Sunday, August 23, 2020

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 fifth 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 6, Episode 13 “Kid Life Crisis” (C+)

I’ve watched a good number of episodes over the show over the course of the past six years, and this year there are only two installments to screen. Tracee Ellis Ross wasn’t nominated last year but returns this time around with a fourth overall bid for playing Bow. I couldn’t remember when I started watching this episode whether it was her submission or costar Anthony Anderson’s, and the truth is that it shouldn’t have been either of theirs. There’s no big moment at which their talents, either comedic or dramatic, are readily apparent, and when they do come together to realize what’s possible and therapeutic for him, it’s a joint experience rather than one that gives Ross anything particularly memorable to do. Part of it for me also is that I watched the first few episodes of “#blackAF” since last screening this show, and while I didn’t completely love that show either, its edginess and unfiltered nature appealed to me more. The actor doing the most in this episode was Marcus Scribner, who I unexpectedly encountered in a dramatic role in the film “Farewell Amor” at Sundance, as Junior, who was the recipient of an unmistakable romantic advance from the first girl he saw on vacation but had to contend with two sick younger siblings instead of getting the chance to spend time with her. Overall, there was nothing particularly bad about this episode, it was just unremarkable and not all that entertaining, an attribute I do usually expect from this show.

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