Black-ish: Hope
February 25, 2016 8:45 AM - Season 2, Episode 16 - Subscribe

A highly-publicized court case involving police brutality and an African-American teenager leads the kids to ask tough questions, but Dre and Bow have conflicted views. Dre and his parents think the children need to know the harsh reality of the world while Bow would prefer to give them a more optimistic view of life.

Black-ish takes on The Talk.

Andre: "They are not just children, they are black children and they need to know the world they are living in."

Bow: "I just want to give them a little faith in the world. Help them hold on to their innocence and be kids a little while longer."

James Poniewozik: With Police Brutality Episode, ‘black-ish’ Shows How Sitcoms Can Still Matter

Alan Sepinwall: 'black-ish' takes on Black Lives Matter in a very excellent special episode

Bethonie Butler: How ‘Blackish’ tackled police brutality while staying true to its roots

Tim Surette: Has Black-ish Become Network TV's Best Sitcom?
posted by General Malaise (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I just saw Anthony Anderson's monologue from this episode and now I'm thinking I need to get on board this show and fast. That was amazing. And heartbreaking.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:17 AM on February 25, 2016

Right after Dre's monologue, I sent a text to a friend reading "If you haven't watched black-ish yet, make sure you're in a place you feel comfortable openly and profusely crying."
posted by General Malaise at 12:13 PM on February 25, 2016

I remember that emotion. Being so thrilled and so freaking excited, and just terrified at the same time. It was such a weird feeling, like the excitement was yours, but it was out of your body hovering above you, because that sinking feeling, that knot in your stomach kept you from really feeling it. And the excitement kept the fear from truly settling, like if I am this excited and happy, I can't let that feeling of dread touch it.

I watched so many episodes of this show and it's had its ups and downs. I'm still not happy with how they treat Bow. This episode was really good in the end. I'll stop short of saying great, but if they'd had an hour it would have been. They just had to work so many ideas, so many things into it, that they needed more time.

But it was great to see so many of the considerations and things that black families go through, on television. And everybody got a voice.
posted by cashman at 7:04 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

"now I'm thinking I need to get on board this show and fast."

It has the DNA of a great family sitcom - like Roseanne or The Wonder Years - in that it takes universal sitcom stories (Junior's interested in girls! Nobody likes mom's cooking! Dad is making an ass of himself at a school event!) and it plays those universal stories through the very specific lens of these characters who are rooted in a time and place and culture. Which makes us all laugh along because "teenage boy discovers girls" is something we can all recognize, but it also provides entry into a different cultural milieu by working out the specifics through the characters rooted in specificity. Blackish does this really well - it has very solid "traditional family sitcom" bones - and it makes it stealthily subversive by focusing that through the lens of upper-middle-class black Americans. (Roseanne could be pretty subversive too, on class issues.) If you like the classic sitcom format (I do, a lot!), I can almost guarantee you'll like Blackish.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:13 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

I agree with everything Eyebrows McGee said above -- I also like that it doesn't fall into the sitcom formula of 'wacky man-child Dad + bemused super-mom'. Bow can be just as over the top as Dre, they just do it differently. Same for every character on the show, really - nobody gets stuck with being the straight man, or the one always right or wrong. Much like on Brooklyn 99, everyone is goofy in their own unique way.

Just finally watched the episode this morning (I fell behind on all my shows this week, and after seeing the gif-set of Dre's monologue pop up on Tumblrs knew I needed to give this one my full attention), really glad there's a thread, I've been thinking a lot this season that it was a shame we didn't have regular coverage here. Thought about starting one sometimes butI feel like it's harder to get discussion going for half-hour sitcoms than it is for a lot of the genre shows I gravitate to (and worry that I'm posting too many shows as it is).

Anyway, this was a phenomenal episode. I hope Anderson does get nominated for an Emmy, that monologue ought to be an Emmy clip.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:11 AM on February 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

I can't believe an episode about this subject matter was also so damned funny.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:54 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

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