Biracial liaisons meanwhile are as abundant and

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(male to female) and gay, respectively. Biracial liaisons, meanwhile, are as abundant and complex as on any prime-time show: Claire’s heterosexual son Daniel, an appar- ent serial interracialist, has affairs with the Latina Sofia Reyes, the Asian Grace Chin, and Wilhelmina’s sister Nico; Claire has a lesbian affair, in prison, with another inmate, Yoga, who is African American; and Betty herself is romantically linked to three non-Latino whites: Walter, Henry Grubstick, and Giovanni “Gio” Rossi (the latter, though nominally Italian, is played by Freddy Rodriquez). Other recurring multicultural characters have included a Latina, Gina Gambarro, and two Asians, Kenny and Suzuki St. Pierre, who is also gay. One other, short-lived show, Six Degrees (2006–2007), deserves honorable men- tion, if not actual inclusion, in the neo-platoon show trend. In Six Degrees , a like number of erstwhile unacquainted, ultimately enmeshed New Yorkers includes an African American (Damian) and a Hispanic (Carlos) whose more than platonic attraction to one of the white women (Mae) drives much of the early action, while in the 2007 brief revival of the show, Carlos has another interracial affair, graphi- cally consummated this time, with his white real estate agent. Recurring characters significantly linked to the “core six” include Damian’s black girlfriend, Regina, and an Asian American secretary, Melanie. While the show has no platoon “leader” per se (class distinctions provide the prime demarcation, especially in the upscale and downscale view of New York City), Six Degrees does mimic Lost and Heroes , at least (the other shows follow a more traditional workplace/family format), in thrust- ing a group of previously unconnected people together through chance or fate. As with Lost ’s partly hard-luck, partly fortunate survivors and Heroes ’s reluctant “cho- sen ones,” Six Degrees ’s half-dozen “intertwined destinies” (abc.com) remind us
346 Television & New Media “that romance, success, peace or forgiveness might be right around the corner” (). The hybridization of The X Files (1993–2002) and Survivor (2000–), alluded to in relation to Lost , is more than superficially pertinent here. For the supernatural thriller and the so-called reality show share with the destiny-driven neo-platoon shows a desperate diegetic attempt to wring connectedness and meaning (and, for the reality show, its own youth-driven brand of neo-platoonism) from a steadily contracting yet increasingly disconnected and meaningless world. 13 Convergent ethnicity—and, in the case of Lost and Heroes , convergent nationality —rides to the rescue, appearing to offer a textual solution to the postmodern dissolution of personal identity and the rupturing of the “really real” as well as an industrial solu- tion to the postclassical breakdown in network hegemony. Viewers lost in a sea of psychological and socioeconomic distress, and global capitalist networks fishing for crossover domestic and international hits, can find common cause in an ethni- cally convergent world where not only everything is interconnected but also inter- connectedness provides the key to salvation.

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