“The Carmichael Show” (NBC) preview: So long, Jerrod…


Previously entitled Go Jerrod Go. Written & produced by Jerrod Carmichael, Willie HunterNick Stoller (Sex Tape, The 5-Year Engagement, Yes Man). Co-produced by Ravi Nandan (Best Friends, Forever, Playing House). Directed by Scott Ellis (Undateable, 2 Broke Girls, Weeds). For NBC & Universal Television.

Description: Jerrod is terrified to tell his parents he’s going to move in with his longtime girlfriend Maxine, because he’s terrified to move in with her and terrified to tell her too, and it makes all too real suddenly… Irreverent multi-camera comedy inspired by Jerrod Carmichael stand-up and his relationships with his girlfriend and family.

With Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors), Amber Stevens (Greek), Loretta Devine (Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Public), David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher), LilRel Howery

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I’m always happy when a young writer is given a chance to shine and it rarely happens on network television these days. Last one was Cristela Alonzo and even if her sitcom for ABC Cristela is not a hit right now and probably never will be, it’s an efficient multicamera that is worth a bigger crowd to please. This woman is here to stay whatever happens with it. So, I’m happy for newcomer 26-year old stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael that NBC really believes in him, enough to order an untitled pilot presentation revolving around him last year, that didn’t go to series, and order a full pilot this year, Go Jerrod Go, which just landed a series order for a small amount of six episodes to begin with. It may be paired with another new comedy, Mr Robinson, with The Office‘s Craig Robinson, developed for two years and finally due next summer. Meaning NBC is not betting big on Go Jerrod Go. And after reading the pilot script, I totally get why. In fact, I’m not even sure why they ordered it in the first place! Cheap? Diversity? A hole to fill in the schedule?

I haven’t seen anything Jerrod Carmichael has done except his very small and uneventful part in Neighbors movie, but his stand-up got an HBO special, directed by Spike Lee. So he must be hilarious and smart, right? It didn’t strike me while reading honestly. The version of himself he plays here is annoying, to say the least. The two first acts consist of Jerrod avoiding real conversations and emotions with his very patient girlfriend and then with his soulful parents. That translates into and endless argument where important matters are discussed throughout, mostly politics and I guess that’s why NBC describes the show as “irreverent”. Which is not. Let’s be clear. But it’s still better than dealing with the same old shit over and over again. The last act is funnier but also very predictable. In the end, what I liked the most is the parents. And I love Loretta Devine. She will probably do a very good job with the material. The girlfriend is okay. The brother is okay. But Jerrod, no. I just can’t put up with his attitude.

Go Jerrod Go. I think there’s an obvious joke to make with the title. But I won’t make it. I like to believe I’m better than that. And I’m sure Jerrod Carmichael is also better than this pilot is. Maybe NBC should have cast him in an ensemble comedy, where he would have been a strong player… So long, Jerrod!

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