The Johnson family dressed up as the Jackson 5 during Wednesday’s (Oct. 29th) Halloween episode of “Black-ish“. Titled “The Prank King” and it’s probably the most adorable and good-hearted family costume on TV this fall. It takes a lot of work to get there though, which is where the episode truly shines.
Unlike some of “Black-ish”s’ fellow Wednesday night comedy cohorts (here’s looking at you, “Modern Family“) a joke that is set up at the beginning of the episode still works at the end of the half-hour because of the freshness of the show and the cast. Even though the prank war conceit has been to death on comedies throughout history and will continue to be a favorite until the end of time, it works due to the energy Anthony Anderson and Tracie Ellis Ross exude on screen (a familiar refrain that will surely pop up again this season).
As one of the few episodes to not have Laurence Fishburne appear, one might think his absence would take away some of the lightness of the show. It actually seems to be for the best here though, allowing for all of the kids to get the spotlight while still keeping the episode balanced. Grounding the prank war conceit in the importance of family participation in holidays is similarly smart, further fleshing out the relationships between each Johnson family member while still having some fun with shocks and scares.
Even though the Jackson 5 costume is a magnificent visual – don’t miss the nice touch that is those glitter vests – the quick “Beatles” costume cameo is awesome too. As is the twins’ insistence that they don’t want to go as bugs for Halloween. “Black-ish” handles its first holiday episode with confidence and excitement, continuing to prove itself alongside other strong comedies week after week.
What other band costumes would have been fun for the Johnson family to break out? N*Sync? Sly and the Family Stone? Give us your favorite alternative in the comments!