The Night Of

8 Muslim Characters…

This was, unfortunately, a much harder list to put together than my lists of Jewish and Christian characters. While we have started to slowly move away from the stereotype of Muslim characters only being depicted as terrorists, there still are not very many who are lead or recurring characters on mainstream television shows. I will preface this by saying I do not watch all of these shows, so I apologize if my descriptions of any of the characters is wrong.

1. Nasir Khan – The Night Of, played by Riz Ahmed
Nasir is Pakistani-American college student, born and raised in Queens, NY, who is accused of murdering a girl on the Upper West Side. He is denied bail when the District Attorney uses his Pakistani background to claim that he is a “flight risk.”

2. Nimah and Raina Amin – Quantico, played by Yasmine Al Massri
Arab-American twin sisters from Michigan who begin training for the FBI as one person to see if they could do the same while undercover in the field. Raina is the more conservative of the two, and the one that wears a hijab.

3. Arastoo Vaziri – Bones, played by Pej Vahdat
One of the Squinterns working at the Jeffersonian, he is originally from Iran but was exiled for his political views. His family still resides in the country, and Arastoo is allowed to visit Tehran when his brother is diagnosed with a brain tumor.

4. Aliyah Shadeed – American Crime, played by Regina King
The sister of drug addict Carter Nix, who has been accused of murder, she is relentless in trying to prove her brother’s innocence. She is American-born and a convert to Islam.

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8 Episodes from 2016…

My list of favorite episodes each year is usually a combination of things that made me think, and things that just made me really happy. I always like to preface my list with the recognition that these are simply *my* favorite episodes, and not necessarily the best episodes, because I know that there is way too much good TV to make that statement, and that other people have different tastes than me. So, here we go…

1. Game of Thrones “The Winds of Winter”
The previous episode “The Battle of the Bastards” was also fantastic, but this is my favorite because everything starts to come together in the season finale. Cersei refuses to stand trial, and instead blows up the High Sparrow, the Faith Militant, and most of the Tyrell family. Tommen then kills himself, and Cersei takes the Iron Throne. Aria exacts vengeance on House Frey for the Red Wedding. Bran has become the Three-Eyed Raven and learns that Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon and Sansa have reclaimed Winterfell for the Starks, and Jon is named the King of the North by the rest of the Northern families, with a little help from Lyanna Mormont. Daenerys makes Tyrion the Hand of the Queen and begins sailing across the Summer Sea with her dragons and her army, aligned with Dorne, Highgarden, and House Greyjoy. Everything seems to have fallen into place, and it set-up what will hopefully be a eventful season seven. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

2. Black Sails “XXVIII”
I had not read a lot about the show before starting to watch, and have never read Treasure Island, so I actually did not know that the show is a prequel to the book until the end of the most recent season. I mostly just like pirates and decided to finally catch up on the whole series this year. In this season finale, there is an epic battle between Flint’s and Rackham’s crews, the Maroons and the British. After the British are handily defeated, with help from Blackbeard, the pirate captains sit down together and begin to figure out a plan to take back Nassau. Meanwhile, Billy Bones and a few select others have been instilling fear in the people of the island, and Silver is finally given the name ‘Long John Silver.’ Lines have been drawn in Nassau, and if you are not with the pirates, you are against them.

3. 12 Monkeys “Blood Washed Away”
For me, this is the best science fiction show on television right now. Every season I think they cannot possibly blow my mind any more, and then they do, over and over again throughout the season. Cole and Cassie are stuck together in 1958, with no way back to the future unless they stop the primary from causing another paradox. When they fail, they FINALLY admit to each other that they are both in love, and they face those feelings head on. Back in 2044, everyone else is searching for Titan so that they can kill The Witness. This is not the season finale, but it ends in such a way that you have no idea how they could possibly go on from here, and yet they do somehow, and it is excellent.

4. Lovesick “Frankie”
This show makes me laugh a lot. This episode in particular made me cry with laughter. The reason this episode has made my list is because of one specific scene where Angus has eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms and somehow manages to get into the freezer at a grocery store. He is enjoying the cold temperature, and tells Dylan that it’s like being in Narnia. When the grocery store employee tells him to get out, he tries to hide by putting a bag of frozen peas over his face. Later, after Dylan’s car gets a flat tire, Angus is afraid that they are being watched so he runs into the woods and climbs a tree. I chuckle just thinking about it.

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