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iamthemob's avatar

What television show do you think has a subtle (yet profound) positive effect on undermining negative stereotypes?

Asked by iamthemob (17121 points ) November 3rd, 2010

My vote goes to “Dr. Who” and “Torchwood.” Both have characters that relate to each other almost without recognition of race or gender or sexual orientation – or more accurately, do so as if such characteristics were not all that important. Interracial relationships and bisexuality are treated in a dignified manner – basically, they aren’t pointed out as being different in any way.

Any others – and why?

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35 Answers

ucme's avatar

Teletubbies! I mean Tinky Winky carries a handbag/purse & he’s a dude tubby! I know, i’ve looked :¬)

LuckyGuy's avatar

All in the Family. Archie pointed it out but looked dumb in the process..
Meathead didn’t look so good either. Edith, who tolerated everyone, was the true angel.

TexasDude's avatar

I don’t know if you would call it subtle, but 30 Days is really good at upturning stereotypes.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, @iamthemob , you’re a Whovian, too? I once had a dog named Gallifrey.

iamthemob's avatar

my future baby mama actually shares a name with a Dr. Who character. It give me the giggles, sometimes. And yes, Dr. Who is maybe one of the best shows on television, ever.

Kardamom's avatar

There’s a new show on network TV called Mike and Molly that deals with overweight people in a funny, sweet, but not condescending manner. Also, there are both black and white characters on the show that are just plain funny and not stereo types.

And Glee deals with just about everyone in a new, positive and intersting way.

ucme's avatar

@iamthemob Tom Baker was by far the best Dr. Agree or face the consequences!!

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ucme: Sorry, fella, I’m going for David Tennant. Peter Davison also has a place in my heart. Everybody loves Tom Baker best, he doesn’t need me.
What are the consequences?

ucme's avatar

@JilltheTooth Waiting for @iamthemob ‘s reply. I may have to “double up” on this, we shall see.

absalom's avatar

Glee apparently demonstrates that white people, contrary to the popular stereotype, can actually be kind of fun.

iamthemob's avatar

@ucme, @JilltheTooth – I have just started watching the older Dr. Whos…and I have a limited access to them. So I’m going with David Tennant for now, but that’s because he’s the one I have the most experience with.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ucme ; I keep answering things you ask @iamthemob , I just noticed that on another thread. Sorry.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@absalom : No way. That’s just the magic of television. Isn’t it amazing what they can do with special effects? ;-)

ucme's avatar

Okey dokey, consequence time. You shall both watch Sylvester Mccoy’s portrayal. His Dr. was truly awful! Now be off with you :¬)
@JilltheTooth Hey, not a problem. My eyes are open to all comers :¬)

Blueroses's avatar

Tom Baker was great, David (my future lover) Tenant has unmatched sex appeal, Matt Smith is kind of adorable
and I forgot the question.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ucme : I found McCoy’s Dr to be so awful it was campy. I love camp! But I could only sit through a couple of those :-/

iamthemob's avatar

guys…we made @Blueroses forget the question – remember what it’s about. I’m helping derail my own thread! ;-)

ucme's avatar

@JilltheTooth Oh it was a train wreck allright. Jon Pertwee runs Baker a close second for me. I guess it depends on who we grew up watching. @Blueroses You have great taste, would you like a jelly baby by way of apology? :¬) @iamthemob Understood!

HungryGuy's avatar

Fraggle Rock :-p

Blueroses's avatar

jelly baby accepted! And I’d totally do Captain Jack, it would be worth the inevitable heartbreak

On topic, I like how Community deals with Asperger’s

AstroChuck's avatar

The original Star Trek.

iamthemob's avatar

@Blueroses is THAT the deal with Abed? If so, that’s brilliant!

Blueroses's avatar

@iamthemob Yes. I believe it was only mentioned aloud once in the series. I love Abed’s character.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Casting a vote for Survivors for the same reasons: visual diversity with no descrimination, other than for different personalities. I am starting to wonder if the UK is much more comfortable about this than the US.

iamthemob's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer – don’t wonder…you’re right.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Friends with the classic dumb blonde stereotype Phoebe, always managed to suck you in to thinking she’d mess up, yet she always managed to come through in the clutch.

Blueroses's avatar

Another Brit show with great diversity in characters, Skins

iamthemob's avatar

I’m waiting to watch Skins, series 3. That show is brilliant

ucme's avatar

Little Britain. We can all dress as laydeez if we please. Just shave the tache, a little tip :¬)

Blueroses's avatar

@iamthemob Netflix has series 3 now. I miss the original cast.

iamthemob's avatar

I know – it’s in my queue right now – just waiting for the right time to watch it. ;-)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

30 Rock – it has a certain “we’re all equally screwed-up freaks” thing.

Friends – not racially, no (although, I always wonder, even though NYC has every possible race and ethnicity, is it normal for them to all hang out?) but it did start off with one character being divorced from a lesbian; one character the offspring of a sex-loving romance novelist and a sex-loving transvestite; one character having her parents divorce soon into the show; and one character being the offspring of a threesome, her real dad taking off, not knowing her bio-mom or even knowing that she existed, the mom who raised her committing suicide, being homeless and a mugger for awhile, an ethical masseuse, and an identical twin. Being gay was never portrayed as wrong, just something that each of the guys had their own issues with (especially Chandler, who wouldn’t grow up to be a bit homophobic with his dad?). These were all really new to be portrayed at the time, representing the “alternative family” instead of the Cosby/Growing Pains/Family Matters/Step-by-Step/Home Improvement traditional nuclear family.

Becker – it was racially diverse.

Fawlty Towers – it’s Connie Booth (the woman) and Manuel (the Spanish immigrant) who have it the most together and are even a little bit competent.

The Good Wife – Kalinda. She confuses me, but she probably has lips like heroin.

ER – Diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and religion, as well as “people who have tons of issues but are still doctors”.

Star Trek: Voyager – Female captain, Native American commander, black lieutenant, Asian ensign, Hispanic-Klingon female chief engineer, female Borg. All female characters were really strong, successful, and independent, and race was never an issue.

The Event – President Blair Underwood and his hot Hispanic wife.

Frasier – neither class (Martin vs Frasier & Niles) has it all down; they both have their issues.

Psych – Gus (black), Juliet (female), and Chief Karen Vick (female) are the one’s who have the least issues. The white male characters (Shawn, Lassie, Henry) are all pretty messed up (but I love them all).

The Unusual – diverse with race and gender.

The West Wing – Female press secretary, Charlie (black) being the president’s body boy and president’s daughter’s boyfriend (their first kiss on-screen was HUGE at the time and got tons of hate mail), and Ainsley not being the dumb blond sex kitten she appears to be at first sight.

Iclamae's avatar

“Firefly” for portrayal of women. There are a lot of races and heritages intermixed in the show positively, but I’m not sure if that’s enough to make it undermine a stereotype. I just know that the female characters are all strong women. And they all demonstrate different aspects of femininity as a strength. There’s… 1 exception in the whole series that I can think of and she’s run out of town for it.

SuperMouse's avatar

I will throw out a vote for Community. It has a very diverse cast in terms of age, race, and sexuality. Some humor plays off stereotypes, but it is done in a lampooning way that serves to highlight the ridiculousness of the stereotype. Plus it is always laugh out loud funny.

YARNLADY's avatar

The Cosby Show, in my day.

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