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Call Her Ms. Sharma: 10 Shows with South Asian Characters for your Watchlist

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

  • Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani- Ms. Marvel)

I had to put Ms. Marvel herself at the top. This show made my entire summer as I patiently waited for the new episode to drop every Wednesday. Ms. Marvel follows Kamala Khan, a Muslim-American teenager who gains the powers of the Noor Dimension through her grandmother’s bangle. While watching her as a superhero, we watch her own growth as a teenager and her family’s story about the Partition. This show warmed my heart from Kamala dancing at her brother’s wedding to watching her travel to the past to lead her grandmother home. It’s an incredible show for Marvel fans or anyone who’s into action with a lot of heart.

  • Kate Sharma (Simon Ashley- Bridgerton)

When Bridgerton came out with their 2nd season and I found out that Kate and Edwina would be Indian, I was instantly thrilled. It was executed so beautifully from watching Kate drink chai, the haldi ceremony, and their clothes comprised of Indian fabrics. Kate was such a beauty of a character and her romance with Anthony Bridgerton was electric. For anyone wanting to get lost in a dreamy, aesthetic period piece, I would recommend Bridgerton, especially Season 2, for a good binge.

  • Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan- Never Have I Ever)

When I found out Mindy Kaling was making a show about the Indian American teenager, I was thrilled to see my own experience reflected on a Netflix show. Devi has quickly cemented herself as one of the most iconic characters on television with her prickly personality and relatability. Even though she has her crazy moments, she always brings it home with some heartwarming moments, especially the ones where she talks with her parents. If you’re craving some teen drama with some spicy flair, Never Have I Ever is for you.

  • Bela Malhotra (Amrit Kaur- The Sex Lives of College Girls)

I watched The Sex Lives of College Girls during the second semester of my senior year, and it was what made me excited to come to college. Bela is an unabashedly sex positive funny girl who breathes life into the main quartet of the show. Yet another show by Mindy Kaling, you can see where she makes her mark on the characters. Bela’s journey to join the prestigious comedy magazine “The Catullan” is hilarious and heartbreaking. If you want to romanticize your college experience, this is the show for you.

  • Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling- The Office)

Mindy Kaling is truly the foundation for all South Asian media because she was one of the earliest forms of representation. The sassy airhead Kelly Kapoor was one of my favorite characters in The Office because she was so easy to hate and love. Her torrid relationship with Ryan and her silly little music video with Erin are some of my favorite moments from the show. I don’t think I need to toot The Office’s horn, but if there’s an episode with Kelly, I highly recommend for a laugh.

  • Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra- Quantico)

Priyanka Chopra’s big break into Hollywood was the show Quantico which placed her in the shoes of an FBI agent who is accused of treason and attempts to clear her name. I remember how monumental this show was when it came out, watching a Bollywood actress make her big break in Hollywood was so inspiring and broke a big barrier. If you are into TV shows like Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder, consider giving Quantico a shot.

  • Rhea Kumar (Avantika Vandanapu- Spin)

This Disney Channel Original Movie about an Indian American girl who discovers her love of music through DJing was such a wholesome watch. Rhea helps at her family’s restaurant, has amazing technology skills, and makes a mean playlist. Basically, she’s the ideal to aspire to. The scene where she DJs in a lehenga using her mom’s music mixed with beats is incredible, and it gave me serious Demi Lovato “This is Me” vibes. If you haven’t visited Disney Channel movies for a while, this is the movie to get you back into it.

  • Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani- Eternals)

Eternals was one of the most anticipated movies of MCU Phase 4. Kingo, who explains his immortality away by acting as the child of his never-ending iterations of Bollywood actors, brings the humor. Alongside his valet Karun, who follows the Eternals around YouTuber style with a camera, Kingo keeps the lightheartedness in an otherwise dark movie about the world possibly ending. Eternals had an all-star cast all around, so I can’t recommend it enough to my Marvel fans and nonfans.

  • CeCe Parekh (Hanna Simone- New Girl)

When I saw CeCe for the first time, I was absolutely floored by how beautiful she was and how cool she is. She’s a model turned bartender and Jess’ best friend. Her romance with Schmidt and their wedding where they incorporate both Indian and American traditions was so moving to see. New Girl is of course a comedy about Jess and her experiences, but CeCe was one of my favorite characters, and I can’t recommend the show enough.

  • Tahani Al Jamil (Jameela Jamil- The Good Place)

When The Good Place starts, Tahani comes off as a spoiled but intensely well-connected socialite with impeccable taste. However, the show follows the journey of Tahani, Eleanor, Chidi, and Jason becoming good people. We watch Tahani grow as a person and come to cherish true friendship and relationships rather than material things; she still, however, throws a mean garden party. The Good Place will make you think and cry, but with Tahani on screen you’ll be giggling over her never-ending celebrity name drops.

Surmayee Thakur is a freshmen English major at Texas A&M University. Besides a passion for writing anything from lyrics to stories to articles, you can find her listening to music, reading fantasy novels, or singing!
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