Sunday, September 23, 2007

Indian actors make a scene on US Television

The new season for US television shows begins this week, and finally we can boast of a significant contingent of Indian actors.
Unlike in the UK, Indian culture is still largely foreign to the average American. American television references to Indians are often limited to the dotted forehead, the Sikh turban, spicy food and bad accents. Indians are also a rarity on the small screen considering the enormity of the immigrant group. Only recently have Indian actors begun playing roles that preserve their ethnicity and break the stereotypes. Until now most roles for Indians were comical roles designed to exaggerate the said stereotypes or as middle-eastern individuals with dangerous designs. Indian actors seem to have more roles written for them that more adequately represent the average Indian-American. Hit shows such as “Heroes” and “ER” have central characters that play intelligent Indians, while “The Daily Show” and “Notes from the underbelly” have Indians in comical roles where the comedy is not in them being Indian.
(For the record, “Lost” my personal favorite, has Naveen Andrews playing an ex-Iraqi soldier)

So in light of the new season of televisions here are the three lists of interest:

Actors of Indian descent in recurring roles on US TV Shows

Producers/Directors of US TV shows of Indian origin

Past TV shows with episodes with Indian themes or Indian locales

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