Tuesday evening I made my way down to U Street at Tap and Parlour Lounge to get a first look at ABC‘s new family comedy “black-ish,” starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Laurence Fishburne. If you aren’t familiar this show takes a fun yet bold look at one man’s determination to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family.
Event hosts Malik Husser and Ashley Silva
As the show begins its obvious that parents, Andre “Dre” (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) Johnson want to give their children the best. But their offspring’s childhood is turning out to be much different from theirs. Immediately I could relate. They now realize two things: there is a price to pay for giving their children more than what they ever had, and these loving parents are totally unprepared for the fallout. There was a line from the show that stuck with me:
I need my family to be Black, not Black-ish
It made me consider, what does it really mean to be Black in 2014? After the viewing Ashley Silva and Malik Husser led an interesting Q&A discussion around that same idea. Several audience members took to the mic to share their thoughts and what it means to be Black.
As I looked around, I wasn’t surprised that the room was full of the typical DC crowd…Howard alums always come out strong, a few Ivy league grads, plus the artsy and journalist types. Maybe I’m wrong but every single time I attend these type of events it further proves my point that all educated Black people know each other and tend to run in the same social circles.
While audience members shared their thoughts on the first episode I couldn’t help but think this show automatically qualifies for what my friends over at VerySmartBrothas define as Sh*t Bougie Black People Love.
I guess Twitter isn’t dead after all. Cast member Tracee Ellis-Ross retweeted me!
Everyone in attendance seemed to agree that the show seemed promising. However, a few were skeptical and raised concerns about the corny jokes. I rolled my eyes a time or two at the predictable writing but I actually laughed out loud more than once at Laurence Fishburnes character. His one liners will bring the comedic element and draw more mature viewers in. I’m not 100% sold on the chemistry between Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis-Ross as husband and wife so we will see how that plays out over the series. Overall I’m happy to see an attempt at positive Black images on TV. Lord knows we are in desperate need of something besides the ratchet reality trash I can’t seem to quit. I’ll definitely be supporting this show!