TV Review: ‘Girlfriend Intervention’

Girlfriend Intervention TV Review Lifetime

What felt so sweet when “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” brought gay style to straight men becomes borderline offensive in “Girlfriend Intervention,” a Lifetime series that enlists a quartet of African-American fashionistas to make over a “basic” white woman. Loud, brash and filled with stereotypes, it’s hard to know what’s most irritating — the sweeping declarations about black women as if they were monolithic, or the forced remodeling of women who are perfectly comfortable with their looks and style, after subjecting them to a “Catwalk of Shame.” If indeed there’s cause for shame here, the producers should start with a mirror.

“Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out,” explain the four magical style mentors, who invade the woman’s home (a friend or relative is in on the plot), proceeding to spend a week dispensing fashion wisdom.

In the premiere, there’s 24-year-old Emily, a mother of two (she started young, obviously) who has just earned her real-estate license. She is put through the paces by self-described “confident plus-sized woman” Tanisha Thomas, fashion maven Tiffiny Dixon, sanctuary guru (a fancy way of saying home remodeler) Nikki Chu, and beauty pro Tracy Balan.

The four must tear the subject down, naturally, in order to build her up, resulting in the obligatory heartwarming reveal that includes new clothes, makeup and home decor. The beneficiaries might object at first, but the lure of free stuff and high-heeled shoes, clearly, is just too much for any woman to resist.

Still, building all these familiar makeover-show elements around a racial component simply breeds a lot of tone-deaf blather, including the various things that black women will or won’t do. (The second episode, for example, involves a 30-year-old woman with a fondness for fantasy and Harry Potter — a hobby in which no self-respecting black woman, it’s stated as gospel, would never indulge.)

On paper, this logline must have looked cute — the TV version of “Ebony and Ivory,” and a way to put a new spin on “Queer Eye.” As executed, it just feels condescending on multiple levels — so much so that before letting Lifetime proceed with it, a true friend would have, well, intervened.

TV Review: 'Girlfriend Intervention'

(Series; Lifetime, Wed. Aug. 27, 10 p.m.)

Production

Produced by World of Wonder.

Crew

Executive producers, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Marilyn Wilson; co-executive producer, Camilla Rahaman; supervising producer, Tanya McRae; supervising story producer, Craig Constantine; camera, Mark Petersen; lead editor, Ryan Neill. 60 MIN.

Cast

Tanisha Thomas, Tiffiny Dixon, Nikki Chu, Tracy Balan

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  1. mytwocents says:

    I love this show. I think its a lot of fun. I also find it interesting. I’m a white woman and their observations on white women are generalized but true. Like how white women (generally) are very self conscience of curves. I don’t think its racist but I wonder how black women would react if the same show was reversed? “Inside every black woman is a strong white woman…”

  2. Janelle Bennett says:

    My daughter and i watched this show faithfully. We are wondering when will be a second season. Hope there will.

  3. khia lecato says:

    I soooo need a makeover im always in t- shirts and jeans and sneakers!#! I like to be comfortable. I guess u could say im a daddys girl tomboy. And I know my boyfriend of 15 years would love to see something new!! I will 30 next year on April 29 so maybe I can start my new 30s looking like a women instead of looking like im still in high school. Lol! It would be new confidence and new start to become a chef like I want to be. But having two jobs are hard. Sooo please and I beg you to help me out thankyou sooo much for your time!!! Khia Nichele LeCato

  4. Valerie says:

    So when exactly are they going to pull this show???? Or night I suggest we put another together showing tore up black women because serious;y all they need to do is come to my local Walmart and I can find a shit load for them to work with! The thing the pisses me off the most is they are nit picking on at home moms! I bet not one of them have a child! And two the only reason they are able to dress the way they do is because the have a fucking wardrobe crew!!!! Jeez if I had one of those each day I did a show I would look steller too!!!! Fuck this racist ass show….if this were white women making over black women there would be a complete uproar of the races!!! BAN THIS SHIT NOW!!!

  5. Felicia Broughton says:

    watching the show for the third time I’m really starting to pay attention to the words and what is being said to be really honest not all black women have it together and for them to only makeover white women is like stereotyping in some kind of wayon some real I wouldn’t not ever as a black woman take advice from Tanisha Thomas I mean really have a list of she where she doesn’t look like she make sense at all my opinion. she’s loud for one and she talks in tirely too much and the saying and Fire white woman is a strong black woman or however they put it not so God made us women we are for a reason if God made you white your white if God made you black you’re black stop trying to be someone that you’re not this show is very terrible and I personally don’t feel that I should be on air

  6. Confused says:

    I think this is a good show. And fun to watch. But why do they have to refer everything to race? It would be completly racist if I said ” every black women has a white women inside of them ready to burst out.” This show should be about all women. Not a stereotype of plain white women, and trying to change everything about them. In this time period you should of course be proud of your ethnicity and culture, but not blatently referring everything to a certain race. Especially having 4 black women making up white women. That’s completly predjudice idea of a show. This show should be all races coming together to help ALL types of women, all with different cultures and backgrounds. This would never be allowed if it was white women only making drastic changes to African Americans & their culture. Not understanding this.

  7. Tash says:

    Although I don’t agree with how they represent women in general(with black women this white women won’t do that etc) I do like the show. I love how they uplift the women. The women themselves are very satisfied with the outcome. I think they should change some things about the show & it will be a success.

  8. Lasundra says:

    I lost my way and was trying to get my grove back I haven’t been single in 14 years and now I am…. And I’m black not only white women need a little help… We do too

  9. Brittany says:

    I have to agree with what lulu and others below have stated. I AM BLACK and I totally DISAGREE with the fact that the show is 4 black women ONLY making over WHITE WOMEN, I have seen ALOT of women of all DIFFERENT RACES LOOK A HOT MESS. NOT just WHITE WOMEN. to me it almost is coming off as races, judgmental, and everything else. they should make over ANY WOMEN NO MATTER WHAT RACE and make them over. I will NOT be watching this show and quite honestly I DONT see this show lasting for many more season if it even last for this season. tv has gotten this desperate that they are airing shows like this. and if I hear them say sisters ONLY KNOW THIS, or SISERS ONLY KNOW HOW TO BRING OUT CURVES, AND SISTERS ONLY KNOW HOW TO DRESS.or SISTERS ONLY HAVE A SIGNATURE……..UMM HELLO.do you know how many BLACK WOMEN would have a problem with this show if the shoe was on the other foot and it was ONLY WHITE WOMEN making over ONLY BLACK WOMEN, like BLACK WOMEN are on some sort of pedal stool above WHITE WOMEN or any or RACE OF WOMEN.!!!!!!! and WE ARE NOT. I almost feel like I have to apologize on BLACK WOMENS behalf because of this IGNORANT show. we are the first race to want to constantly complain about being separated RACE WISE and BEING TREATED DIFFERNT when it comes to race but then we go and air some mess of a show like this. like really get your life together lifetime and taneisha ,and the other 3 host on the show. if my remote had a cancel show button I would have been pressed it.my personal fashion icons are the KARDASHIANS and they are NOT BLACK far from it…….DONT WASTE YOUR VALUED TIME WATCHING THIS SHOW.

  10. Lulu says:

    Today was my first time catching this show and I was happy becaue I wanted to see what it was all about. That happiness turned into irritation withing 3 minutes. I’m not black. I’m not white. But I’ve been exposed to both races my entire life and can honestly say that there is class and ratchetry in all races. If you’re in a place where you don’t glam up then it’s not from your color it’s from you and all the variables in your life like work, family duties, even finances. So far there is only one hostess that I can stomach and it’s the one that does the interior design for the pilot show with Emily. I think her name it Nikki. I don’t think they should go through people’s things. Let me ever come in my house and see you holding my panties or going thru my things. Prepare for the fury I will unleash. If anything allow the client/guest to show the hosts samples in their home kind of like a ‘what not to wear’ in their home. I see they’re trying to promote self love and confidence and I can applaud that endlessly. I can even respect the criticism the girls go thru. It’s the cut always they do saying ‘a black woman would never this or that’. It isn’t necessary. If they can get a handle on that issue then that’s when I’ll watch religiously. Why haven’t I seen a basic black woman on the show preview, or Latina or any other race? Yes be proud of your heritage but don’t demean those of others. Ratchetry is colorless. I respect them helping the girls. Just don’t make it racist!

  11. Jessica says:

    This show is racist. I totally understand the whole aspect of helping frumpy ladies rejuvinate their inner “diva” but why do they have to keep bashing white girls. I dont think letting yourself go has a single thing to do with race. The fact that these girls are black doesnt give them the right to sit there and bash all white women. Theres plenty of black women Ive seen completely let themself go, its not just a quote “caucasian thing”. These chicks need to get over themselves anyways, they all look hella ratchet anyways, dress your age, most african american women tend not to dress their age if you really want to start calling people out on minor racial issues.

  12. Kellie says:

    I am a African American women, they was wrong in the wordings used to help. Help them because they need it not to bring out the inner black women …. As women we struggles enough with image .
    Thank you

  13. Kayla says:

    This shows absolutely racist I actually shut it off because it was comparing white women looks to black women looks. Rotflmfao because I wonder what makes these females think they’re so much better? If a white woman was to compare a black women to a white women the show would be SHUT DOWN! This shows ridiculous.

  14. Dechelle Adriia says:

    Before I make any comment I want to let it be known that I myself am a black woman and I am offended for the women who go on here and any other white woman out there. The intentions may seem genuine but the entire concept and execution is absolutely horrible. I question who really came up with this and the character of the women on the show. Why not create a show bringing out the inner black african, Jamaican, haitian, bahamian, etc.. queen in a BLACK woman? Why try to force your style&culture on others? A REAL black queen would not always wear weave %don’t wear it at all. Why? Because they embrace the natural texture of their hair instead of straightening it in the air. Why not show to embrace her natural beauty? Why are three black women with weaves and a face loaded with makeup trying to give anyone advice. They’re talking about black women yet do not exemplify that image or maybe they do? Because they most certainly do not exemplify that of a black queen. No black queen or respectable, humble, or confident woman to another woman especially not try to impose their style or culture on another woman. White/Caucasian women are not the only women lacking confidence, can’t dress, have no style, or even don’t have a bum. There’s also plenty of Caucasian women or even latinas, asians, and Russians with big bum and they absolutely embrace their curves? Iggy? Khloe Kardashian? J.Lo? I have friends with buns bigger than mine. Why is this show even on air? It’s absolutely horrible definitely not getting my views. I will most definitely share this with my friends&recommend that they do not watch this degrading show. It’s absolutely awful and it should be pulled until they apologize for the slander and fix the entire message of the show.I have a lot more to say but at this moment I am heated watching this show now for the first time&my high expectations has become disappoint.

  15. Mahogany says:

    This is the perfect show for Tanisha. I think making others feel good about themselves will make her a happier person. I’m very excited for her future!!

  16. Mike Hinkel says:

    So does that mean white people can make a show with 4 white women trying to show a black woman how to be black, or would that be racist?

  17. Dolores says:

    How can I get on there my kids talk about how I look all the time

  18. Sandra Noble says:

    As a 51 year old Caucasian woman who lacks positive body image and has lost her spark, so to speak, the foursome on “Girlfriend Intervention” inspire me to rediscover, reinvent, and celebrate myself for who I am. My black girlfriends always amaze me with their humor, self-confidence, and assertiveness. I would love to be more like them. The racial stereotypes some viewers found offensive are actually positive traits that women of all ethnicities should embrace. I’ve really missed “Queer Eye” since Bravo cancelled it and am thrilled that Lifetime had the savvy to pick up a similar light-hearted makeover show for real women (unlike the truly insulting “What Not to Wear”) Tanesha, who I’ve followed since Season 2 of “Bad Girls’ Club” is a perfect fit for the “Girlfriend” cast. Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

  19. Words truly cannot describe how horrible I feel this concept is. The racial overtones alone would have been enough to veto this show from getting greenlit, let alone the poor representations of what is, and isn’t acceptable for women to enjoy as hobbies. Shame on Lifetime for even attempting to bring this show to air. I thought Lifetime as a network was about female acceptance, and empowerment. I do not see how this show does either of those things.

  20. My friends and I started a petition against this show if anyone is interested in signing + sharing: chn.ge/YYOZCS

  21. kississippi says:

    “The second episode, for example, involves a 30-year-old woman with a fondness for fantasy and Harry Potter — a hobby in which no self-respecting black woman, it’s stated as gospel, would never indulge.”

    Yes, because black women aren’t into reading books, fantasy, and science. All black women spend their spare time shopping and twerking.

    • miah says:

      i disagree with what youre saying .. youre overgeneralizing all black woman. I personnally i’m black i agree with you that the shows is most definitely does not go the right way or say the right words . neverthless, i am a black woman i dont spend time shopping necause between school and work i cnat manage and i do not even know how to twerk. and yes i am into reading, writing, fantasy books so that’s wrong to draw a conclusion on black woman overall without knowing the facts.

    • Nadjuset says:

      THIS! That was the episode that brought me to do some digging about the show! The fact that they make it seem that only black women have it together is bad enough. Now add the fact that they are attacking people’s personal interest and throwing in statements like “black people don’t do that!” Well Tanisha, I’m black….. and I do that! God the overwhelming ignorance of that episode!

  22. Stephanie Hook says:

    I loved the show I too am white and iv let myself go because of my weight and im on dialysis id love to look how I feel on the inside. I adopted 2 girls they need to see me confident and looking like a woman so they are the same I try to teach them to dress like girls. But I barely know how lol. I was raised by my dad so no mom really. I know someone else should put me on blast but ima put myself on blast lol. And I too have a booty its my best ASSets lol HELP

  23. Please tell me how I can get my mom on your show she has very low self esteem & puts herself last she is a 41 year old woman hiding she will not leave the house now

  24. AMARIE says:

    Hello I would like to know how to get a 24 year old women who lost confidence in her self cause of wait gain and is a mother of three who just sit in the house like a old lady who just lost who she is she really needs your help

  25. jill trent says:

    I would love to know how to get on the show 49 year old woman professional who doesn’t have confidence in herself would love your help

  26. cj111 says:

    They seriously said that no self-respecting black woman would be into certain things like fantasy novels? It makes me wonder if the people on this show just haven’t been around a very large variety of people, because plenty of African-Americans are into it. There isn’t just one certain way African-American people are, they don’t have all the same tastes & interests. It does come off as very stereotypical. And according to the show, since ‘trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out’, suppose you’re half Caucasian & half African-American? Does that mean you can only be halfway strong? And suppose you’re neither Caucasian or African-American, does that mean you’re just out of luck? Sheesh, this show seems like a pretty ridiculous idea.

  27. Char says:

    “In every white woman there is a strong black woman waiting to come out”. Really? It’s not color or race that makes someone strong it’s their CHARACTER. While I am sure there are some genetic traits that make a person lean to having a strong character or a less than dominant one, I do not believe that gene dictates one’s race. And if that comment was made by a white person, I don’t think it would be thought to be clever or funny, but one of racial slander. That stupid, biased comment alone guarantees I will not be watching this television show.

  28. Deidra says:

    Right off the bat it doesn’t sound like a good idea. I like some of the shows on Lifetime, but I am not watching it as much as I used to. Some of the shows that they have cancelled and replaced with are not that good. I don’t think their as interested in their audience anymore as they once were.

    • Tiffanie Moore says:

      I agree this show is just trying to put more distance from our races. When it shouldn’t be what a black woman or white woman. it should just be focused on our similarity as women not the differences in our race. It should be about acceptance and tolerance. What we can teach each other to make our lives much easier. As women we go thourgh too many similar things.

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