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This week we explore issues of race, ethnicity, and immigration on TV. More specifically, we look at different races & ethnicities and how representations have changed on TV during the past 10 years. Are these representations changing for the better? If these representations aren’t entirely positive, are they a step in the right direction? What even is “the right direction” for representations of a variety of ethnicities?
Here are some specific questions to consider when writing your blog post for this week:
In his article Thakore talks a lot of hyphenated-American identities on TV. Are such characters a stepping-stone for TV representations of people of non-white ethnicities, as the New Yorker article suggests about Fresh Off the Boat (in its last line of the article)? Why or why not? Should “stepping-stone” characters be forgiven what they lack (nuance, etc.) since they create exposure for non-white ethnicities — why or why not?
Why do you think Aziz Ansari’s “Parents” episode of his show Master of None was such a hit? Why was he applauded for the way he told a story about immigration and ethnicity in the United States? Why was Ansari’s way of story-telling about ethnicity in America so crowd-pleasing? What other shows have you seen that do as good a job as “Parents” did telling meaningful stories of immigration and ethnicity in America — explain your answer in detail.
Please include two citations from your assigned readings and from the lecture material. This could be quotations, paraphrasing, interpretation, or references.
New Yorker on Fresh off the Boat
Master of None episode “Parents” is the most talked-about episode of TV in 2015
Watch Master of None, Season 1, Episode 2 (Netflix)