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'black-ish' fall finale recap: The night Andre (nearly) ruined Christmas

Season 1 | Episode 10 | “Black Santa/White Christmas” | Aired Dec 10, 2014

It’s officially the season of giving on black-ish, but Andre seems to have forgotten what the spirit of Christmas is all about. Apparently, according to Andre, Rainbow, and Ruby (by the way, Ruby’s back!), Christmas is about lies, deceit and jealousy. Happy holidays!

So why are the adults celebrating Grinchmas instead of Christmas? First, Andre is in a sour mood because the company’s PR exec, Angelica Rodriguez (played by Ana Ortiz), was tapped to play Santa Claus. The resident Santa, one of Andre’s artery-clogged coworkers, had finally done himself in with his meat-only diet. Andre wanted to be Santa for social and (selfish) reasons. The company has yet to have a black Santa and he wants to be the first. Just like how he said in his unused pitch to the boss, 24‘s President David Palmer played by Dennis Haysbert, not Barack Obama, was the first black guy to give black Americans hope of a black president. Although, if we’re being truthful, Morgan Freeman was the “true” first black president (at least in recent memory)—he played President Beck in 1998’s comet thriller Deep Impact.

It’s pertinent that Angelica is Latina. I’m not even sure Angelica is Mexican, but like many Americans would, Andre assumes she’s Mexican simply because she’s Latina. Andre’s whining about a Latina being picked over him is backed up by Ruby, and both assert to Rainbow around the kitchen counter that the order of minority rights is blacks first, Mexicans second. After sustaining the verbal shrapnel of Ruby and Andre’s racist tirade about minority rights to the glass ceiling and how Mexicans are stealing low-paying jobs from Americans, Rainbow tries to tell them that they’re being racist. According to Ruby and her son, however, black people can’t be racist. Frustrated at constantly being the only rational person in her household, Rainbow, exasperated, leaves and lets the two bask in their racist nonracism.

This leads to what Rainbow’s upset about. She’s mad that (1) Ruby’s there, (2) Ruby is going to cook her annual Christmas Eve dinner, and (3) her children are going to love Ruby’s dinner more than hers. In a jealous effort to take the shine from Ruby, Rainbow insists that the kids do some of the traditions she used to do as a kid, such as sing carols. She also says she’s going to cook dinner, something that brings the kids close to tears. And she scares them when trying to do the fun grandmotherly “I’m going to cook you like a ham” spiel Ruby successfully nails all the time. Instead of being endearing, Rainbow evokes Christmas fear like my mom did to my siblings and me when we were children: She told us Santa would put pepper in our eyes if we weren’t asleep. She meant it as a fun, happy joke, but it instilled a lifelong fear of Christmas Eve. To this day, I still go to bed early on Christmas Eve, even though I know Santa’s not real.

Andre manages to finagle his way into the role of Santa, but he forgets what Christmas (and the job of company Santa) is all about—giving presents to needy kids. Even though his own children nail their auto-tuned chorus segment at the company’s toy drive event, Angelica “forgets” to tell Andre that Santa is in charge of the toy drive. Thus, no presents, and Andre has ruined Christmas.

Or has he? He enlists his children as his elves, and together they raid the toy store and visit each kid’s house, giving away tons of presents. Meanwhile, Rainbow learns that Ruby’s awesome dinners are never made by her—they’re catered. Ruby reveals that the pressure and stress Christmas dinner creates is just too much, and Ruby and Rainbow keep the lie of “homemade” dinner alive by making a mess in the kitchen to appear as if they’ve been slaving away.

In the end, the kids get their delicious dinner, Andre gets to be Santa, and Rainbow and Ruby both get the credit they drink up like water. Overall, it’s a happy Christmas Eve.

What did you like about this festive episode? And do you have any Christmas horror stories like mine?

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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