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In the pilot, you’ll get a decent amount of story and 0 laughs.
Review (with Spoilers)
Being someone who wasn’t born, much less allowed, to watch Martin Lawrence during his heyday of being one of the top comics of the 90s, but watching a good portion of his work, it makes his return to TV something to look forward to. However, like with most comedians who rose to fame in the 80s, and beyond, not getting better with age, I was worried Lawrence, like Robin Williams, would more so be living off his legacy than showing he still has it. To find out if the pilot is a triumphant return or just a check in Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer’s pocket, read below.
Characters & Story
When we first meet Marcus (Martin Lawrence) he has just gotten divorced and due to him being a nice guy, and him feeling like the divorce is his fault, he is ready to be more than accommodating to his soon to be ex-wife, who is never seen. This is something no one close to Marcus seems to support. Not his flamboyant assistant/ paralegal Michael (Rory O’Malley), his mother Ruth (Telma Hopkins), or even the judge ruling over his divorce.
Enter Allen Braddock (Kelsey Grammer) a successful, but now ostracized from his father’s firm, lawyer who overhears Marcus’ case and with him wanting to get out of doing pro-bono work and rebuild his reputation, he tries to win Marcus over by taking over his divorce. Something which leads to Marcus’ discovery of his wife’s infidelity and Allen proposing for the two of them to be partners. An idea Marcus isn’t highly for since Allen is a bit of a butt hole, but seeing how much money Allen can bring in leads to Marcus compromising better judgment.
Story wise I liked where the episode went. Marcus got established well, as did Allen, and while we didn’t see much of Ruth or Marcus’ daughter Laura (Daniele Watts), we saw enough to at least get a feel of them. Also, when we meet Allen’s step-daughter Lizzie (McKaley Miller) who, again, you are given just enough to not only understand the supporting character but get a better feel of one of the leads.
I must say, though, for something which is supposed to be a comedy from two comedy legends, I barely even cracked a smile. Be it because Martin Lawrence has watered down his comedy for so long that even he wonders how he got to this point, or just because I never really found Kelsey Grammer funny and arguably this is more his show than Lawrence’s. Either way, while I didn’t cringe at the jokes, I didn’t feel like laughing with the canned laughter either.
Overall: Skip It
Unless you have nothing to watch when this comes on and don’t have much to do throughout the week, I don’t see the point in watching this. If I chuckled a bit throughout then I would just say maybe Lawrence was rusty and maybe I was just getting used to Grammer’s style of humor, but with me not laughing once, I see this whole project as nothing more than a paycheck for the stars. One which, based off the pilot solely, I don’t think they deserve what likely was a high asking price.