ABC’s new show “Black-ish” stars: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin and Laurence Fishburne.
We had the chance to pre-screen the new ABC show. “Black-ish” is about an African-American family dealing with the in and outs of being black family in urban America; it follows the main character, Andre played by Anthony Anderson, as he tries to move up the social ladder in his workplace. The pilot episode included Andre being promoted to Senior Vice President, only to find out that it wasn’t exactly the job that he expected, and his son asking for a Bar Mitzvah for his 13th birthday. This comedy certainly has a lot of laughs that play into stereotypes, based on actual events. It also is made so that it comes off as relatable to all watching. This isn’t a comedy that tries to instill a higher moral meaning, rather it shows how to deal with everyday situations that we all go through.
Tracee Ellis Ross participated in a Q&A at the 40/40 club.
Black-ish as a title
In terms of the title of the show, it’s about a black family dealing with their -ish. It’s as simple as that. It’s also an opportunity to see that the “ish” for all of us is the same. And the other thing I love about the show is that a lot of times when you’re on network television, you play an actor who happens to black, but this is a show about a black family, we’re not shying away from the fact that we’re a black family.
On Kenya and Anthony
I think it was really important in terms of the creation of the show, that it really came from real life authentic stories. They’re not made up stories, they’re actually stories that happened. Kenya created the show with Anthony, but he’s the head writer for the show. Kenya said a great metaphor:
“When you create a television show, it’s like you plant a seed and then as all the pieces come together, because a television show is such a creative artform, you get a whole group of writers and then they start to influence it, you get a cast and then they start to influence it, and then the network, and then the way the audience is responding, and then you get to see what kind of plant its going to turn into.”
What do you want the audience to take away from the show?
It’s a comedy. We are not trying to change lives and we are not trying to fix slavery. We’re making people laugh.
What drew you to this role?
Rainbow is actually Kenya’s wife’s name. The first was simply the writing of the episode. I thought the humour was really smart, the comedy was coming out of the characters, I love that there was space in the dialogues. It’s also really interesting that I play a mixed woman on television.
The new family comedy premieres Wed Sept. 24 9:30/8:30c!