I disagree profoundly that there is any "good" reason for defining a person's ethnicity as overwhelmingly more important than anything else about them. And I find it rather sad that you feel the need to assert that your perspective is somehow more correct than mine. It makes you come off as rather defensive.
Well, you seem to be insinuating that I'm attributing more than a dominant physical characteristic to the ethnicity. There is no inherent judgment or assumption in using ethnicity as a way to physically distinguish between people. It has the same bearing on a person as hair color, it's just a trait that is more static.
The characteristics I'm using include a person's height and build. How are those any more "fleeting" (assuming we're talking about an adult) than the shape of their eyes or the tint of their complexion? It's not like a grown woman's height changes with the seasons while her skin tone remains constant. Quite the opposite, in fact.
And yes, people can change their hair color and length, but they can also get cosmetic surgery to change their features or skin tone. The features you ascribe disproportionate importance to are not really more fundamental than the features I've listed; it's just that your own personal life experience has conditioned you to react more strongly to them.
Height can be very fleeting when it comes to women because footwear designed for women can appear to extend the length of legs and whatnot. In general though, I don't think height is a very distinguishing characteristic. The best it can really do is narrow it down somewhat. I can say that if I someone lined up people that dressed similarly in silhouette... I'd probably be stumped at picking them out.
Build changes depending on diet, exercise, and clothing. It's trivial to mask a person's build unless they fall into extremes. Push up bras, sweaters, jackets, baggy jeans, etc.
Yes, skin tone can very depending upon seasons and general lifestyle. However, skin tone is only a portion of an ethnic differentiation. It is difficult to change the shape of a person's eyes and general makeup of their face. You can enhance and hide qualities with make-up, but the recognizable structure underneath remains recognizable in most cases...
Though, I'll admit, I've seen some before/after makeup shots of some models and the effect can be dramatic. Given the field I think I can place that in an 'exception to the rule' category.
Yes, people can get cosmetic surgery and change their appearance. But, the point is you then associate that person with the new facial features. It's not as if then you ignore their face and color because it has changed. You associate the new features to them and while their general sense of their base ethnicity is then blurred, you still associate the shape and color of their face with the person and modify the snapshot in your head.
I think there is a major disconnect between what we're discussing here. It's not as if I'm walking around going "Black, Asian, Latina, Caucasian, etc." all day. It's much more general than that.
The process is matching up the image you have of a person you recognize with the person you see in front of you. Because hair and body structure are less static or prominent as the case may be, the color of their skin and shape of their face become the most prominent way to match that image. The concept of ethnicity happens to be a catch all for these characteristics. There is probably a better word for it that isn't coming to mind.
Anyway, because I do feel like I am being put on the defensive here and that you are insinuating more than I mean in the negative direction, I will have to bow out of the discussion. I'm just not comfortable with this anymore.
Now to get back on topic...
I don't know if this show warrants a grading thread each episode, but if you want it, the job is yours. I'm done watching after one episode.
I think I may give it one or two more episodes to see if they're going to bring any complexity back to 'Division' as there was in Section One. But, because I don't really like the way Michael is or the new Operations are portrayed... I doubt it'll go in a direction I like.