‘Mixed-ish’ Star Tika Sumpter on Season 2’s ‘Materialism, Capitalism & Big Hair’

Mixed-ish Mark-Paul Gosselaar Tika Sumpter

As always, big issues are at the forefront of the comedy mixed-ish, which follows the early life of future doctor Rainbow “Bow” Johnson (Arica Himmel) and her earthy family, led by loving parents Paul and Alicia (Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Sumpter).

“‘We’re at the height of materialism, capitalism, and big hair,” Tika Sumpter quips, previewing Season 2 of the 1986-set black-ish prequel.

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In the Season 2 opener, 11-year-old Johan (Ethan William Childress) says he was called a racial slur at school. Given their mixed household with a Black mother and white father, “We think it’s ‘the slur,’ and it’s not,” Sumpter explains. “Johan’s been letting people think he’s a Mexican kid!”

Identity is also part of 13-year-old Bow’s journey this year: “She goes against the grain, sometimes, of her parents and what her moral compass is.”

mixed-ish season 2 cast

(Credit: ABC/Sami Drasin)

Meanwhile, newly minted partner Alicia faces challenges at the law firm of her father-in-law, Harrison Jackson III (Gary Cole). “It’s the equivalent of Working Girl where Alicia’s trying to find her footing as the only Black woman,” Sumpter says. “How much do [her colleagues] listen to her?” And Paul reenters the workforce as a teacher in an underserved community: “It’s fun to see his well-intentioned ways actually be challenged.”

Mixed-ish, Season 2 Premiere, Tuesday, January 26, 9:30/8:30c, ABC