Black-ish isn’t the most serialized show. You can check in and out as you please without missing too much information (although watching every episode does help you get to know the characters better). However, that’s about to change with the final episodes of the ABC sitcom’s current season.
EW can exclusively reveal that black-ish will close out season 4 with its first-ever serialized arc. The last few episodes will follow Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) as they work through a rough patch in their marriage. The storyline is loosely inspired by series creator Kenya Barris’ own life.
“When I was growing up, I never saw couples fight on the family sitcoms I loved to watch,” Barris said in a statement. “Subsequently, when tough times arose in my own relationship, I wasn’t prepared and felt so isolated and alone. Marital issues weren’t a part of the narrative that television told me was a ‘working relationship.’ Fifty-three percent of American marriages fail, which is about the same odds as DeAndre Jordan making a free-throw. I wanted to explore Dre and Bow’s relationship going through a difficult time and how it impacts the whole family.”
Barris continued, “This is the first serialized story arc we’ve done and we greatly appreciate ABC for allowing us to carry out this creative decision, which we are not taking lightly. We wrote this in a way that feels really raw and authentic to this family’s journey and we hope viewers will watch the episodes live and have thought-provoking conversations. Dre and Bow have never been immune to tough situations, just like marriages in real life, including my own. We want to shine a light on the challenges a relationship can face and the necessary effort to try and work through them together.”
The season-ending arc begins with the April 17 episode, which was directed by Ross and written by Gail Lerner. Here’s the logline for the episode: “Dre and Bow have been fighting more than usual and they decide to go back to their therapist, who suggests they make time for a date night. Meanwhile, after Devante’s first birthday party, the bouncy house gets left behind and Jack & Diane take advantage of it in different ways.”
Black-ish airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.