My Wife & Kids

17 Oct

I honestly hate saying this, because it is making all the stereotypes about race in our culture and society true, but it took me a while to think of a TV show with a predominately non-white cast and I had to think back to shows that I watched when I was younger. The first show that came to mind that I watched the most often was My Wife & Kids starring Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell-Martin. The summary of the show, from IMDB.com is “Michael Kyle longs for a traditional life, but his day-trader wife Janet, gangsta rap-worshipping son Michael Jr., and brooding daughters Claire and Kady make his dream just that … a dream”.

I think the fact that it took me a while to think of a show that fits into a non-white category really shows that there is not enough diversity within out culture’s prime time television, even today. I always like using Scandal was an example but African Americas do not make up most of the cast on that show. I don’t even remember what cable channel My Wife and Kids were on (granted, I was much younger and didn’t pay attention to any channels except channel 28 which was Nickelodeon). I had to look up that this show was on ABC and I mainly watched this show when I was around 11-12 years old. At that time I didn’t think any differently of this show compared to the other live action shows that I would watch (like the OC at that time). Also, I don’t really remember any white characters on the show – this may be due to the fact that I watched this show ten years ago or that no white character stuck out in my mind. I do feel though that any characters that are white within this show will have ‘the man’ stereotype to them since the white characters in the show had higher positions jobs or situations.

The character that I will analyze is Michael who is the father of the family – he has a very similar role to Bill Cosby and other fathers in predominately black TV sitcoms. Remembering back to the show I know that Michael and his wife had been married since they were 17 or 18 years old due to the fact that they were pregnant with their first son. I thought that this was an interesting choice to give these characters as a backstory – seeing that teenage pregnancy is something that is commonly frowned upon. Throughout the series he always tries to do the best and provide the best for his two children and the show is mainly about common family struggles. I relate to this character in a way of just trying to provide the best support to those around me.

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