For the most part I watch sit-coms. TV dramas today are hardly that; their depictions of people with jobs are all of cops or crooks. For me "Columbo" will always be superior to the dire and dreary "Law and Order" and its loathsome offspring. Even the programs which attempt to take a marginally critical approach to the current decayed state of US capitalist society ["Family Guy," "South Park," "Archer," "American Dad," and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" to name a few] wallow in their own snarky and unearned sense of cynicism about the world.
Last night I watched the opening episode of Season 7 of "Futurama" on Comedy Central. The episode was entitled "The Bots and the Bees," and had a few droll moments, as can be seen from this clip. But whatever the quickly passing moments of whimsy might offer, it was nothing compared to the shockingly high level of racism and sexism involved in the depiction of Bev [voiced by actress Wanda Sykes]. Bev is depicted as a haughty and arrogant automated beverage dispenser who is "ghetto" through and through. Such depictions of Black women as feckless egomaniacs and "baby-making machines" exceeds the fondest dreams of racism's leading mythmakers, men like Ronald Reagan and Tom Wolfe.
Such promotion of racism is too common today to be chalked-up as a mistake or misunderstanding; or by dismissing it as satire too sophisticated for most viewers. I have watched 8 to 10 hours of TV daily for 46 years, and can attest that there is no too-sophisticated animal in the medium.
What to do about it?
Until a few more corners are turned on the road to workers' power in the US and internationally, there isn't much that can be done. I do find it useful, however, to discuss these programs, and their ramifications, with coworkers both Black and white. It is a useful way to have a political discussion on the job, and promote working class solidarity as opposed to the divide-and-conquer operations of Wall Street and its ideological soothsayers.