TBS’ 2012 sitcom Sullivan and Son follows a young, cosmopolitan man of Asian and white descent who returns to his hometown to take over the family bar. The title seems to anticipate the surprise that viewers might experience once they realize that Sullivan’s son is not, in fact, of Irish descent but is indeed half-Asian. In addition to offering footage of the series, this trailer uses a documentary-style interview approach to showcase the actors discussing their opinions on the show.
Why might TBS have elected to use this particular format for the commercial, and what strategies do the actors use to discuss the show’s management of race and “political correctness”? Do you agree with the actor’s statement that “I don’t think it’s politically incorrect or correct – it’s just real”?
Do you see any significance to the racial identity of the lead character in this show? Can you think of any other network sitcoms that had a male of Asian heritage as its protagonist?