The Diversity Chronicles #01 - "What's On Sunday?"

Welcome to The Diversity Chronicles, a new op-ed series that will examine diversity and representation, predominantly in Western media.

What's On Sunday?

The Librarians (currently airing its first season on Sundays on TNT at 8PM)

This fantasy/adventure series is a spin-off of The Librarian film series. In this show, four potential-Librarians are recruited to form a new team to fight the forces of evil and deal with various forms of magical mayhem. One of these team members is Ezekiel Jones, an Asian Australian, played by John Kim, also an Asian Australian. It's almost unheard of to see Asian Australians get to play characters without having to change their accents (either to American English or a stereotypical Asian one), but that's not the only reason to appreciate this character. Ezekiel is a brilliantly skilled thief with roguish charm to match. Though little of Ezekiel's backstory has been revealed, only 3 episodes have aired thus far and many of the leads have yet to be more deeply explored.
Tune in to the show and spread the word so this show can be picked up for another season, and tweet John Kim at his Twitter here: @GdayJohnKim

Recommended episode (1x03 - "And the Horns of a Dilemma"):
After spending who-knows-how-long being a lone wolf engaging in masterful thieving shenanigans, Ezekiel learns what it means to be a part of a team.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (season 2 returns on Sunday, January 4, on FOX at 8:30PM)

This action-comedy series is set in the fictional 99th Precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Though many shows hyper-sexualise their Latina character(s), Brooklyn Nine-Nine refutes this tendency twice over. There's Detective Rosa Diaz, a tough, no-nonsense detective that rarely smiles and often refuses to divulge personal information about herself to her co-workers. Actress Stephanie Beatriz gives us some of the best comedic deadpan delivery we've seen since Aubrey Plaza burst onto the scene on Parks and Recreation. Then there's Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), whose perfectionist tendencies and high-strung determination to excel professionally and impress her boss are equally entertaining to the Will-They-Won't-They dynamics she has with Detective Jake Peralta. Further comedy gold comes from Detective Sergeant Terence "Terry" Jeffords (Terry Crews), who has numerous distinct character traits such as feeling insecure about his size and masculinity compared to his even larger, more muscular, brother-in-law (who calls him "Tiny Terry"), adoring his daughters, and enjoying expressing himself artistically. Finally, there's Captain Raymond "Ray" Jacob Holt (Andre Braugher), who offers intersectional diversity as the gay, African-American captain of the precinct. The show has frequently utilised flashbacks showing the struggles against prejudice Holt has overcome throughout his career, which are both funny and brimming with commentary.

Recommended episodes:
(2x02 - "Chocolate Milk") - This episode offers up one of the funniest performances we've seen from Terry Crews on the show, as Detective Terry takes his conflicted feelings about having a vasectomy out on Jake Peralta while under the influence of the hospital sedatives. We also see Captain Holt engage in one of his recurring plots on the show, a feud with Deputy Chief Madeleine Wuntch, played by Kyra Sedgwick.
(2x06 - "Jake and Sophia") - Rosa pushes Amy to run for union rep, and along the way made us wish for more material exploring the friendship between these two.

The Walking Dead (season 5 returns on Sunday, February 8, on AMC at 9PM)

This smash-hit series is one that explores the story a group of people fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse. Actor Steven Yeun has given strong dramatic performances as Glenn Rhee, particularly in the portion of his season 3 arc during and following Glenn and Maggie being captured and tortured by the Governor and his minions. Another outstanding character is Michonne, whose trademark side-eye and badass sword-wielding skills are just the initial spark to get your attention, after which you'll be hooked on actress Danai Gurira's gripping emotional potency in those moments where Michonne's vulnerabilities are shown.

Recommended episodes:
(From 3x07 "When the Dead Come Knocking" to 3x15 "This Sorrowful Life") - This arc shows takes us from the low point of Glenn and Maggie's traumatic experience with the Governor to the high-point of their reconciliation.
(4x09 - "After") - Michonne's back-story is explored and it's too beautifully done to spoil; just watch and enjoy Danai Gurira's brilliance!

Galavant (premiering on Sunday, January 4, on ABC at 8PM as a mid-season fill-in for Once Upon a Time)

This musical fairy tale-themed comedy will follow the adventure of a hero named Galvant who is looking to win back his love, Madalena, from the evil King Richard. But most excitingly, the show will feature a Spanish princess named Isabella, who will be played by actress Karen David, who is of Chinese and Indian descent. We were fortunate enough to interview her recently about the show and her character at the Unforgettable Gala 2014, which you can see down below.

What shows, characters, and content do you look to for diversity? Leave your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below, or tweet the creator/author of The Diversity Chronicles here: (x)


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