New '80s Comedy 'Mixed-ish' Mixed-Up on Communism, Reagan

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Mixed-ish premiered on ABC Tuesday and it is about the childhood of Rainbow "Bow" Johnson, the mother in the hit television show Black-ish played by Tracee Ellis Ross. In what has become typical from ABC, the show features themes such as communist sympathy, Reagan bashing, and anti-capitalism bias.

Plato spoke of a utopia and occasionally people will try to actually live out this idea for themselves in things called communes. Young Rainbow's (Arica Himmel) parents, Paul (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Alicia (Tika Sumpter), were no different. They moved to a hippie commune in the 1980s, after being one of the first black and white couples to marry, in order to avoid the social stigma that would inevitably ensue from that union.  

From the beginning, the show demonstrates its anti-conservative ideologies when Rainbow is describing her life in the commune: "While the rest of the world was inaugurating Reagan into his second term and worrying about AIDS, famine and the crack epidemic, I was living on a commune. The problems of the outside world seemed to be a million miles away from our hippie, judgment-free community where love ruled all." She then goes on to criticize the American government for shutting down the commune, which was running rampant with polygamists and large groups of adults and children sleeping together.  

They then move to the suburbs where Rainbow's parents attempt to keep their children from conforming with the rest of the world, and encourage them to "stay true to their values." “Who conforms?" the Paul asks. "Capitalists,” answer the children, which is apparently one of the worst things to be. At one point, Bow also offers her siblings a Che Guevara book and a jump rope to play with.

The parents have their own set of issues, as they move into Paul's father Harrison's house fully intending to live in it for free, and are unwilling to get jobs or conform to society themselves. Described as "an ambulance-chasing multi-millionaire owner of a personal-injury law firm," Harrison is everything Paul doesn't want his family to become. Yet, the reality is, as he tells his son, Harrison makes the “real-world money to pay for this real-world house that your entire family's survival is dependent upon.” They also place anti-gun sentiments early in the show, Paul freaks out when Harrison points finger guns at his grandchildren, and then later getting upset at him for introducing them to squirt guns. 

Of course, race is a central theme of Mixed-ish. The children are told by public school kids that they are "weirdos" for being half white and half black and thus decide that they have to choose a side to embrace. As the show progresses, Alicia decides to take up her father-in-law's offer of a job since she did graduate with a law degree and when her husband criticizes her for it she says, "I can only be the way I was on the commune. Anywhere else, I'm a black woman." They see Reagan as a racist, and remark that Harrison "might've voted for Reagan, but he loved his brown grandkids," as if the two are usually mutually exclusive.

The show has only aired one episode and yet it is already fully living up to the stereotypes of most other shows of its genre. American capitalists are evil, guns are bad, and suburban America is judgmental and biased. This show promises to be truly woke. 

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