The Carmichael Show tackles gentrification
Once again, The Carmichael Show proves that it’s reviving the ’70s-style, socially conscious sitcom with an episode about gentrification. Sunday night’s episode saw Jerrod (Jerrod Carmichael, the show’s creator and star) dealing with the disparity between his financial situation and that of his brother Bobby (Lil Rel Howery) and Bobby’s ex Nekeisha (Tiffany Haddish). The former couple (still cohabiting) find themselves being pushed out of their neighborhood by rising rents. The episode’s writer, Laura Gutin Peterson, handled the subject with compassion and humor.
The return of Charlie
Girls had a standout week, with an exquisite episode devoted solely to Marnie (Alison Williams) and the inevitable implosion of her marriage to Desi (brilliantly played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach). What sparked it all? A surprise run-in with Marnie’s ex, Charlie (Chris Abbott), who left the show suddenly in 2013. The new Charlie is a far cry from the guy who was just too nice for Marnie: Now, he’s buff, with an inexplicable new accent and the saddest apartment TV has ever seen. I doubt we’ll see him again, but his appearance gave the show’s fifth season a jolt of energy.
Archer heads west
The return of Archer is always an event in my book. The animated spy series on FX premiered its seventh season this week, and proved that a comedy doesn’t have to totally reinvent itself to be consistently funny — but a few tweaks here and there don’t hurt. In Season 7, Archer and the gang relocate to Los Angeles, but they’re still the same lovable jerks we fell in love with back in 2010.
Those tapes, tho!
The People v. OJ Simpson’s penultimate episode was one of its best yet. “Manna from Heaven” dealt with the infamous Mark Fuhrman tapes, on which the LAPD detective — the same one who found the bloody glove at OJ’s estate — can be heard using the N-word some 40 times. The discovery of the tapes led to a perjury charge for Fuhrman, who had earlier testified that he hadn’t used the word in the past ten years. But on a bigger scale, the revelation of the cop’s bigotry did irreparable damage to the prosecution’s case. One more episode remains, and we all know what’s coming.