Raw and Uplifting: Jada Pinkett Smith’s ‘Red Table Talk’ is a Multi-Generational Hit

There are people who can seemingly do it all. While some of us struggle with the basics of living, these wondrous creatures take on life, love, relationships, children, successful careers, and, when truly badass, empowering others. Jada Pinkett Smith has been one such creature for longer than some can remember, developing a shining reputation that goes far beyond being married to one of the biggest names in entertainment today (Will who?).

Along with her 18-year-old daughter Willow and her 64-year-old mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, Pinkett Smith has taken on the talk show format and given it a new heartfelt and uplifting twist.

Providing a multi-generational approach to candid and often uplifting conversations that take place around a Red Table (from which they get their name). The increasingly popular show is available for free on Facebook Watch, where it has collected millions of views from fans who are now hooked.

Red Table Real Talk

Its popularity really isn’t surprising. The show is refreshingly candid, unbiased and its hosts are as willing to genuinely open up as their guests. Some of which are family and friends.

‘Red Table Talk’ has not only been well-received by people on Facebook Watch (which, let’s face it, is a big enough accomplishment these days), but it’s also a great big success with critics. The show has an Emmy Nomination for Best Outstanding Informative Talk Show and an NAACP Image Award – which are presented yearly to outstanding work in film, television, music and literature every year.

These three generations host a diverse group of guests around that infamous Red Table. Providing people with a platform and a voice to have open conversations about topics that not everyone in the world of entertainment is willing to get down and dirty with. These have included forgiveness, loss, motherhood, mental illness, interracial marriage, divorce, domestic abuse and even Pinkett Smith’s relationship with Will Smith – who has been a guest on the show.

Red Table Visitors

‘Red Table Talk’ is not just another tired celeb talk show designed to make people get weepy (though they totally do that, too). Things get emotional in a way that doesn’t feel staged. As many people have found, this makes it easier to relate to and empathize with. Seven months ago, the trio was visited by Jada’s younger brother, Caleeb, who spoke about learning to forgive and letting go of anger.

The conversation revolved around Jada and Caleeb’s father, an addict who actually told them he chose drugs over being their father, on separate occasions, when they were young. As the daughter of a less than stellar father, it was an oddly soothing conversation to watch. It’s not surprising to find that this is part of the appeal. How a half-hour show can make you feel understood by normalizing dialogues that need to happen.

The show’s success is not about how potentially controversial these topics could be. It has more to do with having important and crucial conversations in safe and unprejudiced spaces. And, in a way, the setting is perfect. How many genuine, sincere, life-changing conversations have you had sitting around a table? What better place to find the comfort to open up than a family home? Even if it happens to be a set somewhere in the Smith family home.

Red Table Oprah?

You know you’re doing something right when people start comparing you to Oprah. Hers are enormous, incomparable and impossible shoes to fill, so it’s a good thing that Jada’s not at all after that. However, there are definitely parallels between the two women and the discussions they’ve moderated and been a part of. The empowerment they represent.

The actress recently received the Trailblazer Award at the 2019 MTV Move & TV Awards from Tiffany Haddish, who reminded everyone that her friend has been a legend in Hollywood for thirty years and “still looks 28”.

When asked about her being Oprah’s successor, Jada said that “there is only one Oprah”. And maybe it’s useless to compare two uniquely amazing women and their styles when we should be celebrating them. Toasting to there’s being only one Jada, too. Being grateful that we get these episodes for free – with only the occasionally bleeped out curse word.

The truth is that the ladies of the Red Table are Queens putting some real goodness into the world and it’s beautiful to watch. So, what are you waiting for?

 

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