Black-ish played it safe

If you haven’t heard, ABC has a new comedy series out called ‘black-ish.  It’s about a upper middle class family who have ancestral roots from Alkebu-lan.  I like the show.  It’s a bit on the nose, but a change from the standard family sit-com is always welcome with me.  But Black-ish missed a golden opportunity to change the game for real last night.

Airing yesterday evening, the 5th episode of the young series focused on the younger son Jack’s proclivity for hiding, which lead to a great deal of anxiety for his parents.  Warned first by his mother Rainbow (cleva name for Tracee Ellis-Ross’ character) and again by his father Andre (Anthony Anderson) not to do such a thing anymore, Jack decides the fun of sending his family into a frenzy is too good to pass up.  After hiding once more, and not coming out when he hears the panicked cries of his family who is searching for him, Andre drops the hammer: for his misdeeds, Jack has earned a spank.

The rest of the show is a build up of tension and emotions as Andre and Rainbow belabor whether to follow through or not on the threat to dish out some corporal punishment.  This is a particularly hot issue in the wake of NFL Super Star Adrian Peterson’s pending child abuse charges.  Publicly most people claim to be against any form of spanking or physical punishment for their children, but those same people often share different views behind closed doors.  Most folks were given a spanking every now and the while growing up, and we all turned out fine right?  (except for those of you whose parent’s took things too far).  These days, spanking is taboo, almost as bad as bringing an undeclared guest to a wedding reception.

Although I had hopes for the best, in the end Andre chickened out and elected to tell his son Jack how “Disappointed” in him he was.  Apparently this is the new form of spanking, because Jack left his father’s room repentant and crying.  It was a cop out, but an understandable one.  The show is brand new, and they can’t afford to have the kid worshiping segment of society coming for their heads just yet.  Even a show as revolutionary and cutting edge as “black-ish” apparently isn’t about that life.

Still a funny episode; I will continue to watch.

More Laughter

My children live the life.  They wake up everyday just ready for the World.  My son often asks me “what are we going to do today dad?” of “Where are we going?”  I often respond, “Well son, i’m going to work, but i’m sure mommy has something fun planned for you all.”

The other day, our son was playing or watching TV on the couch.  Effortlessly, he let loose the most hearty laugh I have heard from a 4-year old.  It struck my wife as well too, who looked up from tending to our 2-week old son.  I asked, “Kay-Kay, what’s so funny?” Without even batting an eye he replied, “I don’t know; I just laughed”.

I thought about why my son’s jovial expression struck me so.  I realized that deep down, laughter had become something reserved for when all my problems/issues are resolved.  I had started a retirement fund for laughter, which I would not be able to touch until I turn 65 and a 1/2 (or whatever the retirement age is).  To me, the only people who were allowed laugh freely were people who don’t have to face the problems of regular daily life (i.e. Athletes, celebrities, and everyone else for whom money is not an issue).  

I dismissed the chortle and giggle of children, based upon the premise that they were to young to know any better; they laugh out of naivete.  But maybe I am the one who is missing the party.

What do you think?   How can we reclaim the healing power of a good guffaw?