Friday, September 1, 2017

Emmy Episodes: Black-ish

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the second year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Black-ish: Season 3, Episode 12 “Lemons” (B+)

This episode, in addition to being one of the six submitted for Best Comedy Series for this show, is the individual choice for both guest star Wanda Sykes and lead actor Anthony Anderson. Opening with the election aftermath, with Rainbow wearing all liberal insignia and the kids getting a day of reflection, was funny, and of course no one was able to do any work because of Trump, to the point that they put off the project for weeks until it was finally due. There were some intense conversations in this episode that make it a clear choice as an example of what this show is all about. Sykes, who earns her first Emmy nomination for acting for this role, has a superb opportunity to equate the white woman at the table’s vote for Trump as a vote for racism, and she’s considerably tamer and more subdued, yet still just as full of passion, than she tends to be in other parts. Anderson was the one who got the great monologue, however, talking about how people are waking up and knowing what it feels like to be black, and underscoring the importance of understanding what other people are thinking even and especially if we don’t agree with them. That’s an excellent message and one that’s sure to resonate with voters, so don’t be surprised at all if Anderson’s name is called when his category is announced. This show straddles the line of comedy and drama well without being too over the top since just about anyone who watches this show can probably relate to the post-election slump felt all around the country.

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