Black-ish is ABC’s new sitcom with Anthony Anderson and Lawrence Fishburne. Which I was pleased to see, because I have long lamented the absence of the black family sitcom from network TV. They used to be a staple, from the Jeffersons to Good Times to Cosby to the Fresh Prince, but they’re basically only on cable now.
But what allowed me enjoy those shows as a white guy is that, while they had black characters, the show wasn’t about being black. But Black-ish is entirely about being black. Anthony Anderson grew up in poverty and is now a pretty wealthy ad executive. Raising his kids in a nice house in a white neighborhood has him feeling like they’re losing their racial identity. And he gets the promotion to vice president he was hoping for, but it’s to VP of the Urban division.
Which is a perfectly fine thing to make a TV show about, but I think it’s hard for me as a white guy with basically no ethnic identity of any kind to get invested in that. I sympathize with it, but I don’t relate it. Same reason I don’t watch too many married couple sitcoms.
I hope it succeeds though. It apparently had good numbers with the pilot, but it aired after Modern Family, so that’s not surprising at all.