The only criteria by which I ever judge a sitcom is simply “Is it funny?” Sitcoms don’t have to be socially relevant, moving, well acted, believable, or a whole host of other adjectives that you might apply to a TV show. In my book they just have to be funny. Shows like “Modern Family” and “2 Broke Girls” are ridiculous and unbelievable but they make me laugh so I watch them. However I don’t think I will be watching any more episodes of the new ABC sitcom “black-ish“. The short version of my review is that it is rated “Skip it”. By the way the non-capitalization is the way they spell it on the TV show itself. That’s not my typo.
The series stars Anthony Anderson as Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson who is black and has a mixed race black-ish wife and several kids. He lives in a mostly white neighborhood and works as an advertising executive in a mostly white company. In the opening episode is excited about being promoted to a vice president position but then learns that he’s in charge of the new “urban division”. Basically they made him in charge of all things black and he doesn’t like it very much. He feels like he’s lost his culture identity as a black person and realizes his kids never had it to begin with. During a dinner conversation several of them claimed they didn’t know that Obama was the first black president. I didn’t have any sympathy for him if his kids were really that stupid. Even when the youngest about six or seven years old said “He’s the only president I’ve ever known.” it just didn’t gave me any sympathy for him and it just wasn’t funny. When I was that kid’s age I knew that I was Catholic and that JFK was the first Catholic president even though he was the only president I had ever known.
You will probably recognize Anthony Anderson from his 50 episodes of playing detective Kevin Bernard on the original Law & Order rather than other sitcoms or guest starring roles he has had. The only other recognizable face in the show is Lawrence Fishburne whose talents are totally wasted in his portrayal of the grandfather of the family.
A friend of mine speculates that the reason this stinker has gotten such good reviews is because white reviewers don’t want to be seen trashing a black comedy. I don’t suffer from such restrictions no matter how much of a bleeding heart liberal I am.
As stated earlier, this one is a “Skip it” on my rating scale.