When it comes to “black-ish“, I really wanted to love this show. I wanted to love it because it showcased black actors on a major network, which is terribly rare these days. It also promised to give a new perspective that hadn’t really been addressed on TV. After watching (and reviewing) the first episode, I though the show would give viewers insight on the mind and opinions of black people in America. A perspective I felt was a step in the right direction… because the media is a great way at opening up an ongoing dialogue about race in America. Understanding different perspectives and emotions, but in a non-threatening and light way, is the only way we can attempt at making changes.
Obviously I continued watching, and by the end of the third episode the show left a disturbing feeling in me. A feeling that my mind had changed drastically about the show, and the feeling that I had been duped.
On my previous review, I mentioned that something in the resolution of the episode left me feeling uneasy. In the premiere, star Anthony Anderson was upset that he could only go SO FAR at his advertising firm because he was black. He was upset and acted out, and then his wife played by Tracee Ellis-Ross told him “You need to get over it”, almost saying his complaints were trivial.
In the context of the episode (he had rebelled and was about to possibly lose his job), I somewhat understood where she was coming from, though the line struck me because it felt like she was saying his issues about race were dumb and he (as in WE the black people) need to get over it. But in the hopes that this show would continue to at least address racial issues, I let it go (I got over it!)
Then the third episode happened. Anthony Anderson’s character DJ was concerned that his son didn’t do the head-nod to one of the few black kids in his school. What followed were some very mis-guided lines, specifically when DJ said something about how his children and the contemporary black community have “no struggle”. Basically saying all the race issues in the country don’t exist. Which is a delusional thought and terrible message.
So my complaint with the show now is this. If Anthony Anderson’s character is supposed to be the voice of Black America, than it feels like every week he has a complaint and by the end of the episode he realizes that he was over-thinking things and needs to let it go. So, Black America… STOP COMPLAINING!!!
I’ve brought up racial stuff a few times before on this blog, mainly targeting the media because I really do have an eye for that kind of thing. And if you bring up any kind of racial inequality to a white person … 8 times out of 10 they are going to say you are just pulling the “race card” and that the issues aren’t real.
To me, “black-ish” makes white viewers feel like they are right about us black people. When I say that, I mean that those white people who constantly write off black peoples complaints as “pulling the race card” are vindicated in watching this show. That us Black people complain for no reason and need to just “let it go”. Which is the complete opposite of what I thought this show was setting out to do.
But, here’s the thing. “black-ish” has a GREAT time slot. “Modern Family” is one of my favorite shows, and I try not to miss it on Wednesdays. Because “black-ish” comes on right after that, I may go ahead and keep watching it… but i will be side-eyeing it.
Look, the show has some occasionally good gags and a good cast. I’ll admit to laughing hysterically here and there at every episode. I just think this show I first thought would HELP things is actually more damaging than it is good.
I sincerely hope this all made sense. I get this feeling sometimes that I’m not good with my words and can confuse people trying to understand what I’m saying. I will fulfill my #P2P and talk a little about “How To Get Away with Murder” tomorrow.