Characters we see on our screen make an impact on us. In addition to what we are able to learn from their storylines, they expose us to important life lessons too. This is why the need for representation remains valid. It is important to be able to relate with certain TV characters, they have the ability to make us see ourselves in different ways or create an “Aha moment” in our thoughts. Even though I’m an African woman, I relate to different TV characters based on several identities.
1. You can have more than one career with your degree (Charlie Epps – Numb3rs)
The show Numb3rs centers around an FBI agent Don who solves crime with the help of his brother Charlie, a mathematician. Charlie uses FBI data from investigations related to the crime to predict the perpetrators’ next move which subsequently leads to an arrest.
Charlie lectures in the university and consults with Law Enforcement. He taught me that I haven’t began to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding my mathematics degrees and what I can do with them.
2. You don’t have to yell to be heard (Sharon Raydor – Major Crimes)
Major crimes centers around a team run by Commander Sharon Raydor. She is an effective leader, talks calmly and makes tactful decisions. Her character showed that being a female leader comes with a lot of challenges. However, whatever level of femininity and emotions we naturally have isn’t a handicap, it is rather a unique God given strength to all women.
3. Mistakes don’t stop you from being a badass (Olivia Benson – Law & Order: SVU)
Law and Order: SVU has been on my list of favourites for a while now. Captain Olivia Benson is a TV character full of empathy yet very fierce in her pursuit for justice. The mistakes she made as she rose through the ranks makes her a very realistic TV character, In my opinion. This taught me that mistakes don’t define you, you learn and become better through them and they also don’t keep you from being a badass. Furthermore, empathy is a quality worth developing.
Each episode of these show also offers some insights into human behaviour and a good number of teachable moments too. None of these characters are played by African women but that didn’t make these lessons any less valuable.
What have you picked up from TV characters?