Can’t Stop Watching: NBC’s ‘Ironside’ Review, Kelly Rowland on ‘X Factor’ & More

Blair Underwood stars as Robert Ironside on NBC's new "Ironside," premiering October 2. (NBC)

Within the first minutes of watching NBC’s new cop drama “Ironside,” a thought came to mind: This is like “Luther.” As I shared yesterday, I’m catching up on the BBC cop drama so it’s pretty fresh in my head.

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Aside from the obvious, that the title characters are black men (Idris Elba stars as DCI John Luther and Blair Underwood stars as detective Robert T. Ironside) – and that TV should continue to add more black actors in lead roles – I was able to draw other parallels. The opening scenes for each pilot episode are similar: the men use questionable yet effective tactics to get the perps to relinquish critical information that saves a child. And both men’s colleagues know these guys methods but give ‘em a pass because they’re that good. At least that’s what I’ve gathered so far.

Read: Underwood’s 5 Reasons to Watch

Here’s some background on “Ironside.” It’s a reboot of the 1960s TV show about a paraplegic police detective. The only thing carried over from the original is Ironisde’s name and that he’s wheelchair-bound. Everything else is new. Without giving too much away here are a couple of reasons I appreciate “Ironside.”

I like that “Ironside” avoids easy stereotypes, creating a character who is multidimensional and plowing through his trials like everyone else. An example of this is the scene showing Ironside coaching an ice hockey team as a form of therapy. I thought to myself, this is promising. Given that the NHL has had black ice hockey players for decades and an ESPN special credits descendants of black American ex-slaves with inventing ice hockey in Nova Scotia, this is right on track.

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As I hinted earlier, Ironside may be in a wheelchair but he’s nobody’s cripple. He’s a good man who’s excellent at his job and a boss who demands much from his team. I like this. The cast also has some diversity with Kenneth Choi portrays Captain Ed Rollins, Spencer Grammer portrays a female detective named Holly, and of course Underwood as Ironside.

Discover: More from Black Entertainment

But all of this means nothing without descent story lines, which I think the pilot provided. Will it last throughout the season? We shall see. Tell me what you think. Watch “Iroside” on NBC with XFINITY On Demand or online here.

Here are the other TV moments that caught my attention.

Tamar Braxton tops charts, announces Christmas album and sings with The Roots. I see Toni Braxton’s baby sister is on a roll. Tamar Braxton’s sophomore album “Love and War” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Charts and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week. Braxton, star of “Braxton Family Values” and “Tamar & Vince,” announced Thursday that she’s releasing her first Christmas album on Oct. 22. “Tamar & Vince,” also featuring her hubby Vincent Herbert, had a solid second season premiere last week. Plus, she looks radiant holding her 3-month-old son, Logan, on Ebony magazine’s October cover. Check out this “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” clip where the baby Braxton jams with The Roots on the group’s Grammy Award-winning hit, “You Got Me.” Oh, how I used to bump this! [Watch Here] 

Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom Talk “Romeo & Juliet” on “The View.” If you hadn’t planned on seeing Broadway’s latest rendition of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet,” “The View’s” Sherri Shepherd will change your mind. It is “amazing, scrumptiously beautiful,” Shepherd told its stars Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom. In this interracial love story, where the Capulet family is all black and the Montague’s are all white, race isn’t a factor. The play opened Thursday and I look forward to seeing the reviews a. I’ve been a fan of Bloom since he starred as Legolas in “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy. And Rashad, daughter of actress Phylicia Rashad and sports commentator Ahmad Rashad, has earned two Tony nods herself. So maybe Shepherd has a point. [Watch Here]

“R&B Divas: LA – Reunion: Part 2” Shockers. The cast of “The Talk” wasn’t the only ones telling shocking secrets this week. I was surprised to learn that all of the R&B Diva’s had been sexually or physically abused. It began when Kelly Price shared for the first time publicly that her older female cousin raped her when she was 3. That led Lil’ Mo to reveal that she and her sister were molested by a church member. Lil’ Mo also pointed out that Claudette Ortiz was raped. But the biggest reveal came from Michel’le. When reunion host Wendy Williams asked about Michel’le’s rhinoplasty, the singer said she had to get it done after one of her children’s fathers broke her nose. After Williams pressed on, it was confirmed that mega producer Dr. Dre was the abuser. (This was news to me and the other divas, but Michel’le said the the news has been out). Chante Moore revealed her nose job also resulted after a former lover broke it (not Kadeem Hardison or Kenny Lattimore). Ay yi yi! I grew up listening to these women and was pleased to see them get a platform to showcase their beautiful voices. But the bickering and other antics were a turnoff so I stopped watching. This episode was better. Side note: Wendy, you didn’t know Chante Moore could hit high “Mariah Carey” notes?! Where have you been? Check out earlier episodes from this season. [Watch Here]

Arsenio ‘s out-of-this world conversation. Inspired by the news of Voyager 1 becoming the first man-made object to reach interstellar space, Arsenio Hall decided to contact an astronaut in orbit. Hall chatted with NASA astronaut Dr. Karen Nyberg, who was aboard the International Space Station, who let us know what was going on out there. It was incredible to see Nyberg floating about in a “unique environment where they can do a lot of things.” I agree with Hall, this was “very cool.” Nyberg also reminded that we could watch the space station orbiting from down here.  So I will be looking to see when it’ll pass over my area. Yep, I’ll take this over that one-way trip to Mars. [Watch Here]

Kelly Rowland debuts on “The X Factor” but MILF steals the show. Although I tuned in to watch ex-Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland’s debut as an “The X Factor” judge, it was clear that Lillie McCloud stole the show for me. The 54-year-old contestant looked every bit of 24 as she sang CeCe Winan’s “Alabaster Box.”  (And all of the judges and audience members mouths fell open. As Barbara Walters reminded yesterday on “The View,” “black don’t crack!”) But it wasn’t looks alone that worked for McCloud; the lady has a voice. Yes, “it really was that good,” as judge Simon Cowell told her. A tearful Demi Lovato told her she reminded her of Whitney Houston and newcommer Paulina Rubio called her performance “unbelievable.” And I love age defying beauties! She officially joins senior weightlifter Ernestine Shepherd as one of my beauty idols! Now aside from this, there was plenty of comedy. When one contestant performed“The Greatest Love of All,” all I could think about was Randy Watson. You know, from the group Sexual Chocolate! I know, I know, these contestants weren’t shooting for laughs. But hey, it is what is. Check other hits and misses from “The X Factor” third season premiere.

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Happy 44th Tyler Perry. On this Friday 13th instead of steering clear of black cats, you could spend the day paying homage to one of Hollywood’s most successful producers: Tyler Perry.  Whether it’s “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns,” “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself” or “Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” watch his movies on XFINITY On Demand or online. Or check out the romantic comedy, “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse,” his TV show that’s debuting its third season on Sept. 18 on OWN. [Watch Here]

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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