REVIEW: GMC’s For Richer or Poorer Starring Rockmond Dunbar and LeToya Luckett

BY: - 27 Jan '13 | Entertainment

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Love, honesty, challenges, commitment, disappointment, and good times – that’s what the new sitcom, “For Richer or Poorer,” is all about.  Based on the hit gospel play produced exclusively for television, “For Richer or Poorer” is a GMC original series that looks at the complexities involved when a happily married couple faces financial challenges that force expectations to shift in order for their relationship to survive.

Aubrey (Rockmond Dunbar) and Kya (LeYoya Luckett) are a young married couple who are trying to navigate the challenges in their marriage that stem from Aubrey losing his six-figure job, and Kya having to adjust her behavior and her expectations in an effort to keep their marriage in tact.

Like any sitcom that revolves around a couple, it just wouldn’t be complete without friends and family to add some laughs and some drama.  But, in this show, friends and family also provide love and support, and we all know that can go a long way when it comes to dealing with the day to day struggles in our lives. Plus, crazy friends and nosy family members are what make sitcoms work.

I didn’t have any expectations of this new series because I don’t typically watch GMC, but I did wonder if it would be anything like Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse.”  Before viewing the premiere episode I did watch the play so I could gather some background about the series, but it really wasn’t necessary. The first episode does a great job of providing the viewer with some background information throughout the episode, allowing us to understand the basic premise of the show.

“For Richer or Poorer” is reminiscent of one of our back-in-the-day favorites, “Martin,” with just a little less comedy (no Sheneneh in this show) and a little more “real life” issues. It also places some subtle emphasis on the role that God plays in the character’s lives, and that gives it an uplifting vibe.

I enjoyed watching the show, although it definitely did not need to be an hour long.  This type of sitcom can give the audience the dose of comedy (and inspiration) we need in a mere 30 minutes. Luckett and Dunbar have great chemistry and do feel like a real couple, and the friends in their lives, DeShawn (Carl Anthony Payne II) and Paige (Angell Conwell), bring a good dose of comedy to their every day dilemmas.

I loved the fact that the show touches upon issues that will resonate with married and unmarried couples. Are men okay with their women making more money than them?  What happens when the man of the house can’t provide the way he has in the past? Can white lies snowball into much larger issues? Do unmarried friends always give their married friends the best advice?  Do we have to adjust our marital expectations when things in our relationship change?

Overall, “For Richer or Poorer” was a fun watch.  With an abundance or negative energy on television these days, it’s nice to watch a show that reflects a black couple in an uplifting and funny manner. It made me laugh and it definitely gave me a few “what if” scenarios to reflect on when it comes to my own marriage.  Cut each episode down to 30 minutes and I may just become a regular viewer, but at an hour long, I think I will definitely set my DVR to record.

BMWK family, will you watch “For Richer or Poorer?”

For Richer or Poorer airs on Saturdays at 7pm ET on GMC

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 440 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a lifestyle consultant who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create lives they love. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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Box Tops for Education: 10 Things Every Parent Should Know about Supporting Their Child’s Education

BY: - 28 Jan '13 | Entertainment

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Panelists from the Box Tops of Education Town Hall held on the campus of Spelman College on January 24, 2012.  Photo Credit: General Mills

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Panelists from the Box Tops of Education Town Hall held on the campus of Spelman College on January 24, 2012. Photo Credit: General Mills

Last Thursday, I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Box Tops for Education Town Hall that was held on the campus of Spelman College. And one might think that my excitement about the evening was due to meeting husband and wife team and celebrities, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, in person. And the groupie in me is not going to lie…I was pretty excited to meet them. But, I was also excited about the fact that hundreds of parents, educators and community organizers came together for an evening to discuss the importance of parental involvement in their child’s education.

The audience and panel engaged in a very lively conversation about how to encourage African American parents to become more involved and invested in their children’s education.  The evening’s star studded panel included: Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum – President of Spelman College, Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas – from the Grammy Award-Winning Group TLC, and Tommy Hillman – Box Tops for Education brand manager. And the moderator for the evening was Jeff Johnson- MSNBC contributor and executive editor of Politic365.com.

Throughout the evening, we not only discussed the many challenges that we face as African American parents, but we also discussed possible solutions. And, here are 10 things that I learned from the panelists and audience members that every parent needs to know about supporting their kid’s educational journeys (and plus some really great pictures from the event):

#1.  It truly takes a village.  Parents can’t do it alone.  If we are going to turn things around at our local schools, the entire community needs to contribute.  Chilli encourages everyone to get involved in supporting the local schools (even if they don’t have kids.)  Chilli’s entire family (including her sister that has no kids) clips Box Tops.  Chilli also admitted that she will continue to clip Box Tops even after her son starts college!

Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas poses during the Box Tops for Education Town Hall held at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Photo Credit – General Mills

#2. As parents,  our responsibilities don’t end when our kids walk through the doors of the schools.  The schools need our help. We can support the schools by volunteering.  And we can help the teachers by simply getting involved in your kid’s homework and ensuring that they are prepared for school each day.

#3.  “Education can be is such a daunting issue to parents”…. Says Jeff Johnson… “And normally when people feel like making a difference in education, they feel it’s too big for them and they feel helpless.  Programs like Box Tops are great because people that don’t have a lot of money or time don’t have to do any thing different than what they are already doing and buy the products that they are already buying. And it becomes an investment in their kid’s school without changing anything that they are doing and that’s powerful.  And so it becomes a great local easy tool for people to play a role in empowering their local education system.”

Jeff Johnson moderates discussion at Box Tops Town Hall. Photo Credit – General Mills.

#4.  We need to also focus on men who shop and dads who care about education.  There is a need for black men in paticular to be present on these issues.  “Men rise to the challenge when they challenge each other,” says Johnson.  So what better way to get them involved than with the Box Tops for education program.

#5.  “Any time you have a platform, it is your duty and responsibility to use that platform for positive change”...says Boris Kodjoe…”it is all of our duty to do something.” And this is why Boris and Nicole  have decided to support the Box Tops for Education initiative and the town hall.

#6.  When parents are involved, it encourages the kids and shows them that the parents care about their education.   This is why Dr. Beverly Tatum says programs such as Box Tops are so empowering…because they promote parental involvement.

Jeff Johnson, Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe, Chilli, Dr. Beverly Tatum, and Tommy Hillman – Panelists at the Box Tops Town Hall. Photo Credit: General Mills

7.  Parents need to lead by example.   Jeff Johnson stated: “What young people need to see is us not talking about education, but us walking education. We show up for sports events at school, but not for science events.”  Johnson challenged parents to show as much (if not more) excitement for academics than they did for sports.

8.  We need more positive images of everyday people supporting their kid’s educational goals.  Sure it’s nice to have celebrities get behind programs such as box tops.  But, Dr. Tatum states that it is also important to see  everyday parents being involved.

9.  We need to do something “in the mean time.”  Sure, we need to continue to put pressure on the local and state governments to adequately fund educational programs.  But, Nicole Ari Parker says, we  (parents and the community) also need to do something in the meantime by getting involved with programs like Box Tops that are providing schools with much needed funds and resources.

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker – Box Tops for Education Town Hall. Photo Credit: General Mills

10. Start from where you are and build from there. You don’t have to be rich or a stay at home mom.  You don’t have to have a lot of vacation days or a college education. Any parent can be involved in their child’s education.  Just start from where you are.  Volunteer a few times a year, work on projects for the teacher from home, be a chaperone a field trip, or just be consistent with the homework each night .  It’s the smallest things that mean so much to our kids.  And if every parent contributed just a little, then our schools would improve exponentially.

Box Tops for Education has given over $525 M dollars to schools since starting the program in 1996.  There are some schools earning up to $20,000 from the program.  Unfortunately, many schools in African American communities are not taking advantage of this program.  If your local school is not participating, please visit: btfe.com/townhall.  On this site, you will find the Educational Success Toolkit, a resource developed by the National Urban League and Box Tops to support parents in being active in their children’s educational journey.   You will also be able to see the the Town Hall webcast that will air on February 4, 2013.

Disclosure: Lamar and I are paid spokesbloggers for the Box Tops For Education program. We will be providing information and stories throughout the school year in hopes of encouraging our community to take advantage of the millions of dollars that are being given to schools across the country each year. All opinions expressed are our very own.  

Click the pages below to see more pictures from the event:

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About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 484 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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