television

TV review: ‘Black-ish’

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Anthony Anderson stars in ABC’s Black-ish.

Three stars

Black-ish Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m., ABC.

Given the number of bland sitcoms that ABC has tried using to capitalize on the success of Modern Family, it’s refreshing that Black-ish at least represents a different kind of family, even if it ultimately relies on a lot of familiar sitcom antics. Anthony Anderson plays Andre, a successful black advertising executive, who worries that his affluent family is losing its cultural identity. At best, Black-ish offers a clever deconstruction of racial politics and the kind of coded language that people use when they’re trying to avoid sounding racist (Andre is frustrated that he’s promoted to senior vice president of his company’s “urban” division). It also manages to be funny about the family relationships without turning the characters into shrill people who yell at each other all the time. Sometimes, though, it just combats stereotypes with other stereotypes, but even then, it’s more engaged with meaningful issues than the other “modern” sitcom that airs right before it.

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