Super serious discussion on racial relations

Recently, Raven Symon&eacute; was on Oprah and discussed how she didn&rsquo;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 &ldquo;an American&rdquo;.&nbsp; 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 &hellip; but instead of that let&rsquo;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&rsquo;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&rsquo;d make a joke about how <em>Black-ish</em> is <em>Modern Family</em>, dark roast (&rsquo;cause y&rsquo;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&rsquo;s a formula I&rsquo;ve never gotten. It&rsquo;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&rsquo;s been six seasons and THEY&rsquo;VE NEVER TALKED ABOUT IT. It&rsquo;s still a great show, but I&rsquo;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&rsquo;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 &mdash; 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&rsquo;s dad. I believe I&rsquo;ve established a pattern for most episodes; Anderson does something extreme (episode one&rsquo;s example includes doing an African coming-of-age ritual for his son) and then Fishburne chirps Anderson&rsquo;s parenting skills. Fishburne&rsquo;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&rsquo;s probably why, even though <em>Black-ish</em> has great critical reception, the general population doesn&rsquo;t seem to like it, with only a 6.9/10 on IMDb. I imagine it&rsquo;s not a big of a hit as it can be because of the black cast. It&rsquo;s not a racism thing &hellip; at least I hope it isn&rsquo;t. I think it&rsquo;s because white America can&rsquo;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&rsquo;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 &hellip; I didn&rsquo;t exactly grow up &ldquo;black&rdquo; and I&rsquo;m not going to go into the definition of growing up &ldquo;white&rdquo; or &ldquo;black&rdquo; 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&rsquo;ve said a large majority won&rsquo;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&rsquo;t know anyone who wears a shirt in the pool, but it was still pretty funny. Y&rsquo;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 &mdash; 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 &hellip;&nbsp; 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.