Black-ish has been airing since 2014, and the show became popular enough to originate not only one, but two spin-offs. The tale of a black family finding their sense of cultural identity while living in a predominantly white and well-off area of Los Angeles manages to be both hilarious and thought-provoking, resonating with all sorts of audiences around the world, regardless of race and socio-economical background.
At its core, the show does a wonderful job of bringing up issues that remain relevant in today’s society without losing its comedic edge. It currently has a commendable 7.1 rating on IMDb, with some episodes ranking higher than others, as is the norm. And today we’re focusing on the episodes that audiences loved the most. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the ten best episodes of Black-ish according to IMDb!
10 The Word – 7.6
It was only a manner of time until the show tackled one of the most prominent issues related to race in America today, which is the use of the racial slur – or, as it’s more commonly referred to, the “n-word”. Staying true to its essence, the episode delivered as many laughs as it delivered plenty of food for thought.
“The word” managed to translate onto the screen the different perspectives each member of the Johnson family had, which changed from generation to generation. It was dealt with in a respectful and witty form, which ended up granting the episode a 7.6 rating on the website.
9 Dr. Hell No – 7.6
It’s always an unexpected change of pace when a show that it’s known for its light-hearted comedy to suddenly depart from that and force viewers to witness the harsh realities of life. Black-ish was never thought about as an emotional show, but that changed once “Dr. Hell No” made its way to the screens.
Exploring even further the relationship between Dre and his father, the episode walks us through the family’s realization that Pop hasn’t been to the doctor in years, and forces us to admit that mortality is something no one can escape. It’s a wonderful episode, filled with underlying emotional dialogue that almost made us cry.
8 Man At Work – 7.6
“Dr. Hell No” is far from being the only episode that played our heartstrings like a professional musician playing the cello. By the time “Man At Work” came around, no one was really expecting it to end the way that it did. If anything, audiences thought the major moment would be a confrontation between Sha and Dre.
As it turns out, the episode marked the departure of one of Dre’s most beloved friends, Charlie. Loyalties come into play and Dre’s motto of always sticking by the side of his crew becomes harder to follow than ever. The farewell to Charlie was tough, but it was carried out the right way.
7 Old Digger – 7.6
From the title to the sub-plot, every single thing about “Old Digger” is absolute perfection. And it does something that the show is known for doing very well, which is fleshing out issues and topics that every single family goes through but doesn’t necessarily want to talk about or explore in-depth.
Having an entire episode dedicated to the sexuality of parents is genius. None of us wants to think about our parents’ sex lives with each other. And we especially don’t want to think about it if they divorce and move on to other partners. Black-ish explored all of this over a 20-minute span with the comedic value only it can add.
6 Sink Or Swim – 7.6
As far as Black-ish episodes go, it’s safe to say that “Sink Or Swim” is far from being kind to anyone. Just like most episodes to come out of the show, this one isn’t afraid to tackle stereotypes and schooling the audience on the origin of said stereotypes, in a way only Black-ish knows how.
Mixing Jeanine’s character with the stereotype that black people can’t swim, the episode dives deep into the relationship between neighbors, and why “black people can’t swim” is even a thing. It doesn’t go extremely deep on the issues, but it got enough love from the audience to rank high.
5 Hope – 7.6
Much like “The Word”, “Hope” is an episode that tackles an issue that a show like Black-ish simply had to tackle. Police brutality and the continuous death of black people, particularly teenagers, is a heartbreaking reality that the show dive in through the news the Johnson family is following – will a policeman be charged for the death of a black teenager?
The show doesn’t lose its comedic edge, but it does so without taking away from the gravity of the topic it is portraying. It represents the different generational perspectives without a conclusion, simply because a conclusion is not something police brutality and racism will ever know.
4 The Leftovers – 7.6
It’s always an absolutely horrible thing for parents to imagine what would happen to their kids if they were to pass. It’s a harsh reality of life, yet one that can very much happen to anyone. And “The Leftovers” is the episode that follows the Johnson parents as they struggle to find a legal guardian for their children.
It dives deep into the relationships between each older member of the family, and the reactions of Dre and Bow at the mere thought of not being present in their children’s lives anymore.
3 Mother Nature – 7.6
In yet another display of bravery and amazing storytelling, Black-ish touched upon the issues of post-partum depression in “Mother Nature”. As with every heavy topic it chooses to depict, the show did a wonderful job with this one.
Something that is often not mentioned, swept under the rug, or completely disregarded, we get to see a strong, beautiful character once again showcase that she is human, just like any other woman who has to deal with PPD. The episode is still funny, but there’s no denying the underlying heaviness.
2 Everybody Blames Raymond – 7.7
On a more light-hearted note, season six episode “Everybody Blames Raymond” was very well-received by audiences, ultimately gaining a rating of 7.7 on IMDb. Like any other family sitcom, Black-ish makes a point to showcase the Johnson family celebrating beloved holidays.
This time around, it was all about Halloween. The episode gave us some beautiful father-daughter bonding moments, and, of course, hilarious laugh-out-loud moments without going into deep issues.
1 Black Like Us – 7.9
We reach the top of the list with the highest-rated episode of the entire show, “Black Like Us”. And this time around, the show went deep into the issue of colorism, which is frequently talked about and discussed within the black community.
Tackling the topic of light-skin privilege, which, at its, core is about the lighter skin of a black person, the more value they have, “Black Like Us” went deep into a stereotype that plagues the back community in a refreshing and much-needed way.