BET’s new drama series, “The Quad,” is a hit for me and this was just the first episode. The series is set at a historically black university and it has me hooked already.
Poised, ambitious and beautifully dressed, Eva is at rock bottom when we first meet her. She’s an Ivy League graduate, she has just been forced to resign from her job as president of a liberal arts college because of an affair with a student. Her marriage is on the rocks and her disrespectful daughter, Sydney decides to get revenge by partying and not performing in her classes with her tuition being paid in full due to her mother’s new position at the college.
Desperate to get back her promising career, Eva accepts a position as the first female president of Georgia A&M University, a formerly prestigious, historically black school that has fallen in the rankings and is now on its way to bankruptcy.
Eva immediately arouses suspicion among the Georgia A&M old guard, this is the south and southern men still have their old ways. She clashes with Cecil Diamond, leader of the Marching Mountain Cats, the school’s popular marching band, and a powerful administrator, Carlton Pettiway, who calls Eva “Black Ivy.”
Eva wastes no time, she is all about the business, she dives into her new duties attempting to save the college from bankruptcy, she cancelled an expensive bonfire, threatened to cut the football program and she is investigating hazing of a freshman band member who ended up in the hospital in critical condition.
I think she has eyes for the handsome football coach Eugene Hardwick who seems to have eyes for her as well. But she is still married and she is still creeping with the student who got her fired from her liberal arts college. However, she does find an ally with Ella Grace Caldwell.
But the real drama of “The Quad” comes from the freshman class at Georgia A&M. In addition to Eva’s wild a$$ daughter, Sydney, the first-year students include Noni, a saxophonist determined to join the Mountain Cats no matter the cost and Cedric an aspiring hip-hop artist from inner-city Chicago whose past may come back to haunt him.
There are even a few white students, including star football player Bojohn Folsom, a farm boy from Texas who struggles to fit in to his new environment.
The marching band is what makes you really want to watch this show, not only are they playing instruments in the hot southern sun but they are also dancing at the same damn time, but with all great things, there is shadiness and competition among the band mates.
Eva battles nonstop sexism and accusations of being insufficiently black because she doesn’t drop her Gs. The premiere episode ended with a bang and I am looking forward to next weeks episode. BET is on its game this year, this is the BET we know and love!!