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'black-ish' recap: The caveman mystique

Season 1 | Episode 13 | “Law of Attraction” | Aired Jan 7, 2015

It’s time once again for black-ish! This first episode of 2015 finds the adult Johnsons going through some growing pains of the primal variety.

Andre once had confidence that he was a take-charge alpha male. He also thought that his parents wouldn’t ever make him worried about his own relationship with Rainbow. Both beliefs are shattered the night he and his family go to support Zoey in her portrayal of Juliet in the school production of Romeo and Juliet.

The long hours sitting with both Ruby and Pops bickering at each other throughout the performance is bad enough—and even worse when they bicker throughout Zoey’s celebratory dinner—but it really hits the fan when some dude decides to jump in front of Rainbow at the valet service. Andre, like any husband would do, steps up to the man for disrespecting his wife. But when the man steps up as well, Andre figures it is stupid to get into a fight.

That is when Pops steps up himself and makes that punk back away. This makes both Ruby and Rainbow feel a certain type of way. On the one hand, Ruby is instantly back in love with the man whose boats she torched in effigy. On the other hand, Rainbow is disappointed Andre didn’t beat the punk down into the ground, and she is embarrassed and ashamed about it. As Ruby tells Rainbow, it’s the call of the caveperson in everyone that makes aggression so attractive. Andre also leaves feeling disturbed; he wonders why he didn’t punch the guy like he would have back in the day.

In fact, punching people is how Andre met Rainbow in the first place. Picture it: 1990-ish. Rainbow, complete with dookie braids, is sitting at the neighborhood hot dog stand, reading a book and minding her own business, when two guys start fighting and end up squirting her book with mustard. Andre, complete with a serious high top, walks up to the guys and tries to get them to fight. When that doesn’t work, he starts slinging himself, knocking them out and winning Rainbow in the process.

Rainbow is so disappointed in Andre not going to town on somebody’s face that she starts doing the “alpha male” things around the house, such as installing flatscreens and grilling big cuts of meat. Meanwhile, Andre chides himself in the mirror and as he’s going to sleep. Even his coworkers say he’s on his way to a divorce if he doesn’t change his beta-male ways.

To win Rainbow back, he takes her back to the place where they met all those years ago. That hangout, I failed to mention, is also on the dangerous side of town middle-class people don’t go to, and he’s going there at night specifically to fight someone. Unfortunately, the ruffians he’s expecting to run into (and pick fights with) aren’t there; the biggest guy at the stand is such a nice guy that he gives Andre back the $20 he dropped. The only person Andre ends up running from is Pickles, a girl’s dog who “likes giving kisses.”

After this failed show of bravado, Rainbow and Andre address the awful truths that they are still cavepeople on the inside no matter how highfalutin or degree-totin’ they might become. They accept it, but still try to live their lives as the evolved human beings they believe themselves to be.

That’s until Pops and Ruby, who have been madly in love for the duration of Andre and Rainbow’s crisis, start bickering once again. However, this time Jack and Diane are witnessing it while the grandparents are supposed to be taking them to get ice cream. Andre flashes back to his childhood and how he had always hoped his parents would finally stop arguing, only to be disappointed over and over. Not wanting his children to live in that mess, he bucks up to his dad. He says he can’t let this pass on to another generation, and that if he keeps arguing with Ruby, he’ll have to leave. Pops goes to his corner, Ruby calls him less of a man for not standing up to his own son, and Rainbow’s inner cavewoman has arisen. All is well.

Except for Andre Jr., who is passionate about being Romeo now that the everyone who could play Romeo is otherwise detained, despite Zoey playing Juliet. Somehow, he can’t see that playing the love interest for his sister is not only wrong but creepy. To quote Diane, “Seriously? This feels right to you?” Zoey drops the role out of disgust, but Andre Jr. is still able to let his theater geek out. Since no one is playing both Romeo and Juliet, he gets to play both parts, which Rainbow and Jack love. But once again, Diane is not feeling it, because it just doesn’t feel right to her.

What did you think of the first black-ish of the year?

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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