TV Club: Black-ish: “The Peer-ent Trap”

The novelty of Black-ish comes from its ability to tell stories about the subtle (and occasionally dramatic) differences in the way black people parent their children. But depending on which specific parenting dynamic the show is taking on in a given week, the dynamic may present itself more subtly than in other weeks. “Crime And Punishment,” for example, explores the practice of corporal punishment, it’s cultural underpinnings, and whether it’s an uncomfortable but effective disciplinary tool, or the pathological mimicry of violence inflicted on blacks to keep them in line. Or, the more troubling possibility, a little bit of both. (More on that in the Strays. Quite a bit more, shawty!*) That’s not a hot potato, that’s a Fanta-orange coal ready to melt someone’s hand off. “The Peer-Ent Trap” explores a more benign difference, the good-cop, bad-cop dynamic in parents’ respective relationships with the children …

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