16 May 2021: Netflix's 'The Upshaws' review: Dated and unfunny; a big miss
The first season of The Upshaws—co-created by Wanda Sykes—is now streaming on Netflix.
It follows the life of an African-American family in Indiana and their misadventures.
Bennie Upshaw (Mike Epps) is a mechanic who deals with his wife, her sister, and his "baby mama" every day while trying to mend fences with his estranged son.
The show's drab and very dated.
Here's our review.
Story: The premise is somewhat new but the jokes are stale
Bennie, who is juggling between a wife, four kids, a snarky sister-in-law, a "baby mama", and his job, is mostly in over his head.
Though the premise looks promising, the writing and production are stale as week-old bread.
The laugh track trope is overused at points and the show invokes strong deja-vu, as you feel you are watching something you watched 100 times already.
Acting: Actors are brilliant and famed, their acting isn't but
An ensemble boasting of names like Sykes, Epps, Kim Fields, and Page Kennedy among others, falls flat in the acting department.
Most of them seem to be overdoing it in order to look or sound funny, but it just comes across as over the top.
Sykes, who is known for her comic timing and signature style, also fails to impress and looks cringey.
Production: Hey, so the '90s called, they want their jokes back!
The jokes as well as the "gathered around the kitchen table banter" are very '90s.
The show that boasts of a majorly African-American cast mostly misses the opportunity to make any significant point.
They try at places, for example, an attempt to reclaim the N-word, but that's where it stops.
The banter between Bennie and Sykes's Lucretia is frustrating most times and not funny.
Conclusion: Verdict: Can give this one a miss; gets 2/5 stars
With shows Black-ish around that are funny as well as are centered around African-American families depicting their perils with accuracy, The Upshaws is pretty passable.
If you got nothing to watch (at all), then you can give it a try, just for the premise they set and some laughs here and there.
The show is dated, drab, and seriously unfunny.
Final verdict: 2/5 stars.
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