Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pilot Review: The Mayor

The Mayor (ABC)
Premiered October 3 at 8:30pm

This pilot has been available to watch online for two weeks, but of course I didn’t get around to it until it actually aired on television. In an era where political discourse has fallen apart completely, I think we’re used to seeing unconventional candidates for office. What this pilot managed to skip over was Courtney Rose’s decision to enter the race, starting instead with a debate where he was already officially declared, even though he didn’t have a clue what was involved with the job. This show could have been terrible, and while it’s hardly a home run, I’m pleased to report that the concept is actually somewhat workable. I’m relieved that there isn’t a laugh track since that would highlight the show’s weaker moments, and instead Courtney and his friends are realizing the seriousness of what they’ve gotten themselves into, like the fact that it’s a four-year job. I knew I recognized Courtney from somewhere, and that’s because Brandon Michael Hall played Julian on “Search Party.” I’m sure that “Community” fans are thrilled to see Yvette Nicole Brown back on television as Courtney’s mom in a show that features an up-and-coming hip-hop artist, like her former costar Donald Glover’s Emmy-winning series “Atlanta,” though the two have little in common beyond that. The best asset of this show, surprisingly, is Lea Michele, who was initially a great part of “Glee” and hasn’t had a perfect part since then, but she brings a dedication to this role that isn’t overbearing and fits right in where she’s supposed to be. I don’t know that I’ll continue to watch this, but this was a decent start.

How will it work as a series? He’s been elected now and he has Michele’s Valentina at his side, so it’s a question going forward of how he’ll respond to situations as they come up and whether he’ll do the wrong thing first each time before atoning and rectifying it in some grand way. It could become tired quickly, but I think it has potential.
How long will it last? I didn’t realize that this was the only new comedy ABC is premiering this fall. Airing behind three popular sitcoms, this show fared only moderately well after previewing online two weeks early. The reviews are pretty good, and I don’t think it’s anywhere near time to call this show’s future bleak just yet.

Pilot grade: B

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