While it’s not getting a traditional fall premiere and NBC is airing its six episodes in Season 1 back-to-back over three weeks — much like the network did with “Mr. Robinson” — “The Carmichael Show” is one of the most promising comedies on network TV.
Debuting Wednesday, Aug. 26, the “Carmichael Show” pilot is like most series premieres. It introduces the audience to the world it’s set in and establishes the characters you’ll get to know. By episode 2, “Protest,” it’s easy to see this isn’t a run-of-the-mill sitcom.
Instead, creators Jerrod Carmichael and Nicholas Stoller have created a smart, socially-conscious comedy that tackles current events while still going for laughs. In one episode, it addresses the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality while also cracking jokes about the possibility of George Zimmerman serving as Donald Trump’s presidential running mate.
It’s not often that a sitcom addresses such serious social issues in a real way. In “Protest,” Jerrod’s (Carmichael) girlfriend Maxine (Amber Stevens West) and mother (Loretta Devine) go to protest the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by police. While doing so, Jerrod laments that protesting doesn’t really solve anything and even reveals he was once racially profiled.
It’s hardly the sort of thing you would expect from a half-hour multi-camera comedy, but “The Carmichael Show” handles it with ease. The series lets the audience know how important the issue is while not shying away from making jokes about the state of life. After all, no matter how bad things can get you need to be able to laugh.
NBC may be running through the entire six-episode first season over the course of three weeks, but if viewers are lucky “The Carmichael Show” will get a renewal. It’s the kind of comedy TV needs more of, even if only for only three weeks.