by Racialicious guest contributor nina
In light of recent posts about TV shows I wanted to share the following: I was flicking through stations last night and watched the last 10 minutes or so of a comedy on ABC called “Carpoolers.” The show is about 4 men who carpool to work together and share their lives. The thing that was distasteful is that the sole black male on the show, Aubrey, seems to have a stereotypically loud, controlling black wife and seven kids that he complained about constantly. The wife’s actual face was never even shown in the episode, just her legs. Meanwhile the faces of the white wives and girlfriends were shown and they had speaking parts to boot. Was this a one time thing or is that really how ABC is choosing to depict a black married couple? Then again see below how ABC’s website describes the 4 characters. Again, Aubrey is the sole character of color.
Gracen (Fred Goss, ABC’s Sons & Daughters) is the unofficial leader of the carpool pack. As a professional mediator, he thinks he’s a problem solver, but more often he’s a causer. He seeks fairness in an unfair world, and so finds himself in the middle of situations because he’s compelled to be there. In the pilot, Gracen is stunned to learn that his wife makes more money than he does, which sets his resolve to assert his manly authority.
Laird (Jerry O’Connell, Crossing Jordan) is Gracen’s playboy dentist neighbor and best friend. He thinks his life is an unending quest for stories – and women. In the middle of a messy divorce, he allows himself to live a little and taunts the other carpoolers with the freedom of his near-single status. He would never admit that he secretly misses marriage. Laird constantly leads the carpoolers into adventures, but once there, he isn’t sure what to do.
Aubrey (Jerry Minor, Mr. Show) is a sweet but intense pushover at the bottom of the family food chain. The daily ride has become the only peaceful time in his life. Forty-five minutes, two times a day – he needs the carpool the most. Always quick to come to the carpoolers’ aid, he believes in the brotherhood almost to a fault. Only the carpoolers know he’s boiling inside
Dougie (Tim Peper, The Guiding Light) is the eager newlywed. He doesn’t know all the rules of the Carpooler Society, often breaks them, and has to have the ways of the world explained to him by his tribal elders, the three other carpoolers. He and his wife, Cindy, are the perfect modern couple, but as you get to know them, you start to see their cracks. Dougie is the guy who seems to have it all together, yet he’s drawn to the carpoolers for a little excitement. The carpoolers will both instigate problems for Dougie and help him deal with the realities of life to come.
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