"Chad: An American Boy" Shows Typical Iranian-American Family
Fox has ordered a new TV show called Chad: An American Boy. One of the cool things about this is it's centered around a Middle Eastern family living in America, but will stay away from tired stereotypes about Middle Easterners and terrorism.Nasim Pedrad from SNL will play the main character and co-write the script. “I’m thrilled to be able to portray a Middle Eastern family not working for or against Jack Bauer on network TV” she says.Variety reports that "in pitching the project, Pedrad, who is drawing upon her upbringing and heritage for the pilot, stressed her desire to portray a realistic Iranian American family living in the U.S., representing not only the Iranian American community, but also offering an authentic portrayal of the larger immigrant experience. Sources close to the show say the series aims to be relatable to all teenagers who experience struggles with fitting in.""Insiders say religion is not a big element in the potential series’ storyline, but Pedrad’s pilot greenlight comes after President Barack Obama’s recent comments during a mosque visit earlier this month when he called for more television shows with Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security, saying, 'It’s not that hard to do … There was a time when there were no black people on television. You can tell good stories while still representing a reality of our communities.'"Some other shows centered around typical American families of Middle Eastern decent have been made before, such as Daily Show alum Aasif Mandvi's Halal in the Family, but this is the highest profile show to date and the only one on a major network.One more interesting thing to note about the show is that, if you haven't guessed yet, Nasim Pedrad plays Chad, the boy. This example of gender-bending casting promises a diverse show defying stereotypes on multiple fronts and handling complex issues at the forefront of public discourse, on top of being a comedy. It will be interesting to see how the show does when it debuts later this year.