TV CHEAT SHEET: Watch Black-ish. Now.
Denette Wilford says you should start watching Black-ish. Right now.
DENETTE WILFORD/ 24 HOURS
THE SHOW YOU NEED TO BE WATCHING
There's a stigma that surrounds depression, and while society is getting a little better at acknowledging it, in the world of television, not so much. So that's what makes Black-ish so important. The comedy has never shied away from tough topics (racism, politics, police brutality, the legacy of slavery) - all while maintaining a healthy dose of laughs - and isn't about to change. Tuesday night's Black-ish tackled postpartum like no other show before it. For most of the episode, Bow may have been there physically but mentally, she was absent. The normal daily activities weren't happening, she kept her distance from baby DeVante and the typically carefree character was visibly distracted and clearly unhappy. Dre realized something was seriously wrong, and the other kids banded together to help their mom deal and help out with their baby brother, but it was the moment where Dre pointed the PPD out to Bow that rang true to many moms out there.
"Dre, I don't have postpartum. I'm a doctor, and I would know." And there it was, that denial was so relatable to so many women who don't want to ask for help and aren't used to being in a position where she needs to. But that anxiety, those overwhelming, complex feelings should no longer be ignored. Thank goodness for a mainstream network show like Black-ish to portray it as relatable, normal, and, yes, funny. Not that I want Bow to continue to feel this way but here's hoping the show continues to delve even deeper into her latest experience with motherhood as she finds the strength to keep going.
For the first time in the show's history, there's an all-female team. And it seems appropriate that the mentor is Miley Cyrus. This week, on the final night of the blind auditions, Miley picked up her final member, in country crooner Megan Rose, saying, "I am on the verge of making her-story on The Voice." And while the contestant was happy to make the show, Miley corrected her: "Megan, you are a part of something so much bigger." Cyrus is all about celebrating females and helping singers find their voices and identity, something she has been doing throughout her career. She's experimented and experienced a lot over the years and her young team will only benefit from her guidance. Over the last 12 seasons of the show, a female coach has won only twice (Christina Aguilera in Season 10 and Alicia Keys last season). Miley is looking to continue that - and with a team as broad as hers (she's got just about every genre covered), Season 13 might be hers to lose. Kicking a-and taking names, that's all that's left.
Justin Hartley, This Is Us
OK, it was hard to narrow it down in an episode as weepy as this, and while the scene between Annie (Faithe Herman) and William (Ron Cephas Jones) just about killed me, and Chrissy Metz's Kate alternating between sage sister and shaky fangirl with guest star Sylvester Stallone (who was equally great) were a breath of fresh air but Hartley gave his best performance to date in this episode. As much as Kate struggles with Jack's death, it affects Kevin as much, if not, more.
The flashback scenes between Kevin (with his broken leg) and Jack (giving his son the necklace he never took off) is likely a foreshadowing of why Kevin feels so guilty about his dad's death. Like if Jack had been wearing the talisman he always wore to protect him instead of being around his son's neck, maybe, just maybe ... It explains why Kevin can't deal with his father's death, taking on that blame. As Kevin went from pure elation on the movie set to annoyance and frustration was so, so good. You could feel the irritation coming off him, then lashing out at Kate was both heartbreaking yet understandable.
That is EXACTLY what I thought! As soon as I saw that, I wondered if that was why Kevin struggles so hard with Jack's death, if he (even more than Kate) blames himself the way that you do when something traumatic happens when you are too young to really process it properly. It's early days but for anyone who felt bad for Hartley when the Emmy nominations came out, don't. Because if Justin keeps giving performances like this (which he will undoubtedly do as Kevin comes to grips with Jack's death all season long, as well as show he truly is his father's son as he grapples with what looks to be his own addiction storyline to tackle), we'll be seeing his name on the ballot next year.
Will & Grace
For all of you who thought the first two episodes have been too political, this was the one you've been waiting for. Because this was classic Will & Grace, from the returns of Leo and Nurse Sheila to Jack and Karen trying to teach a group of kids some life lessons. We got some insight into the real reason why Grace and Leo split (her relationship with Will), and even though they got closure, it was still sad that that might be the last time we see Harry Connick Jr. The series always managed to mix the super-emotional moments with the laughout-loud ones and it found its way back to that this week. The future looks bright. Again.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
"Next time, you get the urge to masturbate, just ask yourself, 'Am I in front of an employee or a colleague?'And if the answer is yes, don't. Just ... don't." -Bee's advice to any men out there who feel the need to whip it out in the workplace The fact that a "Penis PSA" actually needs to exist is both funny and sad.