It has gotten really hard to find sitcoms that represent the average black family these days. These shows are either poorly written or the show doesn't create a family that is relatable to its viewers.
Nineties shows that paved the way
There were many popular shows in the nineties that showcased the black family with positive images laced with tasteful humor that didn't have to be bleeped out, but there were also shows that came later, and these shows seemed to have a formula for making good tv. They addressed real life issues that most families had to deal with, not just black families. As time went on the issues that families faced changed and so did the tv shows.
'My Wife and Kids': the Cosbys of their time
It seemed to have something that everyone could relate to: a loving couple that had to keep reinventing themselves to keep their marriage fresh, teenagers that faced the same issues that real teens faced, like graduating high shool and buying a car. It even had little kids that were trying to deal with the fact that as they aged they were no longer the cute baby everyone used to squeeze. The storylines progressed as the things we valued changed, and then out of nowhere they were gone, and the Black family was again without proper representation on mainstream television.
'Everybody Hates Chris'
Another brick in the monument paying homage to the black family. Set in the eighties, the show was narrated by Chris Rock, and the episodes were based on his life in Brooklyn as a kid. This show followed a similar formula as the others that came before it. This show was a bit more daring than others, addressing things like racism head on, having Chris be the whipping boy most of the time. It was great as a kid who couldn't remember what life in the eighties was like, but again without warning, Chris and his family were gone too.
There still aren't many shows that appropriately represent the black family. 'Blackish' starring Anthony Anderson is a fairly decent show. It shows a black family living what used to be the Black American dream: two parent household, successful happily married parents, and well adjusted children. Now there's 'Uncle Buck,' or at least there was. Cut after only one season, although it tried to use the same formula for success, the show itself just didn't seem real. Everything about it to me seemed forced. The jokes were unfunny, and you have to work pretty hard to make a joke that even Mike Epps couldn't pull off. Maybe they were still trying to find their sea legs. Maybe they were just warming up and had better stuff to come, or maybe they were just hoping Mike Epps's name and reputation would carry them the distance; I guess it doesn't matter now. #ABC