Trailers of this new sitcom on the CW, “Aliens in America” look at once different, interesting and potentially problematic. From what I can gather, it’s about Raja, a Pakistani Muslim exchange student taken in by the Tolchuk’s, a white middle class family in Medora Wisconsin.
While it looks like it goes out of its way to paint a somewhat respectful picture of Raja and his faith (we’ll see), some of the basic premises underlying the sitcom look problematic. For one, the “America” in the title looks to mean “white America” as all the characters -major and minor – are white. Of course, part of the point of the show appears to be to interrogate white racism as u will see from this trailer:
Still, the word “Aliens” in the title doesn’t encourage me as that word has a deep and dark history, one they should not be further normalizing, one whose use some of us should discourage. Let’s watch and see what they end up doing. Hope it is a positive contribution to a TV spectrum laced with lots of racist stuff.