Jerrod Carmichael‘s new self-titled show about family and relationships is one that may or may not stand out in viewers minds. TV shows of this kind seem all too common. They have the tendency to either have a good reception or slip by completely under the radar. Many of these follow an unadventurous theme, such as families that live their lives gathered around a couch, bickering back and forth and experiencing everyday struggles with a touch of wit. The thing that sets The Carmichael Show apart from others of its ilk, is the ability of Carmichael work in certain amount of social commentary, no doubt pulled from his stand-up comedy routine.

‘The Carmichael Show’ Review

NBC surprised viewers when they announced that they would only be launching two sitcoms this Fall, however more are expected to arrive in Spring. The New York Times is calling The Carmichael Show only “marginally better than the awful ‘Mr. Robinson,’ another comedy the network disgorged this week.”

The show gravitates around Jerrod Carmichael and his girlfriend Maxine (Amber Stevens West) as they take their relationship to the next level by moving in together. Insert Carmichael’s family into the situation, what results is comedy and borderline drama. Or is it drama and borderline comedy?

Carmichael’s brother is what NBC calls “larger-than-life” and played by Lil Rey Howery. His father is played by David Alan Grier and is the obligatory grumpy old man with no filter. Loretta Devine plays Carmichael’s mother and she is the religious one in the family. A family like this is sure to be a real stick-in-the-spokes for a young couple with serious life goals.


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Controversy erupts after the couple’s poorly kept secret about their living situation is leaked to Carmichael’s parents who didn’t live together until they were married. His mother talks about Jesus while his father waves around a baseball bat before singing a verse from Al Greene’s “Love and Happiness.” “He’s a wildcard,” according Jerrod. Their disdain for their son’s premarital living arrangement doesn’t pass as a believable situation in 2015. The whole scene is so predictable that it could almost be a parody of itself. That could possibly make people laugh for different reasons.

Interestingly, the show is able to bring to light the absurdities of American voting patterns and demographics, the dubious merits of prejudice, and the necessity of peaceful protest. It even has the ability to be a little raunchy at times. Are these features significant enough to count as redeeming qualities? They are absolutely subjects worth discussing, and what better way to discuss social issues than through satire. If nothing else, the show is relevant to what we see in the news and face within out own family dynamics.

Now, did they steal that set from Everybody Loves Raymond?

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