Recently, Raven Symoné was on Oprah and discussed how she didn’t want to be labeled and then she contradicted herself and then people got into an uproar on Twitter or something and it was a whole thing. She had a good thing going for her about not labeling everything until she ruined it by being a hypocrite by calling herself “an American”. However, this is a <em>super serious</em> talk that the people of UW should be discussing. Even at our diverse university there is racial tension … but instead of that let’s talk about the new ABC comedy <em>Black-ish</em>. Airing immediately after <em>Modern Family</em>, Black<em>-ish</em> is a situational comedy of a black family living in the upper-middle class of LA. Straight to the point, it’s pretty good; better than the terrible train-wreck that is the new sitcom <em>Mulaney</em>, and a breath of fresh air after eight seasons of <em>The Big Bang Theory</em>. I’d make a joke about how <em>Black-ish</em> is <em>Modern Family</em>, dark roast (’cause y’know, ethnicity jokes) but they are two very different shows. <em>Modern Family</em> has its formula that I hope ends before it gets to beating-a-dead-horse status, but it’s a formula I’ve never gotten. It’s a mockumentary, but they <em>never</em> acknowledge it. Have you ever seen the <em>Modern Family</em> pilot? They display their names as the characters talk to the camera, but it’s been six seasons and THEY’VE NEVER TALKED ABOUT IT. It’s still a great show, but I’d appreciate an explanation. <em>Black-ish</em>, meanwhile, has a narrative style similar to <em>How I Met Your Mother</em> where story is briefly established and elaborated on with a voiceover periodically over the episode. I’ve never liked <em>HIMYM</em>, but <em>Black-ish</em> handles it such that it flows well. There are also annotations that occasionally make an appearance — think sport replay draw-overs. These are never overused; in fact, episode two only used it once, but it hits well for comedy. Two things really makes <em>Black-ish</em>: Anthony Anderson as the dad of the family, and Laurence Fishburne as Anderson’s dad. I believe I’ve established a pattern for most episodes; Anderson does something extreme (episode one’s example includes doing an African coming-of-age ritual for his son) and then Fishburne chirps Anderson’s parenting skills. Fishburne’s delivery is what really makes it; I can see some of my uncles in him and even a little bit of my dad. And that’s probably why, even though <em>Black-ish</em> has great critical reception, the general population doesn’t seem to like it, with only a 6.9/10 on IMDb. I imagine it’s not a big of a hit as it can be because of the black cast. It’s not a racism thing … at least I hope it isn’t. I think it’s because white America can’t identify with the situation or the humour of the show. Here in Canada, I personally believe race is not as prominent as in the States: I’m from a small Eastern Ontario town where non-white families can be counted on two hands, and I never experienced racism, isolation or intolerance. At the same time though … I didn’t exactly grow up “black” and I’m not going to go into the definition of growing up “white” or “black” or whatever. I identify with the characters of this show, and I know not a lot of people can say the same. Thus <em>Black-ish</em> will never be as popular as <em>Modern Family</em>. Everyone, please take my advice and watch <em>Black-ish</em>. I know I’ve said a large majority won’t be able to get the humour; but actually, I think I may be wrong. Episode two made a joke about being comfortable naked, with one character being the type to wear a shirt in the pool: I don’t know anyone who wears a shirt in the pool, but it was still pretty funny. Y’know, even though the main theme of the show is being a black family, it tackles very normal, very everyday problems. Episode two was about the sex talk — everyone can relate, not just black people. How can I end this without sounding preachy? As Martin Luther King Jr. said the day he walked on DC … just kidding. I only know as much black history as the next Catholic school system graduate, maybe a little more since I took American History in grade 11. Just please give <em>Black-ish</em> a try. Trust me when I say <em>The Big Bang Theory</em>, <em>Mulaney</em>, and <em>Two Broke Girls</em> do not stack up.