The all-black cast of “Steel Magnolias” premiered last night on Lifetime and I have a few things to say. While I’m beyond excited to watch it later this week on DVR (laughter through tears is my favorite emotion), I’m definitely disappointed by the omission of a certain blactress who should always be a part of an all-black anything: one Miss Angela Bassett.
I love Angela Bassett. My idea of heaven is seeing a production of “August: Osage County” where Angela Bassett plays every role. Perhaps she was missing from “Steel Magnolias” because there are no doctors or lawyers in the cast? Angela generally plays strong, intelligent women, which I am in full support of – I just need to see more of her these days. For example, where was Angela during the casting of the X-Men Trilogy? With all due respect to Halle Berry, she came nowhere close to the African fierceness that is Storm.
When I was a kid I watched the X-Men animated cartoon series on Saturday mornings religiously. All my friends wanted to be Wolverine or Gambit because they were the sexy, macho, tough guys. But as a 9-year old, Middle Eastern, gay child growing up in white suburbia, the natural X-Man for me to latch on to was the strong African woman that was Storm. She always spoke with a strangely affected speech pattern, which I loved. It wasn’t African in any way, she just would switch the verb and the noun and use transatlantic vowels: “Winds – upon them to blow I command thee!” It was like Yoda meets Phylicia Rashad. All that strength and dignity and grace. And doesn’t any breakdown with those three words scream, “Angela Bassett!!!”? And lets not forget Storm could kick the shit out of you. Angela clawed at Ike tooth and nail, whereas Halle Berry just runs you down with her car.
Anyway, Angela can do anything. I’m bummed she’s going to be absent from my DVR this week. I just needed to say that. And we won’t even START talking about where Loretta Devine is. That would be too upsetting.