I love a pilot that’s makes me laugh right from the get-go. The Mayor is a confident and breezy production; it introduces its narrative and each of its characters with such smoothness, that you’d be fooled into thinking the show’s been around for decades.
But really it’s the starmaking performance at its center that makes The Mayor such a worthwhile watch. Brandon Micheal Hall is just incredible as the new mayor of Fort Grey and wannabe rapper Courtney Rose. His charisma pops off the screen from the very first frame, and his chemistry with his mother (played by the superb Yvette Nicole Brown) is off the charts. You immediately latch on to their heartwarming dynamic, and it’s easy to see how she’ll play his moral compass going forward. It also helps that Dina’s so darn witty and sarcastic.
This crackling little comedy also benefits from a really uplifting tone. Sure Courtney becomes mayor far too easily (and there’s shades of Trump with everyone saying he’s not even qualified to run), but there’s a lesson to be learned here as he strives to do the right thing and realizes that his needs are secondary to those of his constituents. If only the real world could follow suit.
Dina: If you want to get discovered, just do it the old-fashioned way by waiting for a nice old Jewish man to give you his business card.
Courtney: Or people see my name in the news, they look at my music, the labels start circling. I’m like, “Guys, guys, it’s too much too fast.” You know, just to be dramatic. And next thing you know, me and Taylor Swift are doing a Super Bowl performance that red and blue states can enjoy.
Dina: Lord, thank you for making him cute, because, otherwise, we’d be in big trouble.
Courtney: You know what? It’s really dope that we’re roommates.
It’s like we’re fam but also like we’re fam. It’s like you my mama, but at the same time, – it’s like you my ma.
Kid: You’re a rapper? Like Eminem, Macklemore, – and Iggy Azalea?
Courtney: Hmm. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that list is hella problematic, but, yes, I am a rapper.
Jermaine: I wonder if I should cut off my non-famous friends. I mean, like, I-I’ll miss ’em, but it’s like what do we even talk about, you know?
Courtney: I mean, there is so much trash, Google Maps has it listed as a mountain. You know what I’m saying? Like, a saw a rat riding a toboggan down one of them things the other day. It’s so much trash, Bravo gave it a second season.
Senator: Which is why I pledge that, by 2020, all that trash will be gone.
Courtney: And by “gone,” he means underneath the new trash from 2018 and 2019.
Val: Look, Courtney, I’ve been around a lot of politicians, and you have something special.
Courtney: Yeah, what’s that?
Dina: (to the crown) Is he a bundle from heaven or what? Thank you for helping us at City Commons, but there’s still work to do, so I need you to pick up trash and not just get trashed.
Jermaine: We were just worried about you, man, and and angry with you.
It was very complicated. I mean, this rich emotional stew.
A hopeful and feel-good comedy with sharp dialogue and stellar performances.