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'black-ish' recap: Team Johnson lacks teamwork

Season 1 | Episode 9 | “Colored Commentary” | Aired Dec 3, 2014

Now that the turkey and stuffing (or dressing) is out of our systems, we can once again welcome black-ish into our lives! This week, we find Andre and his family facing another challenge that was created largely by Andre. Poor Andre means well, but he always gets himself and his family in jams.

After realizing his family has basically separated themselves in their own private corners, Andre puts his foot down and … creates team shirts. He wants his family to act as a team, a team named Johnson. But Team Johnson would argue that they’re fine without Andre’s meddling. The older kids don’t communicate with each other, much less the younger kids, and the younger kids keep themselves company since the adults are usually doing their own thing. But as Zoey and Andre Jr. argue in their teenager-speak, the status quo is fine just the way it is.

But after being threatened with groundings and lack of food, they give in and put on the uncool shirts. However, while the teenagers are busy counting the “cool” points they’re losing while out in public (Jack’s baseball game) in Team Johnson gear, Andre is quickly racking up “sleep on the couch” points with Rainbow.

Rainbow wisely catches some heavily veiled commentary from the Little League commentator, who calls Jack a “natural athlete,” a player who can run like a panther, and someone who was “born to steal.” It was fun to see that the person saying these things was Dr. Kelso from Scrubs (Ken Jenkins); what wasn’t fun was seeing Andre not defend his wife, who was raising some poignant issues to some of the (white) mothers. Instead, Andre made his wife look like a fool by publicly siding with the moms.

Of course, Andre got the cold shoulder from Rainbow, and of course that frosty moment would come right when Andre needs to use Rainbow’s fine-art knowledge at a company function. He does butter her up enough for her to agree, and for most of the party, Rainbow is really impressing the company’s clients. But everything falls apart when Andre doesn’t tell his wife that she was actually discussing Magritte when the conversation was actually about Matisse. Andre’s back to racking up “sleep on the couch” points.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Andre Jr. and Zoey aren’t up for taking care of their siblings—but are forced to when Jack and Diane slide down the stairs in baskets and cardboard. The twins (with the help of Zoey and Andre Jr.) slide down one time too many and crash into the wall, creating a hole. To escape punishment, they decide to stick together and tell a complete lie about what happened: They tell their parents that they were all pretending to be models on a runway, and Diane fell modeling some shoes Rainbow expected her to grow into. Of course, Andre’s not buying it and tries to ferret the truth out of them. None of them cave until Andre breaks out the Chunky Monkey ice cream, Diane’s weakness. She snitches.

The rest of the kids now see Diane as an outlier, and Rainbow’s still mad at Andre. Unfortunately, that anger gets more intense when, at another one of Jack’s games, Andre decides to stick up for his wife and take the commentator to task after he calls a foul ball on Jack. Even though calling foul on the foul play isn’t the exact right time to bring up past aggressions, Andre lets the commentator have it when it comes to his veiled language. It only turns really bad when Andre, thinking he has turned the commentator’s microphone off, tells him he really doesn’t mean any of what he said; he just wants to save face with his wife, who can act “cuckoo” sometimes. The mic is still turned on. Andre is now at the tippy-top of his “sleep on the couch” point gain.

The status of the Johnson home life is anything but homey. Everyone could care less about team spirit. But Andre, having had enough of the chilly mood, calls an emergency team meeting. But the meeting is interrupted by Jack’s coaches, who say that Andre’s antics have landed him a couple weeks’ suspension. Rainbow stands up for her husband, insisting he is not an idiot and that if Andre gets suspended, the whole Team Johnson will sit out—including star player Jack. This gets to the root of what Rainbow wants Andre to understand; sticking up for family, whether you agree with them or not, is what being a team is all about. Also, after rationalizing Diane’s transgression (and Jack even admitting he would have done the same thing for some Chunky Monkey), the kids forgive her and become a core group once again.

Overall, it was fun episode to come back to after the Thanksgiving break. What did you think?

black-ish airs Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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