“Black-ish” | Season 1, Episode 5: “Crime and Punishment” | Date: Oct. 22, 2014
- I applaud the creative team of “Black-ish” and ABC for airing “Crime and Punishment,” a humorous episode about the highly charged topic of corporal punishment of children.
- Obviously, the episode was written and recorded well before Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse for allegedly whipping his son to the point of causing cuts and bruises, but that added extra poignancy to an episode took an amusing look at the tension felt by modern parents to discipline children in a meaningful way and whether that involves spanking.
- Jack (Miles Brown) plays a hiding game which worries his parents, especially when he does it in public places such as the mall and mom Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) promises dad Dre (Anthony Anderson) will spank the boy upon his return from work.
- Dre agonizes about the decision, consulting his father, Pops (Laurence Fishburne), who predictably favors whuppings, but Dre ultimate eschews violence and has an honest conversation with his 6-year-old son, telling him he’s disappointed the boy won’t stop — a disciplinary move that has the desired effect.
- The result felt earnest enough rather than a typical phony sitcom 30-minute solution, and the episode provided a largely amusing but thoroughly thoughtful discussion on a very charged issue.