*I love comedy; or should I say, I love comedy that is funny ‘ha ha” and not funny “stupid.” After seeing the previews of “The Last O.G.,” I decided to tune in last night (April 3) to see if it was more the former or the latter. Come to find out, it was neither. Although I enjoyed the show, I enjoyed it as a drama. I may have chuckled a time or two, but I did not belly laugh.
Tracy Morgan plays Tray, an ex-con released after 15 years in prison, only to find his old Brooklyn neighborhood has changed, his girlfriend Shay (Tiffany Haddish) has moved on and married a white man, he has twins he knew nothing about and life has passed him by.
“The Last O.G.” is very realistic. It began with a flashback of Tray and Shay watching the finale of Season 1 of American Idol, where Tray was rooting for Justin Guarini and Shay was rooting for Kelly Clarkson. (We all know who won.) Tray, a drug dealer, made the ill-fated decision to make a run to the store across the street and was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison. By all accounts, he pined” for Shay the entire 15 years, only to look her up after his release and find she had moved on or as he called it, “Pulled a George Jefferson and moved on up.”
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I liked Tiffany Haddish in the role of Shay. She did not get a chance to tell Tray she was pregnant before he was arrested and opted not to tell him afterwards. Instead, she moved on and made a better life for her and her children. She did well for herself and as she pointed out to Tray, her kids went to a good school and had nice friends and a better life than her and Tray. What I did not like was the unnecessary cursing. For someone who had elevated herself, she had quite the potty mouth when she interacted with Tray. It was kind of a turn-off and not funny at all.
“The Last O.G.” also stars Cedric the Entertainer as the halfway house manager. He wasn’t funny either, although I chuckled a little when he said, “I grabbed him by the back of his head and tear out three of them gray ass dreadlocks and I say, ‘Hey brother, look like you out of locs.’” Yes, I chuckled; do not judge me. LOL! I also thought it was cute when Cedric said, “Every fool ass convict who comes through that door think that they Laurence Fishburne in Boyz in the Hood.” Okay, so I rather liked Cedric the Entertainer.
The Last O.G. has a message, all the profanity notwithstanding, which was obvious, as all through the show Tray kept trying to save souls (or futures). He did not want people to ruin their lives the way he did and counseled (badgered, preached or whatever word you choose to use) people to make better choices and not live the street life. Shay’s message was people could rise above their circumstances and make a better life.
I look forward to seeing future episodes of the Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele executive produced show. I want to see the direction upcoming show takes, especially since the previews seem to be as good as or better than the pilot. Tune in to TBS and see for yourself. If you missed the premiere show on TV, you can watch/stream it online, HERE.
Marilyn Smith is a Los Angeles based writer/reviewer. Contact her via MzSportsJunkie@gmail.com.