Tyler Perry...Do I Have To Like Him?

1:32 AM

I still remember the first time I was introduced to Tyler Perry and Madea. I was nineteen, and had heard of him, but hadn't seen any of his work. My cousin found this out and immediately went out and bought two or three of his plays. She had me sit down and watch them. Around this time, I was looking to be a theatre major in college and loved all plays (even bad ones). I laughed, and quoted the hell out of those plays like everyone else around me. I loved this guy because although the issues he was dealing with were serious, his plays were not. There was laughter, and singing, and...foolishness. And I loved every minute of it.


But then, he kept going. The plays kept coming and then the movies started coming. Let's be real, the man is bad good at what he does, which is...well, write really bad screenplays. Nothing in his plays match, the casting in his movies is always slightly off (take a look at the cast of The Marriage Counselor). I am still angry with him about Byrannnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Because of that alone, I hope his computer catches a virus. Tyler Perry is one of two people I don't agree with mother Oprah about.

I was hoping that, you know, maybe he'd go back to plays, and leave the movies alone. Because when he was pushing those out, we really didn't hear about them until someone said, Hey, have you seen ______ by Tyler Perry? Or we heard the commercials on the radio, and who listens to the radio? But no, he decided that movies was where it's at. The biggest problem came when he decided that he was a good enough writer and director to turn For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf into a movie. When I say he let me down with that one, I mean it from the bottom of my broken heart. For Colored Girls was what I used as an audition piece in my first theatre class in college, it was the first play that I saw and felt some kind of connection to. So when I heard that he was going to touch this beautiful piece of work, I knew that it could only go one way, downhill. And he didn't disappoint. Many people thought what he did was beautiful and amazing,and even tried to argue me down because I didn't agree. A lot of those people had been watching Tyler Perry and felt connected to him, and  my words had offended them. But I didn't care, because those same people hadn't seen the original piece, and those that had didn't get it, didn't like it, or thought the movie was better than the play. That alone told me that I was arguing with fools people who didn't share my opinion.

Don't get me wrong, he's had some movies that I've actually liked. Why Did I Get Married and Why Did I Get Married Too, I Can Do Bad By Myself, and The Family That Preys. But that's where I draw the line.

Recently, he decided to pull two of the character from WDIGM and turn their storyline into a sitcom. Yeah, well he shouldn't have. The acting is sub par, the storyline isn't working, and because there is no laugh tack or audience, it's not funny. It's obvious he's trying to be more serious with this show, but he's also trying to slide the comedy in there too. The only thing that sort of tells me how I'm supposed to feel is this weird music that changes from time to time. House of Payne I like, Meet the Browns makes me chuckle, this new show, makes me want to change the channel. And I usually do.

There seems to be this unspoken rule among African Americans, and it's enforced by other African Americans (mostly Church goers or older women). The rule says that we aren't supposed to NOT like Tyler Perry. And if you don't like him (God Forbid) just don't say anything. Because he talks about God and praying, and the families are African American, the people who love him feel like everybody should love him. Well, if his first play touched you, of course his others will, THEY ARE ALL THE SAME! Much like the writer Nicolas Sparks, TP continues to write the same story. In every movie or play, someone was raped, broke, hungry, cheated on, or physically or mentally abused. The story never changes, the ending never changes. God always fixes it. There is never any real help given in these stories, the moral is always the same, pray, and everything will work itself out. Why isn't it ever pray, seek help, talk to somebody, work on you?

I'm not saying that the people who love him are wrong, we all need something to pull us through tough times, and if a Tyler Perry play or movie is what works for you, go for it. I don't knock those who think he's great, I just don't agree.If you like him, and what he does, fine, but why do I have to like him?

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