Black-ish creator Kenya Barris revealed today at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event that the show’s season finale will be a throwback to Good Times, with each cast member playing a version of a character from the iconic 1970s sitcom.
Barris, joined by executive producer/showrunner Jonathan Groff and star and exec producer Anthony Anderson on the ABC panel, also said Deon Cole is returning as Charlie in upcoming after his character’s departure earlier this season.
The show is known for addressing social issues that are relevant in our world. Episodes like “Hope,” which centers on history, injustice and discrimination. Barris said the idea for the episode come from watching the Ferguson non-indictments with his family, and his son asked him about why people were so mad about the verdict. “It really was less about police brutality; we’re living in a time where kids and families — the information they’re receiving, it’s impossible to be avoided, so how do you have those conversations and not let your own feelings dictate what their future is going to be.”
The show prides itself in being authentic while avoiding labels that many time accompany a show with an all black cast. Berris remarked, “We want to really just start a conversation and avoid what I believe is a narrowing term of a black show. He added, “It’s a show that is absolutely about a black family, but it’s a comedy, it’s a family comedy that we want to start conversations and make people laugh. I think the way we’ve been successful in doing so and hopefully continue to be successful is being true to those characters and for people to realize the universality of our show, in essences, is its specificity.
Barris added that he doesn’t think the issues portrayed are black issues. “They are issues of humanity, there things that we all talk about. I think if you can find a humor in humanity, then that’s when you can open the best conversations.”