“Oh Snap! ‘Golden Girls’ Is On!” 15 White Shows That Black Folks Love–Past And Present
As black Americans, we naturally tend to gravitate toward shows that have casts who look like us, address our issues and live in our communities. Although this is true, we still won’t hesitate to pick up our remotes and flip to the channel hosting our favorite non-black addiction, whether it’s a reality show, sitcom or drama. Here’s a look at a few of those “white shows” that reel us in despite their lack of black and brown characters.
The Wonder Years
Uniquely structured as a narrative, this has to be one of the most memorable sitcoms of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It was hard not to love watching Kevin reminisce on his childhood days with his stern pops, love-struck brother Wayne, and pretty little girlfriend Winnie. Yeah, this one was a favorite for a lot of people, and for good reason with its classic storylines and the fact that it could tackle a tumultuous time in history and find a way to make the lives of people dealing with the changing times comical.
The Golden Girls
With Rose’s slow-wit, Blanche’s sultriness, Dorothy’s toughness and Sophia’s wise-cracking sarcasm, these four set the ‘80s ablaze. You loved them and so did your momma, your aunties, uncles and all your cousins too! Without a doubt, “The Golden Girls” were the hottest set of senior citizens on TV.
Saved By the Bell
Based on the lives of six high school teens, this is one sitcom that not too many youngsters—whether black or white—weren’t obsessed with. Screech had to be the most adorable (and scrawny) geek on TV, and Mario Lopez might be dubbed one of the sexiest men alive today, but I was crushing on him back when he was Slater—him and Zach. And of course, I have to mention Lisa—the drop-dead gorgeous fashionista who was also one of the only black characters on the show (there was that one nerd…nevermind). She gave “Saved By the Bell” a little spice, but the entire cast was on point. A great sitcom indeed!
My mother was—and still is—crazy about this show! So much so that she got me hooked. At a young age, I was glued to my TV, anxious to see how Matlock would figure out who committed the murder and what evidence he’d use to bring them down in court. Equipped with a razor-sharp brain and some serious crime-solving skills, Matlock was a bad, bad man. And we love him! And did I mention that the theme song, though short, is kind of awesome too?
Boy Meets World
With a seven-season run, “Boy Meets World” raked in millions of viewers and collected fans all the way from the suburbs to the hood thanks to a thirst for TGIF on ABC. We watched Cory and Shawn as they grew from scrawny sixth graders to handsome college men, and fought back tears when Cory finally married his childhood sweetheart, Topanga, in the final season. Just one of those shows where you felt like you grew with the characters. Definitely a favorite.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
First off, let me just say that Larry David is hilarious! He’s outrageous, outspoken, upfront and sarcastic as hell. Probably why we all love this HBO show so much. David says and does things that most people would feel bad saying, but NOT being blunt would take away the funny.
They gave us a look into the lives of mob-affiliated wives, girlfriends and daughters along with a side of ratchetness and girl-drama. Although filled with an entirely white cast—with the exception of Drita, who we all know is a black girl stuck in a white girl’s body—you would think they were the Huxtables the way black folks tune in to the show and know all of the business of the ladies on the show.
Centered around five friends (including an over-the-top but hilarious agent) living a crazy new life in LA thanks to their famous friend, this is one show that had us all hooked! The series may have ended, but there have been talks of an “Entourage” film coming to the big screen. Looks like there’s more to come for those of us who can’t get enough of Vince and his crew.
Sex and the City
The white version of “Girlfriends” for many of us, but actually a predecessor, it’s no wonder why so many black women love this show—even men too, although they try to keep it on the hush. These four ladies were spicy, spontaneous and fierce! Carrie and Mr. Big’s relationship alone was enough to carry the show in itself, and if that wasn’t enough, she dated enough men to fill a black book and keep things interesting. Don’t tell me that when you hear the name Aidan you don’t immediately think of her ex on the show? You do! Definitely a hot series!
Real Housewives of Orange County
Okay, so we all know black folks love them some “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” but the housewives of OC aren’t lagging too far behind in their drama. The first in “The Real Housewives” franchise, “RHOC” is filled with divorces, friendship wars, secrets, lies, deceit and more lies. Talk about drama. They have more juice than a little bit, and we’re drinking it right on up!
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
More than ten years and running, “Law & Order: SVU” is one of those shows that’s hard not to watch, especially since the marathons on USA get you all kinds of caught up in front of the television. What makes it even more attractive is that each episode is inspired by real life crimes taking place in the Big Apple. And oh yeah, I can’t forget about the homie Ice-T who plays hardcore Detective Fin.
The show that introduced us to the Olsen twins, I’d say that “Full House” is one of the best family-oriented sitcoms to ever grace primetime television. Entertaining and positive, it’s most definitely one of my favorite non-black shows of the ‘90s. Plus, John Stamos was on there, and we know how beautiful he is. What’s more insane than three men trying to raise three little girls? Crazy, but it worked, and we loved it!
Married With Children
“Married With Children” had all the right ingredients for one hilarious show: a materialistic, lazy wife, sarcastic, bitter husband, rival neighbors and two difficult teenagers. I remember getting super excited anytime I would hear the first line of the theme song “Love & Marriage.” I would plop up on my couch ready to see Al drinking beer and making those hysterical faces as he complained about his wife, kids, Marcy, or his not-so-great day at work (hand in pants of course). Plus, who can forget how hot—and ridiculously dumb—Kelly was? And how many of you remember Bud’s alter ego Grandmaster B? Dead! One funny show man, one funny show.
Based on six buds equipped with jokes, complicated relationships and love triangles, “Friends” is regarded as one of the best sitcoms in the history of television—and not just by white folks. Its finale pulled in tens of millions of viewers after a 10-year run, and while we were extremely scarce in our roles on the show (aside from Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union coming in as a love interest), it’s safe to say that black people played a huge role in that feat.
The show that put comedienne Roseanne Barr on the map, it was one of those sitcoms that not too many families didn’t watch, probably it was for once, a show everybody could relate to. With a grumpy and funny cast and issues that focused on everything from race relations to poverty and female empowerment, who didn’t love “Roseanne”?