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About fivedotsreviews

Denise Walker is a writer and promotes quality entertainment for everyone. Follow on twitter @5dotsreviews

The Brown Liquor Valentine’s Day Solution

There’s this meme  circulating on social media with a picture of a Bobby”the Poet” Womack. OUCH!

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But it doesn’t have to be that way. Valentine’s Day isn’t only for the bunned up and locked down.  There is enough love in the universe to spread around for those who choose to travel solo.

A unique and charming idea is “Everyone is Everyone’s Valentine” cocktail party.
Invite  6-8 single friends of different ages and lifestyles (only the fun ones, to mix it up).
Tell each one to bring either a Valentine shaped box of good chocolate or a bunch red roses.
The host provides a humorous valentine card for each invitee that is placed onto a festive decorated table. Choose favorite jazz and instrumental love songs and let the guest mix and mingle.

To set the mood for fun, a single, romantic and sensual themed  brown liquor drink can be highlighted like the favorite Hennessy’s XOXOXO Valentine Cocktail (recipe below). Serve it along with easy to prepare heavy appetizers.

 Amp up the party with food, drink and music then gather the guest around to play a  lively game called Do You Know Me?

Instructions
Randomly divide the players into teams of two
Send half into another room or isolated where they cannot hear the questions or the answers.(No cheating)
The host acts as the MC and asks the questions, writes down the answers for each team and adds up the points
Create fun and interesting questions and answers by using  familiar names from which they can choose  for example :
What actor  does your partner look the most like?
Denzel Washington, Tika Sumpter or Nikki Minaj
What movie would you use to describe your last relationship?
Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Star Wars,Temptation etc.
What is your partners best physical asset?
There should be no more than 4-5 questions for each set
Bring the partners back to answer the questions and then send the other half of the players into the room
Repeat the process with new questions.
The team with the most points each wins a gift bag with bottle of Hennessy and Hershey’s Kisses.
Keep the questions and the answers generic and upbeat to guarantee the maximum amount of fun and laughter.

The cocktail party should begin early and end early so the singles can dodge the Valentines Day restaurant traffic. Who wants to be around a bunch of googly-eyed couples that need to get a room anyway?

Afterwards the guest who are party people can still go out for a night on the town. An “Everyone is Everyone’s Valentine” cocktail party will make the day special with good company, delicious drinks and great laughter.

XOXOXO Hennessy Valentine Cocktail                     

Ingredients

1.5 oz Hennessy VS

.5 oz Antica Formula sweet vermouth

.5 oz  Crème Yvette

Splash of simple syrup

1 dash Angostura Bitters

1 dash Fee brothers Aztec chocolate bitters                                                       XOXOXO with bottle

3 muddled Black Cherries

1/8th of a lemon

Fresh Grated cinnamon

 Glassware: Rocks Glass

Garnish: Cherry

 Instructions:

  • Muddle cherries and lemon wedge in a shaker tin
  • Add all liquid to shaker with ice, shake until well chilled
  • Strain into glass with large ice-cube
  • Grate cinnamon over the top and garnish with a cherry.

 Note: Instead of Hennessy VS and Simple Syrup, add 1.5 oz of Hennessy XO to make a more opulent cocktail experience.

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5 Best “Bedside Baptist Church” Televangelists

Sunday morning for me means church. It is a time a can I reach closer to my spiritual self, renew my faith and “get my praise on”. I bask in the blessings of the past week  and  pray for guidance to meet challenges for the upcoming week. When I cannot attend I switch on the remote to “Bedside Baptist.Church”. There are many religious programs from which to choose. I seek out programs that can deliver online or on television the closest to the fellowship,power and praise I  receive when I go to church. Televangelism have been going through changes as rapidly as the world has changed.  Some of their methods and dogma have removed the reverence , joy  from the worship process.   Modern evangelist tend to stretch the doctrine around elements of the world to “meet the people at their need” instead of embracing the power,fire and riches of faith.  If you can’t make it to church and need that “word” to help get you through your hectic week, I recommend these “Bedside Baptist Church” evangelists.

1)Bishop T.D. Jakes, T. D. Jakes Ministries

Bishop Jakes

Bishop T. D. Jakes of  the Potter ‘s House Internet Church provides a complete Christian service   experience including gospel music, invitation and benediction. Bishop Jakes is an old school preacher with an updated message to serve the masses. His sermons are charismatic  spirit filled lessons that apply to  daily life.  He provides relevant  and informative scriptural references. He preaches as he teaches as he inspires.

 

2)Creflo Dollar,  Creflo Dollar Ministries

Creflo Dollar

Creflo Dollar of the World Changers Church International takes the word and turns it into motivation. I have visited his church and noticed the plethora of men  actively involved in his ministry. He gives a relate-able real world  message. He speaks about  job dilemmas, marriage  ,finance and family. Although critics dismiss his message as a prosperity  ministry ,his  gives sensible advice  and breaks down financial practices in everyday terms.

 

3)Joel Osteen, Joel Osteen Ministries

Joel Osteen

He has been condemned for being too happy ,too optimistic and a biblical lightweight . Osteen’s  preaching style is often called “gospel-lite “. His uplifting sermons are a welcome respite to all the horrible news in the  24 hour news cycle. It is refreshing to hear that  there is  still redemption and good in mankind. Osteen tells stories of  survival and grace with the power of God. Lakewood Church is a cavernous monolith with over 10,000 members .  Yet, when he speaks  it is as if he is speaking directly to you.

 

4)Gloria Copeland , Kenny Copeland Ministries

Gloria Copeland

Gloria Copeland’s bible study is phenomenal . She breaks down the scripture and gives it a fresh anointing . There are many scriptures and teachings  I am familiar with but she expands and and goes deep into the word. It  helps  you to  appreciate and understand Christian beliefs on healing, and salvation. Everything about life is in the bible . It is amazing how human suffering, joy and relationships haven not changed  much  in 2000 years.  She teaches not only that Jesus Saves, but why and how.

 

5)Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries

Jimmy Swaggart

Jimmy Swaggart Family Worship Center on SonLife Network incorporates all genres  of gospel music.  It feels like church. BET gospel robs its  audience when it comes to good gospel music. The programming often does not match the guide,they have numerous repeats and a ridiculous amount of commercials . Jimmy Swaggart gives you music, solos,  choirs and non-stop  praise and worship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Best New Black Shows 2014

The Upfronts last week in New York brought oodles of excitement to the new fall season for connoisseurs of African-american entertainment.  My personal requirement when I watch television or a movie is that it has to have at least two black people in leading roles, and the writing and the acting have to be amazing . Therefore  as you can guess I don’t watch much television. My time is valuable and  I can’t stand reality shows. I know these characters are getting paid. But how are you going to be a bad actor/actress in a show about your own life? I have not been on the Mad ManGame of Thrones bandwagon either. Mad Men completely ignores that black people exist during one of the most turbulent times in American history. Game of Thrones has dinosaurs and goblins but no sisters or brothers although Hannibal crossed the French alps (Gaul) with his crew .  Both shows are bloodthirsty, over sexed fantasy nonsense. With that said the 5 Best New Black TV Shows 2014   ARE….

Empire -Fox TBA

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Empire is a Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) produced drama starring Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon  a dying mogul and Taraji B. Henson as Cookie Lyon his ex-con former wife who are battling  for  control of their  hip-hop dynasty.  Gabourey Sidibe(Precious) joins the cast at Lucious’ hardworking assistant Becky.  Taraji and Terrence acting together is reason enough to be excited about this new show.

 

The Mathis Project-BET Fridays 10p/9c

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Judge Greg Mathis hosts this in-depth investigative program  that reopens cold cases using forensics, law enforcement to uncover new information that will solve murders and bring justice to the victims. This show actually premiered last year but they reworked the format making it leaner and more sophisticated.

 

How to Get Away with Murder -ABC Thursdays 10p/9c

Viola Davis HTGAWM

This legal suspense thriller produced by Shonda Rhimes stars Viola Davis as law school professor Annalise Keating. She mentors her band of  ambitious students in the intricate art of “getting away with murder”. It is part of ABC’s  Shondaland triad on Thursdays with Greys Anatomy at 8p and Scandal at 9p EST. In my opinion Viola Davis is so beautiful when she wears her hair natural. When she wears those helmet hair wigs, it’s like when Halle Berry wears long hair. It just doesn’t look right.

 

Black-Ish–  ABC Wednesdays 9:30p/8:30c

Black-ish ABC

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross star as an upper  middle class couple raising their four children in a predominately white environment. What a weak premise . How about parents just trying to raise  four kids? That is  enough material for a comedy and a drama, and  no grown-ass kids PLEASE. Can they  also use their creative resources and give it a better name? It also stars and is produced by  Larry Fishburne as the grumpy grandpa.  It its filmed in a single camera format a la Modern Family. It has a lot of potential and I am elated to just to see a nuclear black family. If this show is even close to the genius of The Bernie Mac Show it will be successful.

 

5.CeeLo Green’s The Good Life – TBN Mondays 10:30p/9:30c

CEELO_010314-forweb good life

CeeLo has a reality show and he  brought along his boys The Goodie Mob . I am not a fan of reality shows but  I do admire CeeLo and  the Goodie Mob as artists. The previews seem a bit scripted but the guys seem  fun and it would be nice to come along  for the party. CeeLo Green’s The Good Life premieres June 23 at 10:30/9:30c on TBN.

5 BEST “RATCHET” REALITY TV MOMS

 I am never the one to call anyone’s mother ratchet , crazy,  or play the dozens. Because as a mother I know sometime you have to be ratchet ,crazy  or both. Especially when dealing with your kids, their school, bullies ,baby daddies and  mom’s who refuse to raise their  kids. Sometimes its like that. Being crazy is part of the job description. These five ladies are all that with an extra extra dose of cray. But I am certain  if you place a camera in any household in America you might see mothers behaving the same or worst.

1. The Maury Mom – The Maury Povich Show

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Maury Moms  are the best because they come in all shapes sizes ethic groups. I know the scientist who invented DNA testing had some lofty ideas that the future of DNA testing would be utilized  for medical breakthroughs and  solving  mankind’s questions of the universe. I bet they never imagined there would be a TV show to determine the baby daddy. If a Maury Mom states that she is 10001 per cent sure that he is the father you can be 100 per cent sure he is NOT the father.  These ladies say “look at the ears  look at the nose. ” Since most people have ears and noses that is not a great way to determine fatherhood . Especially since this is the 8th mothafucka you have brought on the show. The eighth time you have run off the stage crying and rolling on the Maury couch and the  eight non-Daddy doing the Maury Shuffle.

2. Mama Joyce Real Housewives of Atlanta

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Am I the only one that likes Mama Joyce on the RHOA? Well for everyone that calls her a “crazyoldbitch” I say she and Kandi are crazy like foxes making that paper. Its rumoured that  Bravo is giving Mama Joyce her own show. Brilliant! No one is tuning in every week to see granny sitting in a rocking chair knitting . She fights, she kicks she cusses, she lies and manipulates. Kandi knows her Momma because she raised her. She is unfazed by Mama Joyce’s melodrama. Live long enough you realize everyone doesn’t mellow with age. Sometimes they are  bitchier,  hornier and meaner. Go head Miss Joyce make that money  and make it rain!

3. Kris Jenner Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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KJ is a mastermind and a genius . She has six children and not one of them has any talent whatsoever. No one sings. No one dances . No one acts. But everyone is getting paid. They grace the covers of magazines . They are sought  out for interviews. They create a media frenzy wherever they go. Everybody works  at doing nothing but shopping and showing up to the party. This Momager has created a media brand.

4.Mama D -Love and Hip Hop Atlanta

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Mama D is a former pimp and street hustler . Which translates that she was successful on the streets doing a man’s job to feed and cloth her children. She is  going to give her opinion and her  son Lil Scrappy always goes to her for advice. She  speaks in street slang full of grammatical errors,and she doesn’t know how to spell “bitch.  However, she knows how  to speak dollar signs, therefore she doesn’t have to know how to speak proper English. Immigrants come to black neighborhoods from all over the world . They have hair stores and convenience stores on every corner and can’t speak a lick of English.

5.Mama Jones- Love and Hip Hop New York

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Rapper Jim Jones’ mother  Mama Jones  is marketing  an essence of coochie perfume called PumKash.   Wonder who the target market is?  Straight men? No because they  want to attract women. Straight women? No Because they already have one. Gay women? Same scenario. Gay men? All I  have to say is (-_ -).

 

 

5 Best Black TV Moms 2014

To the 5 BEST BLACK TV MOMS 2014 I want to wish them all a Happy Mother’s Day. I want to give them love, hugs and five dozen roses each  as they struggle to survive on the treacherous streets of network television. As with all Black Woman in America ,Black TV Moms be doing the most with the least. The exceptions are Jasmine Trussell (Joy Bryant) on NBC’s Parenthood and Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander) on ABC’s Scandal who are  characters that are ornamental outliers to the main storyline.

Sadly, Black mommies are MIA on American network television. Every Mother’s Day we reminisce about sitcom moms of yesteryear Claire Huxtable, Florida Evans, Louise Jefferson, and Rochelle .We almost forgot about Peggy Fair the widowed secretary on Mannix, (remember her and her little boy named Cory) and Raj’s Mom Mabel on What’s Happening.

Of the five  black mothers that are on a serial television today , four of them are on two shows. All five of them are on two networks which are Oprah’s OWN The Haves and the Have Nots and BET’s Being Mary Jane and The Game .

As much as Tyler Perry is maligned and dissed I love me some him. I just want to thank him for bringing some semblance of the African-American experience to the entertainment starved black masses.Yes,the writing on TP’s shows at times less than stellar but at least we see a scripted series where black people are major character and the Sistas be gettin’ it in. A special mention goes to Mara Brock Akil & Salim Akil at BET. I want to hug them for the absolutely beautiful writing and direction on Being Mary Jane and The Game.

And NOW the 5 Best Black TV Moms on Television Today ARE!!!!….DrumRoll Please

1.Veronica  Harrington (Angela Robinson) OWN The Haves and the Have Nots

Veronica Harrington

Brilliantly portrayed by Angela Robinson,this chick be “getting it” and reminds me of one of my friends. She dresses beautifully,  her house is immaculate, she works hard and controls everyone and everything in her household . She does not bite her tongue , will “whip ass” and has your back from the window to the wall. She is NEVER politically correct .The one thing i do notice about these women is they always “GOT A MAN” and just like Veronica she controls him. Her motto? “When Momma Aint Happy Aint Nobody Happy”. This character she is as amazing as she is ruthless, especially when she is super mean to her son Jeffrey.

2.Hanna Young (Crystal Fox) OWN The Haves and the Have Nots

2.Hanna  Young

I was watching Crystal Fox as Hanna and I kept trying to place her. I saw a rerun of In The Heat of the Night and there she was! Her and Bubba had some swirly hot chemistry. She was a short little firecracker and he was a muscular Adonis. They were hotter than that Mississippi sun……OH YEAH!  Hanna is saintly,long-suffering and prayerful. She is always there to help and forgive except when it comes to her own drop dead gorgeous daughter(Tika BlackBarbieDoll  Sumpter). I salute Tyler Perry for making faith and prayer an important character in The Haves and the Have Nots.

3. Helen Patterson (Margaret Avery) BET Being Mary Jane

3.Helen Patterson

How delicious is this show?  They have Margaret Avery (Shug in The Color Purple) as the Momma and  Being Mary Jane is just the perfect vehicle for Gabrielle Union. BMJ serves  up absolute deliciousness.  It stars great black actors as Richard Roundtree(SHAFT). His still  a hottie. I will never forget “dem bowlegs” his leather jacket and Shaft’s perfect “fro.”Richard Brooks (Patrick) is a BMW Black Man Working it OUT) . You know Black Don’t Crack is the truth when “old school  mofos” are acting their asses off courtesy of the great writing by Mara Brock Akil. What a gift! Excuse me just a moment while i get my Holy-Ghost-dance around-the-church praise on for the awesome writing and these incredible actors.

Well ENTYWAY Mrs Helen Patterson is a super “bougie ” upper class matriarch who like Veronica rules her house and her man( Richard Roundtree) She be worrisome as hell to Mary Jane. She may be the Oprah of the ATL but her “Mumma”  be calling down on her job bitching about family business like she aint gotta work. My mother does that too, calls me everyday about just random family bullshit However, I always pick up that dam phone or call her back because there may be a time she won’t be there to answer.

The way Miss Helen removed her son’s  white girlfrend out her house was diabolical. She was on her sickbed but she wasn’t so down that she didn’t recognize when her so-called girlfriend Catherine Stafford (Shiela Frazier(SuperFly) was after her man she nipped that shit straight in the bud. It was so hilarious when it looked like there was going to be a granny and granddaddy sex scene with the elder Pattersons. The “youngins “exploded twitter. They couldn’t handle that Kool-Aid HAHAHA. Miss Helen makes no apologies for being a proud black woman. Don’t mess with her kids,dont mess with her man and don’t mess with her money. Dont mess with her mari… oh oh went old school there LMAO.

4. Niecy Patterson (Raven Goodwin) BET Being Mary Jane

4. Niecy Patterson

Niecy is a teenage mother with 2 baby daddies. She live in her grandparents’ mansion with her extended family. She is pregnant and waits for her baby daddy just to show up and be there for her and their child. Her vision of life shows wisdom and naivete at the same time. Her words are like taking a dagger to the MF’ing heart.

She is the third generation of an upper class ,wealthy, educated African-American family. But for all the struggles and achievements of her grandparents and parents she has embraced a ghetto mentality. Niecy’s scenes with Mary Jane are wrenching but they also give a lesson. In one heart searing scene Niecy tells Mary Jane that she is known as the big thick girl who knows how to put it down.She believes daughter that she is carrying will not have such a hard life because she will be half Filipino with light skin and good hair.She accurately points out that Mary Jane did it the right way . Although she has an education, great career , money yet she is still alone with no kids.

Niecy is a real black girl . Her mindset reveals a compelling twisted story of a black woman’s pain and empowerment in modern America. It is a result of hundreds of years of self-hatred and brainwashing that two or three generations of success cannot destroy.

5. Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson) BET The Game

5.Tasha Mack

Miss Tasha is sassy with a smart mouth and daddy issues. She always gives unsolicited advice for her married friends but as Jason and Chardonnay say . “She can’t keep a man if her life depended on it. ” She speaks for segment of sisters who are doing it all and are successful in their careers and raising kids. But because of our history they are unwilling to  step aside and allow a man to be a man.

Tasha discovers that all manipulation and “getting over ” will bring  is an unhappy ending. She played her childhood sweetheart Pookie( Rockmond Dunbar) to be with Rick(Fox) playing himself. (His acting is 100% better than when he was in Meet The Browns the movie but i guess it’s not acting when you’re playing yourself .) Tasha then dogs Rick too and she ends up alone and pregnant at 40, just like when she was as a teenager. The men  in her life did not abandon her she pushed them away..

All Photos of The Haves and The Have Nots Courtesy OWN Network
All Photos of Being Mary Jane and BET The Game Courtesy of BET Network

5 BEST BLACK GIRL TV MOMENTS OF 2013

1. Scandal's Triple Talent Threat
1. Scandal’s Triple Talent Threat

Scandal ABC’s episode “Vermont is for Lovers Too”was the top TV moment in 2013 for black women. It was the first time in the history of television that an episode was produced by a black woman Shonda Rhimes, starred a black woman, Kerry Washington and was directed by a black woman Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere). All three of these sisters deserve the highest accolades because they work hard at their craft and provide quality entertainment. This dynamic trio gifted Gladiators with one of their favorite episodes.

2.OWN Network  Tyler Perry's The Have and Have Nots
2.OWN Network Tyler Perry’s The Have and Have Nots

The tragically sad yet insightful scene depicted Veronica Harrington’s (Angela Robinson) bitterly cold and brutal response when her son Jeffrey (Gavin Houston) finally admits to his parents that he is gay. The scene gave a rare and poignant glimpse into the lives of African American families who as a whole are conservative about social issues such as homosexuality, abortion and liberal on issues regarding civil rights.

Nicole Beharie as Abbie Mills on Fox's Sleepy Hollow
Nicole Beharie as Abbie Mills on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow

Nichole Beharie co-starring in Fox’s supernatural thriller Sleepy Hollow. She portrays Lt. Grace Abigail “Abbie’” Mills who along with Ichobod Crane (Thomas Mison) work together to destroy the Headless Horsemen and demons of the Apocolypse. Beharie’s best buds chemistry with Thomas Mison is adorable. Two hundred and fifty year old Icabod goes dashing through the 21st century with gusto with aristocratic English rogueness. Abbie being the real sistagirl that she is keeps him right in check. Awesome to see favorite “Girlfriends” actress Jill Marie Jones as the wife of Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones)

4. BET The Game "The Busted Episode" Season 6, Epi 11
4. BET The Game “The Busted Episode” Season 6, Epi 11

BET “The Game” season 6 is officially a grown an sexy party. Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson) gets caught creeping with Rick Fox (as himself) by her fiancee Pookie (Rockmond Dunbar ). It shows that age and gender does not always equal wisdom. There is plenty of rachtetness to go around.

5. BET's  Being Mary Jane Gabrielle Union
5. BET’s Being Mary Jane Gabrielle Union

Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union hits a black girl in America nerve viewing life through the eyes of Mary Jane Paul . She is a beautiful,talented and successful woman but has the same problems like everyone else. Mary Jane wrangles her life trying to find true love and deal with family drama