3 out of 5
Created by: Jordan Peele and John Carcieri
Would you believe: I haven’t been completely sold on Tracy Morgan, and though I loved Key & Peele, I also would say that there was pleeeenty that fell quite flat on that show and / or repeated itself, along with K & P’s after-show work being somewhat patchy (yes – Get Out included); furthermore, TBS has been doing its homework with some quality comedy as of late, but there’s an equal of amount of un-quality there, and The Last O.G. ping-ponged around all the likely candidates (FX; Comedy Central) before making its home with Turner, amidst its bits and bobs attempts at modern-day oddball humor. Meaning – there wasn’t a known quantity here.
But hey! What a great outlet for Morgan’s sloppy, innocent / brash shtick, giving a potentially one-note dunderhead character a sense of depth very much thanks to that shtick’s dichotomy, and the premise of a just-released con – Morgan – returning to his gentrified neighborhood and his white-dude-married ex-girlfriend and having to adjust his last o.g.ness to this Brave New World is a great, plotified spin on the race-relations interests of Peele. And as with TBS’ other winner out of its gaggle of laughy shows – Wrecked – the show’s writers manage to extend a premise into a full season’s worth of entertainment by actually letting characters shine, and not just going after fish-out-of-water hijinks. Whether it’s the crew of other once-thugs in the halfway house in which Morgan stays, or – maybe especially – his extended family of kids and ex-girlfriend’s hubby, everyone feels weighted and fleshed out and not just played for white and black gags. (Okay, maybe the halfway house gang are just in it for laughs.)
Last O.G. may actually push the plot thing a little too hard, doing a late season whodunnit twist that feels like a distraction from the family dramedy, but all in all, this is a well-realized, really well cast concept that’s a welcome addition to TBS’ lineup.