So John actually spent this past MLK with an old friend and they were discussing the old days in the 90s. The days of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, and Martin are long gone… There no longer exists any primetime African American shows to Johns memory. And there seem to be quite the shortage of leading African American roles among all the shows John watches…
So all the way back in the 90s, there seemed to be a bunch of TV shows with a lot more African Americans. Even as he thinks about it today, the classic TGIF on ABC used to have Family Matters and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. And aside from John’s fav shows, there were shows like Moesha, the Steve Harvey Show, and Sister Sister.
Here’s a few of John’s favorite African American TV shows he grew up with:
Easily Will Smith’s most notable and recognizable role, although Carlton was John’s favorite
People often forget how this show is technically a spinoff… Harriet Winslow was actually on Perfect Strangers with America’s favorite Balki Bartokomous
Wazzzzzup, no not the Budweiser guys. Tommy probably still doesn’t have a job, but Martin was amazing back in the day.
Khadijah James played by Queen Latifah, can a character have a better name than Khadijah? Maybe Sylar. But out of all the strong and great female characters on the show, Kyle Barker played by T.C. Carson was the absolute best!
Probably the least of John’s favs, but there were some pretty good eps, and how can you not watch Holly Robinson on TV?
So with all those great shows in the past, when John thinks of the onslaught of TV he watches now, possibly even more than when he was younger. And the fact that there’s not only no African American show, but the roles of African Americans seem relatively smaller with a few exceptions
Omar Epps – Dr. Eric Foreman
Obviously one of the longer running shows. Omar Epps nails this role.
Don Cheadle – Marty Kaan
Don Cheadle essentially plays the black version of a cross between Hank Moody and House. Awesome at what he does and often hated for being so good at it.
Donald Glover – Troy Barnes
Yvette Nicole Brown – Shirley Bennett
One of John’s favorite TV shows of the bunch has two fairly strong African American actors. Troy is one of his favs, although Shirley is unfortunately one of his least favs…
Lamorne Morris – Winston Bishop
Winston is the 2nd funniest guy on the show, unfortunately light years away from Schmidt. It is worth noting that one of John’s favorite episodes on New Girl was with Winston and the Bells, hysterical stuff.
Tracy Morgan – Tracy Jordan
Absolutely impossible to not burst into tears laughing and Tracy during this show. He’s amazing on this show.
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