It’s clear with movies like Moonlight and Hidden Figures, diversity is slowly but surely finding its way into theaters.
The entertainment industry is hiring more diverse actors and creating inclusion within their realm, yet people still aren’t aware of some of these outlets/programs. That’s why I have created a list of a few of my favorite television shows that are led by people of a minority. Feel free to add all of these shows to your watchlist and binge away!
The critically-acclaimed television series returned to its third season this week and was, as usual, praised by fans. The show, airing since 2015, brings the diversity and social relevance that mainstream television needs. In the midst of our country’s tension, Empire touches on issues such as police brutality, LGBT+ representation, and gun violence, while still not having the focus of the show become a political message. In its entirety, Empire is a hip-hop drama that follows a gilded family with amazing original songs and flawless actors and actresses. The show deals with many important issues and topics but won’t fail to entertain you as well.
2. The Get Down
This Netflix-Original series created by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby, Australia) debuted late last year and is easily one of my favorite shows ever. The musical drama focuses on the birth of hip-hop and disco in the South Bronx during the late 70s. The show stars several young rising actors such as Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, and Jaden Smith. This group of teenagers finds their own unique abilities to spit rhymes and create music in their own ways. What is so cool about this show is that each episode includes real footage and newscasts from the 70s about what was happening then. Overall, The Get-Down is a fun take on the history of hip-hop that will make you want to put on your old school Converse, dance to disco and maybe even try to start a rapping career (good luck, I didn’t get far). This is one of the most underrated shows and I feel bad for people who haven’t seen it! The remaining half of the first season will be coming soon, so catch up while you can.
3. Master of None
Aziz Ansari never fails to make me laugh. It’s a fact of life and will probably continue until I die. That’s why I had no trouble starting his original show Master of None and it did not disappoint. Ansari’s quirky sense of humor rings throughout his series focused on a 30-year-old struggling Indian actor. His endeavors are hilarious, showing that all discussion of race relations doesn’t have to be a dispute or taboo topic. Master of None has been nominated and won multiple accolades and has been renewed for a second season scheduled to premiere later this year.
4. Chewing Gum
Stop what you are doing. Go to Netflix. Add this to your queue and binge watch it. The British sitcom follows the life of Tracey Gordon, a twenty-something who has only ever known the strict, religious lifestyle that her mother has forced upon her. The audience follows Tracey into the world outside of her apartment into an exotic world of sex, drugs and too much makeup. The show can definitely mimic the humor brought by Comedy Central’s, Broad City. Michaela Coel, who plays Tracy, is awkwardly entertaining and gives Chewing Gum the uniqueness it needs to step above other sitcoms.
While I’m still currently watching this HBO original show, I can already tell you that it deserves more attention than it’s getting. Issa Rae created a web series in 2011 called Awkward Black Girl that was eventually picked up by HBO and turned into a comedy series now titled Insecure. Rae plays herself in the show that explores the life experience of two black females. Yvonne Orji plays Molly and together they suffer through their early life crises of boy problems and ignorant bosses. It’s interesting to see Rae’s character grapple with being suppressed for being a black female and wanting to change that but also face her own awkwardness and clumsiness. Its sister show, GIRLS, also on HBO has a similar tone, but if you can’t bear the thought of having to see Lena Dunham as a problematic, entitled catastrophe any more than you already do, Insecure is definitely the show for you.