Fall T.V season is upon us and I’ve been looking for a truly binge-worthy show about black families. Ideally- something that’s as glorious as the 90s sitcoms I grew up loving, but with a modern twist. Because for as much I enjoy watching reruns of the Fresh Prince of Belair, I’m ready for new material that reflects my life today.
Which is why I was boosted to find 3 shows that portray black family in a real and entertaining way.
Black comedy can be a tricky animal. When done right it’ll have you in stitches cracking up. But when it’s done lazily, it crosses the line into embarrassing buffoonery. So naturally, I was skeptical when Blackish came out. I thought to myself:
“Is this going to be another show that tries so hard to relate, that it forgets to be funny?”
I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
The show’s about an upper middle class (I guess that’s the ish part) black family dealing with life in the burbs. It has plenty of hilarious one-liners and heartwarming “awww” moments -giving it a Cosby Show vibe. But Unlike the Cosby Show, Blackish goes in when it comes to race and politics.
My one critique…
The father character’s (played by Anthony Anderson) self-absorbed narration can get annoying, but all in all its definitely worth a watch. If for no other reason than to see Tracee Ellis Ross back in her prime.
2. Black Lightning
No one’s talking about Black Lightning and I’m not sure why. In my opinion, it’s even better than Luke Cage, but I’m probably biased because I just love seeing a strong, caring and protective father on screen.
By day Black Lightning is a school principal, and community activist- and by night he’s single-handedly saving his neighborhood from the crime syndicates that threaten it. All while struggling to keep his two young daughters – who wild out almost every episode – safe.
3. Queen Sugar
Everything about Queen Sugar gives me life. The drama follows 3 siblings as they fight to keep their deceased father’s sugar cane farm up and running. I like this show because it keeps its real. We all know that black families aren’t always wholesome…sometimes they’re messy af. The Bordelons definitely fit that bill. They’re at each other’s throats 30% of the time, even as they consistently show up for one another.
Expect a healthy dose of ‘it’s us up against the man’ themes and even more gut-wrenching relationship plot twists.
Did I mention how beautiful Queen Sugar? Ava Duvernay goes out of her to way to capture the spirit of rural Louisiana with beautiful cinematic shots of the bayou and swampy grasslands. It creates a warm, personable and spiritual impression that pulls you in and makes you care. You’ll cry, laugh and get pissed off with these characters.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Duvernay exclusively hires women to direct – which might explain why the show is so raw and intimate.
Do you agree with my verdict? What other black family shows should be on our rader? Let me know me know in the comments!