The TV landscape is more diverse than ever before. No longer content to watch story after story of white experiences, people of colour – both viewers and creators – have created a space for themselves to be represented on TV. There’s still a long way to go, both in the States and here in Canada, but the strides made toward diverse representation deserve commendation.
That’s why, in this article, let’s spotlight four TV shows run by or featuring women of colour. These moving, stirring, hilarious, and thought-provoking shows demonstrate how much richer the TV landscape is when it includes all women. To whittle it down, this list has included titles in four categories: a Canadian series, a drama, a talk show, and a comedy.
If you have free time this weekend, enjoy one – or all – of these amazing shows!
Canadian Series: Diggstown
It was surprisingly – and discouragingly – difficult to find a Canadian show with a female POC showrunner. Hopefully, that changes in the future.
In the meantime, let’s include the fantastic Canadian drama series, Diggstown – the first Canadian series to feature a Black Canadian female lead and one of the first to have a Black showrunner. The series follows Marcie Diggs, a high-profile lawyer who leaves her corporate job to work at a Nova Scotia legal aid clinic.
Drama: I May Destroy You
One of HBO’s hottest new shows, I May Destroy You, is an affecting blend of serious drama and poignant comedy. It stars the terrific Michaela Cole as a novelist trying to rebuild her life after being raped. Its heavy themes and serious subject matter are tempered by moments of quiet hilarity, illustrating the sometimes-conflicting emotions trauma survivors feel.
Cole also created, wrote, and directed the series, which aired its first season this past June.
Talk Show: Red Table Talk
The powerful, authentic, and no-holds-barred talk show from Jada Pinkett Smith is back for a third season this year and continues to tackle significant issues – including a few personal to Pinkett Smith herself.
In July, Pinkett Smith welcomed political activist Angela Davis to discuss the crisis in Black America in the aftermath of repeated accounts of police brutality. And back in March, she invited famous meditation expert Jay Shetty to discuss managing anxiety during COVID-19. Never shying away from pressing and contemporary issues, Red Table Talk is a vital and necessary talk show in 2020.
Issa Rae is on her way to becoming a household name (in some households, she definitely already is!) after her starring role in Netflix’s rom-com The Lovebirds this year.
To see her comedy in action on TV, watch Insecure, a hilarious, candid, and brash look at the black female experience in LA. The show has racked up an impressive list of awards and nominations, including Emmys, NAACP Awards, BET Awards, and more.
Hopefully, the future brings more and better diversity to our small screens. In the meantime, these women of colour-led shows are a fantastic way to spend your weekend!