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'black-ish' fan recap: Uncle Tom's convert

Season 1 | Episode 23 | “Elephant in the Room” | Aired May 13, 2015

If ABC’s black-ish has taught viewers anything, it’s that black people will accept Lord of the Rings fans, strange friends, and gay people. But the one type of person black people still have a problem with, apart from a racist, is a Republican. Especially if that Republican is black. Then you get labeled an “Uncle Tom.” (Does it mean that black Republicans are all Uncle Toms? No. Besides, you don’t have to be a Republican to be labeled that.)

Andre has to face the possibility of an Uncle Tom in his midst when Andre Jr. says that he is now a part of his school’s Young Republican Club. Andre tells Rainbow, and she can’t even comprehend that Andre Jr. said “Republican.” Neither can Ruby. When Ruby finds out, she throws just as much of a fit as she did as when Rhonda was outed last week.

As a card-carrying black Democrat, Andre feels it’s his duty to retrieve his son from the brink of Republicanism. When he enters his son’s room with tons of books on black liberalism, Andre Jr. tells him the real reason he joined the club: to get closer to Hillary, a girl in his class. Not only is Andre relieved it’s because of a girl, but he is pleasantly shocked to find out she’s black! But of course, the pleasant surprise of blackness gives way to Andre’s concern; as I stated above, a generalization of black people is that we will call black Republicans Uncle Toms.

Once Andre and Rainbow realize Andre Jr. is getting deeper into Republicanism, thanks to Hillary, the two decide to meet Hillary’s parents to see if they can reconcile their own issues and, as Rainbow says, “reach across the aisle.” But even though Andre has to admit their boar-bacon tarts are delicious, reaching across the aisle fails when Hillary’s mom throws down the “working mom” card. Hillary’s mom left her job to raise her family, and believes that women who choose to work are selfish. Of course, Rainbow’s not down with that, and that’s when the proverbial fur starts flying. They have a difference of feminist opinion, but isn’t feminism supposed to allow for all female points of view without people resorting to shaming?

Now, if I can inject some opinion, my mom is a stay-at-home mom, so when it comes to feminism wars regarding working, I was raised to believe women can work or stay at home: It’s their choice. Neither choice is a selfish choice; a woman has to make the choice that’s right for them. So in my view, both Rainbow and Hillary’s mom are a little closed-minded. (Drinks tea like Kermit: “#ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness.”)

Anyway, Andre and Rainbow realize that they showed their butts at Hillary’s parents’ palatial home, so they decide to tell their kids that in an effort to be better people and parents, they will accept any opinions their kids might grow up to have, even if they don’t agree. But as the argument between the sets of parents showed, that promise is going to be a tougher sell when push comes to shove.

However, once again, it’s Zoey that saves the day and reconverts Andre Jr. to the Democrat side by introducing him to one of her friends. It’s also at this point that the long-brewing, one-sided battle between Diane and Zoey—who realized she needed glasses—comes to a head. So what was this subplot about, you ask? Zoey found out she needed glasses, and suddenly, the world was opened to her in the form of … actually seeing the world. Diane thinks this is also a great time for her to foist Andre’s nickname for her, Girkel (Girl + Urkel) onto the popular Zoey. Unfortunately, the plan backfires in two ways: Diane realizes she loves her nickname once Zoey starts getting all of Andre’s attention, and Zoey ends up with a better nickname than her (“Butterfly”). Also, Diane snapping Zoey’s first pair of glasses? As a glasses-wearer, I personally know how heinous it is to break glasses on purpose. These things are expensive. As in “These would be $600 without co-pay and they’re still expensive” expensive. The Johnsons may be more flush than most, but still, money is money. The clear ones do look better, though.

What did you think of the episode? If you’re a black Republican, how did you feel? Tell me about it in the comments.

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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