Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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 third 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 4, Episode 3 “Elder. Scam.” (B-)

This is the one episode of this show that isn’t among the six half-hours representing this show in the Best Comedy Series category. It’s Tracee Ellis Ross’ submission, marking her third consecutive nomination. This show has yet to win an Emmy in any category, but Ross actually won the show’s only Golden Globe on her first try back in 2017. It’s interesting because, especially compared to the previous episode, this one doesn’t feature her all that much. Whereas in last year’s submission, she took issue with her son coming home with a white girlfriend, in this one she reacts to her daughter’s new friend, who may or may not be a boyfriend, and has an incredibly awkward but entertaining moment of pretending to be cool. That was about all that she did, making this a puzzling choice for her to win over Emmy voters. The bigger star of the half-hour was Jenifer Lewis as Ruby, who got Dre nervous after she got scammed and started to behave erratically, only to reveal that she was still kicking and more than alert enough to con her own son into buying her a new car because he was very concerned about her, particularly after his coworkers made him start thinking about how she was behaving. All of the antics with Diane and then Ruby being obsessed with Aaron and asking him to choose between them and his far more age-appropriate fellow college student were moderately amusing but, as always with this show, a bit too over-the-top to be truly funny.

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