Netflix’s BlackAF is an Insufferable Series About Family Dynamics

BlackAF came out on Netflix on 17 April. And, yes, I realise I am very late to this party. And thank god for that.

BlackAF delves into the life of a family, headed by Kenya Barris, who have gotten into new money and are, well, trying to get a hang of things – to put it mildly. The family consists of Kenya, his wife Joya and their six children. And everyone is insufferable.

Slavery is at fault

their family vacations are in Fiji

BlackAF is the most frustrating sitcom that I have watched in a long time. Maybe that was the point of the show – to put the truth out on the screen and show people the struggles of families. But my god did this series test my patience.

Kenya is a TV professional living in Los Angeles who is drowning in privilege. Although he started out struggling pretty bad, he came out at the end of the tunnel with flying colours. So now, the family is, in the truest sense of the term, stinking rich. And they don’t know what to do with that privilege. Now, don’t come at me saying that even rich people have problems because I agree. Everyone has problems. But my god, when you live in a sprawling mansion and have everything ready right infront of you, don’t have to think about how your college tuition is going to be paid or anything else, for that matter, the problems that these people talk about seems a bit vain.

No, seriously, it’s slavery

The family
yes, they have a private jet

Let me just say it right here, Kenya is an obnoxious character. He is everything I don’t want my husband to be. Actually, I don’t want anyone like that within even an inch of me. He’s jealous of his wife’s success, wants her to stay at home and do the things he doesn’t want to do, yet wants to take credit for them, is totally negligent with his children and swears like a pirate infront of them. Oh, also, he doesn’t remember any of his kids’ birthdays.

There’s plenty more of that in BlackAF, but I’ll just leave it up to you to find out.

Slavery at it again

Brooklyn Barris
Brooklyn Barris is a cutie

Oh, don’t worry. It’s not just him, although he is the character I hated the most. All of the kids are privileged to no end and are so tone-deaf that it’s exhausting. And yes, I do realise that their parents might have something to do with it – but all the six kids are insufferable. They all bully each other to no end, but well, so does their father so I mean, yeah whatever it’s cool, I guess?

Joya is probably the only character I like the most in BlackAF, apart from Brooklyn, but that kid’s in his diapers so. She gave up her job as a lawyer to raise the family while her husband worked and probably somewhere feels a little empty because of it. She’s struggling to juggle all of her responsibilities, like women usually have do, without one once of appreciation from Kenya. And although she too has her faults, I found her to be the most real character in the whole series.

It might be something else, but it’s slavery

Kenya and Joya
Kenya and Joya

There are things that I liked about BlackAF though. In very limited places, the series shines and these are the moments that will keep you going. Firstly, all the history that the show presents you with is absolutely heartbreaking and pretty dope at the same time. I like to learn about the history of different people, so these were truly remarkable things to learn about. Secondly, the rare bonding moments that the family has, especially those between Joya and the girls – they are beautiful.

In addition to these, the last episode was pretty great too – well, the fag end of it anyway. The family bonding even though for a very limited time, is truly touching, maybe because they bicker and are generally terrible people throughout the series.

Slavery it is

Kenya and Drea
Kenya and Drea

BlackAF is a series about family and how people are in their real-lives – raw and unfiltered. However, I would really recommend therapy to anyone whose family is like this. It’s not healthy and I don’t want it. The series is 8 episodes long and around 40 minutes each episode. And, although it does have its moments, I’d rather you watched some other TV shows on Netflix – there’s plenty of them.

BlackAF is streaming on Netflix right now.


Archi Sengupta
Horror Movies + Cats > People

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