Sister, Sister

17 Oct

I analyzed Sister, Sister, a show I watched when I was younger that features majority black characters. This family-friendly sitcom follows the every day lives of twin girls who were separated at birth then found each other later in life. In the particular episode I watched, the girls get on a trivia show and compete against celebrity guests, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

It was really interesting for me to go back and watch this show from a different perspective than when I was little. First, I noticed that aside from Mary Kate and Ashley there were no other Caucasian actors in the show. Their parents, friends, the mailman, and show host were all black. There was no discussion of the characters’ race in the show and nothing was stereotyped. The girls’ lives seemed very light hearted and happy go lucky.

The character that stuck out to me the most was the black mailman, because it was at that point I realized that all of the characters were black, whether or not it was a realistic representation of life or not. This made me think about all the shows with majority white characters where they created a “circle of whiteness”. I felt like in Sister, Sister there was a similar race circle because instead of giving an accurate depiction of race it was all one particular race. This made the characters’ race stand out to me. It seemed like a conscious decision to keep all of the characters black, but because of that it did not feel like an accurate portrayal of race and instead felt forced. It was almost as if the producers wanted to reach a black audience and thought the best way to do this was to make them feel comfortable by having every single character black.

I think this kind of show, consciously representing all black characters, was a conscious representation for the network to try to appeal to black audiences. The rest of the programs on the network feature majority white characters, so this kind of show is sort of a cheap way to “solve” the issue of race representation on the network and broaden their audiences. In reality, a better way to realistically represent race would be to have a plethora of different races within one program.SisterSistercast


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