I am in a mild fugue state at the moment, as my best friend just informed me that she is moving across the country a full month before she said she was, but I wanted to say thanks to people who are reading this, from all over the world, apparently (Google Analytics says I'm big in Russia) and also remind everyone to click on an ad today, on some fledgling blogger's blog (mine works as much as anyone's! :D).
Also, just a side note - I just started watching Lie to Me and am in LOVE. If you like Castle or Psych or Bones or anything else that I would call an irreverent crime procedural, you will probably like Lie to Me. Also, if you like weird sciences and always want to jump into a career of something because of watching a TV show about it (i.e., forensics because of Bones, fake psychicing because of Psych, crime writing and/or ass-kickery because of Castle), you will probably enjoy its look into the science of lies. I especially like when they use pictures of famous lies or famous examples of emotion to show you, yup, this really is a universal facial reaction, and if you are like me, you will catch yourself doing microexpressions of various things and probably look like a lunatic as you laugh at yourself for tinily shrugging or biting your lip unconsciously.
Of course, it does fall into certain crime procedural tropes, including one that irritates me to no end - the all-Muslims-aren't-suicide-bombers!-but-one-in-this-episode-is-let's-find-out-who-oh-wait-everyone's-just-racist thing, which... like, no, the vast majority of Muslims are not extremists, but why do all crime procedurals feel the need to do at least one episode in which they point it out, and all of them feel very much like the people writing the episode were like, "oh my gosh, this is going to be so OUT THERE and AVANT-GARDE and make people UNCOMFORTABLE," and it's like, really? Showing Muslims as normal humans is avant-garde?
/SIIIIIIIIIGH. That got very tangent-y very quickly. I just watched the one with the seeming-suicide-bombers plot last night, which is probably why I'm stuck on it. Also I think I recently watched an episode of something else with that same plot. It's just that you don't see a lot of Muslim characters on shows for anything except the episodes about/seemingly about religious extremism, which is just stupid.
Oh, well, there was that character arc on Bones with Arastoo Vaziri, (spoiler warning on the season from 2009, highlight for text) where he fakes an accent so that the team won't be jerks about his prayer schedule, which was very surprising to me, when it came out that he was faking it.
And of course, there's Abed on Community, who is one of my single-most favorite characters of all time, of any medium.
Annnnnnyway. I was hoping to find an article on Racialicious or something about the whole Muslims on TV issue, but "All-American Muslim" is skewing my search results. An article from last year on KoldCast names 14 American films (and TV) from 1980 on that have nuanced portrayals of Muslims - but that also includes Antonio Banderas playing an Arab Muslim, and several movies and shows that, to be perfectly honest, I had never heard of before. But, seriously, if you take pretty much any group that is a minority in the US and try to think of 14 positive or nuanced depictions of them in pop culture in the last 30 years, you're going to have to include some little-known documentaries and low-budget movies too. Sometimes I just want to slap Hollywood across the face and say, "Seriously, Hollywood. I'm really not afraid of seeing people of color (or queer spectrum, for that matter) on my TV or movie screen."
I usually avoid writing/talking/commenting about this kind of thing, because I don't want to say the wrong thing and sound like a gross racist, but making members of minority groups hold the obligation for bringing up that group's issues is massively unfair and ridiculous.
So there you go, Hollywood. I consume pop culture like it's my job. I'm white and middle-class. And I want diversity in my TV and movies. SURPRISE!