'black-ish' Makes Sure Keepin' It Real Goes Right By Adding Michael Rapaport and More Racial Humor

Isn't it wonderful when your favorite shows listen to you? Michael Rapaport guest starred on black-ish , and the results made for a return to racially conscious black-ish , which is my personal favorite form of the show. Even the jokes are back to what they were like in the earlier episodes, like Dre's boss going on and on about groping in the Japanese subway. It's the best type of nonsense.

And it goes for some commentary when it's mentally unstable Charlie who's able to connect with "keepin it real" Bronx native Jay's campaign vision. Of course Dre hates it, as he wonders, is he the black guy who's a sellout? The answer is... sort of, but who the hell cares? Anyone who's a successful businessman has to kinda sell out to some degree. And as we saw more often in the first half of the season, Dre's business and personal sides often clash, and his preoccupation with retaining his blackness often comes at the expense of doing the politically correct thing in the office. Balancing those poles is the whole premise of the series.

"Corniness is a side effect of being your mama's child." Pops came back with a vengeance with his IRS struggles, which culminates in his entrance to attempt bribery of the IRS with a British accent and foppish affect in order to seem more pro-fessional. I think Dre should have been present during Pops' big moment, because it was the sort of comedic setpiece that makes shows really funny. And the show cuts away to commercial way too early in this segment, because it should highlight the escalating disaster, not pacing it awkwardly and chopping it off before Jay can storm off.

Is is a comment on how the show was received, being interpreted by some as too corny while meanwhile shows that ended up exploiting plenty of black stereotypes (sometimes gloriously, like Empire) were embraced. Considering how long the production cycle for network shows is, probably not, but being to read it that way does make it even more fun. Dre is conflicted, which is his best setting. Bow is funny, the supporting characters work.

I just can't find much to criticize here, aside from the show's weak kids' plot and those cutting mistakes from the middle of the episode. Also, collard greens are pretty similar to kale, especially if you cook them for the typical 4-5 hours that you're supposed to stew. So Jay shouldn't have been so disappointed. But that huge error aside, this was one of the better black-ish episodes of the season. Let's hope the final few stack up to this one.

Image: Kelsey McNeal/ABC