BY ANTHONY JOEL
My intention was to give a review on “Superior Donuts” on CBS after the first episode, but I felt it would be fair to give the show a few more episodes to develop. This show actually comes from greatness because it’s based on an award winning Broadway play of the same name. With an ensemble cast that co-stars rising comedian Jermaine Fowler the show has a good foundation. The premise follows Arthur (Judd Hirsch) a stubborn, out-of-touch, old man who has run a doughnut shop in a tough Chicago neighborhood for most of his life. Eventually Franco (Jermaine Fowler) walks into the shop looking for a job, and offering all kinds of ideas to help turn the struggling business around. At the core “Superior Donuts” is a story about change and how those who are trapped their ways have a hard time evolving and how the youth can spark positive change.
So far this show has already discussed racism, classism, gentrification, gun control, crime and many other topics that are somewhat taboo in the current TV climate. The show’s setting takes place in my hometown of Chicago, which makes the discussion of some of those topics relevant to me on another level. One ironic thing for sure is that even though there is a constant flow of current events on the show, it still makes you feel like you’re watching a throwback 1970’s show. It’s freshness is well balanced with a classic feel, I personally believe this show could have been made by Norman Lear in the 40 years ago and still have been a hit. Now don’t get me wrong, the show is not hilarious and has a lot of room for improvement. The jokes are hit or miss, but they are consistent and hit often enough. Every week each episode improves in different areas, and that’s all you can ask for as a viewer. Newcomer Jermaine Fowler appears more comfortable every week, letting his one-liners flow letting, and bringing a new energy to his to spark his veteran cast mates. Just because of its approach and presentation “Superior Donuts” is better than a lot of the bland 30 minute sitcoms that are currently on the air. So though it’s not very good at this point, it’s storyline is risky and that’s welcomed. The clash of incomes, cultures, current events in a gentrifying neighborhood is definitely a solid premise. It has potential, the hope is that it just continues to push the limits.
BY ANTHONY JOEL