Part of what makes television so beloved is its familiarity. Until the last 20 years or so, shows more or less thrived on repetition. To a great extent, that precept is still 100% true: Large numbers of people watch shows precisely because they know precisely what they are going to get. And there’s nothing particularly wrong with that…unless that’s all you watch. Then? It’s a problem.
It’s a problem for a reason that last night’s episode of “Fresh Off The Boat” simply stated. Louis answers Jessica’s confusion as to why so many of their friends/employees help them celebrate Chinese New Year in Orlando by saying, “It’s not that people didn’t care enough to get it right. It’s that they didn’t know.” There’s nothing particularly artful about that sentiment, and yet that makes it all the more powerful. It cuts to the chase and gets to the heart of why diversity on television isn’t just nice to have in the era of Peak TV, but necessary.