[3.5 stars] (but still a must-see)
Sitcoms rarely wow. In fact, I can’t watch most of what’s on offer anymore as they are so painfully silly. And don’t get me started on laugh-tracks. But every once in a while a series, or a particular show in that series, stands out.
“Please, Baby, Please,” marking the first year of 45’s presidency, was never aired after it was recorded in 2017. The reasons are still shrouded in a bit of mystery, but it seems generally true that it was an act of cowardice on the part of ABC. But it was recently made available as Season 4, episode 99 of Black-ish.
There is no question that this is a clunky and preachy diatribe. But it isn’t an untrue or unfair one, and it has a core of powerful reality and truth…with just a smidge of hope…that makes it worth every moment.
This episode should be seen, especially with the election coming; and one where the first woman of color is on the slate. It is a vote for sanity and a political act…and not a little bit an act of curiosity. But when your government is sending federal troops into states as a political move, and working hard to make sure the upcoming vote will not have credibility, and when they are purposefully hobbling the census to better retain power…and all of this during a pandemic, it is a vote that is sorely needed.
[Addendum: An interview with writer/creator Kenya Barris about the shelving of the episode.]