Diversity on TV

I feel like it’s been a really good year in terms of diversity in television shows on primetime networks. Considering it’s 2015, I would say it’s about time! Along with Jane the Virgin (which I talked about previously), I’ve recently started watching and enjoying Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish.

Fresh Off the Boat is about a Taiwanese family and the struggles they face trying to achieve the American Dream. It’s devoid of cultural stereotypes (for example, one of the kids loves rap music), accurately portrays the confusion many immigrants face, while also being hilariously funny. Another thing I enjoy about this show is that it’s based in the 90s, which feels like an ode to the greatest decade.

It’s a relatable show for any immigrant or children of immigrants. In this week’s episode the oldest son is forced to be friends with the only other Chinese guy in his class, except they have nothing in common. It’s really refreshing to see a show that doesn’t portray all minorities as similar.

Black-ish is about an African-American family that is trying to keep the Black culture alive with their children. Again, it’s a show devoid of stereotypes (the mother is a doctor and the father is high up at an advertising agency) but maintains its authenticity. It’s pretty awesome to see the mother wear her hair au naturale and curly. (It was only after reading this article that I realized we usually only see straight-haired women on TV!)

Do you enjoy Fresh off the Boat and Black-ish? What are some similar types of shows out there? I’d love to know so I can check them out!


Pop Culture, with a Twist

It’s been a while since I updated this little old blog of mine..I’ve always had the intentions of writing a post but was going through a bit of a writers block. Anyway, I’m back and talking about some of my recent favorites in the media/entertainment/pop culture realm.

Jane the Virgin

I’m ashamed to admit that I dropped the ball on this show and only started watching it over the holidays. Jane the Virgin is the story of a twenty something woman (and a virgin) who gets artificially inseminated at a routine gyno check up. I know the plot sounds like a telenovela and that’s half the fun. The show pokes fun at its dramatic, telenovela ways many times.

More than that, what I love about the show is that the cast is mostly people of color and one of the main characters (the grandmother) speaks only Spanish! It’s a smart, refreshing, and funny show. Not at all something I expected from the CW but I am pleasantly surprised. Oh yeah, and who can forget when they mentioned immigration reform and urged the viewers to look it up?

I missed the Golden Globes this year but when I heard that Gina Rodriguez (who plays Jane) won for Best Actress, I immediately looked up her speech.

“This award is so much more than myself..it represent a culture that wants to see themselves as heros.”

I need more people I know to watch it so I can gush with them about it. So get to it!

Chrissy Teigen

Okay, this girl is one of my all time favorites. She rose to the top of my list pretty quickly..pretty much after one day of me following her on Twitter and Instagram. She’s smart, absolutely hilarious, amazingly witty, and always has a comeback to those that are downright rude or mean to her on social media. She’s a model that loves to eat (!) and she seems to have the best relationship ever with her husband, John Legend. See what I mean? She doesn’t shy away from hot topics like gun control but never takes herself too seriously.

There’s something really refreshing about a woman (a supermodel no less who are generally paid to shut up and look pretty) speak her mind without any hesitation.

Gilmore Girls

There are no words to describe how much I love this show. Most of my friends know this already to the point that I had multiple people inform me when Netflix decided to finally add it to Instant. I watched it the day it came out (October 1st, best day ever) and I’m still making my way through the series (for the second time).

It is weird..I was Rory’s age when I watched the show for the first time and now as I’m watching it again I’m closer in age to Lorelai. I remember relating so well to Rory when it came to high school drama, the whole college admissions process, and moving away from home for the first time. Now I find myself in a similar boat as Lorelai (minus the having a kid bit) what with wanting to figure out her career and working on settling down. I think this really speaks to how well made this show is that I can watch it 15+ years later and still have it speak to me, albeit in a completely different way.

Not everything has changed, though. I am still gushing over Jess and Luke like I did when I was 16 and I still don’t want to talk about season 6. Not now, not ever.

Are you watching Jane the Virgin or Gilmore Girls? I’d love to hear your take on the shows!

The Mindy Project

I’ve long since been a fan of Mindy Kaling, from her work as Kelly Kapoor on The Office to her recent book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. But what I’m most excited about is her newest venture, The Mindy Project, where she is the first Indian American to star AND write in her own show. That is a pretty huge deal!

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in an area that is tolerant, liberal, and open-minded but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get asked some inane questions like “Do you speak Indian?” or my personal favorite “No, but like where are you really from?” after I mention that I was born in the US.

Even though it premiered last night, I caught the pilot online a few weeks ago. I loved it and I found it especially refreshing that it represented Indian Americans exactly as we are: just like everyone else. No we don’t have accents nor do we have arranged marriages.

Did you see the pilot? What did you think? If you haven’t seen it yet or read her book, I highly recommend that you do!

Mindy Kaling has made it in an industry where there are so few minorities and women, which is not an easy feat.

And because this video says it better than I ever could:

This and That

It’s been ages since I last updated the blog. The main reason for my lack of posts is the fact that I recently started a new job. I’ve been busy adjusting to a new schedule, the commute, and of course the job itself. I just finished two weeks there and I’m happy to report that I’m loving every minute of it.

When I’m not at work, here are some things I’ve been watching, reading, and listening to.

Watching: Scandal, Thursdays at 10 PM on ABC: Created by Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy fame this show is about a crisis management firm in DC. It is loosely based on George H.W. Bush’s crisis aide, Judy Smith, who also dealt with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It’s a really fast-paced show and I’m loving the fact that the main character is a woman.

Reading: I finished reading Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity. I don’t normally enjoy non-fiction books, but this was an eye-opening look into life in a Mumbai slum. As I was reading it, I had to remind myself that this is not a fiction book and that everything Boo writes about is factual.

Currently I’m reading The Girl Who Played With Fire, the sequel to The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. I’m only a few chapters in but I’ve already deemed it my commute book, rather than the one I read at night before I go to sleep. The subject matter is really dark and disturbing, although it promises to be an interesting mystery/thriller.

Listening: Here are some of my current favorite tracks, which I’ve been listening to on repeat. The beats are so catchy that I have to restrain myself from dancing while on the train or at work!

Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend (Don’t judge!)

Culture Shock ft Nindy Kaur – Save the World

What have you been reading, watching, listening to?

By the way, I recently wrote a guest post on the blog, Lipstick and Politics which you can read here.

Bucket List: PaleyFest

The stars of Vampire Diaries at Paley Fest 2011. (Courtesy of Google Images)

I don’t have an organized bucket list of things I want to do (I should really get on that) but there are three things I can name off the top of my head: take part in a flash mob, visit Greece, and go to PaleyFest.

(Remember, my nickname of The Walking TV Guide? Yep, my TV addiction is no joke.)

PaleyFest, which is presented by the Paley Center for Media, showcases various television shows with panels. The panels consist of the actors as well as members of the creative team, such as the writers. The event takes place over two weeks in Beverly Hills, California.

This year, some of the shows being featured are Community, Once Upon a Time, Vampire Diaries, Modern Family, and Revenge.

What I find most exciting about PaleyFest is getting the inside scoop on what is to come in these TV shows. The panels fall at an appropriate time, as most shows are currently on hiatus right now (until April..sigh) and so the juicy tidbits being dropped by the cast and crew can hold us over in the meantime.

And although I am not able to attend PaleyFest this year, I can look forward to getting the play by play updates on Twitter as well as watch the livestream. Some of the shows I’m looking forward to catching are: Vampire Diaries, Modern Family, and Revenge. PopSugar, of the Sugar Network is also posting updates on its site.

What’s on your bucket list?

Weekend Snippets

Spotting some spring colors

Taking out all the DVDs of my favorite show, Gilmore Girls, and starting from the beginning

Not pictured: the Chipotle burrito bowl I ate while watching said DVDs…pretty much perfection.

How did you spend your weekend? What do you have planned for this week?

Forever (except not really)

I admit I used to be a Chris Brown fan. I loved the song “Forever”; I would sing and dance when the song came on the radio while I was driving. I recall being excited that The Office used Forever in Jim and Pam’s wedding. And then the news broke that Chris Brown had physically assaulted Rihanna on the night before the 2009 Grammys.

After that, I stopped listening to him. Instead of dancing every time his song came on the radio, I would swiftly change the station. I understood that this is no way affected Brown, but it was my way of protesting him and his actions.

Fast forward three years later to last night’s Grammys, where Brown was in attendance. It is unfathomable to me how he can be asked to attend, perform, and even win. Not only that but the Grammys executive producer is happy about this fact, stating “If you note, he has not been on the Grammys the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were victim on what happened.” Say what.

So the Grammys are the victim because they were left scrambling to fill the spots set aside for Brown and Rihanna in the 2009 awards and not Rihanna, who was hospitalized.

What was more disappointing to me, however, were the comments from my peers. They ranged from “I can’t believe Chris Brown won for best album..it wasn’t even that good” to “Chris Brown is not a good live performer”. Very few people expressed disgust at the fact that Brown was even at the Grammys.

Does anyone not remember how badly Rihanna was beaten? Do they not recall his lack of remorse in the weeks after? Is everyone suffering from a case of short-term memory loss?

Many people would defend Brown by saying they separate the artist and the person, but I don’t buy that for a second. Two reasons why: Isaiah Washington and Michael Richards. Washington, who played Dr. Burke on Grey’s Anatomy, was promptly fired from the show for using a gay slur against a co-worker. Richards, who played Kramer on the hit show Seinfeld, went off on a racial rant during a stand up show and was videotaped doing so.

Both actors have virtually disappeared in Hollywood (with good reason). No casting director in their right mind would hire them; their careers are essentially over.

So why is Chris Brown still famous? By letting him still make music and attend high-profile events like the Grammys, society is saying that it is okay to hit a woman — there are no repercussions. What kind of message is this sending to young girls everywhere? This is an idea. Sad, isn’t it?

I can’t see myself ever liking a Chris Brown song again even if it is the most amazing song ever, but that’s just me. How do you feel about this? Do you still listen to Brown’s songs? Why or why not?

For more on Chris Brown, read Sasha Pasulka’s well-written article on the topic.