MTV. I thought oh! another reality tv show, at least it’s not Jersey Shore or Buckwild both atrocious. Fifteen minutes into the show I thought I have seen this before and I loved it. Washington Heights NYC is about a group of twenty something year old friends (male and female) from a neighborhood of the same name in New York City.Yes, Washington Heights reminded me of KIDS but in a total opposite and positive manner. There are similarities but toned down at the Heights. What I like about this show is that it is raw,true and relatable without being scary. It truthfully delves into the day-to-day lives of these friends dealing with education,employment,family, friendship,growing up and hustling their way towards their dreams.A stark contrast to the over the top scary similar KIDS.
By episode two,I love this show at my age and stage in life I can totally relate and it’s real.This show is part of that 10%(my opinion) that includes the news, sports, culinary tv,documentaries,music,fashion television shows that are worth watching and once per week I tune in loyally.