The Quad (TV Series 2017–2018) Poster

(2017–2018)

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1/10
Awful and unbelievable!
sophiekra19 February 2017
This is one of the dumbest shows BET has put out. If this is what we can come to expect, I plan on finding somewhere else to spend my limited viewing time. The plot was disjointed, the writing and dialogue were terrible, and the characters weren't identifiable or even remotely believable.

Cancel this creative abortion now and start over BET. I think the major problem is the creators. I looked them up and neither of them have been on the inside of a college for the wrong side of 30 years. Thriller had not even been released when they would have been in college. This is NOT reflective of my current HBCU experience and the most out of touch show on television.

There is a great cast, but the material is simply not worthy of them. You can almost see that they are secretly laughing at the over-dramatized dialogue and the ridiculous plots. I would be surprised if the majority stuck around for a second season I doubt will come.

First and last episode I plan on watching. Simply terrible.
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7/10
It Gets An "Incomplete"
PaigeTurner21 March 2017
The closest I ever came to an HBCU was looking through a catalog for Spelman College as a freshman hopeful. That and faithfully watching "A Different World," to see when Whitley and Dwayne would get it together and be my dream power couple!

So I like the idea that BET is offering another hour-long, prime-time drama closely centered around the lives of Black excellence. Only trouble is right now Dr. Eva Fletcher, as portrayed by the sublime Anika Noni Rose, is one of the few truly excellent things about this show.

It has great potential, with its production value and subject matter. But what is the contemporary HBCU experience, for the students, alum, staff and administrators these days? After eight episodes, I can't say that I'm any more invested in what happens to Cedric Hobbs, Noni Williams, or Cecil Diamond or Sydney Fletcher than when I started watching. And that is saying a-lot because I'm well aware that a murder investigation, band treachery, parental abuse and rape happened to these characters. Despite all of these high-drama plot points, these characters fall short. They feel shallow. For instance, in the promo for Ep. 9, the narrator says, "It's the answer to the mystery we've all been waiting for. Who killed (Cedric's girlfriend)." ARE WE NOW?! The show itself seemed to forget all about the poor young lady for at least 3 episodes in a row. We didn't see flashbacks of their romance. We didn't see Cedric miss her while at school. Did he want to stay behind in Chicago to stay close to her, and does he blame himself for her death because she only came down South to see him? None of this was addressed, *on top of* the fact that we saw very little sleuthing, CSI work, and detective work being done to find out how this poor girl died, and that we cared.

Sydney is lazily written as a rich spoiled brat, a one-and-a-half dimensional Tyler Perry character waiting to be humbled. Noni has potential as a "don't let the sweet face fool you," type of villain, but then again -- what is driving her? In dramas the main people who are evil for no reason are serial killers. Hmmm. The brief, fast-talking diatribes are not enough to establish character, and so the series suffers a bit, I think.

It also doesn't feel contemporary. There is no commitment to deftly handling the issues touching on young Black lives, and it seems like the show's creators have decided to steer clear of entanglements in the major issues and experiences -- except for sexism -- that make us the varied culture that we keep telling the world we are.

Hope is not lost, even though the first season has wrapped. The Quad still makes the Top 50 cable ratings charts. If it gets renewed for a S2, maybe the writing team will pick up on the things that audiences these days gravitate to, whether or not it challenges our religious, political and social dogmas. There's even fodder for "ships," which, if done right can win over a loyal fandom to a show. Who else thought right away that Dr. Fletcher and Coach Hardwick had potential? And what about BoJohn and Tiesha -- "BoEsha" anybody? Laugh now at the wink- wink 90s throwback, but that's easy low-hanging fruit right there, and you didn't even need to hire Brandy's expensive self for a cameo. Anyway, give thinking fans something to cleave to, people make a hashtag for and trend on Twitter during live viewings. There is social media buzz now, but no hive. No Gladiators or Sleepyheads.

I could go on, but I already have, and no one is paying me for my review. :)
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7/10
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
Amari-Sali3 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
At Georgia A&M, new president Eva Fletcher has her hands full. She has to cut the budget, raise the standing of the college, and deal with the egos of the faculty. Most of which are held by sensitive men who don't want her changing a damn thing about their way of life. Though of course, it isn't just the staff & faculty with drama, the young adults do as well. Fresh from Chicago, young Cedric is trying to become a rapper and stay out of trouble. Though with his girlfriend Chantel visiting, possibly running away from an incident back home, it seems trouble came to find him. Then there is Sydney, Eva's daughter, who is still in some sort of rebellious phase. There is also Madison and Bo John, two token white people. Both worried about those they left behind. Then there is Noni. A sweet girl who gets caught up in faculty drama but is trying to stay out of it, if only because it could impede the dreams she has had since she was a little girl.

Highlights

Petty Ass Men & Women Looking Out For Each Other

The way Diamond and Carlton act is so petty and catty and love to hate type of Black men. Which I love for, not to appropriate Viola Davis' words, but she mentioned a long time ago about how much she loves that Annalise, on How To Get Away With Murder wasn't always, likable. Something I don't think a lot of people of color are given the opportunity to be. Women especially, but men as well.

Various Types of Black Folk – Look & Background Wise

Physically you get dark skinned, light skinned, those who grew up in the hood as well as the suburban Black folks. There are those who got their curls out and others who straighten it. Pretty much, look & background wise, there is someone who potentially has the same look or style as you, unless you are on a Lisa Bonet or Jaden Smith type of wave.

Criticism

Token White People

You know how awkward it is when there is one or two Black, Hispanic, or Indian characters on a show, and the writers avoid the characters and story addressing how there is just something different about them, it is sort of the opposite here. But, to make matters worse, both BoJohn and Madison seem like CW characters who got lost and ended up in a random show.

There is Nothing Rooted in Normalcy

To me, everyone's life and story is setup to be sensationalized. Cedric's girlfriend dies and he gets arrested. Eva cheated on her husband with a grad student, got fired from her old job because of it, and then he transfers to her new school.

I could go on and on but do you see a pattern here? No one has a normal life.

Something which bugs me for I can't think of another scripted show which has this many Black people who all could have a speaking role. So this being just another soap opera with cheating spouses, people being framed for what they didn't do, and your usual dark agendas, it's frustrating. For as much as this show has the potential to break out from the comparisons people could make, it seems those involved want are banking on the comparisons.

Lack of Racial And Sexual Orientation Diversity

Considering this is a college, I find it interesting how there is no representation of queer or non-binary individuals. Also, where are the Hispanics/Latinx folk? How come there are no Asian characters with a speaking role? Not even someone from Africa, directly, for a lack of a better way to put it? Surely diversity, inclusivity, or whatever they call it nowadays, is about more than just cis and hetero white folk and Black folk sharing the screen.

On The Fence

Anika Noni Rose Forging Her Own Path As a Lead

I wouldn't put Anika Noni Rose in the same category as Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, or even Gabrielle Union. She doesn't cut people with her words, even when she is being serious and standing up for herself. Also, she doesn't really have some iconic look, walk, attitude or anything. In many ways, she sort of blends in and I like that in a way. She maybe the lead, perhaps one of the most recognizable names and faces, outside Jasmine Guy, but she isn't made out to be overly exceptional. She is qualified, but she isn't the best and you don't have to constantly hear people remind you of her stature. The bad thing about that is, with her not being treated as this big to do, we are given a show which is very much an ensemble and no one really makes that huge push to be notable. Diamond perhaps, to a point, but take away his sass to his boss and he is just a boring old man who has one specialty – coaching a marching band. He isn't presented as some interesting and complex figure. He is just someone you can love to hate. As for everyone else, except maybe Noni who seems like a 20 something-year- old version of all these women who lead these shows, there isn't anyone who really pops.

Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)

This show really could be something. The problem is, it seems there isn't a strong push toward pushing boundaries, bringing the type of stories and performances rarely seen outside of the once a year indie film, and that bothers me. Thus leading to the "Stick Around" label for maybe they just wanted to establish the players before getting too deep. But if it sticks to the usual story lines we've been given for years, then all that BET and this show is doing is milking the trends for all they are worth.
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10/10
Top Billing
This is a fabulous show about real things that happen to Black People. What I don't understand is how in the world did Jake Allyn, who is very talented and I love his story line, how did he get top billing over Anika Noni Rose. That's most ridiculous thing! SMH... another thing we go through.
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10/10
This Show Is Good!
DeidraKali13 March 2017
This is a BET show but it's good and no worse than what any other network or channel would put out, barring a premium channel on cable. There isn't anything cheesy or over the top stereotypical to make you cringe at the characters or what they say. Mind you, I didn't go into watching this show with preconceived judgments just because it's on BET or set at an HBCU. This is fiction and there has to be some of this and that to make it a TV show. Again, The Quad is really good and worth a watch or 3, or 4, or 5. It's about time we don't have the same old romantic comedies and so-called hood shows containing caricatures of black women or men on a show on a black centered channel. The Quad isn't preachy, hateful, the characters aren't overly-sexualized, don't behave offensively, or hoity-toity.
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10/10
Plesantly Surprised! Great writing, actors, and intense story lines. Good Show!
atlsuperstar-4009730 June 2017
I'm a performer so watching shows with bad writing is a huge pet peeve, which unfortunately with Tyler Perry around it's remains present. I usually don't come to BET for anything, which says a lot considering it's a channel for me. Personally, I thought it wasn't going to be quality programming. After seeing the "New Edition Story". and being blown away, I saw BET in a whole new light and decided to give this show a chance.

BET has assembled a stellar show with good actors, intense story lines, and just great writing. Confused how people think it's bad. I mean, I'm pretty critical However this show is very good. Hands off to BET with good programming. Anika Noni Rose is great in this role.
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9/10
Love the show
thickmadame-034871 April 2017
I actually really liked this show. It's no worse than any other show on TV these days. It caught my attention from the previews unlike Scandal (which I've never even watched and plenty of other shows). Everything we watch leaves out details about situations so I don't get why that's such a big deal.
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