Black. White.

Watch Black. White.

  • TV-MA
  • 2006
  • 1 Season
  • 5.8  (271)

Black. White. is a provocative and groundbreaking social experiment reality show that aired on FX in 2006. The show explores race relations in America by transforming two families – one white, the other black – and having them trade races for six weeks.

The white family, the Wurgels, consists of parents Bruno and Carmen and their two children, 17-year-old Nick and 12-year-old Rose. The black family, the Sparks, includes parents Brian and Renee and their two children, 16-year-old Nicky and 11-year-old Keegan. Both families undergo a radical transformation in order to look like members of the opposite race. They are fitted with prosthetic makeup, wigs, and hairpieces designed to make them look more like members of the other race.

The families then move into two homes side by side in the racially diverse West Adams district of Los Angeles. The aim of the experiment is to explore how each family is perceived by the outside world and how they perceive themselves while living as members of a different race.

The show is an eye-opening look at how race still plays a significant role in American society, particularly in terms of how people perceive each other. The families undergo a range of experiences that offer insights into both the similarities and the differences of living as a member of a different race.

One of the most interesting aspects of the show is the way in which each family reacts to their new racial identity. For example, the white family finds themselves questioning their own racial attitudes and biases. Bruno, who is initially resistant to the experiment, eventually comes to recognize the privileges of white privilege and begins to challenge his own prejudices.

The black family, on the other hand, experiences a range of reactions to their new identity, from curiosity to confusion to outright hostility. The daughter, Nicky, finds herself struggling to fit in at a primarily white high school and deals with feelings of isolation and loneliness as a result.

Throughout the course of the show, the families interact with a range of people from different races and backgrounds, offering insights into the complexities of race relations in America. They attend cultural events, church services, and social gatherings, and participate in discussions with experts on race relations.

The show's decision to use prosthetic makeup to alter the families' appearances has been controversial, with some viewers arguing that it is offensive or unnecessary. However, the use of makeup allows the families to experience a much more realistic and immersive version of racial transformation than other shows might have achieved with simple wardrobe changes or makeup.

Overall, Black. White. is a thought-provoking and engaging exploration of race relations that challenges viewers to think critically about their own attitudes and beliefs. The show's innovative approach to storytelling and its willingness to tackle difficult subject matter make it a must-watch for anyone interested in social issues and cultural identity.

Black. White.
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Episode 6
6. Episode 6
April 12, 2006
"It's the last week of the project," says Nick at the beginning of the series finale, "and nobody's getting along." Not only that, but Renee's worried about Nick's attitude, and arranges a meeting with an ex-gang member to scare him straight. Meanwhile, Rose prepares for her poetry slam. She's petrified. And all six participants read letters they have written to each other. "There were not all nice things said," Rose admits, "but it was real." And it leads to the beginning of understanding.
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
April 5, 2006
Rose develops a crush on a poetry-class friend; and Brian and Bruno reach an impasse as tensions between the families mount.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
March 29, 2006
A made-up Rose tours Crenshaw with a poetry-class friend and is surprised at how often race comes up. Also: Carmen and her daughter are appalled at the chilly treatment they receive when they visit their own neighborhood in their makeup; Nick says he isn't offended by the "n" word---so Brian takes him to a black barbershop "to learn more about his heritage." And Bruno plays a video of his "Midlife Rap," which rags on rappers. Its tone offends Carmen, and Renee calls it "really obnoxious."
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
March 22, 2006
Carmen's "beautiful black creature" comment leads Brian and Renee to conclude that Carmen doesn't understand racism, and they're concerned that their son, Nick, doesn't get it either. They also worry about Nick's judgment when he buys a $150 watch while shopping with Rose. Meanwhile, Carmen's upset by her treatment at a C&W bar while she and Bruno are in their makeup. But she's treated with far more hostility at a park in a black neighborhood when Bruno is in his makeup but she isn't.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
March 15, 2006
Renee and Carmen meet with a dialogue coach to learn to talk "white" and "black," respectively, and Carmen says something that gets under Renee's skin. Meanwhile, Bruno says something that shocks Brian, who's wearing his white makeup, at a wine bar. While in their makeup, the Wurgels attend a black church. "It's a pep rally," Bruno says, quickly adding: "It's wonderful." And Wurgel daughter Rose decides to tell her class the truth.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
March 8, 2006
The black Sparkses of Atlanta and the white Wurgels of Santa Monica, Cal., are made up for the first time and begin to get to know each other. They also get a taste of the other race. For black dad Brian, it's stellar service in a golf pro shop. White dad Bruno doesn't foresee any problems, and this annoys Brian.
  • Premiere Date
    March 8, 2006
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (271)