Jack and Diane are not the little Johnson kids anymore.
They are officially teenagers and black-ish Season 5 Episode 2 was a first glimpse at what life is going to be like for Bow and Dre now that the twins are growing up.
black-ish gets so many things right, but there is always one thing that makes it stand apart from the rest. It uses comedy to tackle serious, vital topics.
Dre's initial response to not get the cops involved in dealing with the disrupting Airbnb renters is a common one. People want to keep the peace, stick to themselves and they do not want to be snitches.
I liked Dre's hesitation to call the cops. He took pride in not being a snitch.
However, after much goating from the guys at work, Dre changed his stance. It was a little hard to believe he changed his strong position because of his homeowner rights.
Janine: The Kelly’s really screwed us when they decided to rent out their house. I mean these people leave pizza boxes on the lawn, and they park in front of my driveway. Last weekend there was a party, I found human poo in my garden.
Dre: It could have been animal.
Janine laughing: Oh Dre! I think I know the difference.
Dre: I can’t believe I am agreeing with you, but this does need to be handled.
Janine: That is why I am talking to all the neighbors, and we are going to call the police.
Dre: Nope. Good luck with your white people fight. Keep my name out of it.
- Permalink: Nope. Good luck with your white people fight. Keep my name out of it.
I am not a homeowner though, so maybe my perspective is different.
Janine and Dre choosing to team up to call the police on the out-of-control renters were hilarious because they generally dislike each other.
She also got him to do all the dirty work by having Dre call the cops each time there was an issue. I am not sure he even realized it since he was so caught up in his quest.
Jack joining Dre on his mission to protect the neighborhood was father/son bonding at its best. Dre goes overboard, and Jack goes with the flow, but they worked so well together.
Everything changed when the disruptive neighbors were black. They were doing everything the white neighbors did, but it became a race issue for Dre.
He wouldn't call the cops. Instead, he went over and had a polite conversation. It just so happened it was at the same time the police arrived.
Jack: What are you doing?
Dre: Can you believe how far this Airbnb lady parked her car in the street? It has got to be over 3 feet from the curb. Hey, you want to help me measure it before I call it into the police?
Jack: Woah, I thought Johnson’s don’t snitch?
Dre: Don’t be ignorant. It is not snitching when you are a homeowner.
Jack: Oh, ok cool.
- Permalink: Oh, ok cool.
Two cop cars pulling in with cops and demanding everyone sit on the ground, including Dre, had me waiting for Dre to say some witty, sarcastic one-liners but it didn't happen.
Jack walked up instead to announce he called the cops because that is what he and his dad had been doing for days. It never occurred to Jack not to call the police.
For Jack, it was not about race; it was about protecting their home and neighborhood, as well following what his dad had taught him to do.
Parents lead by example, but that example is not always black and white. Kids don't understand the complexity of certain situations because they are kids.
Dre explaining to Jack about racism is a conversation a lot of parents have with their children every day.
Jack: So, you’re mad at me for calling the cops?
Dre: Look, I should have made it clear to you that we are not just homeowners. We are black homeowners and because we are black homeowners we have to look at things through kind of a dual lens. We need to think about every situation and how it should go normally and how it could go because we are black.
Jack: Like being asked to sit on the curb while they checked your ID. They didn’t ask any of the white people to do that.
Pops: It is different for us baby boy.
- Permalink: It is different for us baby boy.
It is a sensitive topic, but again black-ish gets it right every time. Dre may be over the top, but he knows how to talk with his children about important issues, instead of talking at his kids.
Diane having her first crush on a boy named Wyatt immediately brought me back to my first crush.
The stress of wondering if he likes you or not. The freak-out over the first date and the heartbreak when it doesn't pan out the way you want.
It is such a pivotal time for a young girl, of course, she went to her older sister instead of her mom.
The fact is there are things teenage girls will not talk to their mom about, even if their mom is as cool as Rainbow Johnson. But, as Diane proved tonight when things go wrong, girls want their mom. It took a crisis, but she did end up talking to her mom.
Don't mess with Bow when she is in protective mama bear mode either. She gave Zoey a much needed talking to for ditching her little sister to chill with friends.
Bow: Diane has been trying to get in touch with you.
Zoey: Oh, I was going to call her back.
Bow: Do you understand what happened tonight? Wyatt canceled. He canceled ice cream with Diane.
Zoey: Ok. It is not that big of a deal. I figured she had it handled.
Bow: She chose you to be there for her, and you promised that you would be.
Zoey: You’re just coming down on me because she wants my help and not yours.
Bow: Ok, I get that you are in college now Zoey. You can stop by the house to pick up your clothes and drop your little smart-ass comments whenever you want. Fine! But you cannot fly in and out of your sister’s life. Do you hear me? She is 13-years-old, and that was her first date. Zoey, you have a responsibility to be there for her and to treat her better than some skirt that you just left behind.
Zoey broke the sister code for sure. She was though acting like any ordinary young college woman. Friends are the most crucial part of your life during that time. Family sometimes gets swept aside.
Bow reminding Zoey of her responsibility to Diane was a message she needed to hear. It is a message for all siblings. Take care of each other, make time for each other regardless of the age. Don't blow off your siblings.
The realization that Jack and Diane are growing up was a hard one for Dre and Bow to swallow. Eating ice cream as they wallowed, is something all of us have done to deal with sadness.
It is hard to believe Jack and Diane are teenagers, but I am excited to see what is ahead for them.
What did you think of how Dre handled the disruptive neighbors?
Do you think this is the last of Diane's crush Wyatt?
Will Jack's racism lesson change him?
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