Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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 fourth 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 5, Episode 4 “Purple Rain” (B-)

I’ve become accustomed to watching a handful of episodes of this show each when it’s been nominated for Best Comedy Series, but now, it’s back to one single nomination, for star Anthony Anderson. Some of his past submissions were actually very strong, to the point that he could have won, but I don’t think that’s the case this year. In addition to the fact that the show not being represented in other categories weakens his chances, this episode was considerably sillier than others. Dre explaining how your children eventually come to disappoint you was a moderately humorous introduction to the fact that Diane and Jack had no idea who Prince was, and it took them some time to be convinced of his overall value and incomparable appeal. Having each member of the family dress up like Prince and perform part of his songs was fun, though that made this more of an ensemble presentation than a specific showcase of the typically outspoken Dre, who, in this case, was supported by most of his family as they agreed with him and shared their own experiences of transformative moments related to Prince. Song and dance sequences aside, this felt like a very typical sitcom installment, with the whole family gathered around to talk about their culture and an influential part of their lives. The best payoff of it all was Jack, who wasn’t a believer and couldn’t understand, suddenly getting in when his crush and study partner showed up and he sprung right into action.

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