Despite the growing popularity of reality series on the TV landscape, actress Tichina Arnold isn’t discouraged, and for good reason. She’s back on TV starring in a new TV Land sitcom.
“Reality TV is taking a lot of space on TV. You have less sitcoms. The reality thing is what it is and it’s something that really can’t be stopped. I gotta focus on me and what it is that I’m doing. I’m not one to complain,” said Tichina, who admits she was “like what the hell is going on?” when the reality craze first began.
However, she’s opted to focus on her acting, as she’s been doing since she was 8 years old.
“I’m always looking for the next opportunity. God gave me a gift and I want to share it with the world,” said Tichina who’s now sharing that gift on the new TV Land series “Happily Divorced.”
Tichina is no stranger to sitcoms. She’s still recognized most as Pam, her character on “Martin,” and Rochelle from “Everybody Hates Chris,” when she’s out in public.
“I always get Pam. People always tell me that I’m always gonna be Pam. That means I did my job right,” she said, noting that it’s been more than 20 years since she originated that role.
“I’ve been a part of two iconic shows, and now I think I can add a third under my belt. I’m blessed in that sense,” she said. “With my career, I try to get the best roles that I can and be an enhancement for whatever path I’m on.”
On “Happily Divorced,” Tichina plays Judi, a character based on the real-life best friend of Fran Drescher, the show’s star.
“I think it’s very smart and savvy of [TV Land] to create good, old sitcoms again. I’m really happy about that. That’s my era. I used to sit in front of the TV and that’s what inspired me. I remember watching ‘All in the Family,’ ‘Good Times,’ ‘Gimme a Break.’ I’m happy that’s back. It may not be as prevalent as I want it, but it’s back and to be part of that kind of movement I’m really, really happy about.”
That’s not all Tichina has to be happy about. She’s also working on an album with her band Know Pressure. “Singing is my first love. I want to do it, and I want to do it right,” she said.
Tichina also has a wedding to plan. She recently got engaged to Rico Hines, an assistant coach at St. John’s University and her boyfriend of nearly five years.
“We’re shooting for an August 2012 wedding,” said Tichina who hasn’t yet started planning the event.
“I’m really good at planning stuff, but between work and my daughter, it’s not been a major, major priority,” she said. “I’m such a procrastinator. That’s something I’m working on, but when I’m in it, I’m in it and I get it done.”
—Tracy L. Scott