Every new year it’s always good to catch up on our favorite TV shows, especially if we missed an episode. That’s something most of us do, but with this article, I want to convince you to give five shows you’ve probably heard about, but haven’t actually seen a chance.
These five shows are not only good and worthy of your time, but are actually inclusive in terms of race, gender and the LGBTQ+ community. Most of them are on Netflix, so on days where you’re wondering what you should watch, you can turn one of these on with ease.
Without further ado, let’s begin:
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Reason number 1 – It stars Terry Crews.
Ok, I actually have more than that, but having Terry Crews in the cast is a big YES. However, if you need more convincing, here it goes.
This sitcom (situated in a police precinct in Brooklyn, the Nine-Nine), follows the story of detectives Jake Peralta, Amy Santiago, Rosa Díaz, Charles Boyle, Sergeant Terence Vincent “Terry” Jeffords and Captain Raymond “Ray” Holt alongside his secretary, the amazing Gina Linetti.
The first and most important reason to watch this show are the characters: 3-dimensional people, with actual development and tangible growth, not just the typical archetypes.
It’s so refreshing for me to see two Latina women who a) don’t resemble one another and b) are more than just the common tropes of “sexy”, “bad at English” or “maids”. Rosa, our deadly, ruthless, bisexual detective is someone you do not want to mess with, while Amy is the lovable nerd who will make you regret it if you ever make fun of her. Amy and Rosa are two well-constructed Latinas, both of them badasses in their own unique way.
What’s even more refreshing is having Capt. Holt (an openly gay black man), on the police force working as the Captain of the precinct. Holt is in a committed, loving marriage, who sometimes acts as the father figure of the detectives. What’s even more refreshing about this character is that the show shies away from the usual treatment a sitcom gives to their gay characters. He is the funniest guy in the show, and Andre Braugher deserves more recognition for his portrayal.
But the show is more than it’s diversity; It’s actually funny. You’ll find yourself laughing every episode, even when you watch them a second time. As this is a list, I can’t really enumerate all the reasons you should watch these show, but I’ll just finish this saying that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a feel-good show, catchy on its punchlines and dialogue with a subtle, yet present critic to society in America.
2. One Day At A Time
A Netflix Original, One Day At A Time is the sitcom based on the 1975–1984 series of the same name and tells the story of the Alvarez family, a Cuban family living their lives in California. But it’s a show that tells so much more than just that.
To start, four out of the six main characters are POC, and three out of those four are women, and these women have a lot to say.
As the show portrays a Cuban-American family and their day-to-day life in America, we are shown a part of many Latinx traditions, like Elena’s quinces, the importance Abuelita gives to her religion, the importance of family and how Penelope, the mother, and Lydia, the grandmother, try to keep their culture and their roots for Elena and Alex, the kids.
This show is really, really funny, thanks to Lydia (played wonderfully by the amazing Rita Moreno) who has the most on-point jokes in the show, and while most of the times you’ll laugh and laugh and laugh, this show is more than that.
As this is a story about immigrants -Lydia was brought to the States thanks to the Pedro Pan program- this show can hit you hard, as it really doesn’t shy away from certain things that can bring tears to the eyes of even the most cold-hearted people. If you have immigrant parents or grandparents, you’ll relate to this on a spiritual level. But it doesn’t stop there as it also shows us some clips of what it is to deal with PTSD, approaching the unknown, and coming out to your family (even if it means someone will reject you for it).
When Elena comes out to Penelope (in the second half of the season), Penelope has a hard time coming to terms with this, but never, not once, does she make Elena feel unloved or unaccepted. Instead, she educates herself and never lets her daughter know how conflicted she is. She knows Elena doesn’t need that, and she only wants her daughter to be happy with who she is. Even her highly-religious abuela destroys the argument that being gay goes against God in a few short sentences and it’s definitely a scene that everyone should watch.
One Day At A Time is a show where you’ll laugh your ass off at what you’re watching; where you’ll cry when things get hard (because sadly, they do), and where you’ll feel the love and acceptance this family has at its core. It’s also written by a diverse staff, so it has that going for it too.
If you need more convincing, I’ll leave you the trailer for the second season right here. You can stream the first two seasons on Netflix.
3. The Good Place
Have you ever wondered what happens after you die? Is there a Heaven? A Hell? Something in between? And who or what decides who goes where and why? Who was right and who was wrong?
This show, created by the same man who created Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks & Recreation and The Office –Michael Schur-, tells the story of Eleanor Shellstrop, who finds herself in “The Good Place” after her death… only to realize that she was put there by mistake. This is revealed in the pilot and in the synopsis of the show, so it’s not really a spoiler.
Now, with the help of her “soulmate” Chidi (yes, in The Good Place you find your soulmate), she must earn her spot in the Good Place, learning ethics and becoming a better person in the process. Instead of… you know, telling the truth and be sent to The Bad Place.
Let’s start with the amazing cast this show has, where three out of our six main characters are POC. All of them, overall, are well constructed and have a reason as to why they are how they are and as the show progresses, they start evolving and becoming the better versions of themselves, either by learning ethics or by helping each other out trying to belong in The Good Place. But Janet is the one with the best one-liners by far.
The humor of the show is accurate and on point, and the situations the characters find themselves will make you have a good laugh and want to keep watching what’s happening on screen, while sometimes even learning a thing or two from Chidi’s lessons. The show is just starting, but what’s been presented to us is actually really good. Besides, it’s always fun to watch when a character can’t curse (because there are no curse words allowed in The Good Place).
And with season one ending… you’re going to be hooked for good, or at least asking constantly “what the… just happened?” because it’s something that will blow your mind, trust me. But if you need more convincing, read this.
If you want to binge watch the whole first season, it’s available on Netflix all over the world, while the second half of the second season returned this past Thursday, January 4, 2018, on NBC and is available on Netflix for anyone who doesn’t live on the US or Canada.
4. Fresh Off the Boat
Fresh Off The Boat follows the story of the Huangs as they relocate from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Florida, as Louis tries to fulfill his dream of opening a steak restaurant, while his wife Jessica and his eldest son, Eddie, have a difficult time adjusting at the change in their lives.
One of the greatest things about this show is the main cast: Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen, as they have amazing chemistry -comedic and relationship wise- and work well together. But they also work and function perfectly as separate individuals with their storylines and how they face their daily situations in a predominantly white environment.
But not only the characters are amazing and funny, the storyline of the overall show as well, with situations that may seem like nothing but are handled in a way that makes you laugh and feel happy at what you’re seeing on screen.
There is something for everyone in this show, and if you give it a chance you’ll find something that’ll get you hooked and wondering why you didn’t watch this show sooner.
We need more Asian representation in the media, and this show is one of the few who actually gives us some of it.
Fresh Off The Boat airs every Tuesday at 8:30PM EST on ABC.
If you’ve ever worked in retail, this show is for you. Staff meetings, “interesting” co-workers, customers, team-building exercises that don’t actually work, “informative” videos about the rules of the company… And even if you haven’t, the situations are relatable enough for anyone who’s ever had to deal with another human being.
Created by the man who produced and wrote a few episodes of The Office, where most of the “action” happened at the workplace, Superstore follows the daily life of the employees at Cloud 9 in St. Louis Missouri.
The show is genuinely funny, every episode has moments where you can’t stop laughing, as the situations and the way they’re handled are witty and in a light-hearted manner, with no cringe-worthy moments.
The characters are relatable, as we have a diverse cast consisting of all kinds of ethnicities, sexualities, backgrounds, and body types, so you’ll find someone who’s gonna make you say “same” in an unironic kind of way.
If you happen to read some reviews of this show – ignore them. As it’s one of those shows -like Parks & Recreation– that gets better with time, it grows and learns from its mistakes to be better, funnier and the characters start to be used to their full potential as the series continues.
Superstore airs every Thursday at 8PM EST on NBC.
Whenever you need to have a good time, a good laugh, or just something to feel warm inside and keep going with your day, watch some of these shows. Believe me, you won’t regret it.
What shows do you think more people should watch?
Leave us your list in the comment section down below!