Photos From Whitney Houston Biopic Get Mixed Reactions, Binge-Viewing ‘The Good Wife’ & More

by | July 15, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Black Entertainment, Can't Stop Watching, Murder in the First, The Good Wife

YaYa DaCosta as Whitney Houston and Arlen Escarpeta as Bobby Brown in Lifetime's "I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story." (Photo: Jack Zeman/Lifetime 2014)

Happy Tuesday! Here’s what’s brewing today: Photos from Lifetime’s new Whitney Houston biopic are raising eyebrows, see why you should check out CBS’s “The Good Wife” and “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” Robbie Montgomery opens up about the new season and her latest business endeavors. Plus, there’s my watchlist and what’s hot (Bey’s latest photos of Blue Ivy) and not (Carmelo Anthony returning to The Knicks). Enjoy!

 • The first photos from Lifetime’s new Whitney Houston biopic, “I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story,” have been released, leaving some people smiling and others scratching their heads. While most people have responded favorably to a photo of YaYa DaCosta as Nippy from her 1987 “Whitney” album several others expressed concern over the photo of her and Arlen Escarpeta, who plays Bobby Brown. Many thought Arlen’s Bobby looked “too pretty” and unrealistic. I kind of have to agree. The film’s Bobby is missing that “thang” that, in the late ’80s and early ’90s, gave the real-life Bobby edginess and sex appeal. The only thing the photo got right was Bobby’s Gumby fade. I know these are early shots and maybe the production team and/or the network just wanted to release photos to create buzz. Maybe they’ll take the feedback into consideration. But something else is gnawing at me. Whitney wore that curly ‘do and tank for her 1987 release, two years before she reportedly met her future hubby. By then, Whitney was onto a whole other look and Bobby was sporting the Gumby. I know, I know, it’s a small thing. And maybe the photo was just a behind-the-scenes look at them in costume–wearing hairdos associated with them–and not from a scene together. At least I hope so. Otherwise, the photo would be inaccurate and I frown on filmmakers who take their audience’s intelligence for granted.  

YaYa DaCosta as Whitney Houston in Lifetime's "I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story." (Photo: Jack Zeman/ Lifetime 2014)

You may recall me giving my star of approval when I wrote about YaYa being tapped to play Nippy in this Angela Bassett-directed TV film. I’m still very #TeamYaYa but like a few others anticipating the film’s 2015 release, I’m hoping that it’s a quality project and not a rushed, sappy, weak movie-of-the-week production. Yep, all of that came about from one photo. And it’s very clear that all eyes will be on Angie and anything coming from this project. Couple that with Bobby Kristina’s ugly Twitter attacks about not being cast as her mother in this film (cause that’s what mature celebs do these days) and I’d say Ms. Bassett’s got her work cut out for her.  Good luck, girl!

 • Between my travel schedule, the summer weather and my “dedication” to watching “The Good Wife” online via Streampix, I’ve been a bit behind on my summer TV viewing. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of TNT’s “Murder in the First,” and I do like it (a more thorough review will come soon), and have watched the first four episodes of  Starz’s “Power” and made sure to check out Halle Berry in “Extant” (curious to see how this unfolds). But for the past two weeks, I’ve been all about “The Good Wife.” Like, really, really, really all about this CBS show. I had seen an episode here and there while visiting my parents or my sister but didn’t add it to my Sunday lineup (y’all know my Sundays are packed year-round). It was after having a conversation about good and bad TV shows, that I followed a friend’s suggestion and watched it. She said all five seasons were available online and that I’d really enjoy it. She’s right. I see why my mother and sister love this show. It’s very intriguing  and I haven’t gotten bored with it. This is kind of funny because I’m a cable TV show girl and believed many network shows to be too sanitized and predictable. Apparently “Game of Thrones’” last season and the start of “True Blood’s” final season (and these are must-see TV shows for me) have driven me back to the Big Three. I’m in the middle of “The Good Wife’s” second season (there are 23 episodes) and along with the story lines, I am surprised by the guest stars who’ve appeared on the show. “Scandal’s” Joe Morton, “The Walking Dead’s” Sonequa Martin-Green and Chad Coleman (siblings Sasha and Tyreese), “Mad Men’s” Teyonah Parris, “Almost Human’s” Michael Ealy, “The Wire’s” Sonja Sohn, “24: Live Another Day’s” Gbenga Akinnagbe (also of “The Wire”) and Anika Noni Rose are a few of the black TV stars I’ve spied so far. Plus, Courtney Kemp Agboh, the creative mind behind “Power,” is a former producer of the show, another reason to watch. Impressive right? But don’t just take my word for it. If you already haven’t watched this show, etch out some time for it. Enjoy commercial-free binge-viewing compliments of Streampix. You’ll be glad you did. Watch the pilot episode below and then catch up on seasons 1-5 here 

 • I love the AARP crowd! Love, love, love ‘em! And a conversation I had with Miss Robbie of OWN’s “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” last weekend reminded me why I do. She says what’s on her mind and at 74 is very committed to living her dreams and having a good time while doing it. She talked about the show’s seventh season, the new restaurant she’s opening on Memphis’ historic Beale Street, the skating rink she wants to build for St. Louis youth, her new cookbook and other ventures she has in the works. “We’ve got our iced tea out and it went into 85 stores over the last two weeks, which is a blessing. Without the show, we would not be able to market it and this is something we couldn’t afford to market,” she shares. “I’ve got my cookbook coming out next year during Black History Month.  I’m a new writer and we finished that so we’re just waiting. We don’t have a title yet but it’s going to be something about food, Mississippi style.” All right, all right, all right! Read more from that interview here and check out the first five minutes from the season 7 premiere of “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” below. “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

On my watchlist? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand…
“The Good Wife”: As you’ve read, I’ve been binging on this show since the Fourth of July. Though I’ve watched 1.5 seasons since then (saying 34 episodes sounds very manic), I think I’m pacing myself pretty well, given my history. Tonight, I continue with season 2 and will watch no more than two episodes. Watch it here

“Murder in the First”: I’ve seen a couple of episodes and think this show is good. I will more than likely binge on it during a break from “The Good Wife.” But that shouldn’t stop you from checking it out. It airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on TNT. Watch it here.

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: The images of Blue Ivy that mom Beyonce posted on her site, Beyonce.com (Haters hush. She’s adorable!).
NOT: Boko Haram ridiculing #BringBackOurGirls campaign (…).

HOT: Tracy Morgan’s speedy recovery following injuries he sustained from a fatal auto collision with a Walmart truck (the whole situation is tragic but it’s good to know he’s recovering soundly).
NOT:  Carmelo Anthony deciding to stay in New York and not come to Chicago to play for The Bulls (yeah, I said it!).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.