Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I KNOW THAT this is supposed to be a blog dedicated to my life as an author, but I couldn’t resist commenting on a recent television network’s latest addition to the fall line-up (this isn’t the only show I have an issue with, but the one that happened to keep me up the night after it aired).

THE PROGRAM IN question is “Brothers and Sisters” about a family (White, of course) of sisters (2, I think) and brothers (3, I think) with secrets (of course), that loses its family patriarch at the end of the first episode. After watching the program (which wasn’t very good), I couldn’t help thinking of that old Mad TV spoof, “Pretty White People with Problems.” The spoof was a parody of all the programs featuring -- what else? -- pretty white people with problems (i.e. Popular, Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill). Television executives seem to think that we will watch these “clone” shows because even though the actors happen to look like Calista Flockhart and Patrick Dempsey, they have problems just like us.

SO AFTER WASTING an hour that I’ll never get back, I lay in bed thinking, I am so-o-o TIRED of watching “pretty white people with problems.” Where are the Pretty “People of Color” with Problems? Like a family of multi-colored African American members, or a Latino American family that isn’t Mexican or Puerto Rican (how about Dominicans or Columbians for a change — without the stereotypes that are stressed: poor, drug-dealing, or a family of boxers). Or how about an interracial couple who adopted multi-cultural kids who are all grown up -- with problems! Maybe even one who is handicapped. Wow, what a concept! Are there really families like this? You wouldn’t know it looking at TV world.

CONAN O'BRIEN (ONE of my favorite comedians) commented the other night that in keeping with television tradition, the show “Brothers and Sisters” doesn’t feature either (brothers or sisters in the African American vernacular). To those of you who may think this a racist view, think of it this way: imagine that every time you turned on the TV, every time you went to the movies, every time you opened up a magazine, ALL you saw on commercials, programs, and the news, and EVERY single person or actor was Asian. How would you feel?


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