There is no shortage of available art to remind us that this upcoming presidential election is a rather crucial one. Not ones to be left out of any cultural conversation, ABC’s Emmy-nominated tentpole Black-ish will be airing an hour-long special that will address the election just ahead of its seventh season. What’s more, the second half of of the stand-alone special will be animated.
Directed by Hair Love’s Matthew Cherry, “Election Special” will tackle an array of issues between two episode-like halves. In Part 1, per ABC’s synopsis, “Junior is excited for his first time voting but discovers he has been purged from the voter polls so he does a deep dive into why – trying to understand the systems in place for voter registration.” In the animated follow-up, “Dre’s colleague Stevens (Peter Mackenzie) makes an ill-advised decision to run for Congress, so Dre enlists his family’s help and campaigns against him but gets caught up with fundraising and private interest groups.”
As COVID-19 continues to pose a serious challenge for many live-action productions, more are turning to animation as viable alternative. NBC’s crime thriller The Blacklist was one of the first long-standing shows to wade into the medium with its season finale and One Day At A Time aired its own politically charged animated special back in June. Since the pandemic halted Black-ish’s season seven production, the partially animated attempt should serve as an effective buffer between past episodes and whatever “new normal”-ness we can expect from upcoming episodes (which, naturally, will address coronavirus, among other things).
Black-ish’s “Election Special” will air Sunday, October 4 at 10:00 PM EST on ABC.