I love tv. I especially love tv shows that feature people of color in their main casts. Since for some time in the past decade there were so few black, brown, and tan faces on the small screen, I make sure to support the shows that portray people of color well.
Last fall, I blogged about some of my shows featuring black main characters that I was watching and thought you all should be watching too (check out it
). Here is my list of must-watch black shows for this fall:
1) Insecure (premieres Sunday, October 9th at 10:30pm EST on HBO)
Insecure explores the black female experience in an unclichéd and authentic way. Rae stars as Issa and Yvonne Orji stars as Molly, two modern-day black women and best friends who must deal with their own real-life flaws as they attempt to navigate different worlds and cope with an endless series of uncomfortable everyday experiences.
those who are looking for an adult comedy showcasing the lives of young black women trying to figure love, life, and everything in between. Issa Rae is a brilliant and funny writer and actor.
2. Luke Cage (available now on Netflix)
Luke Cage was introduced in the Netflilx series Jessica Jones. He has impenetrable skin and super strength, but prefers to keep a low profile running a bar in Hell's Kitchen. However, the increase in metahuman individuals has turned the Kitchen into a battlefield, drawing Luke into the thick of things whether he wants to get involved or not.
those who love the current influx of Marvel and DC superhero movies and tv shows but hate the lack of superheroes of color in them. Luke Cage is tall, dark, fine, and bulletproof.
3. Fresh Off The Boat (airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on ABC)
It's the '90s and 12 year old, hip-hop loving Eddie (Hudson Yang) just moved to suburban Orlando from DC's Chinatown with his parents (Randall Park and Constance Wu). It's culture shock for his immigrant family in this comedy about pursuing the American Dream.
Fresh Off the Boat
is based on Chef Eddie Huang's memoir
Fresh Off the Boat
those who are looking for a family friendly comedy showcasing the hilarious escapades of a Chinese American family navigating a mostly white suburbs in Orlando, set to a 90s hip hop soundtrack. Constance Wu who plays mama Jessica is hilarious.
4. Superstore (airs on Thursdays at 8pm EST on NBC)
This hilarious workplace comedy "Superstore" is about a unique family of employees at a supersized megastore. "Superstore" centers around Amy (Ferrera), the store's most stalwart employee as well as the glue holding the place together, and newly hired Jonah (Feldman), a dreamer determined to prove work doesn't have to be boring. Their fellow associates include the sardonic Garrett (Colton Dunn, "Key & Peele"), the ambitious Mateo (Nico Santos, "Mulaney") and the sweet teenager, Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom, "Shameless"). Overseeing the store is Glenn (Mark McKinney, "The Kids in the Hall"), the store's affable, clueless store manager, and Dina (Lauren Ash, "Super Fun Night"), the aggressive assistant manager who enforces Cloud 9 policy with an iron fist.
From the bright-eyed newbies and the seen-it-all veterans to the clueless seasonal hires and the in-it-for-life managers, together they hilariously tackle the day-to-day grind of rabid bargain hunters, riot-causing sales and nap-worthy training sessions.
those who are looking for a good workplace comedy with a funny (and culturally diverse) ensemble cast.
Head over to your local news outlet and see how many of the key words they pull out during a mass shooting report. Get five in a row and you win
(adult and kid sizes available). Join the fun, folks. Because demonizing black and brown shooting victims and humanizing white domestic terrorists are all part of what makes America "Great."
(On a serious note: If you haven't already, check out the web series Decoded on youtube. MTV Decoded is a weekly series on MTV News where the fearless Franchesca Ramsey tackles race, pop culture, and other uncomfortable things, in funny and thought-provoking ways. Half sketch comedy, half vlog. New episodes every Wednesday.)
There has been a lot of talk about the abundance of people of color on network tv today (and white responses to the rise of black and brown and tan faces on their televisions), but there has not been much talk about the shows, outside of Scandal, Empire and How To Get Away With Murder, starring people of color or why you should be watching them. So I decided to make a list for you tv watchers because my gums are getting very tired from the spreading the news about these great shows via the words from my mouth. Grab your remote, set your dvr, and check out these shows.
1) black-ish (airs Wednesdays 9:30pm EST/8:30pm CT on ABC)
Andre 'Dre' Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids and a colonial home in the 'burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? With a little help from his dad (Laurence Fishburne), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future.
stars Anthony Anderson as Dre, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow, Yara Shahidi as Zoey, Marcus Scribner as Andre Jr., Miles Brown as Jack, Marsai Martin as Diane and Laurence Fishburne as Pops.
those who are looking for a modern day The Cosby Show-esque comedy that focuses on the lives of black families trying to thrive, fit in, and maintain their cultural identities in suburbia.
2) Survivor's Remorse (airs Saturdays 9:30pm EST/8:30pm CT on Starz)
"Survivor's Remorse" follows the life of Cam Calloway (played by Jessie T. Usher) a hard-working young basketball star who is thrust into the limelight after signing a huge contract with a pro team in Atlanta. In the second season, we see Cam and his cousin and confidant Reggie Vaughn, played by Ronreaco Lee, continue trying to navigate Cam’s meteoric rise. From business deals to relationships and friendship, the two confront the challenges of balancing the needs of family with the rewards and responsibilities generated by their newfound wealth and fame. Cam, Reggie and
the unforgettable group of characters that is the Calloway clan wrestle with the rewards and pitfalls of stardom, love and loyalty. The series is executive produced by Mike O’Malley, LeBron James, Tom Werner, Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter and the cast also includes Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold, Teyonah Parris and Erica Ash.
those who are looking for an adult (i.e., raunchy and straight funny no chaser) sports-themed comedy. Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold, and Erica Ash are hilarious.
3) Sleepy Hollow (airs Thursdays 9pm EST/8pm CT on FOX)
Ichabod Crane awakes from the throes of death 250 years in the future where he must solve a mystery dating back to the founding fathers. Due to a blood spell cast on a battlefield during the Revolution, the infamous headless horseman is revived along with Crane, and the murderous rider embarks on a bloody rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod realizes that he must act quickly, for the headless horseman is only the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Detective Abbie Mills, a woman familiar with supernatural experiences, forms a bond with Crane as they try to stop an increasingly vicious cycle of evil.
those who are looking for sci-fi/fantasy dramas that have touches of literary and historical references. In other words, good for those into nerdy things.
4) Being Mary Jane (airs Tuesdays 9pm EST/8pm CT on BET)
Mary Jane Paul is a one-woman show: a successful TV news anchor, entirely self-sufficient--an all-around powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn't share her motivation. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to her family, we find out how far she’s willing to go to find the puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single Black female.
those who are looking for an hour-long drama that focuses on the triumphs, trials, and beautifully flawed realities of being a single Black professional woman in America.
5) Jane The Virgin (airs Mondays 9pm EST/8pm CT on The CW)
When Jane Villanueva was a young girl, her grandmother, Alba, convinced her of two things: telenovelas are the highest form of entertainment, and
women must protect their virginity at all costs. Now age 23, Jane is a driven young woman studying to become a teacher, nursing a dream to be a writer, and supporting herself with a job at a hot new Miami hotel. All the years of watching telenovelas with the two women who raised her – her sexy, young-at-heart mother, Xiomara, and her still-devout grandmother Alba – have given Jane a slightly unrealistic view of romance. Still, she is determined not to make the same mistake her mother made – becoming an unwed mother at 16. Jane has managed to find a wonderful fiancé: a handsome, hard-working detective named Michael, who loves her enough to accept her detailed timeline for their future together and even her insistence on “saving herself” until they’re married. All of Jane’s meticulous life plans are turned upside down, however, when she sees her doctor for a routine check-up and is accidentally artificially inseminated with a specimen meant for the patient in the next room. Unbeknownst to her, the specimen belongs to Rafael, a reformed playboy and cancer survivor, who is not only the new owner of the hotel where Jane works but also a former summer crush of hers. A few weeks later, the unsuspecting Jane is faced with the most important decisions of her life. Will she continue with the pregnancy? How can she explain the situation to her fiancé and family? And what should she do about the wishes of the biological father, Rafael, and his scheming wife Petra? Though she has always tried to be the good girl who does the right thing, Jane’s life has suddenly become as dramatic and complicated as the telenovelas she has always loved.
those who are looking for a telenovela-esque comedy that features a young woman dealing with love, family, career, and an unexpected pregnancy.