Dre's Jury Duty On 'black-ish' Makes Him Into The Twelfth Angry Man
Fulfilling one's civic duty is rarely fun, but as black-ish shows, it is, ultimately, important. When and unhappy Dre goes to jury duty, he's ultimately guilted into taking the process seriously even though he doesn't want to, because he identifies so strongly with the young black man on trial. Actually, it's really thanks to Junior, who has a genuine desire to make Dre participate in jury duty because he knows how tough the justice system is for black defendants (Bow proudly credits his love of documentaries). After a lazily prepared public defender torpedo's the kid's chance at a fair trial and the otherwise all-white jury barely resembles his peers, Dre gets invested in proving that Antoine, the defendant, is not guilty.
When Dre posits this idea to the rest of the jury, they're annoyed. They hate the process of going through this as much as Dre did, because they're struggling to connect to Antione. Because Dre is a black man, and because he got a quick lesson from Junior about the unfairness of the system, he's able to at least persuade them to look for the true story underneath what the prosecutor presented. It's a reminder that the first step to changing things is to participate. But the episode isn't all serious, by any means. Ultimately, when a white woman takes a stand, she's able to rally the group and winds up a hero within seconds. Sure, Dre did all the work, but ultimately, she gets the credits. It's bittersweet, but the way it plays out is incredibly funny. And one of the greatest sight gags the show has pulled off in a while is Ruby's "Church Hat" magazine.
Actually, the Ruby-Bow combination is a very funny one. Bow muttering "where's your man?" under her breath, Ruby flipping from taking credit to slinging blame depending on how the rest of the conversation is going, and Diane's fight club are all hilarious. Yes, the show has a bit of a chide — don't shred your jury summons. But there's a very funny episode of black-ish in there too.