culture/multiculturalism · Hispanics/Latinos · Jesus · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · religion · television

TV That Looks Like ME!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Smith-like TV show, Undercovers follows a black couple getting back into the CIA spy game after retiring five years earlier to have “a normal life” and run a catering business. I can’t remember the last time I saw a show on Network TV that had not one but two people of color as the main protagonists, can you?

Along with Undercovers, many new TV shows like Outlaw, Law & Order Los Angeles, Outsourced, Hawaii Five-O, Nikita, Detroit 1-8-7 and The Event also have people of color in some major (and as always, minor) roles this TV season. Older ensemble shows like Glee and Modern Family also have many people of color featured on their shows and seem to be striving to give them more screen time this season.
The Event features Blaire Underwood as an Afro-Cuban-American United States president! Underwood is not himself Hispanic but his TV wife is light-skinned Puerto-Rican actress, Lisa Vidal! Maybe next year’s TV president will be a Jewminican! But for now, the plantain jokes in Episode three of Undercovers will suffice! In that episode, a minor character continually refers to a suspect as a plantain as in “The plaintain is in the building!” and “The plantain is in the elevator!”

Undercovers stars actors Boris Kudjoe (Ghanaian-German) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (South African-English), both really hot black actors with mixed biracial/ethnic backgrounds, as Steven and Samantha Bloom. Kudjoe is actually a Jew of color by matrilineal descent with a maternal grandmother who survived the Holocaust though her own Jewish mother did not. Kudjoe was not raised Jewish and is now a practicing Christian (Methodist, specifically).
Here are some funny Jewish quotes I’ve collected since the fall season started:


1. “The butcher ran out of beef ribs and asked if he could use pork and I said ‘yeah.'” (Lizzy, Samantha’s little sister)

“For the Chan-Finkelstein wedding?” (Samantha Bloom)
“Yeah, is that bad?”
“Lizzy, he’s an Orthodox Jew!”
“Yeah but she’s Chinese, I kinda thought he’d gotten over it.”

‎2. “The wedding went so well, they made me an honorary Chinese Jew!” (Lizzy)


1. “It’s like a Jewish cloud!” (Brittany commenting on Jacob Ben-Israel’s Jew-fro)

2. “I need to know that my children will be free to worship who I tell them to.” (Rachel)
“Sure, of course. Yeah, [our kids] should totally go to Jew church and wear those hats and eat that salty orange stuff on their bagels.” (Non-Jew Finn to Jewish girlfriend, Rachel on Glee)

3. Puck explaining that though he’s a proud Jew, he is not uncomfortable around Glee members who are Christian and talking about Jesus on the “Grilled Cheesus” episode:
“I don’t like people using J-Money to cramp everyone else’s style… I see God every time I make out with a chick.”
“I’m a total Jew for Jesus. He’s my number one Heeb.” Oy vey.

“I actually went to temple with my nanny yesterday.”

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