Black-ish (S02E21): “The Johnson Show”

Review: When Dre catches wind of possible layoffs at his job, he starts worrying about losing his job and what that will do to the Johnson family’s reputation. Having grown up watching the Cosby Show, Dre has always wanted his own middle class black family headed by two parents with impressive careers. On a sidenote, how confused must young Dre have been to see little Olivia on that show? The spitting image of his sister Rhonda, no? 

Meanwhile, Bow is put in charge of the school auction and is determined to organize the event on her own without the help of the other moms. She enlists the kids in helping her with all the themed gift baskets (for example, “Flotus like a Bee, Stings like a Brie”), which are all stacked with all kinds of gift cards. But Ruby, who firmly believes that most people never cash in their gift cards, manages to convince the kids that stealing the money off a gift card is definitely not the same thing as stealing an actual gift card. Ruby and the kids start living it up, spending all the gift cards meant for the bidders at the auction! 

At the auction, Dre discovers what the kids have done and he blows up at them, worried that everyone is going to find out and look at his perfect family as a family of thieves instead. “Which they are. But that’s besides the point!” Haah. Dre informs Bow and they quickly head of out there before anyone – like Janine, who immediately wants to take her son to Disneyland with her gift cards – notices. 

Back home, Ruby apologizes to Bow for  what happened at the auction, but Bow doesn’t really want to hear it. Dre tells Ruby that everything that happened is her fault and that their reputation will now be ruined. Ruby stays unbothered, because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not really a big deal. After all, Pops once stole 12k from his job at Schmitty’s Mattress Shack and then went back to work there weeks later… “Just to steal a mattress”. 

But Dre’s not convinced. In fact, he’s still very worried about what people will think of them. He’s worked hard to build the image of the perfect black family, inspired by the Huxtables. But Pops reminds him that the Huxtables are fictional. But according to Dre, the dreams they created were real and because of that, the recent controversy surrounding Bill Cosby was devastating to him. Because when one black person fails, in the eyes of others, they mess it up for everyone behind them. Finally, Bow assures Dre that they’ll be fine if he loses his job, and that they can’t let this perfectionism get to them. 

Also, Charlie is back! Yaay!