“Black-ish” Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” aired on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, at 9:30 p.m. on ABC. Meet the Johnson couple, Andre and Rainbow, who was trying to give their four young kids the best in life, along with Pops, the grandfather. Read on for the recap of the show’s very first episode.
Andre “Dre” Johnson (Anthony Edwards) is aware that he is a lucky person, as he noted in the opening scene. His life with his wife and four kids is a far cry from what he used to have, living in the hood. This is why when he got older, he promised his parents he would strive to live the “American dream.”
Oddly though, Dre sometimes felt that in order for black people to make it, society would expect that they have to drop a bit of their culture and heritage while adapting others. For instance, as Dre observed, R & B has now been renamed “Urban,” where Justin Timberlake, a white boy, was regarded as god, and Asians were considered the best dancers. These used to be the black man’s go-to, the things they excel at. Dre was not complaining though, as there was a time black people used to be seen as scary dudes. But that has changed too.
The episode moved on to introduce the dynamics between Dre and his family. On this day, they were looking forward to Dre’s promotion to Senior Vice President (SVP) at the advertising agency where he worked.
But first, Dre brought his eldest son, Andre Jr. (Marcus Scribner), to school where he learned the young man would be trying out for field hockey.
Dre: Field hockey? Isn’t that a woman’s sport?
Andre Jr.: Nope, but a lot of people think that, though.
Dre: A lot of people never think about field hockey.
Dre also learned his son’s friends call him Andy, which the boy thought made him approachable but edgy.
Next, Dre was on his way to the board meeting, where his superiors at Stevens & Lido would make the announcement of his promotion to SVP. Only, he was disappointed that he was made SVP of the company’s Urban Division. In short, he was in charge of the “black stuff.”
The family celebrated his latest achievement. He has finally made it! Or did he? This line of conversation ended up in a passionate discussion with Dre and his wife Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross).
Rainbow: Obama’s the first black president, does that make him any less president?
Dre: No because he’s the first black president of the United States, not the first black president of urban United States.
His wife reminded him to stop with the pity party and just keep it real. Was Dre overreacting?
The next day, as Andy announced that he made it to the field hockey team, he also expressed his wishes to have a Bar Mitzvah for his 13th birthday. This ticked off Dre big time, so he called for a family meeting, where he established some ground rules: they were going to keep it real, and Andy was going to undergo an African passage ceremony, not a Bar Mitzvah, because they were not Jewish.
Dre also used the same idea to “keep it real” at work, where he pitched Urban Division’s ideas for the LA Tourism account. The video presentation was as real as it got, alright; it was filled with black stereotypes that his boss didn’t like. Was he kidding? Everyone failed to fully grasp the irony of his pitch. He almost got fired from his job.
Rainbow: You’re upset because they gave you the job because you’re black. If they gave it to someone else who’s white, you’d be upset because they didn’t give it to someone black!
His wife made a lot of sense.
Later, after being forced into the African passage ceremony by his dad, Andy came up to his father and told him that he understood why Dre was upset with him.
Andy: You feel like I’m turning into a white boy. But I’m not. I just haven’t figured out who I am yet.
Andy, after all, is becoming a teenager. It was really all about just getting it on with the girls. In trying to reconcile his personal issues, Dre sought advice from Pops (Laurence Fishburne) who told him that screwing up is part of being a dad, because then he would be able to fix things.
Pops: Whatever you do, make sure it’s right for who you are.
So in fixing this, Dre gave Andy a “Bro Mitzvah” and at work, he presented an impressive pitch, featuring the best of LA, while highlighting black culture. Dre realized that urban can also mean hip, cool and colorful, just like his family.
There you have it for the recap of “Black-ish” Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot,” which aired on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, at 9:30 p.m. on ABC. Watch the video with Andre and his son talking about Bar Mitzvah.
Did you enjoy the very first episode? Will you be watching the next ones? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Glenn Francis