Black. White. : Season 1

  • Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 8, 2006
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 110
  2. Negative: 26 out of 110

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User Reviews

  1. Gina
    Mar 19, 2006
    6
    The Spark family makes me sick! Nothing Bruno or his wife does is right and it will never be right because they are WHITE! Anyone who doesn't see the racisim embedded in this black couple is blind! They want to get on Bruno and his wife for upholding 'sterotypes' yet on the other hand they are doing the same thing in regards to the white race and their own race. I am white The Spark family makes me sick! Nothing Bruno or his wife does is right and it will never be right because they are WHITE! Anyone who doesn't see the racisim embedded in this black couple is blind! They want to get on Bruno and his wife for upholding 'sterotypes' yet on the other hand they are doing the same thing in regards to the white race and their own race. I am white and my husband is black, my stepdad, my sister law, all my in-laws are black, my children are mixed and I was raised in a black community. I have experienced looks and different/ill treatment because I am sharing my life with a black man (from whites and blacks). Yet at the same time I agree with Bruno; for those of you who call him a bigot, I could not give a HOOT what those racist think about me, because I have GOD and they can't stop me and my family. It's about attitude and mindset. Let's turn downpressors who shoot up barriers into stepping stones! The white family is somewhat embrassing, but I can forgive them for being nieve. Yet, the black wife is unrelentless, unforgiving and down right unhelpful. It digust me that this black women was offended by the white woman wanting to wear African dress to church. I agree that maybe it was 'too much', yet I thought it was wonderful that this white woman was drawn to this beautiful garment. Yet the black woman voices that there is some sterotypical idea behind the choice. Mrs. Spark, .....can't she just like it? Not only do I think there are beautiful too, but I wear them also! One thing I agree on is that this experiment shows a common philosophy in the black American community. That if we whites do anything it's because were' racist and because of our matching skin color of oppessors/downpressors either in the present or in the past.......we, whites will just never understand. Sorry guys, no one wins a prize for the most sufferation on this earth, for we have all (races, cultures, sexes, clases) suffered at the hands of workers of inequity. Period. "Intill no one race is raised superiour than another....there is a war." Hailie Salessie I, Former King of Ethopia Expand
  2. HollyL
    Mar 9, 2006
    6
    Definitely sparked some conversation between my boyfriend & I. The biologically white daughter on the show is obnoxiously overdramatic and the biological black son couldn't seem to care less about what this "experiment" reveals about society. An earlier post hit the nail on the head- read Black Like Me and you'll understand why this show is a disappointment.
  3. CalvinHobbs
    Mar 12, 2006
    6
    The show opens up dialogue which is a plus. Trust me on this though when I say very few white people are as clueless as the ones on the show. We are no longer seperated by race but class.
  4. LindaJ
    Mar 16, 2006
    4
    I like the Premise however, what I think is wrong about how they did this show is not showing how they are filming it. It tries to make you think that everything is spontaneous but how honest are people with cameras present? There are so many camera angles and switches that I think they could'nt be hidden cameras. If they are hidden, that should have been shown to the viewing public. I like the Premise however, what I think is wrong about how they did this show is not showing how they are filming it. It tries to make you think that everything is spontaneous but how honest are people with cameras present? There are so many camera angles and switches that I think they could'nt be hidden cameras. If they are hidden, that should have been shown to the viewing public. I have only seen 2 episodes, I will watch 1 more to see if it gets any better. Im one of those who read Black like Me many years ago and was moved by it. So far this hasn't moved me..oh I am white and wish they had used better representatives of the white race.. I dont know anyone so white as the people they chose..Oh I forgot..it's probably all staged and rehearsed to make us look totally ignorant of the black race? Expand
  5. JaysonD
    Mar 16, 2006
    4
    I like the idea for the show, but I do think it is not well balanced. The show is clearly slanted to favor Blacks and makes Whites look like idiots and latent racists. They need more authentic situations to make it more "real". The son is also completely useless. He doesn't even try to do anything. I like Rose. She's the best of all of them.
  6. Michael
    Mar 17, 2006
    5
    Generally, I wouldn't get involved with trolls such as Roger and Dana, but in this particular instance I have been offended. I am not sure what show they were watching, but "Black / White" is certainly not trying to "Bellitle White" as Roger stated. I do, however, dislike the show, as Roger does as well. It seems somewhat trivial for the days that we are in. The only racist that Generally, I wouldn't get involved with trolls such as Roger and Dana, but in this particular instance I have been offended. I am not sure what show they were watching, but "Black / White" is certainly not trying to "Bellitle White" as Roger stated. I do, however, dislike the show, as Roger does as well. It seems somewhat trivial for the days that we are in. The only racist that still exist are generally a very small minority of rural whites. Expand
  7. GeoffS
    Mar 8, 2006
    5
    This television show is very average. It can be extremely cliche and never peaks an audience's interest. Read the novel "Black Like Me" (early 60s) to get a more realistic and gritty sense of this "new" experiment.
  8. JL
    Mar 9, 2006
    5
    Would Black White have portrayed anything else but racial tension, if not open conflict? No, because everyone knows, but isn't impudent enough to say it, that many white people still can't fully accept their black peers. This show has been almost anticlimatic because it has been so predictable. Instead, I would have loved to watch a program that described the racial balance Would Black White have portrayed anything else but racial tension, if not open conflict? No, because everyone knows, but isn't impudent enough to say it, that many white people still can't fully accept their black peers. This show has been almost anticlimatic because it has been so predictable. Instead, I would have loved to watch a program that described the racial balance between American Asians and Caucasians; Hispanics and Caucasians or Hispanics and Asians. A program like that really would have been cutting-edge social anthropolgy. Expand
  9. AbbyL
    Jul 6, 2007
    6
    To say that America is not racist is wrong. I, myself, as a black American have had to deal with idiots. This show makes me sad and happy at the same time. It makes me upset that they try to make it seem like blacks are hated by everyone, when in reality not everyone hates African Americans. It also makes me happy that they are trying to prove that racism is alive and well. And to the To say that America is not racist is wrong. I, myself, as a black American have had to deal with idiots. This show makes me sad and happy at the same time. It makes me upset that they try to make it seem like blacks are hated by everyone, when in reality not everyone hates African Americans. It also makes me happy that they are trying to prove that racism is alive and well. And to the idiots that say America's racist population is 'booming' because of this show, clearly are mislead. Expand
  10. KatM
    Mar 11, 2006
    6
    Interesting experiment, worth watching. I don't think Bruno's was properly cast (or maybe it's his makeup). He doesn't look White to me when he's not wearing makeup and he doesn't look Black with the makeup on. This is the first episode. Maybe they'll gradually transform him.
  11. KristinaP
    Mar 8, 2006
    6
    The show was interesting but there were alot of factors that were neglected when producing the show. The show was filmed in LA which is where the white family resides. This, in some sense, would naturally make the Wurgels feel more comfortable. The Spark family on the other hand are from another state. Being so far away from their native state would feel foreign regardless of your race The show was interesting but there were alot of factors that were neglected when producing the show. The show was filmed in LA which is where the white family resides. This, in some sense, would naturally make the Wurgels feel more comfortable. The Spark family on the other hand are from another state. Being so far away from their native state would feel foreign regardless of your race because it would change your experience and the people that you would encounter. If you look at the demographic of California, it is vastly different from Georgia and therefore, it would potentially be a very different experience in each state. As a minority (Asian American), I feel that there is still a great deal of racism and prejudice that exists. There is no denying that. There seems to an extreme amount of anger from the Spark family regarding race relations. Yes, it is out there - but they seem overly eager to find the racism. It seems like they are making appearances on the show to "prove" the racism that they experience - rather than really seeing if there is a difference. The Wurgels are also not the best chosen white family in the sense that they are far more liberal than alot of families in the US and do not necessarily give a true representation of "white individuals" If you are outside of California or any other state with a large minority population, their views would potentially be very different. I feel that the only one that will truly benefit from this experience will be Rose. Bruno, Brian and Renee seem closed minded as to how things are, Nick doesn't seem to be an active participant and Carmen seems to be trying too hard. Expand
  12. StacyJ
    Apr 4, 2006
    6
    I think that the idea of the show was genious and that these issues need to be discussed in ways that reveal what people are really thinking. I however think that as a social project it has failed to do so, racist comments are made, intense racial dynamics are involved in the interactions of the people and they go unconfronted and unexplained. Bruno still after 4 weeks fails to see the I think that the idea of the show was genious and that these issues need to be discussed in ways that reveal what people are really thinking. I however think that as a social project it has failed to do so, racist comments are made, intense racial dynamics are involved in the interactions of the people and they go unconfronted and unexplained. Bruno still after 4 weeks fails to see the reality of racism and says constantly that blacks just haven't let go and implies that they are lazy and looking to be oppressed. No one mentioned that in my generation we may not say racial remarks but it doesn't mean that we don't think them. No one is calling this crap out. You can't put two families in a room and expect them to effectively discuss something that we are pretty much told our whole lives not to talk about, because it's in the past... The show needs a socioligist or some sort of counselor. Expand
  13. YvetteS
    Mar 11, 2006
    5
    I am racially mixed black & white but appear mostly white. I don't have many discriminatory experiences unless I'm with a black family member. I am extremely happy to see the topic of prejudice being addressed so publicly, but I'm dismayed at the producer's selection of scenes/venues in the 1st episode. Bruno (the white man made up black) is dedicated to proving that I am racially mixed black & white but appear mostly white. I don't have many discriminatory experiences unless I'm with a black family member. I am extremely happy to see the topic of prejudice being addressed so publicly, but I'm dismayed at the producer's selection of scenes/venues in the 1st episode. Bruno (the white man made up black) is dedicated to proving that racism towards blacks is all in their minds, and they only need to think positive & comport themselves in a socially acceptable manner to avoid racism. I guess he's the Great White Hope and is going to prove all black people wrong. What he's really saying to blacks is "don't have an attitude." This has been said too many times to blacks in so many settings, it's the white man's hidden racism. If a white man can get "an attitude" when he gets poor service in American, why can't blacks have that same attitude when they're marginalized?? So whites like Bruno pooh pooh on blacks for being "uppity" and perhaps headstrong instead of addressing the real issue, that many people including minorities "play" to the white man and dis everyone else in varying degrees. Saying someone has an "attitude" is coded language for anti-black racism, just so all you white readers know. To bolster Bruno's thesis, the producers send him in black makeup to what appears to be a used car lot, where the salesmen immediately attend to him. That, he says, is proof of no racism. For him, it's a real gotcha moment. But you didn't see him trying to buy the car. This goes unaddressed in the episode by anyone. Who knows what would have happened. What the producers should have done was insert him into a Mercedes Dealership and bring a few white decoys at the same time to distract their attention. Let's see how long it would take Bruno to get some attention. That would have been the correct experiment, but the producers really don't know enough about subtle racism so they don't know the most likely places it will occur, i.e., the showroom of the "american dream." Anyone can buy a car at a used car lot if they want to pay sky high interest. Isn't that one of the contentious points of racism that blacks usually pay more to borrow money? This is well-documented in the mortgage industry. They want anyone breathing to come and purchase a car at high interest rates, so in my estimation, Bruno's argument goes unsupported in this scene. I'm afraid all this did was reinforce Bruno's mindless thesis of having a positive attitude to avoid racism. My guess is, had he gone to a Mercedes dealership, he might have seen what the real black guy was trying to say about being treated differently. But maybe not, we'll never see it on TV because the producers did a poor job. I'm afraid that the next five episodes will do nothing more than give white men fodder to discredit all foul balls called by black people in America, and will set blacks back even further. Expand
  14. MargoJ
    Mar 13, 2006
    4
    I am a 53 year old Black female, that found the documentary portions too slow and boring. As a former corporate diversity facilitator I find the 'aha' moments to be too few and far in between. Apparently the show's purpose is to make FX more money and I am sure that is being done.
  15. TeriF
    Mar 13, 2006
    6
    I've had some personal epiphanies watching this show, but mostly I find myself becoming angry at how the black family seems to be trying to sabotage the process. Renee, the black woman, helped the other woman pick out an outfit to wear to a black church, yet turned around and criticized the choice later, suggesting that the garment was indicative of the white woman's I've had some personal epiphanies watching this show, but mostly I find myself becoming angry at how the black family seems to be trying to sabotage the process. Renee, the black woman, helped the other woman pick out an outfit to wear to a black church, yet turned around and criticized the choice later, suggesting that the garment was indicative of the white woman's stereotypical thinking. They criticized how the white family acted in this church, dancing and clapping...although that's what most of the other black church members were doing. Once again, they attached a stereotypical meaning to it...commenting that the white family was trying too hard and going overboardt. I'm sorry, but I've been in white churches where the members are dancing in the aisles and raising up their hands in worship too. I didn't realize that only blacks were allowed this type of expression, and I don't perceive this as a black/white thing. This black family has shown more racism than anyone I've ever observed.. Attaching a racist message to absolutely everything must be wearisome over time. Because a woman holds her purse a little closer to her body when in a crowd simply means that she's smart and doesn't want to get robbed, by a black or a white. I hold my purse close to my body when passing others because I don't want to inadvertently bump them with it. I have never held my purse close simply because the oncoming passerby was black. This is just paranoia, plain and simple. Yes, racism still exists...and it's alive and well within this black family. Expand
  16. gordyz
    Mar 15, 2006
    5
    I have a mixed opinion. As a 40 year old white man, I think the white people in the show are idiots and make all white people look stupid. I'd like to think that the average white person wouldn't act as they do. As for the black folks, they seem more down to earth and it would have made more sense to have the network pick a more realistic white family.
  17. RossC
    Apr 24, 2006
    5
    The strength of the show is its casting. The biggest weakness of the show is its casting. It all depends on the producers' goals and the viewers' expectations. If they were shooting for outrageous reinforcement of the stereotypes both races hold--they chose a perfect mix of characters. The audience gets the entertainment factor they expect from so-called 'reality' The strength of the show is its casting. The biggest weakness of the show is its casting. It all depends on the producers' goals and the viewers' expectations. If they were shooting for outrageous reinforcement of the stereotypes both races hold--they chose a perfect mix of characters. The audience gets the entertainment factor they expect from so-called 'reality' television and enjoy the warm fuzzies that come from a voyeuristic camaraderie with several characters that share their perspectives on race. Every one tunes in to scoff at the bad guys and root for the good guys--an age-old (though tried and tired) formula that draws an audience and the subsequent ad revenue. If, on the other hand, you intend to produce television that leans toward the noble causes of mutual enlightenment, education and discovery--choose a cast with a few more folks like Rose. Her introspective and honest efforts in the project were a bubbling spring of hope amidst a desert full of racist clowns, self-righteously mugging for the camera to prove their deeply embedded and closely held point of view. Here's hoping for an engaging followup series where the cast of characters reflects the growing appetite for meaningful interaction between the races. Throw in a couple of racist goons from each family so we can get our giggles--but for goodness sake, give us more Roses that are willing to be real with themselves. What a concept for a true 'reality' show! Expand
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. What I've seen suggests an intriguing show, although there's something so contrived about the series that it makes me more than a bit uneasy.
  2. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    An endlessly curious and unexpectedly intelligent social experiment.
  3. Village Voice
    Reviewed by: Joy Press
    70
    Black.White takes the reality subgenre to a whole new level, shining a beacon on American's most excruciating blind spot.