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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Is it over yet?

       TBS presents a new sitcom tomorrow night called Are We There Yet?  From producer Ice Cube, who starred in the 2005 movie of the same name, and the 2007 sequel, Are We Done Yet?, it follows the same characters, as I understand it, as a continuation of the movies.  It begins six months after Nick (Terry Crews, Everybody Hates Chris, in the television adaptation) and Suzanne (Essence Atkins, Half and Half) married.  Although the actors are different, Ice Cube does return in a recurring role as Suzanne's creepy, SWAT brother.  The kids in the television show are Coy Stewart and Teala Dunn.  The cast also includes Telma Hopkins (Family Matters) as Nick's mother, Keesha Sharp (Girlfriends) as Suzanne's best friend, and comedian Christian Finnegan as Nick's best friend.

     I can't compare it the movies because I have never seen them, so this review is just based on the two episodes I watched: "The Hyphenated Name", which airs tomorrow night, and "The Michelle Obama Sweater Episode", which is slated for June 23rd.  Those were not the only episodes I received, but the show is just not very good, so I stopped there.  I only watched the second one because of it's interesting title, and because I try not to judge shows based on pilots.  However, I was disappointed that the First Lady was nowhere in sight, nor was the other celebrity that the episode revolved around, ARod.

     The problem here is there is nothing original.  The cast isn't particularly bad, especially not the hilarious Terry Crews, but they struggle with bland writing, and uninteresting plots.  It's not because I'm white; I frequently laughed hard at Everybody Hates Chris, and as this series retained one of the stars and show-runner Ali LeRoi, serving as a producer, I had high hopes.  Besides, this show doesn't come across as belonging to any race.  It's not defined enough for that.  Unfortunately, it just falls short on all levels.  The relationships feel forced and inauthentic.  The jokes fall flat.  It's not the worst show on television, but it makes the low list.

     TBS has ordered ten episodes, with two each presented tomorrow night and next Wednesday, with an option to pick up ninety more.  I sincerely hope they don't exercise that option, because the talent involved can do much better than this, and I'd hate to see them trapped for years on such a lackluster project.

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