In a room, draped with a white sheet, Cardi B, wearing a backwards hat, paints on the screen. Bruno Mars bops around in the background. She wipes her teeth and slaps her butt. She runs a streak of hot neon pink on the screen. Mars spray paints the screen in lapis.
On a city set, Mars and three male dancers perform a routine. The female DJ plays on a balcony a few feet away. Mars and the male dancers cover their eyes and wipe the sweat off their foreheads. The female dancers on the balcony point and shake their hands as Mars tries to get them on the floor. The female dancers start their own routine on the balcony.
Mars and the three male dancers cover their eyes again and the female dancers walk on stage. They join in the routine. The guitarist points to the steel structure, which three female dancers are dancing, lit in silhouette as the light changes from hot pink and violet.
The female DJ shouts into the microphone. Cardi B opens the door and walks on stage. She dances with Mars. The dancers lean against the balcony as a message says “Dedicated to In Living Color.”
In 1990, a African-American sketch show premiered on the Fox Network, starring a cast of comedians including an unknown Jim Carrey. An uknown Jennifer Lopez was also a dancer for the show.
During the show’s theme song, the actors spray painted the screen. It led to the Fly Girls’ dance routine and then the introduction of Keenan Ivory Wayans. The show lasted for five seasons. It introduced the catchphrase “Homey don’t play that!” into pop culture. “Prejudice. Wrote a song about it? Like to hear it? Here it go!” from En Vogue’s Free Your Mind is taken from a Calhoun Tubbs sketch.
In the updated version, Cardi B is the host and the men are the dancers. The women are the stars. It’s also presented as a smaller cast, giving people a chance to excel at both dancing and acting. The gender flip addresses that women are bankable as comedians and can be as successful as men, if given the opportunity.
Nonetheless, the men are relegated to dancing. However, they have a stronger presence than the original Fly Girls. As the Fly Boys, they entertain but also join in the sketch. Aside from gender, the update brings up the lack of African-American sketch programming available. The success behind the show seems to have been minimized as Saturday Night Live continues to monopolize the genre.
Director: Bruno Mars Year: 2018
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