Something to Binge On

Recently I have gotten really into the show Aquarius. It popped up on my Netflix recommended and had one of my favorite actors as one of the main characters. I knew I just had to check it out and I’m sure glad that I did.

The show was created by John McNamara and stars David Duchovny, Gray Damon, Gethin Anthony, and Emma Dumont as some of the main characters. David Duchovny had been in many television shows and is widely known as being Fox Mulder on the X-Files.

It is set in the late 1960’s and the story follows Charles Manson and his family. David Duchovny plays the main detective, Sam Hodiak, and gets called to help with a missing teenager case. As it turns out the missing teenager, Emma, gets taken in by Charles Manson. She heard of all his ideas and just really wanted to see what it was all about. The seasons then follow Charles, Emma, and the family up until Helter Skelter. Even though Emma goes back to Manson after Sam Hodiak takes her home Hodiak’s life still intertwines with Manson’s. But that’s just a quick flow through of the show. I would definitely check out the show.

But how does this deal with diversity?

Since it is set in the late 1960’s there are still a lot of issues between races. Many of the officers in the police station are older white men and often accuse black males of the crimes when it is found out in the show that many were by white males.

There is also an instance where Hodiak gets invited to his partners house to meet his wife. Everyone knew that his partner, Brian Shafe, was married, but no one has never met her and Shafe didn’t have photos of her on his desk. When Hodiak gets introduced to his wife he gets quite the surprised look on his face. Shafe’s wife was a black woman and they had a daughter together. Everyone in Shafe’s neighborhood knew that they were an interracial couple and that caused strife with both the black and white community, especially since Shafe was a cop. His wife worked with the Black Panther Party and they also weren’t happy that Shafe was married to a black woman.

Charles Manson was also not a huge fan of other races and the show made sure to pull that in. When Martin Luther King Jr. passed Manson was more than excited. And while Manson was planning his murder sprees he wanted to make sure that his family knew that they were setting it up as if white people hadn’t done it. Manson was often saying “don’t get any white finger prints anywhere” or “don’t leave our white things around at the scenes”.

All in all this is a super good show and shows a lot of diversity!

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Asexuals on Television

i am asexual todd chavez

On September 8th, 2017 the hit animated TV series “BoJack Horseman” became the first ever television show to say the word asexual aloud.  At the same time, one of the leading characters, Todd, became the first ever confirmed asexual character on television.

Throughout the series, Todd seemed to struggle with his identity.  Several scenes showed Todd not picking up on sexualy or romantically suggestive situations, and in season four Todd is quoted as saying, “I’m not gay. I mean, I don’t think I am, but… I don’t think I’m straight, either. I don’t know what I am. I think I might be nothing.”

i don't know what I am Todd Chavez

This line resonated with a lot of people in the asexual community who admitted they felt similarly before realizing they were asexual.  A lack of representation hits the asexual community especially hard.  Few characters on television or in movies have ever shown asexual characteristics, making it hard for a-spec people to find themselves in popular media.  Some characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Sheldon Cooper, and Jughead have been accepted into the asexual community as a-spec characters, but up until Todd Chavez, none have been confirmed as such, much less said the word out loud.

In a heteronormative world with next to zero representation in the media, asexuals and aromantics have an extra hard time coming to terms with their identity.  For some people, Todd exclaiming that he’s asexual on television may have been the first time they had heard the word, period.  And in a sex-obsessed world, it’s no wonder so many a-spec people take so long to realize who they are.

Todd Chavez coming out on television is especially important because of who he is as a character.  First of all, he’s lovable.  He has a quirky, likeable personality, and he’s interesting; someone you’d want to be friends with.  Second, he has several close and loving relationships on the show, and he’s got feelings.  He’s not an unfeeling robot and his lack of sexual attraction doesn’t make him any less human than his companion characters.  This can’t be said for almost all headcannoned asexual characters.  Both Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Cooper have very stiff, stuffy personalities.  They lack almost any sort of affection whether it be toward friends or romantic partners.  And for the most part, they’re emotionless shells, barely human.  But very few headcannoned asexuals are protagonists in movies or television shows.  Most are cold, unfeeling villains such as Voldemort from Harry Potter, Moriarty from Sherlock, or Dexter Morgan from Dexter.  And if they’re not villains, they’re mentally insane, or both.  This creates a toxic image of asexual people as being less than human.  Todd is one of the very few characters to portray asexuality in a positive light.  

Todd’s asexual announcement has made asexual history, and will hopefully pave the way for even more positive a-spec representation in all forms of entertainment.  Todd Chavez has become an asexual television idol for a-spec people to see themselves represented in.  I have no doubt that by actually hearing the word asexual on television will help many non-asexual people understand the orientation, and many a-spec people come to better realize who they are.

Asexual meet-up todd chavez

The real problem with lack of racial diversity in television shows

With any television show, there are always going to be critics on racial diversity and whether or not people of different backgrounds are equally shown through the screen. However, I think people forget about the real meaning why actors are in shows. Companies do not hire actors because of their racial background, but rather because they fit the role of a particular character, or at least that’s the way it should be.

In order to get rid of racism in television shows we need to stop looking for it. As critical viewers, we are programmed to look for these kinds of things, but what if we are looking too far into it? It very well could be that the show is simply just looking for the right talent for their roles and showing no discrimination at all. We see this in the public sphere way too often. The media, for example, likes to put stories of acts that are portrayed to be racist that eventually end up being just a misunderstanding. I will acknowledge that yes, there is still racist people in the world but not as many as we make it seem. I think that our society as a whole is at fault and it will take a long time for us to fix the glitches.

I believe that a world without racism is a world that doesn’t focus on it. There is too much focus on what is wrong with our world and not enough focus on what is right. I hope that someday we put our attention on the talent of the actors rather than why the role wasn’t given to someone else. If there is to be a racially diverse actor on any show, it should be because their talents and qualifications got them there, not because of the color of their skin.