7 June 2002 | budikavlan
An admirable but amateurish "family show"
Robert Townsend, for some reason, felt the need to make a show that would uplift, present a positive model of a modern African-American family, etc, etc. Kind of a slightly more modern, slightly less establishment "Cosby Show." To this he added a few of his more anarchic comedy touches, like a couple of silly friends and brief fantasy sequences. Unfortunately, the writing and acting were often terrible, especially the actors playing the younger children. In later years, especially after older son Michael (Kenny Blank) left the show and troubled youth TK was taken in by the family after he mugged Geri, the show became dreadfully earnest, delving into "important issues" and sledgehammering the viewer with pathos. Any residual charm was gone after a year or two, and the fantasy sequences (the only unique element of the show) never rose above silly; every attempt at "hipness" and "street cred" failed miserably too. All involved deserve points for effort, but the show is often almost painful to watch.