10 Shows With Casts Of Colour You Need To Check Out

1. Atlanta

This show was created by Donald Glover and s about a college dropout helping his cousin make a name for himself in the rap industry. It features many talented black actors and reveals the fractured identities of people in the age of social media. It tackles issues such as racism, and is the perfect blend of comedy and drama. Its natural portrayal of black culture from the viewpoint of all-black writers has helped the show gain popularity, and it even won 2 Golden globes.

2. Quantico

Quantico is an action-packed show starring Indian actor Priyanka Chopra, who plays an FBI agent names Alex Parrish. The show features two different time periods- the present and 6 months into the future, where Alex Parrish has to find out who was responsible for a terrorist attack and prevent a larger one from happening. Quantico features many actors of colour, from Arab, Korea, South African, African American and Latinx descent, to name a few. The how also tackles important issues in today’s society such as the Israel-Palestine conflict, droning, mass surveillance, racism, and has LGBT representation.

3. How to Get Away With Murder

Starring Viola David as the notorious lawyer Annalise Keating, this thrilling drama features many actors of colour who are law students, but are also in the midst of cases regarding murders they’ve personally helped in. There is LGBT representation, and the drama is never-ending, which helps keep the suspense and intrigue high for the audience.

4. Empire

Empire is a musical drama TV series about a black family which own a successful music production dynasty. The father, Lucious Lyon (played by Terence Howard) suffers from ALS and it’s predicted that he’ll be incapacitated in 3 years. He must then decide which one of his 3 sons will be able to take over his empire. The show features excellent original music and discuses important issues such as how gay people are viewed in the black community. The entertainment is never-ending, as every episode features new issues. The highlight, however, is Taraji P, Henson’s portrayal of Cookie Lyon, the badass ex-wife of Lucious Lyon, who’s always ready with scathing remarks and is undoubtedly the queen bee of the show.

5. Black-Ish

Black-ish is about Dre Johnson (portrayed by Anthony Anderson) and his struggle with raising a black family whilst living in white suburbs. Every episode of this comedy is hilarious, yet also manages to educate the viewers on a wide range of topics, such as LGBT relationships on the black community, the struggles of mixed race people, racism, who can say the n word, police brutality, etc. Aside from being educational and funny, Black-Ish also has a lot of guest stars. For example, Hamilton star Daveed Diggs has been a series regular for season 3, and he plays Bow’s brother Johan. Other guest stars include Tyra Banks, Mary J Blige, Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth, Raven Symone and Zendaya, among others. Kendrick Lamar also appears in a promotion for season 3.

6. Jane the Virgin

Starring Gina Rodriguez, this telenovela-style comedy-drama is about Jane Villanueva, a virgin who is accidentally artificially inseminated, causing her life to change drastically. She must choose between her long-time boyfriend Michael Cordero, and her attractive baby daddy Rafael Solano. The show explores Jane’s catholic upbringing with her mother and abuela, originally from Venezuela. The show has good Latinx representation and comedy, with every episode being more entertaining than the last.

7. Fresh Off The Boat

This comedy series based the best selling memoir of the same name written by chef Eddie Huang gives a hilarious look inside the lives of a Taiwanese- American family. The series takes place during the 1990s and centers around a young Eddie Huang and his family when they move from the Chinatown in Washington D.C. to a very suburban, very white Orlando, Florida due to his father opening a new western themed restaurant. The series tackles issues such as immigration and racism in a very clean and humorous way with the help of the ever talented Constance Wu and Randall Park.

8. Brooklyn Nine Nine

The series centers around Detective Jake Peralta, who’s a talented and carefree cop with the best arrest record, but he’s never been one to follow the rules. Everything changes when Ray Holt, becomes the new captain of the the 99. A lot of cop based shows tend to be tiresome and repetitive, however, Brooklyn Nine Nine does just the opposite. With stellar writing, funny insight to real issues such as sexism, homophobia, racism, and police brutality the show is able to handle anything you can throw at it. The cast is incredible with the likes of the hilarious Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Chelsea Peretti , Terry Crews and more this is one show that won’t stop making you laugh.

9. One Day At A Time

Starring the incredible Rita Moreno, One Day At A Time is a family sitcom that shares the same name as the Norman Lear’s 1975. However, the 2017 series follows a Cuban American family as they go through life’s ups and downs. Penelope is a single veteran who lives with her two children and her mother. The series explores a whole array of issues and doesn’t leave out the laughs. It may be a little cheesy but that’s what we all need right now and no it’s not a laughing track.

10. The Get Down

The Get Down is a Netflix original series created by Baz Luhrmann and is set in the South Bronx in New York and revolves around these teens who change the city through their music, dance and graffiti. At the heart of this show is a beautiful love story between the protagonist, Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Figuero, played by Justice Smith, and Mylene Cruz, played by Herizen F. Guardiola. Zeke loves Mylene, and is so committed to helping her dream of being a singer come true that is sure to tug at your heart strings. The cast, being predominantly black and Latino, is great in terms of representation because of the importance of seeing someone who looks like you portrayed as a three-dimensional character rather than a stereotype.

Honorable mentions:

Insecure

Chewing Gum

iZombie

The Mindy Project

Authors: Nadia Awad & Han Angus.

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