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Tag Archives: Norman Lear

“Black-ish” Deftly Mixes Hope and Reality in Police Brutality Episode

In its second season, ABC's "Black-ish" has hit its stride. Now comes the best evidence of its ability to create a television classic: the February 24 episode called “Hope.” The story, and the series, centers on the upper middle-class Johnsons. For this installment, the parents disagree on how to talk to their four children about police brutality. The episode is confined entirely within the Johnsons' living room/kitchen as the broadcast news of no indictment of the police officer spills in—a cinematic choice that ratchets tension. Viewers must pick a side: Agree with Dre Johnson (played well by Anthony Anderson), the realist who wants to arm his children with the truth, which will extinguish their innocence? Or side with Dr. Rainbow Johnson (vividly embodied by actress Tracee... Read More →

REVIEW: Norman Lear’s New Autobiography, “Even This I Get To Experience”

For a stretch in the 1970s, television producer Norman Lear had nine shows on the air at once—with four in the top ten Nielsen ratings. He marvels at his own prodigious output in Even This I Get To Experience, a new witty and exhaustive autobiography.  Born in 1922, young Norman got off to a bumpy start. During the Great Depression, when he was 9, his father Herman went to prison for selling fake bonds to a Boston brokerage house. Norman shuttled among various relatives in Chelsea, Mass., while his mother and sister moved two hours away to New Haven, Conn. This abandonment would haunt Lear most of his life. By the time his father was released, Norman had found a new role model: his uncle Jack, a publicist. This, he decided, is what he would be when he grew up.  After the Japanese... Read More →
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