There’s so much talk about diversity in media these days that it can be a little hard to look at. I’ve been spinning my wheels all week trying to come up with a good topic for this week and it seems so elusive. Many shows still only have token minority characters. Some of my favorite shows are still like this. On the other hand, there seem to be ever more shows cropping up that have better diversity. Part of what’s interesting to me in all this is not just those shows that actually have great diversity, such as Glee had been, but those who are specifically about minority groups.
One such show is Jane The Virgin. It is the first television show that I’ve seen take place in Miami and reach popular culture while not having a predominantly white cast. Why is that significant? Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Miami but it is not a predominantly white city. Dexter and CSI: Miami throw a smattering of Hispanic characters into the mix, but they still had white protagonists as well as a mostly white cast. Jane the Virgin is closer to a true representation. When I was a little girl, it sure felt like my dad was the last white man left in Miami.
Another show that takes place in Florida and is fun to watch is Fresh Off the Boat. I haven’t caught it consistently yet, life has been so crazy I’m not up on my normal shows either, but I have seen a bit and it’s great fun. It’s a combination of the total lack of the stereotypical “tiger”ness of the mom along with that the dad owns a Mexican restaurant. There’s a part of me that wants to hold off and read the biography that sparked the idea for the show. I love the Wonder Years feel to that show. I also caught an episode where there was another Asian boy in the class who exemplified the stereotypes and the way they clashed. I look forward to catching up on it.
Diversifying our media doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any shows that concentrate on a single culture. When a show is about a specific family, it’s going to focus more on them, but they could do a little better job of diversifying other parts of the show. More importantly, though, they should be interested in showing a truer demographic for the actual people wherever the show takes place.
Do you watch any minority-led shows? What do you enjoy about those you do watch?
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