We love to see sitcoms with actors who look like us, talk like us, and act like us, but we know such shows are in small supply. To make up for the small amount of television shows with people who look and sound just like us, we supplement them with shows about people who live like us. In the nine shows listed below, there may have been but one or two black people to make an occasional appearance on them, but we never minded. We tuned in anyway.
Homer and the rest of his animated family may not be white. They’re technically more like yellow, and they’re not even real people. But when the only black person in the show is a jazz saxophone player, it’s pretty clear “The Simpsons” show doesn’t feature anyone with a heavy dose of melanin. Still, we watched anyway because like a lot of black families, The Simpsons never seem to be without some drama.
Rachel, Ross, Joey, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe lived the life many people regardless of race want to have. Sitting in coffee shops all day, talking about the world, non-stop comedy, hooking-up every now and then. For whom is this not the life?
MARRIED WITH CHILDREN
Something about Peggy, Al, Bud, and Kelly made the Bundy’s relatable. The family was always hard on their luck, and even harder on each other, but let an outsider say anything about the Bundy’s, and the fight would be on. This is how family should be.
THE WONDER YEARS
For any young man coming of age in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Kevin was their hero. Kevin’s stories of the ups and downs of growing up (narrated by an older version of himself in an unforgettable voice) were just like ours, except with different specifics. Years later Chris Rock would adopt a similar storytelling approach to “The Wonder Years” with his own show “Everybody Hates Chris”.
SEX AND THE CITY
All four women — Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte — may have been white, but the city they lived in, the fashion they wore, their problems with men, those were all colorblind. “Sex And The City” wasn’t a show about white women; it was a show about women.
BOY MEETS WORLD
In the 90’s, “Boy Meets World” was to young men, what “Wonder Years” was to young men in the decade prior. Cory and his best friend Shawn were like every teenage boy trying to figure out their lives as they went through puberty, and though she was young, Topanga was one of the most beautiful girls on television.
What family doesn’t have a crazy distant cousin like Larry had in his distant cousin Balki Bartokomous? The story of how Larry and Balki learned to co-exist and become a family is one every person with a large family can relate to.
Jack Tripper lives with Janet and Chrissy Snow (in later seasons Chrissy would be replaced) and brings home copious amounts of women he meets at the neighborhood hangout spot, The Regal Beagle. This was the life every man wanted to live and every woman who ever had a man for a roommate needed to deal with.
Bill Cosby may have been America’s dad, but a close second had to be Danny Tanner. Played by comedian Bob Saget, Danny plays a widowed father of three daughters who recruits help from his best friend Joey and brother-in-law John Stamos. The Tanners were a family that was by no means neat or perfect, but the way they were imperfect were like most families, and no matter what you were going through, one of Danny’s lectures would surely have an answer.