Monday, March 16, 2015

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) - Fictional Woman of the Week: The Women from "The Parkers" (1999-2004)

The first installment of our series this year is the women from "The Parkers", which was a "Moesha" spin-off. I've been wanting to talk about it, so I decided to use this chance to do so.


This show has a mother/daughter theme. Nikki Parker, the mother of the duo, was played by Mo'nique. I've realized that in every installment of my list this year, there is a character that went through a teenage pregnancy, and Nikki is the first of the three. Nikki actually made my "Fictional Woman of the Week" list last year, so therefore I'm not going to discuss her too much in-depth now, but she's still worth talking about in this blog post.

Because she got pregnant in high school, Nicole "Nikki" Parker (Mo'nique) missed out on college to raise her daughter Kimberly Ann Parker (Countess Vaughn). So when her daughter attends Santa Monica College, Nikki joins her.

What I like about the show now as an adult, other than its slapstick humor, is the college setting. I loved college life, so because a lot of the scenes of this show is set on their college campus, particularly their student center, it appeals to me. The concept itself is interesting. It's very rare that you see a mother going to college with her daughter, which makes this show unique.

Regardless of how irrational she may be when it comes to her unrequited love for Professor Stanley Oglevee (Dorien Wilson), which is the main plot of the show, there are many admirable qualities about Nikki. She is very devoted to her family, friends, education, and business. She's very strict sometimes, but for good reason. She is often encouraging others and seems to have a very positive outlook on life. At the end of the series, she finally graduates college and gets her man.

Kimberly "Kim" Ann Parker (Vaughn) is actually the complete opposite of her mother. Even though she is just as devoted to friends and family as Nikki is, education is not her top priority. Unlike the rest of the characters, she doesn't graduate college by the end of the series.

She's actually pretty much considered the "dumb one" of the group. Most of the goofy one-liners come from her, much to the others' frustration at times. However, this being said, she also has a lot of innocence and has this cuteness about her, especially her giggles. She's the relatable, childlike, sweet character that ends up learning life lessons throughout the series and we watch her grow up. At the end of the day she has a decent amount of common sense and ability to make her own decisions and learn from them. Even though she is not book smart, there are times when we see her very worldly wise as she tries to stay faithful to her beliefs.

One shining moment of hers that comes to mind is during the Season 3 premiere. In the Season 2 finale, her boyfriend dies in a fire and leaves behind his baby girl and in the Season 3 premiere, Kim is determined to raise the baby herself, much to Nikki's dislike. Not wanting Kim to throw her life away for something that is not her responsibility, Nikki contacts the biological mother, leaving Kim angry with her. This episode was shining for Kim because this is one of the few times we see her acting like a mature adult taking things seriously. She was willing to raise the child and was disgusted by how the mother just abandoned her daughter. At the end of the episode, however, Kim gives the mother advice on how to be a good mom because Nikki left such a good example for her and is at peace with the situation.

In addition to all of this, Kim is a talented singer and fashion designer.

Next up is Kim's best friend, Stevie Van Lowe (Jenna von Oÿ), and the more I think about it, the more I realize that Stevie isn't very special lol.

Well, okay, let me talk about her first. She's a foil to Kim when it comes to smarts. She is very studious but, like Kim, has a singing talent. In fact, the two of them, along with their male friend "T" (Ken Lawson), whom Stevie dates for awhile, have their own singing group called "Freestyle Unity". She and Kim actually plan to go into business together by the end of the series. Unlike Kim, she has a very estranged relationship with her mother and often goes into bitter rapid rants about her.

...But that's all there really is to Stevie. There's nothing very exciting about her nor does she really add or take away anything from the show. I think the thing with her is that she's the "straight man" of the group, meaning that she's usually the most sensible and serious out of everyone and to maintain that role she is probably considered the least funny. She's the least likely to get into antics or be comical while in them, so therefore she's not going to be quite as memorable. But that doesn't mean that she isn't likable or influential. She has a lot of good qualities for her to deserve a spot on this list and this type of character is sometimes needed in comedy. She's basically a female companion for Kim and a decent person as seen from her actions, and that's all there is to it.

Finally, we come full circle to Nikki's best friend Andell Wilkerson (Yvette Wilson). Andell doesn't appear until the second season. In the first season Nikki originally has a best friend in a character named Desiree, and although Desiree is kindhearted, her personality proves blander than Stevie's, so thankfully she was replaced with someone with more pizzazz.

Unlike Stevie, Andell is more likely to chase after men and hilariously get herself into jams with Nikki, whether it is dressing in drag to get a signed jersey from Shaq ("Sign of the Shaq") or being trapped on a window ledge to get concert tickets from Tweet ("Kim's 21st Birthday"). However, like Stevie, she is the sarcastic friend who uses that very trait to knock some sense into her Parker friend. Normally Andell is sucked into Nikki's antics, especially when it involves her obsession over the Professor, but she always proves to be a good friend as she sticks up for Nikki and always stands by her side. In fact, even though she is the one who normally talks against Nikki's desired union with the Professor, wanting her friend to find love in the arms of another man who legitimately cares for her, she is the one who finally acknowledges their love for each other and brings them together in the series finale. After she locks Stanley in the closet, that is.

Andell is also a business woman. From Season 3 on, she owns a eatery named "Andell's".

Even though this is a show about close mother and daughter relationships, which is something that Nikki and Kim clearly do have, their heartwarming love for each other the core of the show, this is a show about friendship as well, even though the friendship theme is a bit more secondary.

However, next week's "Fictional Woman of the Week" centers fully on the friendship of women. That's your clue. Mull it over and see if you can guess what show it is and let me know your guesses in the comments. Stay tuned and thanks for reading! :)


  1. Loved Kim she was hilarious and a sweetheart I had the pleasure of meeting her in person also she's really down to earth. Loved Nikki she was that old s kool black mama she ain't play

    1. That's really cool, Adrian! :D And yes, I agree. lol!

    2. That's really cool, Adrian! :D And yes, I agree. lol!