Photo Courtesy of NBC.com
Last Wednesday NBC premiered the new sitcom The Carmichael Show. It’s notable for being an all Black cast & boasting greats Loretta Devine & David Alan Grier. The cast is completed with actors Jerrod Carmichael, Amber Stevens West & Lil Rel Howery & Tiffany Haddish.
It has been talked about over the last year how successful Black shows are coming back in the mix. For a while the only shows with predominantly Black casts were reality shows. We were missing sitcoms & dramas, good old scripted television. Then came Scandal, Black Ish, & of course, Empire. They started crashing the ratings & before we knew it Black actors were all over TV again. Well adding to the trend now is The Carmichael Show.
It centers around Jerrod Carmichael, his girlfriend Maxine, his brother, sister in law, & parents. Jerrod is doing very well for himself & maintains a tight knit relationship with his family. The laughs come in with their interpretation of different things that go on in the world. The show has only been on for 2 weeks, yet has already addressed some heavy duty subject matter. They have already discussed religion, tradition, Black Lives Matter, health & nutrition in the Black community, & transgender issues. All of that in just 4 episodes. It’s light hearted, yet there is definite education value, without being preachy. It’s bringing back what we loved from the classic Black sitcoms like Good Times & A Different World. It’s especially well done because it addresses it from 2 different generation’s viewpoint.
The show is easy to relate to from the standpoint of Black culture. The show’s ratings saw an increase in the 2nd week which I hope will continue. It’s not just about it being an all Black cast. In this time with Black people still fighting for rights & trying to dispel stereotypical myths, representation matters. Each new narrative on the Black experience expands the range of perception & helps combat false ideas.
The more shows like this we have the less critical we can be of shows like Love & Hip Hop because it is not one of the few representations of our culture. These shows widen our scope & give our artists more freedom & less pressure to depict Black people in a certain way.
Salute to the writers & cast over at The Carmichael Show. I sincerely hope that their fanbase continues to grow so that they can continue the good work. Tune in to The Carmichael Show Wednesday nights at 9/8c on NBC. It’s also available on Hulu Plus, Google Play, iTunes, & Amazon.