Movies + TV, Pop Culture

7 Fall TV Shows More Diverse Than a 6th Grade Math Problem

As someone who has to share a TV I recommend you call dibs early. Set the DVR. Finally get that Hulu account. Whatever you have to do to keep up.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Carlos, Hakim, and Cho go to the grocery store to buy soda. If one bottle of soda costs twenty-five cents and each person has five dollars, how many bottles of soda can they buy?

Carlos, Hakim and Cho need soda! Click To Tweet

The answer is: I don’t care. What I do care about is how Carlos, Hakim, and Cho met and why they’re buying so much soda. I care about their story. Just like how I care about how primetime TV is going to tell the stories of other groups of diverse characters this fall.

I don't care about their soda, I care about their story. Click To Tweet

THE NEW

Minority Report: Mondays 9PM EST on FOX

Minority Report is a continuation of the 2002 film of the same name, taking place ten years after the events of the film. Dash, a precog who is able to see murders before they happen, teams up with Detective Lara Vega to make a difference with his gift.

Meagan Good plays Detective Lara Vega, a cop “haunted by her past” who misses the days of Precrime.  Appearing in a myriad of films and TV shows, including Think Like A Man, Good has the goods to make Detective Vega come alive.*

Wilmer Valderrama (best known as Fez from That 70s Show) and Li Jun Li are also cast. No stranger to FOX , Li Jun Li appeared on The Following and has taken up the role of  CSI tech, Akeela.  Valderrama plays Will Blake, a fellow detective in Vega’s precinct. According to Deadline, they don’t hit it off from the start but we all know where those kinds of TV relationships go. Can you say “slow burn”?!

*Yes I did just high-five myself for that pun.

Quantico: Tuesdays at 10PM EST on ABC

When I first saw this trailer, I made a weird exclamation of joy and woke up my cat. The show revolves around a group of FBI recruits who fight their way through training at Quantico base in Virginia. But from the looks of the trailer, it’s a lot more than that– it’s a cornucopia of ass-kicking heroines.

Our leading lady, Alex Parrish, is played by Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra. Before you point out that Bollywood isn’t really the most credible pool to fish great actors from (hello, wooden Katrina Kaif!), remember that Chopra can absolutely own a role when she has to. Don’t take my word for it– Netflix currently hosts both Barfi! and Fashion, two Bollywood films with strong performances by Chopra. Check them out and you’ll be DVRing Quantico in no time.

Additionally, we have Yasmine Al Masri as Hijabi recruit Nimah Anwar, and Aunjanue Ellis as Director of Quantico, Miranda Shaw. Minority women leading a television program that’s not explicitly about their ethnic or racial background? You done good, ABC. You done good.

 

Code Black: Wednesdays at 10PM EST on CBS

I don’t know about you all, but I’m ready for a high stakes ER drama that focuses more on the heart of the matter rather than who’s sleeping with whom.

Yeah, this list is about diversity, but let’s take a moment to appreciate Marcia Gay Harden’s older tough love straight-no-chaser character, Leanne Rorish. Harden is an Oscar winning actress who played Annalise Keating’s meddlesome sister-in-law, Hannah, in the hit show How to Get Away With Murder (also coming back this fall Thursdays at 10pm EST on ABC).

As an added bonus, Raza Jaffrey is our heartthrob doctor with a big heart– we have a new McDreamy, and he’s Indian! Jaffrey has definitely proved his acting chops through gigs on Homeland and Spooks. We’ve also got small screen veteran, Luis Guzman as Jesse Sallander. Guzman’s character is the warm safe haven in the high stakes world of the ER.

And finally, bow down to Miss India America 2007 and star of Love, Lies, and Seeta, Melanie Kannokada. She plays ER Resident, Malaya Pineda, who I now love after only watching a minute after Kannokada’s performance. She’s definitely the kind of friend you want around when you have to bring someone back from the brink of death.

THE RENEWED

Sleepy Hollow: Thursdays at 9PM EST on FOX

As a self-proclaimed SleepyHead (yes, that’s what we’re called), I have to rep for the amazing Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood. Sleepy Hollow follows Abigail Mills (Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as they navigate their roles as witnesses and fight to keep the world from plunging into darkness.

This supernatural thriller’s incredible first season was followed by a not-so-well-received second. If it weren’t for campaigning by fans of the program, it would have been taken off by the air. I personally watch the show for the sister bond between Abbie and Jennifer Mills (Greenwood). The sisters fight the forces of darkness together, which is badass in itself.

 

Jane the Virgin: Mondays at 9PM EST on The CW

Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) is a good Christian Latina woman…who was accidentally artificially inseminated during a check-up. I know it sounds crazy, but Gina Rodriguez (the human embodiment of sunshine) and the whole JTV crew know what they are doing. For a show based on a Venezuelan telenovela, the secondhand embarrassment potential is strong in this one but they manage to bring comedy and family to the forefront and produce a show worth watching.

Rodriguez describes her character as “patient, loving, and honest” to the point where the character grounds Rodriguez herself. At the CW Upfronts she says she is “feeling the love” for Jane the Virgin, and you bet I am too.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Sundays at 8:30PM EST on FOX

Show of hands: how many of you cried when Parks and Rec went off the air?  I’m gonna guess and say there’s a lot of hands. Cry no more. Time to get obsessed with the hilarious badasses at Brooklyn Nine-Nine. More specifically Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). Both women bring hilarity and depth to their characters that make them impossible to forget.

Rosa is the withholding big sister I never knew I wanted and Amy is an overachieving, worrying, binder-making, sycophant who would make Leslie Knope proud. Both characters deal with job issues and relationships the best way they know how: ignoring them until things get worse and fixing them until they’re broken. But what I love most about them is that, although exaggerated, their actions aren’t far from what any modern woman would do. It’s nice to sit back before a hectic week, watch Rosa and Amy make the same mistakes you will probably make the next day, and know that everything will be fine, because if they can make it, so can you.

 

BONUS POINTS

The Mindy Project: Is moving to Hulu!

In the infamous words of Ms. Kaling herself: “I’m a fucking Indian woman who has her own fucking network television show, OK?” Not anymore, Mindy. Not the network part, at least, which was a crushing blow to fans everywhere. But never fear, due to the new found power of the fans, Hulu has picked up a fourth season to stream on Hulu!

The Mindy Project is about OB/GYN, Mindy Lahiri, a hopeless romantic who’s chasing after her Nora Ephron love story ending. She’s a little (okay, a lot) messy, but she’s trying her best just like the rest of us. We’ve all landed drunk in a pool after delivering an embarrassing speech at our ex-boyfriend’s wedding, right?

…Right?

 

As someone who has to share a TV I recommend you call dibs early. Make a list. Set the DVR. Have a family meeting. Finally get that Hulu account. Whatever you have to do to keep up with these awesome shows. Here’s to hoping that the new shows are worth our while, the ones we love return next year, and Raza Jaffrey tweets me back.

Call dibs early! Click To Tweet
Ameerah Sanders

Ameerah Sanders

Ameerah Sanders is a currently finishing her year at the Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies in Nagasaki, Japan. Her passion is writing and she hopes to become a screenwriter in the future. Her main goal in life is to spread diversity in American media and break stereotypes—especially against Muslims and Black Women.

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