Scott Hanselman

Interracial Couples on TV

April 18, 2006 Comment on this post [13] Posted in Movies | Parenting | Z
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HelloiammixedWhen I see things changing like this, it makes me smile and feel better for Z's future.

More and more on TV there are interracial couples that aren't called out as "The Mixed Couple." Sometimes it's a little played out when entire movies are created about how shocking a mixed couple supposedly is. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was ground-breaking in 1967, but Something New just pandered to racial stereotypes as did FX Network's recent reality show "Black.White," succeeding in little except making both families and their respective races look ignorant. Perhaps it was a West Coast thing. It would have been interesting had they picked families from integrated neighborhoods with a little more savvy.

Life and love are a lot more complicated than just Black and White. Here's a list of popular TV shows with mixed couples on right now.

Grey's Anatomy, ABC, Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT
The couple: Dr. Cristina Yang, played by Sandra Oh; Dr. Preston Burke, played by Isaiah Washington.
Their relationship: Top surgeon falls for intern. Opposites attract.

Lost, ABC, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT
The couple: Bernard, played by Sam Anderson; Rose, played by L. Scott Caldwell
Their relationship: Viewers didn’t know Rose’s husband was white, but they did know she had unwavering belief in him.

ER, NBC, Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT
The couple: Dr. Neela Rasgotra, played by Parminder Nagra; Dr. Michael Gallant, played by Sharif Atkins.
Their relationship: She’s an ER doc; he’s just back from Iraq. Was the quickie wedding a good idea?

My Name Is Earl, NBC, Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT
The couple: Earl’s ex-wife Joy, played by Jaime Pressly; Darnell, played by Eddie Steeples.
Their relationship: He works in the Crab Shack; she’s after Earl’s lottery winnings. Earl and “Crabman” remain best buddies.

There's a great organization in Seattle called the MAVIN Foundation. It's a non-profit that is focused on celebrating the mixed race experience. It is known for its work hunting for mixed-race blood marrow donors.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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April 18, 2006 3:12
A. Crabman rocks.

B. You missed "The Office". The character Kevin has a mixed marriage.
April 18, 2006 3:22
Right! The Office...there's also the relationship between Mindy Kaling, the pretty Indian Girl and the Temp Worker.
April 18, 2006 8:22
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner links to Grey's Anatomy. You probably meant to link here:
April 18, 2006 8:59
I'm not so sure I'm all aboard with this newfangled interracial coupling thing.

April 18, 2006 9:16
...says the mixed race guy. Ah, to be mixed. I tell you, this whole Scottish/Irish/German thing has always made me feel like an outcast. Add in the two African languages and I just don't know where I fit in Portland, OR. :)
April 18, 2006 9:37
You can add Thief, the new series on FX. Andre Braugher's character was married to a character played by Andrea Powell (she died in the pilot episode).
April 18, 2006 10:35
Mixed-race offspring are always beautiful. I think it's God's way of telling us to mingle. I mean look at Soledad O'Brien or Kristin Kreuk.
April 18, 2006 20:02
Hi Scott,

There are also two (well, three) couples on the new Battlestar Galactica series (do clones count)?

1. Petty Officer Dualla and Billy Keikeya
2. Lt. Valerii #1 and Lt. Agathon
3. Lt. Valerii #2 and Chief Tyrol

And there's nothing different or outstanding about their relationships, er. except for the cylon clone thing, but race-wise everything is cool...
April 18, 2006 21:51
Where I think it gets really interesting is when kids like yours and mine start having kids with each other. At the point where every third person starts describing themselves as Asian/African/White, I think we'll all stop bothering to even mention it.
April 18, 2006 22:12
It's already begun.....
I have a beautiful 6 year old boy - who's 1/4 Hondurian, 1/4 Ecuadorian, 1/4 Spaniard, and 1/4 Vincentian...
April 18, 2006 22:54
well, I know my kids are much better looking than me or my spouse. Power to the mixies!
April 18, 2006 23:44
Consider the possibility that the very entities you use to perceive a world without concern for "race" or "mixed race" are based on schools of thought founded by racists. Your thoughts have to come from somewhere; do not be so unwise to assume that you made all of your thoughts up from nothing. This is the fantasy of the existentialist. It is what soldiers do to deal with the carnage and the ruins and "put the past behind them." Continue to embrace the family man and we all need to drop the army man and study war no more.

Consider this headline: "Outrage in Milwaukee Over Acquittal by All-White Jury of Police Officers Charged in Vicious Beating" ( The victim of this beating was a "mixed race" young man. Make sure you include this vieiwing along with your other television viewing. I do not see these kinds of reports mentioned in your Blog and you are quite a meticulous guy so I cannot assume you address these issue elsewhere...

Respect your ancestors and respect the ancestors of your wife. Look upon the multitude of generations that brought you to where you are today. Let us not run "managed code" in the walled garden to exclude these human lives.
April 19, 2006 7:39
And don't forget Will & Grace...Taye Diggs was Eric McCormack's boyfriend for 5-6 episodes. Not only do you have inter-racial, but homosexual!

Seriously though, I remember thinking to myself "that's awesome" while watching Lost when Bernard was revealed to us. Of course I hope to see the next step in our cognitive culture...when it doesn't even register.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.