When a TV network premieres a new show a couple of weeks early in the new fall TV season and then shows two episodes each week, it raises a few red flags for me. I tend to think it means they are trying too hard to promote it. That’s not a good sign.
Such is the case with a new sitcom “Jerrod Carmichael whom I never heard of prior to the show. Trying to be another black-ish”. I gave the show mixed reviews last year but decided to stick with it and I do enjoy it. Although I have no objection to the black theme, I do think it works better as an ordinary family sitcom that doesn’t focus so much on its ethnicity. But even the black themed episodes are pretty funny.
Not being African-American, I have to wonder how that particular audience will receive The Carmichael Show. I think it could go either way. It could be criticized for perpetuating too many stereotypes of a black family. Or they could say “Holy shit that character is just like my mom or that one is like my Uncle Joe or whatever.”
My own thoughts are that it tends towards the stereotypes but that doesn’t stop me from watching a show. For example “Two Broke Girls” unapologetically builds its comedy on mostly unflattering stereotypes. But I watch it because it meets my only criteria for liking a sitcom: Did it make me laugh? For at least two episodes of The Carmichael Show it did make me laugh but the third of the four which have aired so far fell a little flat for me.
Jerrod Carmichael himself hasn’t revealed himself as particularly funny on his own. Unlike Seinfeld, Mulaney, we don’t get excerpts of his standup routines. Most of the comedy comes from the crazy characters around him. His girlfriend is starting to be a psychiatrist so she is occasionally going to psychoanalyze situations. She is played by Greek.
The opening episode is about the decision to reveal to his parents that his girlfriend is moving in with him. His religious Christian mother undoubtedly will not approve so he engages his parents in a political argument to deflect the topic from her move in.