By Asia Michel
Published: October 11th, 2017
There is a new edition to the ABC family, and I am not sure how I feel about it.
“The Mayor” isn’t a show I would race home to watch every Tuesday night, but I can appreciate what it brings to the table. This show offers its viewers an opportunity to have important conversations. The comedic sitcom follows Courtney Rose (Brandon Michael Hall), and his efforts to become a successful rapper. In his pursuit of stardom, he decides to run for mayor to get additional publicity for his music. He is clearly the joke in this mayoral election but ends up winning anyway (I wonder where this idea came from). The question then becomes: what does being mayor require?
This show is a call to the younger generation, urging them to take initiative in politics. Rose’s mother, Dina Rose (Yvette Nicole Brown), begs Courtney to take this position seriously and try to make a difference in a community that needs it.
With respect to all the underlying issues this sitcom tries to address, this sitcom has an interesting road ahead. It was nice to see familiar faces like Brown and Lea Michele, who will hopefully bring in a larger audience. However, simply having familiar faces will not cut it. After watching, I found myself thinking about the Netflix series, “Dear White People,” and the similarities these shows seem to have. They want to educate. They want to bring important conversations to the forefront and illustrate the various ways “we,” as young people, can bring about meaningful change. The difference between the two is that “Dear White People” does not try to be over-zealous. There is no random character doing the Milly Rock or boy listing all his favorite rappers who just so happen to be white.
“The Mayor” lacks authenticity. If there is going to be a young black man taking charge of his community, why does he have to be pursuing a career in rap? Is Courtney Rose’s pursuit of a music career used to show that there are no other career paths? Were they trying to illustrate that you do not need to come from a specific background to get involved and make change?
As of now, I am not a fan of the show, but this was only the first episode. As the season progresses, we might see more depth and authenticity from their characters. “The Mayor” has potential to be the breath of fresh air we desperately need. I find it interesting how the 2016 presidential campaign has influenced so many sitcoms today. Every show you turn to references Donald Trump, Russia, and the role of women in society.
It’s about time our sitcoms take more responsibility in addressing our political climate and racial issues. “The Mayor” has the possibility of addressing this, but the question is no longer will they, but rather, can they, and can they do it effectively? Only time will tell.
“The Mayor” airs on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.