Monday, September 13, 2021

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 sixth 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 7, Episode 12 “Things Done Changed” (C+)

This episode was the weakest of the seven that I screened this season and serves as the lackluster last of the six submitted for Best Comedy Series consideration. Dre has been distracted more easily by smaller things in the past, and the lengths he went to in order to try to prove the continued existence and relevance of hip-hop were predictably excessive and ineffective. Having everyone laugh at him and having to go to Charlie of all people for affirmation wasn’t a high point, but it was nice to have a dramatic moment with Leslie, who acknowledged that hiring Dre was the best decision he had made. Bow got just as nostalgic about the music that she felt defined her, and Junior being busy gave Jack the opening he needed to get close to his mom. While he was initially impressed with himself, he soon discovered that he wasn’t cut out for some of her beloved activities, like the Sudoku video game that played out at a truly glacial pace. I enjoyed seeing this different, more competitive side of Jack while his terrifying sister was busy going to war with her father, and Bow had a blast cracking up at the notion of Junior being her best friend. Dre asking Bow if he doesn’t know how great he is was probably one of the least self-aware things he’s done on this show, but his sense of how others perceive him and his ability to read the room have never been strengths for him.

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