You’ll recall last year’s hoopla over the lack of diversity in Lena Dunham’s hit HBO series, Girls (although, it’s questionable whether it all was genuine, or fabricated to generate conversation and press around the series); soon after, it was revealed that Donald Glover would be joining the series’ cast this season, I suppose in response to calls for more *color* on the show.
At the time, it wasn’t known what role exactly Glover would play; but now we do know.
Tim Goodman’s review of the new season of the series (which debuts on January 13) in The Hollywood Reporter last Friday, gives us some of the 411:
Season two starts with a pretty big — and unexplained — jump. Hannah is now dating a handsome black Republican named Sandy (Donald Glover)… When Sandy calls out Hannah’s knowledge of race and its ramifications, she goes on a self-righteous, defensive rant, and Sandy says, “You just said a Missy Elliott lyric.” There are attacks on fixie bikes, rich white girls dating black men, iPad-using gay DJs, what constitutes a “pretty person’s job,” and the smug cynicism of youthful people who haven’t earned the right to it.
I did watch a couple of episodes of Girls, and, to be frank, they did very little, to nothing, for me, and I never went back to it. I’m just not its target audience. Besides, I have so much else to keep up with. I hear it’s a good show, well-written etc. But little about it attracts me.
Will Glover’s addition make a difference to me? Probably not. But we’ll see… I’m sure I’ll be cajoled into giving it a look – especially the episodes he’s in.
Dunham said that the ‘race’ problem in Girls would be addressed in the new season, and the characters would be more diverse. Great! However, I’m not a fan of classic network tokenism in casting; in essence, don’t give us characters of color just to meet a quota, or as a knee-jerk reaction to the criticism. And then when she does include black characters who aren’t written as we’d like them to be, we’ll only just criticize further!
And given that Glover’s character is a black Republican, it’s anyone’s guess what slant/angle the writing will take with Mr Sandy.
For a show that, from what I hear, is not at all what you’d call political – at least the characters and the world they inhabit are apolitical – how will inserting a character designated as a black Republican mix into the narrative?