TV Club: Black-ish: “The Real World”

Black-ish loses some of its luster when it drills down into Andre and Rainbow’s marital woes, except in cases in which their drama ensnares other members of the family. It’s a challenge every family sitcom faces. A marriage changes significantly when a husband and wife become a father and mother, but in a family sitcom, the audience has to be able to glean who the couple used to be. Family sitcoms have to depict the couple’s foibles and communicate who they were, why they fell in love, and what makes the relationship sustainable.

The issue for Black-ish has been that the episodes primarily focused on Dre and Bow’s relationship have been duds, with the other example being “Big Night, Big Fight.” In that episode, as with “The Real World,” the B-plot involving the kids buoys what is otherwise a slightly off-putting episode. The primary issue is …

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