Black-ish… not even funny-ish

I’m sure there’s meant to be something clever in the fact that she is a doctor and he is called Dre…

I’m well aware that I’m neither African nor American, and I’m certainly not African-American, I’m a very white and nerdy Englishman, but should I feel bad that I’m not finding this show even slightly funny?

I didn’t laugh once.

I even stopped in the middle of the pilot episode to check on IMDb if I was alone in feeling this way, and apparently I’m not. The site gives some excellent demographics, and I hope I’m not racially insensitive by wishing that there were stats available for the race of people who are watching this. Is it funnier to someone who IS actually African-American? I expect so as it’s not been axed yet, so I’m assuming that I just can’t relate to everything that is referenced but someone somewhere must be.

I always thought that the point of ‘broadcasting’ was to reach a wide audience, especially on a major network at prime time. The lead character even has an issue with being considered only for ‘urban’ tasks at work, so why then do I get the feeling that it seems odd that I feel I need to be African-American to find this funny.

It’s been paired to air with Modern Family, and that is a show that I do find consistently funny, possibly even the only show I can guarantee will always make me laugh out loud at least a couple of times per episode. I’m not a parent, in a same-sex marriage, a teenager, or an aging man with a beautiful Colombian wife, yet even if I can’t relate fully to the characters and their situations, I still find that show incredibly funny!

Modern family while having diversity, doesn’t feature a regular black character. So is this a case of one half hour sitcom for ‘us’ and one for ‘them’, terms that are in fact used in ‘Black-ish’ and called out as being wrong.

Anyhoo, I’ve given up on watching any more of this, I feel like I can spend those 21 minutes each week with some other sitcom that will live up to the promise of the ‘com’ in the genre. The episode of ‘New Girl’ that I watched with my breakfast this morning had black, white, Indian, British, and Asian characters all in one room, and I laughed throughout, so ‘Black-ish’ you’re not going to be missed.



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