Tonight marks the end of one of ABC’s best sitcoms, as “black-ish” takes its final bow.
The series, created by Kenya Barris, debuted on September 24, 2014, and follows an upper class black family led by Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross).
Their clan includes Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi), Andre Johnson, Jr. (Marcus Scribner), Jack Johnson (Miles Brown), and Diane Johnson (Marsai Martin), along with Dre’s dad Earl (Laurence Fishburne) and mom Ruby (Jenifer Lewis).
In later seasons, other characters were included like Josh Oppenhol (Jeff Meacham), Charlie Telphy (Deon Cole), and Leslie Stevens (Peter Mackenzie).
Guest stars have included Michelle Obama, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Magic Johnson, Daveed Diggs, Vivica A. Fox, Mary J. Blige, Zendaya, Raven-Symoné, Joel McHale, Wanda Sykes, Octavia Spencer, Regina Hall, and Rashida Jones.
Over the course of eight seasons fans have watched the family deal with many personal issues, and the show never shied away from facing sociopolitical issues and other hot button topics either, even while making viewers laugh.
The critics have loved the show, too, bestowing many award nominations and wins upon the series and its cast, including Emmys and NAACP Image Awards.
“black-ish” has even spun off two series based on its show’s characters:
“grown-ish” premiered on January 3, 2018 on Disney’s Freeform channel, and tells the story of Zoey (Shahidi) going off to college and her life as an adult. In May 2022, it was renewed for a fifth season.
The second was called “mixed-ish,” and was actually a prequel series. It debuted on on ABC on September 24, 2019, and chronicled Rainbow Johnson’s childhood years as she recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the mid-1980s. It was cancelled after two seasons.
But all good things come to an end, so they say, and for “black-ish,” tonight’s episode is that end.
The synopsis for the episode, titled “Homegoing,” says:
As Pops and Ruby prepare to move away, Dre and Bow consider if they should make a big life change as well. Grappling with this idea at work, Dre receives some unexpected advice from Simone Biles, who tells him to follow his heart. The Johnsons prepare for their goodbyes in the series finale of the beloved comedy series “black-ish.”
It airs tonight, April 19, at 9pm on ABC, and will be available on Hulu the next day. It will be followed by a half-hour retrospective special featuring the cast members looking back on the show’s eight seasons.
Speaking of Hulu, you can find every episode of the series there to binge watch. If you pick just one to watch, I recommend “VIP” (Season 3, Episode 1). In it, Dre and Bow surprise the family with an exclusive VIP experience during their Walt Disney World vacation. The family enjoys the superstar treatment, but the line-jumping and celebrity status quickly goes to the kids’ heads. Meanwhile, Pops and Ruby stir up trouble in the parks.
It’s not only a hilarious episode, it’s a nice remembrance back to the 1990’s and 2000’s when ABC sitcoms always did episodes in the Disney parks.
If you don’t have Hulu, Disney+ also has the first seven seasons, including the “VIP” episode. I’m sure season eight will be there soon, following the airing of tonight’s finale.
To the cast and crew of “black-ish” we bid you farewell, and thank you for eight seasons of laughs, tears, and the feeling we were part of your family.
Are you a “black-ish” fan? What are your favorite episodes or moments? Who are your favorite characters? Let us know in the comments.