Parenthood (2010)

Catherine Squires writes about the TV series:

Indeed, in a scene with Adam, we get a glimpse of Zeek’s old school framework when he tries to engage his eldest son with a story about his sexual adventures in Viet Nam.  When he was a soldier, Zeek tells Adam, he had an exciting sexual encounter with a Vietnamese woman.  Thus, Zeek casually invokes stereotypes of Asian women’s exotic sexuality, and reaffirms the ways U.S. soldiers were encouraged to see Asian women as temporary partners.  Adam, to his credit, reacts to the story with distaste and tries to stop his dad from going into detail, but the scene positions Zeek as someone with stereotypical understandings of at least one group of women of color.

From the transcript:

ZEEK: How’s the sex life?
ADAM: My sex life is fine. Why?
ZEEK: That’s not what I’m hearing.
ADAM: You learned to have sex in Vietnam?
ZEEK: Yeah, basically. Well, I was a kid, you know? I mean, gosh, those girls could teach you so much, you know. Just, I was ready to learn. She’s not having orgasms? So you were okay? It was all Kristina’s fault? ’cause the Bravermans, you know, the Braverman men, You know what I’m saying.

Notice how the issue is coached. A virgin Hebrewpean male goes to Vietnam and loses his virginity most likely to a Vietnamese prostitute. He goes back for more with other girls because they do unnatural sexual acts [the Easterners have secret/mystical sexual knowledge trope].


Best, Craig. 2010. Rubber Ball Band Transcript.

Squires, Catherine. 2011. Post-racial Family?: Parenthood and the Politics of Interracial Relationships on TV. Draft document. Rhetorical Studies Reading Group.


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