Hopefully you were able to slow down long enough over the holidays to catch up on some of today’s most popular shows. If you’re like me, you want to see interesting shows representing a wide spectrum of perspectives and experiences. With the growth of cable networks and streaming services, you can find shows featuring a range of ethnicities, races, sexuality, and abilities, making for much more engaging and enlightening content.
But inclusion in entertainment didn’t happen overnight. Digital entertainment companies like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and HBO (just to name a few) have been challenging the network television status quo for nearly a decade by assembling writers, producers and actors from various backgrounds to create fresh content. The networks are answering and keeping themselves relevant with their own solid offerings. Today’s improved TV proves that business’ most innovative offerings are spurred on by inclusion as well as competition.
Having access to all of this great programming is why so many of us spent much of our holiday break binge-watching TV. With characters, writers, and actors of all backgrounds, it’s clear we’re embarking upon a golden era of diverse TV programming. Here are some of my favorites:
- Black-ish—Now in its fourth season, this award-winning comedy focuses on an African-American family and the challenges they face living in a mostly white, upper-middle-class neighborhood. The main character and father of four children, Dre, combats cultural assimilation and tries to maintain ethnic identity within his household. Critics agree this ABC show is a stand-out among network sitcoms.
- Fresh Off the Boat—Another ABC sitcom that goes above and beyond. Based on the book of the same name by chef Eddie Huang, this is the first American TV show to star an Asian-American family. It follows the adventures of a Taiwanese-American family trying to adjust to life in a Florida community after moving from Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown.
- The Good Doctor—The Good Doctor puts neurodiversity center stage. It’s about a young surgical resident with autism. Interesting to note that this show is based on the award-winning South Korean show of the same name.
- Master of None—This Netflix show was co-created by Pakistani-American comedian Aziz Ansari and Taiwanese-American screenwriter Alan Yang, both of whom won Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for their work on it. The humor is fresh and the cast is groundbreaking in its diversity. Special shout-out to African-American writer, producer and actor Lena Waithe who won an Emmy for writing an episode of the show based on her experience coming out to her family during Thanksgiving.
- Mr. Robot—Proof that innovative TV isn’t only happening in comedy, this cyber-thriller features a lead character with social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. It’s provocative, edgy, and suspenseful TV.
- Insecure—Creator, writer and actress Issa Rae presents a fictionalized version of her and her friends’ adventures as millennial professionals in Los Angeles. She’s funny, weird and yes… insecure, but since she’s the first person to point it out, it also makes her charming and loveable.
- Runaways—Prefer something a little (or a lot) less realistic? Then try this Marvel series about six teenagers from different backgrounds who join forces and unique skillsets to fight the criminals they have in common: their parents. Think typical teenage soap meets comic books.
Special mention: It’s not bingeable yet, but take a look at The Chi on Showtime. Lena Waithe (mentioned earlier for Master of None) created this weekly series set in Chicago’s South Side. The show depicts the day-to-day lives and big picture aspirations of two ordinary young men as they navigate their neighborhood’s extraordinarily dangerous streets.
Did we miss one of your favorites? Feel free to add your own must-see diverse show in the comments!
And speaking of diversity, don’t miss the chance to sign up for this webinar I’m hosting—Global diversity: driving innovation through inclusion, January 17 at 1pm, ET. It’ll help you understand how your firm or organization can capitalize on the diversity of thought, background and experience of your team to drum up new business and innovate for the future.
Kim Drumgo, Director — Diversity and Inclusion, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and Chair of the PhD Project, an effort to advance workplace diversity by increasing the diversity of business school faculty
Cast of black’ish courtesy of Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock
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Originally published by AICPA.org