8 Shows With BIPOC Cast That You Should Care About
So, it’s one year later and we still find ourselves quarantining, social distancing, and overall just surviving amidst a global pandemic. One thing I know many of us have been doing, with an abundance of our time being spent in our homes and away from others, is binging shows. Therefore, I just thought I’d bring some shows with BIPOC leads to your attention that you should care about. I limited my list to BIPOC leads who were the main character and not just a sidekick to the white protagonist so, as much as I love shows like New Girl, The Good Place, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, they are not going to be on this list.
But first, there’s something we should address: I believe in consuming diverse content and stories in general so everybody can feel supported and heard in every type of media. However, there are some people of color who get extremely less representation than others and while it is not a competition, it is important that we advocate for equity so that everybody gets their stories—especially positive ones—portrayed in popular media like television shows. So, while you may check some of these shows out, I encourage you to always be searching for diverse media to consume and advocate for those whose stories are not being told as much.
With that in mind, here are some shows with BIPOC leads, and a mainly BIPOC cast, that you should absolutely care about!
1. Living single
Living Single is a comedy following a group of black friends who live in Brooklyn, NY in the 90s. Showcasing their adventures navigating life in their 20s, there's romance, family, and conflict at every corner. One of my favorite shows growing up and to this day, this gem features an all-black main cast including the beautiful Queen Latifa and is a feel-good show you will find yourself rewatching over and over again.
Gente-Fied is a recent Netflix show following three Mexican-American cousins in Los Angeles as they chase the American Dream, even while that dream threatens the things they hold most dear, including their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather, and the family-owned taco shop. Gente-fied is one of several recent programs to look at how money bulldozes working-class and minority neighborhoods that focuses on the intimate lives of people showing the reality of what happens in this America. Featuring a BIPOC cast, this is a show that you should care about and pay attention to!
3. Never Have I Ever
A coming of age story rarely seen on screen, Never Have I Ever, features an Indian-American main character, Devi Vishwakumar, a 15-year-old high school student dealing with the recent passing of her father. Currently only one season, the show not only highlights Devi dealing with the complicated life of any teen but also her navigation of life while being a first-generation Indian American. Created by Mindy Kaling, the show is definitely worth watching even if for the fact that we are finally getting coming-of-age stories featuring protagonists that aren’t white, something that has been missing in the past.
Atlanta is a dramedy created by Donald Glover, known for his roles in shows and movies like Community, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Guava Island (which he also produced). Glover is one of my favorite multi-faceted figures and Atlanta is a great project featuring a black main cast. The show centers on a college dropout and music manager, played by Glover, and rapper Paper Boi, played by Brian Tyree Henry, as they navigate the Atlanta rap scene. The cast is amazing and this show is one I definitely recommend for diversifying your media consumption.
5. Basketball or Nothing
6. Kim’s Convenience
Kim’s Convenience follows a Korean-Canadian family, the Kims, as they run their convenience store in the Moss Park neighborhood of Toronto. The family features the parents and their two children and follows their adventures showing aspects of their culture but also their experiences navigating society as Korean Canadians. This show has a feel-good vibe and with an all-Asian cast, it is worth the watch.
7. Master of None
Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari, known for his role of Tom Haverford in the NBC hit show Parks and Recreation, and writer Alan Yang are co-creators of Master of None. The show follows Dev Shah, played by Ansari, a New York actor struggling to find what he wants professionally and personally. This comedy is a heartwarming show and the diverse cast, also featuring Ansari’s own real parents, adds a light to the show that will have you binging.
8. On My Block
Featuring an amazingly diverse cast and one of my favorites things to watch the past few years, On My Block, is a dramedy centered around a black/Latinx neighborhood. The show follows four friends fresh into high school as they confront the challenges of adolescence such as romance and more adult challenges like gang violence. It is an amazing show full of mystery, heartbreak, and even some laughs and is definitely something you should add to your weekend watch list if you haven’t already.