#blackAF: Season 1 Reviews

April 29, 2020
The other seven episodes blur into one another, lacking story or situation...
April 27, 2020
Without fresh source material, Barris fails to bring new complexity and depth to the ecosystem he has created.
April 20, 2020
Kenya Barris did no one any favors by simply going for a black-ish do-over with #blackAF, even with the solid performances and higher budget (which, to be fair, does make the show visually striking).
Full Review | Original Score: 7.2/10
April 18, 2020
Barris is committing enough self-flagellation for the entire culture by way of an upscale reprise of past TV acts, and we are under no obligation because of anything to bear witness.
April 18, 2020
#blackAF gets better when it gets closer to Barris' real life, transitioning into an intriguing look at being Black in Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: B
April 18, 2020
Meeting Barris more than halfway, viewers may still be left with an impression that they don't quite have the right to ask what he really wants to do here. That he is here at all, and unhappy about it, seems to be the only point.
April 17, 2020
It becomes apparent that Barris has created a show with no real thesis or analysis, other than tangentially tying his own First World problems to structural racism with the world's most tenuous spool of string.
April 17, 2020
One of the persistent negatives is the lack of arcs, both in terms of story and character. There's a sense of stasis in the air.
April 16, 2020
It's both a tired concept and an awkwardly constructed one, something that cute hashtags and the occasional clever Hollywood/L.A. reference can't fix.
April 16, 2020
On Netflix, Barris's acid tone drops to an even lower pH level. The jabs are so cutting and downright mean, you can feel less like a viewer than a family therapist.
April 16, 2020
Though he's no actor, Barris' Larry-David-like self-awareness lends authenticity to his performance. Even if it takes another season to perfect, #blackAF feels substantial enough to justify the investment.
April 16, 2020
I'm not regularly astonished by how good a show is right out of the gate. "#blackAF" is astonishingly good from the get-go.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
April 16, 2020
Ultimately, it's uncertain what audiences are meant to understand about Barris, if anything at all, or the world he's created within the series. Because even as a source of pure entertainment, it falls flat.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
April 16, 2020
#blackAF takes a little while to settle into its voice and tone, but by the excellent fifth episode, it has its own smart groove, one driven unexpectedly by the toxicity - autobiographical or not - of the main characters.
April 15, 2020
#blackAF is a fiasco only interesting in the degree to which it detonates and, retroactively, somewhat spoils Barris's work so far.
April 15, 2020
Though #blackAF is frequently very smart, and at times explosively funny, the comparisons it constantly invites to Barris' previous work can be terribly distracting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
April 15, 2020
#BlackAF continues the diminished returns of Barris' -ish series, and makes apparent his need to develop new ideas.