OPINION: An unlikely binge list starring people of color

My attempt to get mad ethnic right now


Graphic by Shiavon Chatman

Shiavon Chatman, Opinion Editor

No bae? Looking for a cute, little quaran-ting but social distancing is the move right now? Do you have all the snacks but you’re trying not to binge “Sex and the City” for the umpteenth time? Have you been reading all these lists of what shows and movies to watch, but none of the characters look like you?

Well you’re in luck! I comprised a list of shows and films to watch that contain actual people of color. 

“Living Single” — Hulu

Do you like LOVE “Friends” and you’re so pissed it was taken off of Netflix? Well, “Friends” is the Christopher Columbus of the ‘90s and you support it. Congratulations.

Just kidding, I’ve seen every episode like a million times and you cannot find a cooler white woman than Phoebe Buffay. But “Friends” is the whitewashed version of the early ‘90s sitcom, “Living Single,” a show that had the best theme song of all time (besides “A Different World” season 2) and starred Queen Latifah as a journalist who owns her own magazine company, Flavor. 

But most importantly, Erika Alexander plays Maxine Shaw, a lawyer whose feminist persona and banter with her on-and-off again love interest, make her the greatest scripted character ever. EVER. I highly recommend watching if you want to laugh and reminisce about a time before we were all alive.

“Grey’s Anatomy” — Netflix

My favorite show EVER. I would talk about how much I love this show and the impact it has had on my journey of self love, but I’m saving that for the Jawn. Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama that was created by a Black woman, has had the longest running gay character on primetime television and has the greatest episode of television I’ve ever seen.

I’m a crier. I mean come on, I’m an Aries but it had me in tears.

My dad had to give me the longest hug after watching an episode where two seperate women were experiencing the worst days of their lives – one woman was having a rape kit performed on her while the other was learning from her estranged mother that she was the product of a rape.

The first woman – awaiting surgery – was being pushed on a gurney down a hallway that was filled with supporting women. It was beautiful. It was powerful. It was moving. Bravo, Shonda Rhimes and Krista Vernoff

“Soul Food” — Hulu and a VHS in my garage.

Girl. Listen. This movie makes me laugh, makes me cry, has Nia Long in it and has Blackstreet on the soundtrack – what more could you want in life? The one-liners. The Sunday family dinners. And “Big Mama” reminds me of my Nana.

One of the many gems from my childhood. This movie entertained me as a child (I’m surprised I was allowed to watch this rated R movie) but it really woke something up in me as an adult. Watch if you love food, your grandma and/or Mekhi Phifer. 

“On My Block” — Netflix

This show follows the lives of five Black and Latinx, street-smart teenagers while navigating high school, puberty and the gangs in their neighborhoods. Just normal adolescent stuff. 

I don’t know if dark comedy is the right way to describe this show, but it’s the only series I’ve seen that had a shootout and a masturbating teen that got caught by his pothead grandma in the same season. This show is a chef’s kiss. 

“The Last O.G.” — Netflix and Hulu

Going to prison is pretty much like living under a rock. Tracy Morgan is fresh off of a 15-year bid and is learning how gentrified Brooklyn has become. Also, his girlfriend is now married to a white dude. This hilarious comedy explores how hard it is for formerly incarcerated people to gain employment and go back to any version of normal. 

“The Proud Family” — Disney Plus


Destiny’s Child and Solange sang the theme song. Do I need to do anymore explaining about why you need to watch Disney’s best animated series? Maybe. This star-studded cast is Black Hollywood royalty and is probably responsible for my entire sense of humor as an adult. Plus there’s a Kwanzaa episode. Please educate yourself. 

“Waiting to Exhale” — Hulu

This movie was monumental because it gave a new sense of life to Black women in regards to love, marriage and betrayal. The film follows the life of four Black friends who look to each other for support but long for a meaningful relationship with a man.

How many times have you seen that kind of movie depicting women being women but none of them looked like you? Way too many to count. But this movie transcended race. Growing up, I heard this movie credited to helping so many women through breakups. 

Also, Angela Bassett setting her husband’s car on fire did more for women’s rights than the suffrage movement. 

“Love Jones” — Netflix

One of my FAVORITE movies. God, it’s so good. I think spoken word is one of the most audibly appealing things ever (I love ASMR, don’t judge me), and there is a lot of spoken word in this movie. And Larenz Tate is the poet performing the spoken word. That should be enough to sell you. Plus Nia Long is in it. And they’re in love. But this is by no means a love story, at least not one to aspire to have. They’re both so toxic, but I won’t give any spoilers. 

“Love & Basketball” — Netflix

This might be the worst love story of all time, but such a great movie. This move is 99% basketball and 1% healthy love. This movie follows the lives of two basketball players that grew up together and have an on-and-off again relationship. They’re awful for each other, but it’s so entertaining, and you find yourself rooting for them anyway. I mean, I would never but you probably will. 

“Good Trouble” — Hulu

Watch “The Fosters” first if you haven’t seen it, but this Freefrom spinoff is my favorite part about Wednesday nights. It follows the lives of two twenty-something sisters navigating their “big girl jobs” in Los Angeles. 

It also beautifully paints a picture of being an activist in a Black Lives Matter, social media-esque world. I love the script for this show because you can tell there were actual women in the writing room. One of my favorite storylines in the series is a quirky, Chinese girl struggling to come out to her parents. It’s funny but also hard to watch at the same time.

Plus, the women in this show are absolutely gorgeous. (Hi, Cierra Ramirez).