In my late teens early twenties, my cousin used to tease me for watching so many “white people shows”. I loved me some One Tree Hill, Hart of Dixie and all the other CW shows about small town life. I grew up in a small town (600 people) so I connected with the quaint, simplicity of life, and all the cutesy town events. Unfortunately, most of these shows had one black character, two at best and probably no other people of color.
Fast forward to today. I still enjoy “warm bath” shows and the Hallmark holiday movies. I like mild drama, the happy endings, the ridiculous small town gossip woes. But even now, in this day of diversity everywhere and in all things, you still don’t see much diversity in that category of tv shows.
I just finished up Virgin River, a Netflix series based on the books by Robyn Carr, and it checks off all the boxes. City girl moves to small town to escape her past. Falls for the small town bar owner who has his own past demons he’s running from. The town gossip and other fun characters. The one black guy, best friend to the bar owner.
I watched every single episode because these shows are my thing. But this same story could have easily been told where the main character was not white. Whether or not we had to be black is debatable, but with African Americans being the largest racial minority in the states and Hispanics the largest ethnic minority, I’d say yea. On Netflix you’ll find the gambit of Spanish speaking shows and movies that could fit this genre. There’s even the Korean versions too…but no, no black (American ) ones. Maybe a few Nigerian Nollywood movies, but nothing much to cater to the western blacks.
Yes, I know it is based on a book series and there are books about black Americans that fit this trope.
Anyway, it’s just my opinion. I’m sure they could use more diversity not just in skin color but also lgbtq and religious diversity, but those aren’t my battles today. Other black stories should be told. The black experience is not monolithic and not every consumer of entertainment cares for table flipping, twerking and reality show drama where the options are endless in terms of black people being casted.