What’s Blacker than Black AF? I guess we’ll find out because Kenya Barris’ Netflix comedy #BlackAF has been renewed for Season 2.
In case you’ve been living under a rock with no social media connections, Netflix breaks down the show:
From Kenya Barris, the Emmy nominated creator of black-ish, comes #blackAF. Loosely inspired by Barris’ irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture, #blackAF flips the script on what we’ve come to expect a family comedy series to be. Pulling back the curtain, #blackAF uncovers the messy, unfiltered and often hilarious world of what it means to be a “new money” black family trying to get it right in a modern world where “right” is no longer a fixed concept. The Netflix original series stars Barris as a fictionalized version of himself and Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca) as his wife Joya. Kenya and Joya’s children are played by Genneya Walton (Xtant), Iman Benson (Suits), Scarlet Spencer (Bright), Justin Claiborne (Reverie), Ravi Cabot-Conyers (The Resident) and Richard Gardenhire Jr. #blackAF is executive produced by Barris, Jones, and Hale Rothstein.
The series debuted to mixed reviews, with most of the critiques zeroing in on its myopia and seemingly shallow peek into a wealthy Black family (especially worthy of side-eye in a time when unemployment is rising and critique of Black capitalism is a trending conversation). Additionally, there is general fatigue around projects centered around Blackness™, which is an interesting conversation since a huge chunk of the debate focused on Rashida Jones’ place on the supposed blackness meter. The idea of measuring Blackness certainly isn’t new (we’ve had the convo over and over in regards to things like playing spades or understanding references to quintessential black-ass movies like Coming to America or The Color Purple) and it is an ongoing conversation so I see the allure of TV shows incorporating that. But, as with everything, balance is key so, yes, we need more shows with characters just existing while Black instead of EXISTING WHILE BLACK.
Since the show is pretty meta, I’m expecting Barris to address these types of critiques head-on in his character’s self-deprecating yet narcissistic way. I personally think it’d be even more interesting for Barris to tackle an in-depth self-assessment on colorism. Sure, he already addressed that to an extent on Black-ish, but this show is basically an extension of that show with more cursing, so he has the opportunity to dive deeper into this in a way that he hasn’t on the primetime network show.
No word yet on the Season 2 premiere date, but we’ll keep you posted when we find out!