September 12, 2006

Progressive Five-0

A followup note to my previous posting on Hawaii Five-0. In one episode, a woman journalist interrogates McGarrett about not having any women on his staff. In another, a girl helping an IRA terrorist notes that she was at Wounded Knee, where she smuggled supplies to the Indians.

Hmm. Is that the only mention of the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee to appear on non-news network TV? Could be.

The point is that Hawaii Five-0 was consciously progressive, not just unconsciously progressive. Not bad for a 1970s cop show. Sure, it was still a white male fantasy, but at least it questioned itself sometimes.

When it comes to Indians, today's TV shows could stand to be so progressive. Instead, we get a mix of the good (Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Wonderfalls, King of the Hill) and the not-so-good (Numb3rs, LAX, Smallville). I doubt the rate of stereotyping has decreased much since I began keeping track in the 1990s.


Rob said...

I haven't seen that episode yet, but the shows often start unconventionally. The criminals and the bit players all get a substantial amount of screen time. In other words, it isn't a show about the "cult" (i.e., the star power) of the central character.

Rob said...

In today's episode of Hawaii 5-0, two old guys kidnap a child and hole up in a concrete bunker on a hillside. The show has used the bunker plot before--it may even be the same bunker--so that's lame. But McGarrett and company don't appear on the scene for a full 15 minutes.