And things can get exponentially worse if it’s 1985 and you have a black mom and a white dad and no concept of what being “mixed” means. That’s what Rainbow (Arica Himmel) and her siblings (Ethan William Childress and Mykal-Michelle Harris) are working with as they start school in the premiere of this new comedy. “They’re fish out of water,” says showrunner Karin Gist. “We’re telling a story about identity and trying to figure yourself out when you don’t really know where you fit in.”
As for where mixed-ish fits in, it’s the second spin-off of black-ish. Unlike Freeform’s grownish, which follows eldest Johnson daughter Zoey (Yara Shahidi) and just concluded its second season, this new series is a prequel that focuses on a 12-year-old version of Tracee Ellis Ross’ black-ish character. “Tracee really wants to be a part of it creatively,” Gist says of the mixed-ish EP, who herself is of mixed heritage. “She visited the writers’ room and shared some of her personal experiences.” Ross’ Bow narrates the series, which also stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tika Sumpter as Rainbow’s parents (the older versions of which are played by Beau Bridges and Anna Deavere Smith on black-ish) as well as Gary Cole and Christina Anthony as her grandpa and aunt.
Gist looks forward to exploring more than racial politics through the retro lens, “like the Challenger