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30 Aug 2014

Five reasons to watch ABC’s new comedy “Black-ish”!

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August 30, 2014 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  The cast of `black-ish’ from left:  Marcus Scribner, Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Yara Shahidi, (in front) Marsai Martin and Miles Brown.

But some on social media aren’t very enthusiastic with first trailer

You probably know one of those people who say, “They should make a TV show about my family” — or maybe you’re that person. Either way, ABC’s new show, “Black-ish” could very well be that show. From writer Kenya Barris (“The Game”) and executive producer Larry Wilmore (“The Bernie Mac Show”) “Black-ish”, starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne, is a comedy about balancing old-school family values with modern-day success.

Anderson portrays Andre “Dre” Johnson, a man whose managed to get the American dream—a nice home in suburbia, a great wife and family, and a good career.

But he starts to wonder if he’s given up too much of his cultural identity as a Black man in the process.

The trailer for the show has raised the eyebrows of some. Shannon Houston of Hollywood.com raises the question whether the sitcom will work and if it enjoys early success, can Anderson and crew keep up the pace with this premise.

“The trailer and clips have already raised a few eyebrows” Houston said. “For some viewers, it looks like a regressive project, as it seems to raise questions that “The Cosby Show” trounced years ago, and without poking fun at the notion. There’s also the question of how long a show can run on this premise. Will audiences want to tune in every week to watch Papa Johnson struggle to bring black culture (as he understands it) into his household?”

“If the sole concept of the series is to showcase the problematics of being Black and well-to-do in America, then it may not be successful,” Houston said. “But there’s a good chance that the trailer is playing a bit sensational. And even if it’s not, just because we had the Cosbys did it doesn’t mean that race is no longer an issue in America (obviously). If the show is, ultimately, about a family with its own set of unique problems that also appeal to a larger audience, ABC could be on to something.”

“Black-ish” premieres Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 9:30|8:30c. You can get a sneak peek of the trailer on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNqqjDv6_dU. 

In the meantime, ABC offers five reasons to get excited for the show.

1. Anthony Anderson

 Anthony Anderson has been honing his comedic chops in TV and movies for almost 20 years. His blend of hilarious skepticism for times that are quickly changing and exuberant love for his family makes for a ton of conflict and a lot of comedy.

2. A Family You Can Relate To

Got kids? Then you’re likely familiar with their unique set of goals and desires — which usually conflict with just about everything you had planned for them. Got a parent who second-guesses just about everything you do to deal with those situations? Well, Dre and his wife have both those things too, so much of this show is going to seem quite familiar. Maybe a little too familiar!

3. Laurence Fishburne

Lawrence Fishburne, an award-winning actor best known for his role as Morpheus in the Matrix movies  portrays Dre’s father. ‘Nuff said.

4. An Honest Discussion About Culture

“Black-ish” is a show about finding an identity in a culture that’s becoming ever more homogenous even as it gets more and more diverse. No matter where you’re from, what you look like, or where you live, you’re living in a country where times have likely changed since you were a kid. So how do you adjust? Do you embrace the new, or stick to the old?

Dre is going to have to do a little of both. And it’s going to be pretty funny along the way as he learns to make those adjustments.

5. It’s Hilarious

Why else would you watch a comedy, right? Whether it’s Dre reacting to his oldest son’s interest in field hockey, the antics of his unbelievably cute and precocious daughter Diane, the perfect saying-everything-while-saying-nothing face of Dre’s wife Rainbow, played by Tracee Ellis Ross (Diana Ross’s daughter…no big deal), this show is loaded with insightful humor and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. We think it’s a perfect follow-up to “Modern Family”!

But not all potential viewers are eagerly anticipating black-ish’s’ premiere…

Here are some comments about the show’s first trailer from Shadow and Act.com

Russ 

Wow! A show called “blackish” that is so sad. I thought this country has moved beyond this. Talk about racism! ABC should be ashamed! We are all equal and should be treated that way not singled out!

jroc

In MY opinion, this is I dangerous line, I do want to support the black actors of Hollywood, but I feel they should be careful with how they do it. The Bernie Mac show was great, Cosby show was wonderful, and this does have potential, but with all the hatred and division in this country resurfacing due to the election of a “black-ish” president (sorry, I had to!!!) This show is not going to help mend racism in this country, but I feel it will help continue to divide our citizens even more. I hope I’m wrong and I wish them success!

Kenneth 

The title alone makes me cringe. I can not believe this will actually air on tv. So disgusting. Why is American tv so adamant on keeping racism with racist under tones in the forefront of popular culture. FYI I am a biracial man. The name of this show alone will keep me from not supporting such crap.

Anonymous 

They are trying WAAAAY to hard here. When will we get another “Cosby Show” where black people act like normal people? All I saw in this trailer were stereotypes and tropes. The black people I know and associate don’t act, or speak, at all like this. THEY ACT NORMAL, like white people act NORMAL. … There’s some window dressing here, but nothing about this trailer was funny. And it’s insulting for the Anderson character to tell his wife that she’s barely black. REALLY? I mean, I could go there on so many sociological, pathological, psychological levels, but I won’t.

Black audiences want smart comedy that doesn’t belittle or negate them. And this ISN’T it. I don’t know why there are no talented writers who are able to write smart comedy in the vein of what Bill Cosby and Susan Fales-Hill.

Greg 

100% correct on the “trying to hard” statement. I mean a show called “Black-ish”? Really? Film/TV is about creating an outer plot and letting the viewers DISCOVER the inner desire of the characters. The Big Bang Theory isn’t called “Nerd-ish” they let the characters and plot show us what they desire. Not a fan of the trailer’s “ethnic jokes” about a black coming of age party or black hair and booty. This reminds me of why Dave Chapelle said he quit doing his show.

( But ‘black-ish’ had its defenders too.)

 larry

I cant wait it looks like a hilarious show!

filmloverladyeo

Don’t necessarily like the name, but I can see a good show that uses comedy to raise the issue of cultural racism in a “diverse society”.

I grew up as “the only” and frankly, I wish my parents had been more conscious of the lack of Black culture in my life. Just the fact that the show focuses attention on Black culture and raises issues about being raised in White America doesn’t mean it has to be stereotypical. I for one would like to see more discussion of the cultural displacement of young African Americans in a circumstance where the major cultural influences in their lives are not their own. I suspect there are more of us out here than we would like to think.

It is unfortunate that this important topic has to be discussed within a comedy genre, but then I don’t think white America, or Black America for that matter, is ready for a serious discussion on the shallowness of what we like to call “Cultural Diversity”. Think about it. How much does that so called cultural diversity actually filter into white folks’ everyday lives? Especially white folks who are in an environment of there being “an only” in the group. Do they ever think about actual Black culture? Does it cross their minds? Why should it? How many compromises do the “onlys” have to make to fit in? Think about the psychological impact being the “other” on that “only”, especially if they are young children.

I congratulate Lawrence Fishburne and Anthony Anderson for broaching the subject. My best to to them. Hopefully they will be able to find the show’s center, even if it is with comedy and raise some issues that as members of a diverse society, we should all think about.

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