As a part of a new wave in black television, Reed Between the Lines is a program that wants to capture the spirit of the Cosby show with a new school vibe and the same wholesomeness. To achieve this goal, the show’s producer even secured Cosby show alumnus Malcolm Jamal Warner to play the father. The mother, played by Tracee Ellis Ross , attempts to bring the same super woman element as a practicing psychologist to the table as Warner is a college professor for an online institution.
The twist as it seems is that while reading between the lines of the program that Ross’ character had two children from another relationship and that Warner is their stepfather. Seeing this kind of display would bring more of a modern audience because they know about being a part of a blended family. Building on the Cosby formula, Reed really keeps the family dynamic as central doctrine but leave it every so often to touch on social issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and the importance of staying true to yourself. While Reed handles these issues well, they do not seem to break any new ground. The situations are tried and true but do not want to delve into any deeper underlying issues. The morals that Reed wants to impart are sometimes lost in the shuffle, as it distracts young crowds with its freshness.
Blended families present a new dynamics to the project because the parties involved have to deal with portions of older relationships that still have ties to the children they had to together. While speaking of the children, they seem to be exceptionally well behaved for teenage children that have had a parent change. They do not seem to have the strong rejection reaction to the new father or the child that their mother and stepfather had together. The interactions between family members are very well scripted, but seemingly too perfect.
The show comes at a time when there is a lack of positive programming for the black community and there needs to be a resurgence to uplift our people, but one has to wonder if the constant coddling is doing us any good as in how are we to overcome our adversities when we are told that everything is okay? This is what truly between the lines.