ABCs blackish is arguably the most critical network TV show to emerge last decade. Made by Kenya Barris, blackish premiered on September 24, 2014, and has been running for seven seasons since. The show chronicles the lives of the Johnsons, a wealthy African-American family. In addition, we see how the family deals with conflicts between itself and society as a whole.
The Johnson family consists of father Andre (Anthony Anderson), mother Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross). There are 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 as Earl Johnson, Andre’s father, who lives with the family in the TV show. blackish has a talented cast and a hilarious premise. But why has this TV show become so popular over the years? Let’s look at blackish‘s reception & impact to find out.
blackish makes waves on television
blackish made a rapid transition from development to a fully realized TV program. ABC began planning the show in October 2013, and by January 2014, the network had already signed on for a pilot episode. Larry Wilmore was initially supposed to be the showrunner but eventually had to leave to make it to The Nighttime Show with Larry Wilmore.
From the beginning, blackish made its mark as a must-see TV show. Over the years, it has been nominated for both Emmys and Golden Globes for the Outstanding Comedy Series. Blackish even won a TCA Award in 2016 for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. In addition, the individual actors and behind-the-scenes staff of the TV show have been nominated for and won numerous other awards.
The success of blackish has also spawned several spin-off programs on ABC. First, there is Grown-ish, who follows Zoey as she heads to college. The third season episode, “Liberal Arts,” was the backdoor pilot for this project. In addition, there is mixed-ish which is a prequel series that follows Rainbow’s upbringing. However, mixed-ish was canceled in May this year.
The future spin-off 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 spin-off series proves that the blackish universe is popular and impactful. But what do critics think of the TV show?
Critical response to blackish
blackish is a TV show loved by fans and critics alike. Newsday’s Verne Gay said: blackish can be fiercely funny, keenly observed and unfailingly good-humored about the racial divide.” Gay added, “But just beyond that glossy surface is a serious and even compelling undercurrent.” Blackish is a great TV show because it deftly balances these two sides.
Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com wrote about: blackish “the pilot sometimes takes a few big strokes to solidify his concept.” “However, there is a believable dynamic at the core of this family that works in such a way that most sitcoms take years to develop.” Despite the rave reviews for blackish, not all critics like the TV show.
Variety’s Brian Lowry said, “in the pilot, the writing chops toward the obvious and predictable, perhaps in part because it’s quick to establish the premise.” Maybe Lowry has changed his mind about… blackish after the show received many accolades. It just shows that a TV show sometimes takes years to get going.
Blackish is a TV show that has won awards and spawned spin-offs, but it is a witty writing team and a mindful creator at its core. You can stream blackish online with Hulu. What is your favorite moment, blackish? Let us know in the comments!