'black-ish' Wastes One Of Its Remaining Episodes On Zoe — And Some Seriously Terrible Product Placement

In the honor of black-ish's signature style, let me begin with a short anecdote. For some reason during this episode, I was overwhelmed with sleepiness and a desire to check Twitter. Thankfully, I prevailed, but this Zoe-centric episode of black-ish was a mess, with some of the worst product placement I've ever seen in my life. As always, there's some there there. James Franco joke? Mild laugh. Dre being so easy to manipulate, since all it takes is complementing his weight loss? Again, it's a solid character moment, but it doesn't really make me laugh out loud or make me reconsider anything about what we already know about Dre. I know Kenya Barris is making deals and cashing checks all ova flippin' town right now, between his Good Times movie and the Ice Cube show he just sold, but more attention needs to be paid to this show, because it hasn't even officially been picked up for this timeslot yet — and ABC has plenty of shows that would benefit from the post Modern Family spot. Wake up, black-ish!

I do enjoy that Pops was the prison warden parent who pushed his son to become better while hiring a homeless guy named Tony to follow his son around. It doesn't really work with the character, but I'm willing to go along because it's absurd. By contrast, Dre being "scary" doesn't make sense as a resolution of this at all. He's being strict, not scary. Making rules so elaborate isn't frightening. And constantly referring to Dre as a "woman" for being an emotional parent makes no sense if you've ever been in a household with a strict mom. Tiger mom became a stereotype for a reason: just sayin'. Both genders can be cray parents. And they don't leave enough time to resolve this storyline, because it basically just ends with Bow admitting she's wrong and that's that, because Zoe does keep misbehaving.

But I've come to realize something disappointing. Looking for deep meaning in an episode of black-ish is kind of like panning for gold in a puddle. It's a deep puddle that would totally ruin your boots AND your pants, but still, there is nothing more valuable than a stray earring in there. Prove me wrong, black-ish!

Image: Tony Rivetti/ABC; Giphy (2)