Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Television: Will you be watching Black-ish?

The new fall line up for ABC looks to be continuing the must-watch television phenomenon with the new seasons of cult-favorites Scandal and Grey's Anatomy from the hit machine Shondaland and the much buzzed How to Get Away with Murder.  When word came across that the new comedy targeted to families named "Black-ish" is set to air as well.

My initial thought was "What the H$ll?" -- as I bristled at the name.

Black-ish?  Um... no.

Is that the close cousin of White-ish or maybe even Brown-ish?

How exactly does a family act 'Black' or 'White' for that matter?  How might a family act like they are "American"... what degree is just enough?

It feels wrong, horribly tacky and out of date and time.  It sets the tone that it might not be an experience that I want to share with my biracial children.

It made me wonder if the family actually had a name like the Millers or Fockers -- that no one felt the need to distinguish that they were white in the title.  I felt a twinge of anger and disappointment as I remembered past experiences with people that had "forgotten" that I had a name and referred to me as 'that black girl' or when someone would say 'well that's good for a black woman' as if a clarification was needed.

But then I settled into watch the clips and set my sensitivity aside, they are funny... in a Cosby's meets King of Queens kind of way.  It tells the story of a black family living in the suburbs and how they relate to their community and how they stay (or try to stay connected to their cultural heritage).

The show is pulling from a serious talent pool as well with Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marsai Martin and Laurence Fishburne, and the show has a major network backing it. It also has the opportunity to be fun, enlightening, relevant and entertaining, but I wonder how many will say "Pass..." due to the missed opportunity in naming.

Premiering Wednesday, September 24th at 8:30pm, I wonder what the opening audiences will be for Black-ish on ABC?  In the comments below, I am curious as to your thoughts.