Published On February 20, 2017 | By Raphael Baker | Culture
BET has struggled tremendously with its reality shows. Between the piss-poor production, erratic airtimes and uninteresting cast members, these shows are doomed from the beginning. However, the network has gained significant footing with its scripted programming.
Following in the footsteps of Being Mary Jane, The Quad is a dramatic series with a Black female lead. Dr. Eva Fletcher (played by Anika Noni Rose) accepted a job at Georgia A&M, a fictitious HBCU in Atlanta. Dr. Fletcher appears to be tough-as-nails and unbothered, but underneath it all she is a flawed, troubled woman. Her marriage is in shambles, her annoying daughter hates her, she’s screwing a former student (who has stalker tendencies) and apparently many folks at her new school don’t want her there.
Dr. Fletcher has her work cut out for her at Georgia A&M, as the school is struggling financially and image wise. There are scandals arising left and right, including hazing, underage drinking and murder. Hell, even more scandalous was that the fact that the university got its water shut off because of a past due bill.
Some big wigs at some popular HBCUs have their panties in a bunch over The Quad. For example, Hampton University’s president wrote a letter to Debra Lee (BET’s president), bitching about the show. He claims that the series casts a negative light on HBCUs and that it doesn’t accurately depict what happens at predominately Black schools. Yawn.
I didn’t attend an HBCU- I attended Penn State. However, I can totally relate to the show. Some of my experiences were very similar to situations on The Quad. There was hazing, an abundance of underage drinking, plenty sex and even murder. Yes, murder. During my sophomore year, a psychotic white bitch nicknamed “Crazy Jill” opened fire on our campus. One student died and others were injured. Also, let’s not forget the Sandusky/Jo Paterno mess.
Colleges, Black or otherwise are full of interesting and oftentimes sordid behavior. The Quad isn’t meant to be representative of all HBCUs and the show won’t dissuade prospective students from attending. I’m sure shitty teachers, dilapidated campuses and mismanagement of funds will serve as a better deterrent. Hmph.
I like The Quad. The show has great acting (Anika does her thing), good writing and enough drama to keep me tuning in on Wednesday nights.