Global Television's Da Kink in My Hair is a poor showing of Jamaican humour
by Bill Walker
It is great that the very commercially wealthy Global Television Network has finally invested in broadcasting genuine Canadian content, in contrast with its usual U.S. branch plant versions of Canadian content, which include Entertainment Tonight Canada. It is also great that this attempt by Global-TV at genuine Canadian content is better than Train 48, or that pathetic show Global used to air many years ago, in which they simply mounted a camera on a vehicle and drove around Toronto at night.
Global Television, notes that 'da Kink' that is situated in a hairstylists salon in Toronto's Little Jamaica, "is the first television appearances in dramatic roles for Jully Black, Keshia Chante and Jarvis Church." Global further notes that da Kink in my Hair is the first nationally broadcast television show, to showcase the vibrant and lively Caribana Cultural Festival. It is also "the first time that an all Black cast has been featured on a private national network in Canada." Global also notes that da Kink in my Hair boasts the first black lesbian kiss (Episode 108) ever to be broadcast on primetime television."
Unfortunately da Kink in My Hair represents a rather poor representation of the vitality of Jamaican/West Indian humour, and does not appear to be well produced, as a sitcom in general. Did the producers think that the show would be funny, simply from throwing together some awkward moments with characters speaking Jamaican patois? "Ha, ha, that so funny ya si..." The show could be described overall, as being rather stilted. The show begs the question on how much effort Global-TV made to get critical advisement from Canadians of Jamaican background who appreciate Jamaican idioms, and humour in general.
When Global-TV was conceiving this show, the producers should have critically looked at a show like Desmond's, which was broadcasted by Britain's Channel 4 from 1989 to 1994, to inspire their TV project. Desmond's was shown in Canada as well as the U.S., and presented a cast of predominately of West Indian background. This British show was situated in the similar milieu of a barber shop, but was very well produced, with great acting in general, very diverse characters, and packed with rich flowing humour and excellent dialogue overall. The diversity of characters, as well as the depth of the characters on Desmond's could be arguably described as being much, much better and more sophisticated than the apparent stilted cliché characters ofda Kink.
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