It looks like the next television year might be a big one for South Asian-Americans. FOX has given a script commitment to a single-camera comedy called “Model Minorities,” which focuses on the Indian-American lifestyle. Well, it’s about damn time.
The comedy hails from Sanjay Shah, the co-executive producer of “Fresh off the Boat,” Jonathan Krisel, the co-creator, EP, and director of “Portlandia” and “Baskets,” and 20th Century Fox. It will focus on an educated Indian-American who moves in with his very rich but uneducated immigrant cousin. The goal is to crush stereotypes surrounding South Asians.
Shah’s previous credits include “King of the Hill,” “Enlisted,” “South Park,” and “Cougar Town” along with writing for Vice. All of this means not only will South Asians be represented well on-screen but also off-screen, which is extremely important if you want to get the nuances right.
“Model Minorities” comes to us at a great time. Recently, The CW greenlit “Blackish” writer Devanshi Patel’s dramedy “Make Divya Great Again.” In it, an Indian-American woman named Divya makes up the perfect desi boyfriend to avoid an arranged marriage. Things go wrong when her ex-fiance dies in a darkly comical fashion and she becomes a suspect.
South Asian representation on the small screen is growing day by day thanks to actors like Kunal Nayyar, Hannah Simone, Jameela Jamil, Tiya Sircar, and more. However, it wasn’t until “The Mindy Project” and “Master of None” that audiences got a full-fledged Indian-American lead with a glimpse of what life is like for an immigrant family.
Our hope with “Model Minorities” and even “Make Divya Great Again” is that they help build this successful trajectory and forge their own path. We’re ready and we’re hoping the audiences are too. This is just the beginning.