I'm taking some time to thank the network for daring to defy standard roles in television. The CW has always been my favorite channel. I loved them through names changes like UPN and WB. They have always had popular shows that appeal to young and new adults. Okay, and thirty year olds, like myself. Over the past year, they have branched out in ways that make my heart soar. To explain, I must start at the beginning. I am a biracial, curvy southern gal. I don't have blonde hair or blue eyes. Even at my skinniest, I have boobs and hips, and now matter how hard I try to hide it, I have an accent. Yes, its a thick Tennessee twank.
Fifteen years ago, the WB network lived in a single-minded shows like Dawson's Creek, Felicity, 7th Heaven. All white characters with no diversity. Boring issues with soap opera like problems. Yawn! That is what America wanted, that is what they were given. Life isn't always diversity, but sometimes fiction has to show the diversity and not be afraid of it.
Ten years ago ratings were slipping and they changed names, but they still had successful show like One Tree Hill and Charmed. Don't get me wrong, I love these shows, but they were predominantly white characters with stereotypical problems. Don't believe me?
Let's take a closer look.
One Tree Hill
Lucas, Nathan, Peyton, Brooke, Hailey. All white characters, all super skinny, all beautiful beyond belief. It;s like a high school fashion show. Skills brought a little diversity,but he was pushed so far into the stereotyped role of a black man (basketball player from a small southern town who somehow still spoke like he was from the hood.) , it made me cringe.
Another show all about pretty little rich girls. I mean, come on! They couldn't even give us the poor kid like the original did with Andrea. Instead, we got another typecasted black character with deadbeat parents who wanted to be- get this- a rapper/DJ. Big surprise.
Navid. Oh man, there was a Persian character who showed great promise. But we never really got to know him do we? His character was always a backdrop to someone else problems. I'm pretty sure somewhere in there we found out that his family had some sort of illegal activity going on, Go figure. They can't be good citizens?
Hm...what am I missing out on. Charmed- main characters are all white. Detective Morris doesn't count because we never explore him except that he is, of course, married to a black woman. Gossip Girl? It should have been We Gossip only about White Girls.
There was a long period where I watched zero TV because I was sick of seeing the same thing over and over. Then Netflicks came along and I got into shows again. I gave The CW another try, and I began to notice that the world was changing. The motto used to be
"Something to talk about" I have something to say about that.
Now it is "Dare to Defy" Yes! They are breaking new ground.
I love sharing the CW world with my kids and friends. I love that shows like The Flash show interracial couples, and the guy who plays Cisco is from Colombia!!
Jane The Virgin is all about a Hispanic family and features so much Spanish dialogue I'm beginning to pick it up.
Rebecca from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has a normal looking body and she is in love with a Philipino. But she didn't move across the country for him, okay?
In iZombie we have Clive, but most importantly we have Ravi! He is not your average character. Ravi is a total geek after my own heart.
So this morning as everyone thinks that America is out to get those of us who look like immigrants or have parents who are immigrants. Just remember this, the entire world has fallen in love with characters like the CW shows. A majority of the world knows that is okay to be different. Your sexual preference, gender, nationality, or religion doesn't matter. You can be Hispanic and not have an accent or be forced to do manual labor. You can fall in love with whoever you want! You don't have to be a size zero! You don't have to be rich and into Sports to be a real American. All you have to do is have a story, and we all have a story to tell. America is changing. Don't believe me? Turn on The CW because all it is doing is mimicking real life.
*Note: As much as I wanted to use real pictures and TV stills, with all the stealing trouble going on, I decided not to risk it. If you haven't seen any of these shows go to http://www.cwtv.com/ and check out some free episodes.