The new television season has brought with it the usual influx of hit-and-miss new series across the entertainment spectrum; from gritty drama and suspense to quirky sitcoms. One of the new season’s most highly-anticipated shows has been ABC’s sitcom “Black-ish,” an irreverent half-hour comedy about ad exec Andre Johnson, his wife Dr. Rainbow Johnson and their efforts to raise their African American family as the minority in a very affluent white environment. The network aggressively marketed the show heading up to the new season, with ads airing during all major programming and across the Web.
But not one preview or commercial made me want to see the show.
The jokes seemed to be recycled one-liners and the subject matter, on paper, sounded like fertile ground for the type of stale, stereotype-driven humor that was a common feature on the first season of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” 25 years ago. My expectations were moderate-to-low, so much so that I actually didn’t care enough to catch the premiere episode. I admittedly have yet to watch the show’s pilot, but after the first week’s mixed reaction from Twitter and Facebook, I still managed to tune in for episode number two. And a funny thing happened:
I found myself actually laughing at it.
ABC has announced that it has ordered a full 22-episode season of “Black-ish,” after the Anthony Anderson comedy debuted with a strong 10.8 million viewers; reportedly the highest ever retention of “Modern Family” viewers for a comedy debuting after that hit series. And it’s ratings have been on the uptick every week.
It’s not hard to see why. Here are some reasons why “Black-ish” wound up changing even this skeptic’s mind.