01x08 - Block Party

Okay, you guys are gonna pose as my video-journalism class while I practice my presentation.

Ah! We're gonna watch a movie.

That's when I used to sleep in class.

Scoot over, Maizy. Let me stretch out.

Can I be the teacher?

Sure.

I thought I was gonna be the teacher.

[Sighs]

You both can be the teacher.

Great. Class dismissed.

I agree with my colleague.

Y'all sit down. Now, this is important to your sister, which means it's probably boring, but we'll be supportive.

[Clears throat] "In today's society, we seldom take the time to explore our roots.

So I've chosen to make a documentary on the Chicago neighborhood where my dad and my Uncle Buck grew up."

South Side represent!

"So sit back and enjoy 'Chicago? Chicag-no.'"

[Remote control clicks]

[Dramatic music plays, siren wailing]

Tia: The South Side of Chicago.

Only fear blows through this Windy City.

With crime at an all-time high, it's amazing that President Obama and R. Kelly got out.

What the hell?

[Explosion, indistinct shouting]

And so as the sun sets on Wright Park, so do the hopes of most of its residents.

[Remote control clicks]

What'd you guys think?

If that was a video game, I wouldn't be allowed to buy it.

I closed my eyes.

What happened after they tear-gassed those people?

The old neighborhood is nothing like that.

Y'all ain't ever been there.

I don't need to. I Googled it.

Google ain't ever been there either.

The Google car goes everywhere.

Trust me, the Google car don't know nothing.

You can't argue with statistics.

The hell I can't!

Where were the families, men playing cards, old women making sure kids get home safe?

Probably dead.

I mean, didn't you see the documentary?

You kids don't have no idea where you came from.

[Door opens]

How did that happen?

Honey, that was a great SoulCycle sesh.

I'll go get that truffle risotto going.

And I'll start looking for "Sound of Music" sing-along tickets!

Ooh!

[Both laugh]

Hey, guys.

Ahh!

Oh. There it is.

[Gasps] Oh, my.

Look. Look at this.

[Dramatic music plays]

Can you believe this is what Tia thinks about our old neighborhood?

She's completely wrong.

Did I see "Walking Dead" footage in there?

Oh, that was "Thriller."

White zombies don't get down like this.

In her defense, the transition from Kanye's "Homecoming" video to a "Good Times" clip was seamless.

I didn't say it wasn't hot, but it ain't right.

You two dropped the ball with them kids, and it's a shame you never took them there.

I feel terrible about that.

We'll have to fix that at some point.

It's already fixed!

Wright Park's having a block party this Saturday, and Cousin Tony's barbecue joint is doing the food.

I don't know what's going on this Saturday.

Let us talk about it.

T-Then it's settled.

We're going home, and we're taking Tia down there to show her that the hood is good.

Wait, wait, wait. I said we had to talk about it.

It's too late. I'm going to get my stretchy barbecue pants.

Honey, why are you being so weird?

You know he loves it down there.

Of course. He was the mayor. They loved him.

I never fit in.

They thought I was a nerd.

Mm.

And this is before black nerds were hot.

They're hot?

Okay, acceptable.

My point is, I took a lot of heat.

[Bugle plays "Reveille"]

Hey, what's up, Willy Nilly?

Give it back, Popcorn.

Make me, Willy Nilly.

But it's mine, Popcorn.

I look good on this thing.

Don't I, Willy Nilly?

Did anyone go by their given name?

No!

That's one of the many reasons why I don't want to go back.

I don't need my kids to find out I wasn't cool, especially since Miles caught me manscaping.

I like that you keep it neat.

But, you know, this is important.

I happen to agree with Buck.

Did you hear what you just said?

I know. It sounded totally wrong in my mouth, but it's true, and I think we need to go.

Why do you want to go so much?

Because I am gonna show everybody that the Russell family is on fleek.

"Fleek"? How'd that feel in your mouth?

You just want to go down there to prove to my family that you're "down."

Well, because they think I'm bougie.

They think I am, too! I just don't fight it.

You tried to do the "Wobble" dance at my cousin Tasha's wedding.

You wobbled right into her and broke her ankle.

None of that is important.

What's important is that we teach our kids where they come from.

And just for the record, the girls at my nonprofit think I'm totes cool.

Do you even know what that means?

Yeah. Cool like a tote bag.

There's the Alexis I know.

[Hip-hop music plays]

Dance all day, even all night

[Indistinct rapping]

Here I am on the front lines of the South Side of Chicago, and surprisingly, all is calm.

Where's the action, Uncle Buck?

I want to be like Anderson Cooper in Fallujah.

I don't know that movie.

Look, this ain't what you gonna see on TV.

You're gonna see some good stuff today... decent people, family, and community.

Look, there goes my man Bernie.

Hey, Bernie, what's up?!

Hey, where's my money [bleep]

Nothing to see over there, children.

Come on. Let's move it. Keep moving.

Alexis: Come on. You're a grown man.

It's not like you're gonna get pantsed or anything.

Aah!

Don't! Wait! Don't let him take my pants!

Relax. Don't nobody want your flat-front khakis.

It's Cousin Tony.

Hey, Tony. What's up, Cuz?

Hey, Will. Long time, no see.

Look at you. Big-time architect.

[Both laugh]

Finally let go of the Jheri curl, right?

Down to the slab. [Laughs]

Welcome to the club.

Hey, Tasha, everybody, it's Will!

[Screams]

Oh, really, you don't have to do that.

Oh, I saw that article in Ebony about the museum you designed.

Hey, Tasha. [Laughs]

Oh. [Laughs]

I really love your shoes.

Yeah! They're flats.

I can't wear heels anymore.

'Cause your wobbling ass broke her ankle.

[Both laugh]

Been following your career, Will.

We're all real proud of you. Not just black proud.

Dad, you're a hometown hero.

Let me... Let me get a selfie, boss man. Come on.

Yeah, of course.

Huh.

WorldStar!

[Camera shutter clicks, laughter]

Alexis: Ooh! Tasha, and your hair is just off the chizzy chizzy chain.

Oh [laughs] you know, I just got my beautician's license.

Tasha been to beauty school, and she's been to refrigerator college.

She got two degrees. Same as your mama.

Get it, girl. [Both laugh]

If you want, Alexis, I can hook you up with a new 'do.

You would?

Mm-hmm.

Ooh, girl, yes! I am so down for whatever.

Ha! Word.

Is mommy in a play?

In a way, yes.

You ready to work?

Say what?

I told Tony we would help him with his barbecue booth.

Yeah, that's how we roll in Wright Park.

Hey, Tia's class, the hood is good!

[Loud pops]

Hey, Tia's class. Happy Fourth of July.

Maizy, you have to stop eating up the potato salad.

But it's so good!

Uncle Buck says Cousin Tony put his foot in it.

And I'm done.

Oh, no, sweetie.

When he says he put his foot in it, it just means he did a really good job.

It's just a little something, something we say down there.

[Sarcastically] Holler, girl.

See, Russells? This is real Chicago... black people and light-skinned black people breaking bread together.

This is nice.

I don't know why it took me so long to come home.

Where's Tia? She's missing me do my thing with the coleslaw.

Oh, she's busy. I got her whole day planned.

I'm introducing her to the important people of the community, starting with Alderman Hoskins over there.

Okay, so...

His mustache is beautiful.

It's so thick and majestic.

Alderman Hoskins? He got indicted last week.

Oh, hell!

I knew he was hiding something in that mustache.

Wow. And he's still here, eating pulled pork.

Our court system is flawed.

Hey, girl.

Oh, hey!

I moved some things around so I can do your hair.

You still down for a new 'do?

Sounds like a "Wobble" moment.

Hush. Tasha, hook me up.

Holler!

[Laughs]

Now give me that on that.

I get you were indicted for fraud, but what is "collusion"?

Another word for trumped-up charges.

I wish. They got me on tape.

I got cocaine on me right now.

Hey, you on tape again, you dummy.

How will the children ever learn if the adults don't lead the way?

We still got Obama, even though he did smoke a little weed.

[Hip-hop music plays]

[Indistinct rapping]

Hey, Dad, I heard some people say that they want you to design the new youth center.

You gonna do it?

Yeah. I think I might.

It's giving back to the place that has given me so much.

[Bugle plays "Reveille"]

Man: Hey, what's up, Popcorn?

Man #2: Yo, Popcorn!

Popcorn.

What's up, Willy Nilly?

Is it me, or is that dude way too big for that bike?

Miles, go get me a grill brush.

[Laughs] That look like your old bike.

It is. Popcorn stole it from me back in the day.

I thought you said you traded that bike for a Barry Manilow album.

I was a-ashamed to tell you.

But you're not ashamed of listening to Barry Manilow?

You should have told me. You know I always got your back.

What's going on?

Nothing. We're not talking about anything.

Some fool jacked your daddy's bike when he was a kid.

And he still has it? That's crazy.

Dad, you're the man now here. Go get your bike.

That's right. I am the man.

So... I should probably go get it.

Yeah. Watch yourself.

Word on the street, Popcorn is off his meds.

Do you guys see that grown man riding a kid's bike?

No. We missed it.

Yeah, we saw it.

He stole that bike from Dad when he was a kid.

Oh, my God. An exclusive. How do you feel about this?

No comment, Tia-MZ.

Look, there's Ms. Delk.

She's basically the grandmother of this whole neighborhood.

She used to hand out cookies to the kids.

Hey, Ms. Delk.

I would love to talk to her.

[Laughs] Wait. Are "cookies" code for "drugs"?

Hell no! Not in this case.

Hey, Ms. Delk.

Hold up! Buck Russell! The mayor is back in town. - Aw!

Who are these guys?

Oh, that's Hash Brown and Sneaky.

These is two former business associates of mine.

Oh, former, former.

Hey, fellas. Goodbye.

Wait. Hang on, hang on. Do you guys own businesses in the neighborhood?

[Both laugh]

We more like freelance operators, baby.

Yeah, yeah. We freelance. Hello, Buck.

Do you think your girl will be interested in some recently owned jewelry?

Oh, wow. Let me see.

We in a need-to-sell situation.

Hey, man, she don't want none of that, and she don't want them bootleg-ass jeans and that knock-off cologne that smells like baby diapers.

How about a gun?

Yeah, we got plenty of guns.

A gun? Bye.

W-What about a brand-new attitude?!

Hey, Ms. Delk, could you talk to my niece, Tia?

Of course. Would you like one of my famous oatmeal raisins?

Those look delicious.

Sister Delk, you better not be down here, passing off my recipe as your own.

I came up with adding the maple syrup.

You don't own maple syrup.

Well, I'll tell you what I do own... your behind.

South Side.

What?!

No, thank you. No, no, no, no.

You always trying to take away stuff from me.

[Shouting indistinctly]

Hey, hey, hey, hey! Easy, easy, easy, now.

Now, be careful.

You only got one real hip between the both of you.

Oh, no, you didn't. I know you ain't...

[Indistinct shouting]

Tia, stop filming, and get me a barbecue fork!

Now, that's disrespectful right there.

[Groaning]

WorldStar!

[Laughs] Man, Uncle Buck, they beat you like you stole something.

Black-on-black-on-black crime.

[Laughs]

You're like Fox News in skinny jeans. You know that?

Hey, Buck, we're out of onions.

Yeah, if you had your bike, you could go to the store and get some.

Well, I have a car now.

You better not let Popcorn know. [Laughs]

Come on, Tia. Before I die, you're gonna see something positive about this neighborhood. Let's go.

[Indistinct conversations]

Ooh!

Hey, guys, check me out.

Whoa.

Hey, lady, what'd you do with my mom?

Alexis: I know, honey. I saw it. It's different.

But, you know, you just got to own it.

I'm just trying to work it and own it, work it and own it.

Maizy likes it, don't you, baby?

Yeah, I like it. It looks like I drew you.

Okay.

Okay.

I'm starting to think the problem isn't this neighborhood.

It's you, 'cause everywhere I take you, something goes wrong.

Then maybe I should just go off on my own.

I don't think so.

Why? Are you trying to say I'm not safe here?

No. It... It... It's safe.

Okay, then let me get some interviews.

I'll start with those ladies on the corner.

They seem friendly, waving at all the cars going by. - Hi!

No, no, no. Give me that camera.

We got onions to get.

Hey, Jasmine and Cookie!

Both: Hi!

[Bugle plays "Reveille"]

Dad, when are you gonna get the bike back?

I told you I was gonna get the bike once this batch of ribs is finished.

Then we got to clean up, pack everything away, say our goodbyes.

But by then, Popcorn is gonna be gone.

I can't plan my life around his schedule.

Maizy: I think I made it better.

[Sighs]

Will, I don't know what to do.

If you're not happy with it, do something about it.

[Bugle plays "Reveille"]

I will do something about this if you do something about that.

I hate that horn.

I know that you guys were young, but what were you thinking?

You're right, Patti LaBelle.

I think it's time for both of us to get some "New Attitudes."

[Scoffs]

It was sitting right there, honey.

Come on, Miles. Let's go get that bike.

Ah, yes!

I can't believe Daddy just called me Patti LaBelle.

I like her pies.

Ah, A-Train. Say "What's up" to Fish Stick.

Popcorn.

'Sup, Willy Nilly!

My name is Will. Look, we're not kids anymore.

We all know this is my bike, so just... give it back.

I don't think so, man.

I put a lot of love into this little baby right here.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see. New chain, banana seat.

The tassels are dope.

But... it's still my bike.

All right, man, I tell you what, you can buy it back.

I mean, you're a big-time architect, Willy Nilly, owning all them museums and buildings.

That's not really how architecture works.

Listen, I'll sell it back to you for $20,000.

Dad, just take the bike.

Yeah, I'd like to see that.

Just take it, man. Take the bike.

I'm not gonna fight you for it. That would be ridiculous.

Listen, if it means that much to you, you keep it.

I knew it. The same old Willy Nilly.

The bike's not worth fighting over, son.

You get that, right?

[Bugle plays "Reveille"]

Sure. Whatever.

[Sighs]

Tia: Uncle Buck, give me my camera.

No. The next thing this camera's recording is gonna be decent and uplifting, something that the Winans will sing about.

You know who I'm talking about?

Hey, Buck, a little help?

I'm just trying to get this over to my mama's house.

Here you go, Tia.

Yo, Roger, we're gonna help you, but I need to know, is this legit?

Is this your couch, or are you stealing it?

Look, man, if you don't want to help me, that's fine, man.

You don't have to insult me.

Hey, hey, hey, hey!

I'm sorry, man, but a lot's riding on this.

Look, film this.

Come on. Get this side. Let's do this quick.

"People moving couches... the untold story of the South Side of Chicago."

Woman: Hey!

Hey! They're stealing my couch!

Damn, Roger. I asked you.

Yeah, but you wouldn't help me do it.

And you're on your own.

Hey!

Tia, run!

Are you with the news?

Yes.

Well, let me put some lipstick on first.

Alexis.

This is how I handled it.

I put on a hat. Don't judge me.

I would love to, Ziggy Marley, but I can't, 'cause I don't have the bike, and I've completely lost Miles.

Y'all lost Miles? Good.

Well, y'all won't be mad that I lost Tia.

What's happening?

It's fine, Alexis.

The neighborhood is perfectly safe.

Safe, my ass. Let's find the kids and go home.

They got old ladies fighting, couch thieves.

You gone Rasta.

This neighborhood let me down.

Man, Google was right.

Look, I wanted to show Tia that it ain't all bad down here.

There's a lot of nice people down here.

Move, kid. Get out the way.

I see Tia!

Where?

Right there.

Come on.

Buck: Okay, that's it.

I told you my niece ain't one of your customers.

Uncle Buck...

No, let me handle this.

First, I'm gonna kick Sneaky's ass for an appetizer, and then I'm gonna whup Hash Brown for dinner.

Really?

Yeah. What's happening? What's happening, huh? Huh?

All right, guys, guys, guys, we can work this out.

There's no need to resort to violence.

Dad, look. I got the bike back.

You going down, little dude.

Hey, you touch my kid, I will take your head off and show it to you.

Really?

Brace yourself, fool. Here come the Furious Five.

I don't even know what that means.

You gonna know after I kick your ass.

[All talking at once]

It was a great party till these Russell boys showed up.

That's why we don't have a Whole Foods.

[Indistinct shouting]

Hey, guys! Guys!

Stop it.

They were just gonna teach me how to play spades.

I thought you wanted me to learn more about the neighborhood.

I do.

Then leave me alone and let me do it.

Tia...

Tia. Tia!

Man, this is wack! I'm out of here.

I don't think so.

Popcorn, I'm a grown-ass man now.

I'm not scared of you anymore.

So you can leave, but the bike stays. You got it?

All right, but just let me get my tassels. I mean, you know, they're custom.

I'm rocking the tassels now.

Keep it, then, man.

Just a stupid bike. [Laughs]

You used to call me Willy Nilly.

Now you can call me Black Vengeance!

[Laughter]

Ain't that right, baby?

I think we should talk about that at home.

Okay. We'll talk about that at home.

Yeah.

Man: [Echoing] Let's go!

[Hip-hop music plays]

Okay
Put your hands up

You should have seen Dad stand up to Popcorn, Cousin Tony.

I never knew architects could be so angry.

Yeah, that's what you do when you love somebody.

[Chuckles] You lose your damn mind.

[Both laugh] Hey, it's been great having you here.

Don't let it be so long before we see you again.

That's a promise, Cuz.

You ever get tired of "architecting," you can come work for me.

You're a first-rate grill man.

Maizy: My dad's great, and he doesn't have to put his foot in it either.

That's just nasty.

All right, uh, suburbs, huh?

Hand me that cooler over there.

All right.

Alexis, why are you wearing a hat?

I want to get a picture of your new 'do for my Instagram.

[Sighs] Looks like rain.

Rain, my ass. You don't like your hair, do you?

No, she doesn't.

Somebody had to say it.

Why didn't you just tell me?

I was faking the funk. I'm so sorry.

I just wanted to be a part of all of this.

Ain't got to impress me.

You're Will's wife, which means we're family.

[Laughs] Wrong with you?

There you are.

God, I can't shake you.

I'm sorry that I smothered you today.

I just wanted you to see this place the way I see it.

And I know things got a little crazy.

Tell me about it.

And I know you're gonna do that documentary the way you want to do it.

True.

But all I ask is that you be fair.

All I can promise is that I'll be honest.

Can you lie for $50?

No.

$75?

Okay, just do what you want to do, 'cause I ain't have $50 anyway.

Hello, everybody. I'm Tia Russell.

Bernie: Your uncle still owes me money.

He owes me money, too.

[Laughter]

Anyways, I made this documentary for a class at school.

It's about all of you. I hope you like it.

[Cheers and applause]

Tia: If you turn on a TV these days, all you see about neighborhoods like Wright Park is the bad stuff.

That's what I expected to see.

And to be honest, I did see some of those bad things.

Hey, that's me!

[Laughter]

Woman: Hey!

Hey! They're stealing my couch!

And then I saw some bad things that turned out to be not so bad.

We've been fighting for 40 years.

We love each other. She's like my big sister.

All: Aww!

Heifer, I'm younger than you.

Where's my cane?

[Laughter]

But most of all, I saw good things, things that don't make the news.

The elevator's broken, but I'm only on the fifth floor.

Busted.

Damn!

Man, how'd she learn how to play spades so quick?

I told you she was the chosen one.

You didn't tell me that.

Whoa! That's us!

What?

We're about to blow up!

Follow me on my Instagram, dawg.

[Laughter]

And those good things outweighed the bad 1,000:1, especially when it comes to family.

Best barbecue in town, baby, right here at Tony's.

Tony's. Step on up.

[Laughter, applause]

To the chef, man, come on.

Thank you, Uncle Tony.

Thank you.

Uncle Tony!

Uncle Tony!

Yo, Russell, family!

[Laughs] Back in Chi-town.

Tia: I thought I wasn't connected to this place, but I am, because two of the greatest people I know came from here... my dad and my Uncle Buck.

Make way for the mayor.

Ah, and Black Vengeance!

Two grown men riding a kid's bike?

Pbht! That's ridiculous. What?

So before you judge a place, you need to spend some time there and get to know the people.

The fact of the matter is, sometimes Google is wrong.

South Side represent!

[Cheers and applause]

Ow, ow, ow!

[Laughter]

Uncle Buck, these old ladies got your number.

I could have took them out, but they ganged up on me and they had sticks.

Ooh! That was solid contact.

That was a lucky shot. But see?

I got her Spanx and some of her wigs.

I got that wig now!

That gave me the leverage.

This is better than WWE.

Uncle Buck, this is where you go down.

All: Ooh!

And never gets up. [Laughs]

I was playing possum.

Now, turn that off and go to bed.

I don't think so. We're not afraid of you anymore.

You should be. I make your food.

That is a good point.

Yeah.

Something to think about!