Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
The Mayor is a new comedy joining ABC’s Tuesday night lineup. The show stars fan favorites Lea Michele (Glee), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) as well as newcomer Brandon Michael Hall. It follows what happens when an unlikely candidate runs and wins the office of Mayor.
Courtney Rose (Hall) is an aspiring hip-hop artist who decides to run for mayor of Fort Grey, CA as a publicity stunt to help launch his rap career. With the help of his friends and hype-men TK (Marcel Spears) and Jermaine (Bernard David Jones), Courtney not only gets the notoriety he is looking for, he wins the election with 52% of the vote. His mother Dina (Brown) reinforces the fact that being an elected official has its responsibilities and should be taken seriously. After his win, Valentina (Michele) a former high school rival offers her services as his political advisor.
Courtney, being 20-something and still thinking the whole idea of being the mayor is a joke, decides to throw a block party/fundraiser for the City Commons. During the block party, Courtney is offered the chance of a lifetime to perform with his favorite artist. He abandons his constituents, leaving with the only proof of proper permit for the event. During his absence, the police are called for a noise violation, which leads to a small confrontation and Dina being arrested for being belligerent towards an officer. In the end Courtney learns a lesson and realizes there is more to being the mayor than telling people what they want to hear and he decides to properly accept the challenge as the new mayor.
The good: The more seasoned performers on the show give solid performances. YNB is always good in this type of role and she didn’t disappoint. Lea Michele also rehashed a more mature version of Rachel Berry from Glee and this role suits her.
The bad: The lead and other supporting characters as well as the disjointed story-telling. At the start of the episode, I thought the story would be told mocumentary style like Modern Family, The Office, and Parks and Recreation. After the first commercial break it became your garden-variety sitcom. In this case, it wouldn’t be bad if the comedy was good, but it isn’t and at some parts it is downright lazy. This show would have benefited by being a mocumentary style comedy, the premise practically begs for it. Possibly a fear of being considered a knock-off of the above shows was the deterrent, but the series of events would have had more levity if we received follow-up insight from the characters during the show.
Brandon Michael Hall, while adorable, is fine as the lead character, but I am not as charmed by him as I should be.
Show facts: Daveed Diggs is serving as executive director and will write original music for the show. I suspect he will be responsible for writing Courtney’s rhymes.
Larry Wilmore makes a guest appearance in future episodes.
I was looking forward to this show in particular, especially since it has a young, black male lead in a comedy on a major network. The pilot was disappointing; I plan to give it 3 episodes to find its legs.
Watch this if you like single camera comedies like The Mindy Project and Speechless.