16 Black TV Shows We Should Have Never Let Happen

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  • We watched a lot of TV in the 90s and 2000s, but not every show stood the test of time. There were some sitcoms we watched week after week, faithfully, say, back in 1997. But when we watch now, it’s like, what were we thinking?

    Here are 16 shows that we should have never let go on for too long.

    For Your Love (1998-2002)

    For Your Love tv show

    Photo: NBC/GETTY

    [ione_image_credit width=”594″ caption=”1″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”][/ione_image_credit]

    Network: ABC and The WB

    Seasons: 5

    For Your Love was a show about three couples learning the ins and outs of their relationships. It makes sense that NBC tried to get in on all the relationship shows that sprouted in the 90’s, but this just wasn’t a good one. Although it starred TV vets Holly Robinson Peete, Tamala Jones and James Lesure, it wasn’t memorable even after it switched networks to The WB. How did this last for five whole seasons?

    Malcolm & Eddie (1996-2000)

    Malcolm Jamal-Warner Eddie Griffin

    PHOTO: Paul Skipper/Chris Weeks/GETTY

    [ione_image_credit width=”630″ caption=”1″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”][/ione_image_credit]

    Network: UPN

    Seasons: 4

    Malcolm & Eddie was the buddy-buddy comedy we never knew we needed, but after watching we know we actually didn’t need it at all. But since it starred Malcolm Jamal-Warner, who we missed dearly from The Cosby Show, we watched loyally. But his Odd Couple story with Eddie Griffin just wasn’t funny.

    Smart Guy (1997-1999)

    Tahj Mowry

    PHOTO: SGranitz/GETTY

    [ione_image_credit width=”408″ caption=”1″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”][/ione_image_credit]

    Network: The WB

    Seasons: 3

    A show with Tahj Mowry, Jason Weaver, Essence Atkins, and Omar Gooding sounds great in theory. But when you’re watching three seasons of Tahj being an egghead know-it-all, it got tired. Just go to college already, man.

    Let’s Stay Together (2011-2014)

    Let's Stay Together Cast

    Frederick M. Brown

    [ione_image_credit width=”594″ caption=”1″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”][/ione_image_credit]

    Network: BET

    Seasons: 4

    Just, why?

    The Parent ‘Hood (1995-1999)

    Robert Townsend/Suzzanne Douglas

    PHOTO: SGranitz/GETTY

    [ione_image_credit width=”630″ caption=”1″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”][/ione_image_credit]

    Network: The WB

    Seasons: 5

    Who knew this show lasted for that long? It had a great premise, and showcased an educated, Black family living in Harlem, so it could have taken over where The Cosby Show left off. But it didn’t. If you watch the show in 2015, though, you see a man trying to escape the pressures of his family through his overactive imagination. The show’s bright spot: Reagan Gomez-Preston.

    Family Matters (1989-1997)

    Family Matters


    [ione_image_credit width=”407″ caption=”1″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”][/ione_image_credit]

    Network: ABC, CBS

    Seasons: 9

    How did we let this show continue for nine whole seasons? The first few seasons of Family Matters were golden. You had a nuclear Black family with some extended family members in the mix. It was all good, because you had kids in school learning valuable lessons. But then one of the kids, Judy, disappeared without a trace. Aunt Rachel left and never came back, but she left Cousin Richie. That’s when things got weird for the series. Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White) transformed into Stefan Urquelle (and even Bruce Lee). There were teleportation pads. Steve was in space… like, what was going on? Once the show moved to CBS the original Harriet (played by JoMarie Payton) was replaced by Judyann Elder. There’s barely any classic episodes from a show that lasted almost 10 years, and that’s a shame.

    Half & Half (2002-2006)

    Half & Half Cast

    Albert L. Ortega

    [ione_image_credit width=”426″ caption=”1″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”][/ione_image_credit]

    Network: UPN

    Seasons: 4

    Half & Half was like Sister, Sister but they were half sisters who knew each other. Mona (played by Rachel True from The Craft) was raised mostly by her mother (played by Telma Hopkins), and her father got remarried and had another child, Dee Dee (played by Essence Atkins) and raised her as a family. When they get older, they live in the same apartment building and you see them clash due to their differences. Not a bad premise, right? It wasn’t, it was just a corny show.

    The Wayans Bros. (1995-1999)

    [ione_image_credit width=”412″ caption=”0″ align=”aligncenter” text=”Getty”]Marlon Wayans Shawn Wayans[/ione_image_credit]

    Network: The WB

    Seasons: 5

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    20 thoughts on “16 Black TV Shows We Should Have Never Let Happen

    1. So why was this article commissioned, written then published by the site? Most of these shows were the ONLY black shows when on the air and the only images America got to see. In many cases these shows depicted honest, hardworking black folks. Many may not have been the most intriguing or complex characters but were not ratchet, raunchy or shucking and jiving characters either. With even my favorite shows or Emmy winners we can all find something we do not like. I come to BAW to find fair and positive writing about our community and not this.

    2. I loved all of these shows especially For Your Love, Let’s Stay Together and Half And Half. They were much better than all of this reality crap.

    3. Why did you even write this article??? Black folks need to see black folks on TV or must we be saddled with shows like Malcolm in the Middle, Mike & Molly, Married w/Children, Here comes Honey Boo-Boo and so on.

    4. This article couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whoever wrote it took almost every Black sitcom that was on in the ’90s and early 2000’s and tore it apart. I’d much rather watch any of these shows-corny jokes and all-than any of the garbage that’s on television today. Most of these shows focused on some aspect of family and friendship and not back-biting or fighting with each other, like most shows do now. And some of the shows mentioned actually encouraged strong marriages-which seems to be a has been in all communities-not just among African Americans.

    5. I completely disagree with this article. They were funny, fun-loving, non-violent and did not portray negative images. Aerial Cherie you needs to do more research, clearly you have been misguided.

    6. I absolutely loved all of these good wholesome shows. What sitcom do we have now? I just hope that Blackish doesn’t get cancelled. Seems like all we have left.

    7. Yeah this article got most of these shows right, some I liked, some more could be added to this list. “Malcom & Eddie” omg what a waste. I think the purpose of these shows was just to show black faces on TV and give us less to dog hollywood about. But they got it right most of these shows were terrible, the same as some that are on now, love thy neighbor, for better or worse, house of payne, meet the browns, the game, etc…

    8. Wow I did not watchany of these shows. They just seemed so sorney I do watch the Game and when Melanie and Derwin left and the show and the show went to BET something happened with the writing and the show got kinda stupid and not funny. The Wayans I would never watch (Just not funny) After In Living Color they had a hard act to follow in my opinion. As far as Empire I am watching and I will watch until the end I don’t understand why all the backlash. I love it and to each his own. I did not watch the shows mentioned on this list I just turned my tv to something else. Everyone has the right to do just that you don’t have to watch Empire! Trust me they are going to survive regardless

    9. This post is garbage. With all of the trash that is on television these days and back then (white or black), most of these shows on the list were positive images of black people that hadn’t been seen before; images that we knew existed but the rest of the world didn’t. Remember the foolishness of how The Cosby show was unrealistic/ i not only new people like this, but people who became like them or people (like me and mine) strive to be as opposed to Empire which does not speak for me, nor Scandel nor Zane’s jump off or any of this reality (not reality) show garbage. Kudos to positivity, and to the garbage pile with stuff they’re trying to shove down our throats. Up with positive black images, down with ratchet (wretchedness). i like the game better now, I loved Smart guy watched it with my family. sure some were corny (Robert Townsend – King of Corn)but it was better than much of what we have now content wise.

    10. I agree with most of those shows! Some made me want to scream and bash my TV to pieces…..the worst black show “Family Matters” you have a black nerd that lived next door and always in trouble ….did I do that….worked my nerves every show. Next “the hughley’s”…this was not a stand up comedian show…hated it. The article did forget one black show, “sister sister”…that worked a nerve also!


      • T-Bone, I agree I loved them all including Cosby. The way the world is today we need laughter in our lives, especially the black community. House of Payne my favorite.

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