Matt Zoller Seitz, VULTURE
(Vulture.com) — All this week, we’re presenting the Vulture TV Awards, honoring the best in television from the past year.
The nominees are:
Fresh Off the Boat
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Jane the Virgin
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
And the winner is…
There are a lot of recent sitcoms and sketch shows that plausibly lay claim to the adjective revolutionary, including Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, Jane the Virgin, Fresh Off the Boat, and Transparent. But Black-ish is by far the sneakiest, because when you’re watching it, the tone is so disarmingly relaxed that it takes a while to realize that what you’re seeing is at all unusual. The show’s narrator, advertising executive Andre “Dre” Johnson, isn’t just an educated, upper-middle-class black man with a house in the suburbs, three smart-alecky kids, and a beautiful, kooky surgeon wife named Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross); he’s the anchor for a weekly referendum on African-American life, and race relations generally, that’s very specific in its humor but presents every joke in such a brisk, confident way that it feels as though it’s been on the air forever.