Commentary Review: Black-ish (S1/E2)

The 2nd episode was funnier than the pilot, but still controversial and slightly awkward. (Source: ABC)

(Note: I decided that the commentary reviews format was too long to write, too long to read, and too disorderly. So I’m trying this new format)

1. I gotta say the 2nd episode was better than the pilot, but I still had higher expectations. It had some funny parts and used the entire cast pretty well. But it went for a sex talk issue on episode 2? Way too fast.

2. Plots: Dad (Anthony Anderson) attempts to have “The talk” with older brother Junior, although it makes him uncomfortable. Mom is never in the loop with oldest daughter Zoey, but when Zoey finally opens up (twice), Mom drops the ball. Little kids Jack and Diane attempt to receive the talk, but no one pays attention.

3a. The Talk turns into Junior rambling about his horny preferences, which becomes taxing on Junior. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to know any of that information until well later in the series. After I got to know him a lot better. I did laugh at the initial scene that started this whole thing, and the awkwardness was right on. But it was just uncomfortable for the jokes to land as well as they could have. And no, Junior, it’s not weird for you to be turned on by Helen Mirren. No shame, man. No shame.

3b. It is nice that that Mom and Zoey finally got some plots of their own. However, Mom ignoring Zoey when she wants to be in the loop with Zoey was still a bit weird. Especially to do it twice. Plus, by the end of the whole thing, Pops (Lawrence Fishburne) just said a generic advice line and even he still didn’t listen to Zoey. Does the family have something against Zoey?

3c. The two little kids are just adorable. They don’t know what The Talk is, but they want The Talk. Still some ironing out to do there chemistry wise, but one of the best quotes of the episode was the cold ending, when Jack tries, in a kid-deep voice, to have “The Talk” with Diana: “Diane…I’d like to talk to you about the difference between jam and jelly”. HAHA! Hilarious! I seriously wanted to hear this talk.

4. There were other funny lines, when Dad is hiding in the laundry room to delay speaking Junior about stopping their talks. Mom suggest folding clothes. Dad jumps out of there to talk to Junior. The revelation that Mom had The Talk before Dad even knew (and how comfortable they were-or weren’t-with their bodies). Didn’t like how the show ended though. You know what I’m talking about when you watch it.

5. Every line Pops has been given turns to gold. Literally everything: “Don’t get caught up in this open-dialogue-with-your-kids hoopla, it’s not natural. Show me one place in the Bible where the kid talks?” Boom. Logic.

6. The show was funnier than the pilot, if you could get past the incredibly awkward sex talk…and having to have shirts off to do it. Improvement, Black-ish. But…can we dial down the controversial topics for just an episode? Can I just enjoy the family? And can we PLEASE get rid of the narration?

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