Season 2 of The Carmichael Show debuts tomorrow for a preview before moving to its regular slot on March 13, and if you missed the short first season on NBC last summer, don’t miss this one. As I say in my video review above, the sharp, topical, often subtle and very often smack-on-the-head-funny sitcom hearkens to some of TV’s best, like All In The Family, while moving clearly into the future with an America that reflects its 21st century – warts, worries, wins and all.
Full of confidence and going for hot-button issues with even greater vigor than during Season 1, the comedy created by Jerrod Carmichael, Ari Katcher, Nicholas Stoller and Willie Hunter has seen its writing, acting and thrust of the show ripened and noticeably strengthened since its first under-the-radar six-episode run.
This year, the 13-episode series delves into the culture and the conversations many of us are having. Sure, lots of sitcoms on the bland broadcast landscape do that, but here is a real and rare Big 4 treat. Unlike others, The Carmichael Show doesn’t turn such topics into just funny bits or easily resolved plots, but rather expands the possibilities of discussion.
A salient effort comes early in the new season when the March 13 episode “Fallen Heroes” takes on the pain, complexities and contradictions of being a Bill Cosby fan when you know full well about the more than 50 women who have accused the actor of drugging and sexually assaulting them over the decades. As many of those cases move through the courts, including one that has Cosby facing a trio of felony second-degree aggravated indecent assault charges that could see him behind bars for 10 years, Carmichael’s show examines the gray areas between legacy and life, talent and morals.
The result is an intrepid and discerning pushing of gender and generational perspectives that conjures the scandals of Woody Allen, Chris Brown, Seinfeld’s Michael Richards and more to give context to a terrible tale of, as the title of the episode states, a fallen hero. And don’t think Carmichael renders all this an academic exercise in the comedic arts –as the last line of the Cosby episode makes clear, that is far from the case.
Be it considering Cosby, the long-term fallout of domestic abuse or fidelity, part of the skill of The Carmichael Show is that it often takes the POV that almost nothing is truly black or white, at least figuratively – and that is why the series co-starring David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine, Amber Stevens West, Lil Rel Howery and Tiffany Haddish should not only be on your radar but a destination.
With The Carmichael Show, to paraphrase the novel Alamut and the video game Assassin’s Creed, “almost nothing is true and everything nimble is permitted.”
So, check out my video review of The Carmichael Show and tell us what you think. Will you be watching Season 2?
This review originally posted on March 8.