Original Air Date: Oct 3, 2017
Brianna – Managing Editor
One of the ABC pilots I was able to get a peek at was The Mayor. The show follows aspiring rapper, Courtney Rose, as he decides to run for mayor of his California town, Fort Grey.
Though it starts off as a stunt in an attempt to launch his rapping career, he soon finds out that he actually wins and becomes mayor. The pilot introduces viewers to the people he will surround himself with as he navigates through life in the office, from his mother, Dina (Yvette Nicole Brown), to his insistent Chief of Staff, Valentina Barella (Lea Michele). The first half hour offers a glimpse at all of these characters and makes a case for Courtney that despite it being a stunt, there’s some real good he can do while in office.
Valentina Barella’s got some Rachel Berry and a bit of Leslie Knope in her from the moment she is introduced that lands her in a particular character archetype but without the added trait of being overbearing that some writers feel the need to add (unnecessarily so, I might add). She’s one of the people that know how to navigate politics and offers Courtney that insight.
The premise hits a little close to home, and Courtney’s response to something in the first episode is indicative of the intent at least in part. The difference is that there is a hint of hopefulness in the way Courtney eventually approaches things. The idea that someone who ran for office with no background or understanding of the enormity of the position could still learn to take it as seriously as warranted that show seemingly implanted into the story is optimistic (and perhaps my projecting).
Yvette Nicole Brown as Courtney’s mom, Dina, had a fun introduction while also serving as Courtney’s reality check like Valentina is in the political aspect. Bernard David Jones as Jermaine and Marcel Spears as T.K., Courtney’s two best friends and staffers for his campaign and office brought in the more comedic aspects of the pilot. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of them and seeing what else they get up to.
There was a delightful surprise cameo in the pilot that had me doing a double take.
The Mayor felt like one of the more promising shows at upfronts, and I still place it in the hopeful column after watching the pilot.
Check out The Mayor, set to premiere Tuesday, October 3 at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.