tek's rating: pending

Mixed-ish, on ABC, Tuesdays at 9PM
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This is a spin-off prequel to Black-ish, about Bow's childhood. (There was originally supposed to be a backdoor pilot episode called "Becoming Bow" near the end of season 5 of "Black-ish," but it was postponed. The episode was later re-shot and became the actual pilot of the new series, starting on the same night as season six of "Black-ish.") "Mixed-ish" is narrated by the adult Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross), while the show itself is set in 1985, when Bow was twelve years old. (It had previously been established on "Black-ish" that Bow's maiden name was Johnson, just like her married name.) Prior to the series, she had lived on a commune with her parents, Alicia (Tika Sumpter) and Paul (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), and her younger brother and sister, Johan and Santamonica. At the start of the series, the Johnsons are forced to return to "normal" society. They now live in a house provided to them by Paul's wealthy father, Harrison Jackson (Gary Cole). Alicia takes a job working at Harrison's law firm, while Paul is a stay-at-home dad.

Rainbow and her siblings must adjust to going to a regular school, and each of them tries to find their own way to fit in with the other kids. It's difficult both because they are of mixed race, and because of how they were raised. And sometimes feel like they have to "choose" which race to focus on. (Johan seems to go with black, and Santamonica with white, but it's harder for Bow, who is trying to find a balance.) Aside from racial considerations, they all also have to get used to, well, pretty much everything about how people who weren't raised on a commune think and act. Of course, they can always go to their parents for guidance, but sometimes Alicia and Paul have their own difficulties figuring out how to fit in, and how to advise their kids. Plus, they're often visited by Alicia's sister, Denise, whose personality (and her idea of what it means to be black) sometimes clashes with Alicia's.

And I guess that's all I can say for now, but so far I like the show well enough.


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