The Johnsons have moved up to the suburbs and they’re living the good life in family comedy Black-ish. But there’s a problem: they’re constantly overthinking everything and trying too hard to fit in with their predominantly white neighbours, without losing their identities.
Established stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross are grounding as parents Dre and Bow Johnson, but it’s their kids (newcomers Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin) who steal the show with their cute innocence.
Black-ish is a fun take on the coming-of-age theme – but it’s not just the kids who have growing to do, but the parents too. All they want is the best for their brood and each episode is a lesson, which is why it’s been a hit (and spawned two spin-offs), writes Homa Khaleeli from theguardian.com: “For all Black-ish’s ground-breaking decisions, it still obeys certain sitcom rules: viewers are never left feeling excluded. A ‘special’ episode on police brutality in season 2 has the Johnsons watching the news to see if a policeman who killed an unarmed black man will face justice. But rather than focusing on the specifics, it approaches the issue by looking at how to talk to children about difficult news events. In the poignant half-hour that follows, each character offers their viewpoint.”
If you like Black-ish, also watch Grown-ish, the spin-off, in which the eldest daughter, Zoey, heads off to college.