October 23, 2010

"Pocahontas" in Parenthood

I don't watch the TV show Parenthood, but I saw a commercial for last week's episode. In Love and Halloween (airdate: 10/19/10), the characters dress up in costumes: an aviatrix, a man with a bloody knife through his head, a baseball player, Evel Knievel, and an Indian maiden. A website describes a key scene:

'Parenthood':  Love and Halloween (VIDEO)After their son goes to bed, Crosby (Dax Shepard) and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) sneak downstairs to chomp on their kid's Halloween candy. They're still wearing their costumes: Crosby is daring stuntman Evel Knievel; Jasmine is Indian maiden Pocahontas.

"This is my favorite part of Halloween!" Jasmine says, while scarfing down a candy bar. Next, she asks if she has chocolate on her teeth. "You do," Crosby replies. "You look super-cute though." Then the joking ends, as things turn serious. Crosby leans down on one knee and asks her to marry him.

"I don't want to live without you," he says. Jasmine is startled--she pauses, halfway through biting into another piece of candy. What will she say? Is Crosby learning to be a real adult? Or is he just dressed like one for the night?

Comment:  Jasmine's costume has a home-made hippie vibe to it, but it's still stereotypical. Everyone else is dressed as an occupation or someone of the same race. Only Jasmine is mimicking someone's ethnicity.

And not well. She's a modern woman in buckskins portraying a 400-year-old half-naked child. As usual, the message is that Indians are primitive people of the past.

For more on the subject, see Liv Tyler = Cherokee Pocahontas?! and Indians, Wizards, Fairies, and Ghouls.

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