‘Here We Go Again’: Bringing Awareness or Glorifying Pregnancy?
When television shows bring up real life issues, it is bound to spark some conversation. Some can be well received while others, not so much. After the promo posting of TV One’s upcoming sitcom, “Here We Go Again”, most of the comments have been unpleasant and many are viewing the show as a “negative stereotype” of black people.
The half-hour series, based in Atlanta follows Maddy (LeToya Luckett), a single mother and successful lawyer who is convinced there is a “Walker Women’s Curse,” after being born to her mother, Loretta (Wendy Raquel Robinson), at age 16, and having a child, Shante (Kyndall Ferguson), herself at the same age. Throughout the series, Maddy refuses to let her daughter, Shante be next in line now that her dreaded 16th birthday is approaching. Although Maddy is on a professional high and is enjoying her relationship with Cedric (Travis Winfrey), on the night of Shante's Sweet 16 birthday, old feelings resurface for her high school sweetheart and Shante's dad Victor (Andra Fuller). In a moment of weakness, they have one more night of satisfaction. Maddy then becomes shocked when at the age of 32 she discovers she is pregnant by Victor, again.
“When we posted a glimpse of the show, there was a lot of backlash. They would say, ‘You guys are promoting teen pregnancy’, and we would say, ‘No, not at all. If anything, we are bringing awareness to it, which is the only way to stop it,’” said Robinson.
Robinson shared that her best friend was the motivation behind her character, Loretta.
“My best friend had her baby at 16 and I witnessed the struggles that she went through but despite the struggles, she was able to raise a young man in South Central, who is now 37, following his dreams and living his life without succumbing to gang violence, drugs, jail or even death.” She continued, “I applaud her, it is not an easy thing, but I pulled from her strengths, and I pulled from her tenacity. It is helping me a lot with my character, Loretta.”
Although Robinson’s character had a child as a teen, she expressed that Loretta did go to college and received her education.
“We need to see that it is not about where you come from, but where you are heading. I know there are a lot of women who have had children at 16 and it is not the end of the world; it is about what you are going to do with your new world,” said Robinson.
Actor, Andra Fuller has a close knit relation to the show. He shared that he is the youngest of three and that they were raised by a young, single mother. He shared the success that he and his siblings have accomplished despite being raised by a, “poor black girl from Fort Worth, Texas.”
Sharing his family’s testimony brought him to say, “This show should be a testament that regardless of your circumstances, if you push forward and push through it, you can overcome whatever. We are not advocating teenage pregnancy, we are doing the opposite. We are bringing awareness to teenage pregnancies and showing what you can do to overcome that. When you watch the show, you will see that LaToya and I are preaching, preaching, preaching the gospel for our teenage daughter to not get pregnant, not have sex and to break the generational curse.”
Fuller also included that there are other aspects to the show.
“This show is not just strictly geared around sex. There are other aspects to the show that a lot of people will be able to relate to, like blended families. Maddy (Letoya Luckett) is in another relationship and during our one night of ‘oops’, she gets pregnant, again. My character is under the impression that they can get back together, even with her being in another relationship. It is a confusing web that a lot of people can relate to because relationships, whether romantic or just family relationships, are neither simple nor easy.”
The show may come off as mature, but Robinson wants viewers to know that it is family friendly.
“It is edgy, it is real but, it is still a family show, and I think many times we as people do not want to talk about what is really going on. The only way to educate and change is by having that discussion to break the cycle,” said Robinson.
With this new series, TV One seems to be shining light on everyday issues surrounding the African-American community all while finding the funny in what may be a family curse. To keep up with the show and the unexpected journeys to come, tune into “Here We Go Again,” 8 p.m. Tuesdays, starting February 9, 2016 on TV One.