COMEDY HAS NEVER BEEN THIS HORRIBLE
By Bliss Ndapasowa
There is nothing more frustrating than dedicating 22 minutes to a comedy that leaves you wondering which part was supposed to be funny.
This is what ABC studios’ new series ‘Black-ish’ will do to you.
Created by The Game’s Kenya Barris, the american television series is centered on an upper-middle class African- American family who is living the American dream.
The show traces the life of Andre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) a successful black man and his wife Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) living in a white rich neighborhood but still insist on staying true to his roots. The couple has four kids; two teenagers-Zoey, a social media freak popular in school, Andre jnr a rather clueless boy and the twins- jack who adores his father and Diane who considers herself the smarty pants. They live with Andre’s father Pops (Laurence Fishburne) who basically imparts ‘wisdom’ to his son.
The premiere of the series can be best described as a low blow marketing strategy as it presents the show as a racially sensitive programme characterised by various stereotypes attempting to be funny.
Anthony Anderson may not have been the perfect pick for the lead role of this series. Despite his previous commendable hilarious performances in My baby’s daddy and Big Momma’s House, he rather exaggerates the humor and mostly ends up acting like an air head.
Laurence Fishburne’s character in the series does not ideally suit him as an actor. Watching him take a back seat is painful given the show could clearly use more from him.
Overally the show looks into ‘black’ behaviour in a white environment both being natural and staged as Andre’s hunger for success clashes with his desire for keeping it real (sticking to the black lifestyle), thus its target audience is uncertain.
Donald Trump slammed the series’ title as a racist term while others criticised it as a show allowing a black man to get away with racial stereotypes.
Despite its shallow introduction, the series garnered a staggering total of 8 million in viewership and has been likened to 1975’s comedy The Jeffersons.
Only hanging on the hope that Black-ish will find its funnybone, it rates a 5/10.