Top-tier TV show: Here’s how to watch ‘Black-ish’ online
ABC’s Black-ish is perhaps the most important network TV show to emerge in the last decade. Created by Kenya Barris, Black-ish premiered on September 24th, 2014 and has run for seven seasons since then. The show chronicles the life of the Johnsons, a wealthy African-American family. We see how the family deals with conflict amongst themselves & society at large.
The Johnson family is made up of father Andre (Anthony Anderson), mother Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross). There’s also their children Zoey (Yara Shahidi), Andre Jr. (Marcus Scribner), Jack (Miles Brown), and Diane (Marsai Martin). There are also regulars Josh Oppenhol (Jeff Meacham), Ruby Johnson (Jenifer Lewis), Charlie Telphy (Deon Cole), and Leslie Stevens (Peter Mackenzie).
Laurence Fishburne also appears on the TV show as Earl Johnson, Andre’s father who lives with the family. Black-ish has a talented cast & a hilarious premise. Yet why has this TV show become so popular over the years? Let’s look at Black-ish’s reception & impact to find out.
Black-ish makes waves in television
Black-ish made a quick turnaround from development to being a fully-realized TV show. ABC started planning the show in October 2013 and by January 2014, the network had already signed off on a pilot episode. Larry Wilmore was originally intended to be the showrunner, yet eventually had to leave in order to make The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.
From the outset, Black-ish made its mark as a must-see TV show. Over the years it’s been nominated for both Emmys & Golden Globes for Outstanding Comedy Series. Black-ish even won a TCA Award in 2016 for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. The TV show’s individual actors & behind-the-scenes personnel have been nominated for and won numerous other awards.
The success of Black-ish has also spawned several spinoff programs on ABC. There’s Grown-ish which follows Zoey as she goes off to college. The episode “Liberal Arts” from the third season was the backdoor pilot for this project. Additionally, there’s Mixed-ish which is a prequel series following Rainbow’s upbringing. However, Mixed-ish was canceled in May this year.
The would-be spinoff Old-ish was set to star Laurence Fishburne & Jenifer Lewis. Unfortunately, the same month that Mixed-ish was canceled, ABC said it had no plans for an Old-ish pilot. Be that as it may, the amount of spinoff series proves that the Black-ish universe is popular & impactful. Yet, what do critics think of the TV show?
Critical response to Black-ish
Black-ish is a TV show beloved by fans & critics alike. Verne Gay of Newsday said, “Black-ish can be fiercely funny, sharply observed, and unfailingly good-humored about the racial divide.” Gay added, “But just beyond that glossy surface is a serious & even compelling undercurrent.” What makes Black-ish a great TV show is that it balances these two sides deftly.
Brian Tallerico from RogerEbert.com wrote of Black-ish, “the pilot sometimes takes a few broad strokes to cement its concept.” However, “there’s a believable dynamic in the core of this family that works to the degree that most sitcoms take years to develop.” Despite the glowing reviews for Black-ish, not all critics love the TV show.
Brian Lowry of Variety said, “in the pilot, the writing hews toward the obvious and predictable, perhaps in part because it’s racing along to establish the premise.” Maybe Lowry changed his mind about Black-ish after the show received many honors. It just goes to show that sometimes a TV show needs years to find its stride.
Black-ish is a TV show that’s won awards & spawned spinoffs, but at its core is a witty writing team & conscious creator. You can stream Black-ish online using Hulu. What’s your favorite moment on Black-ish? Let us know in the comments!