Black beauty, drama up on paradise hill

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31 oct 11 iol tonight Baldwin Hills pic

There’s no “t” missing in the first part of the city that’s home to Hollywood. But the way some people carry on in Los Angeles, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a spelling error.

Several reality shows have taught the public that you are way more interes-ting if you grow up with a silver spoon in your mouth. Especially if that spoon was shoved into the mouth of babes with the help of paparazzi snaps. MTV’s Sweet Sixteen, anyone?

The teenagers of Baldwin Hills – which is both a district in LA as well as a teen reality show (two back-to-back episodes air on BET today) – don’t fall into this category, though. Sure, they are the bundles of joy that were conceived by some famous faces in America’s entertainment industry. But they are the polar opposites of what you’d see on early seasons of The Hills. And, thank goodness, they are definitely nothing near what Snookie and co give us in Jersey Shore. The teenagers in this Black Entertainment Television show certainly have their fair share of drama, but they don’t take it outside every time someone disagrees with them.

According to the Net, Baldwin Hills has been called the “African-American version of Laguna Beach: The Orange County” which would not be a far-fetched compa-rison. These darker teens are just as wealthy and have the same sort of issues as their white counter-parts. Like, whether to pursue a long-distance relationship with a boy who doesn’t seem all that into you in the first place. And living in the shadow of, or for some, trying not to use the celebrity of their parents to get ahead in life.

For instance, Ashley is Vanessa Bell Calloway’s (of Coming to America fame) daughter and Sheryl Lee Ralph (remember Dee from Moesha?) is Etienne’s mom, but these kids have enough trouble to deal with without having to worry about how famous their moms are. Like, how do they get people to like them for themselves. Interesting.

Plus they also have celebrities such as Kirk Franklin, Loretta Devine and Vivica A Fox making appearances so it should be fun to catch.

l Baldwin Hills, BET (Top TV channel 180), Mondays at 4pm.

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